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Indepth Arts News:

"Karim Rashid: I Want to Change the World"
2006-04-29 until 2006-09-17
Price Tower Art Center
Bartlesville, OK, USA United States of America

"I Want to Change the World" reads the title of Karim Rashid's 2001 manifesto -and he has done just that, as one of today's most prolific and successful designers. Since beginning his career in 1979, at age 19, he has created "sensual minimalist" designs for hundreds of "blobjects"-from wristwatches, table- and glassware, clocks and soap containers to the best-selling "Garbo" wastebasket-as well as furniture, fashions, lighting fixtures, showrooms, hotels, restaurants, residences, and sculptures. He is an author, a frequent lecturer at universities and conferences, an invited contributor to numerous group exhibitions, and the star of the television reality show Made in the USA. His designs are in the permanent collections of 15 major museums around the world.

Now, for the first time, he will be the subject of a solo museum exhibition in his home country, the United States. From April 28 through September 17, Price Tower Arts Center will present the exhibition Karim Rashid. Organized by the Arts Center, the exhibition will examine the blurring of the boundaries between design, architecture and sculpture as exemplified by Rashid's "blobs." A site-specific installation, commissioned for the exhibition-a sleek, suspended metallic "blobject" reminiscent of a landscape with a surface reflecting the surrounding architecture-will unite Rashid's work with that of another visionary: Frank Lloyd Wright, the architect and designer of the Arts Center's landmark home. Also included will be a survey of Rashid's work-furniture, wallcoverings, ceramics, glassware, interiors, graphics-from throughout his career.

"As he moves toward architecture and the design of site-specific environments, we think it is very appropriate that his first solo museum exhibition in this country should take place here: at a museum of art, architecture and design housed in Frank Lloyd Wright's only skyscraper," said Richard P. Townsend, Executive Director and CEO of the Arts Center.

"Wright's creative mind was not confined solely to architecture. I am interested in these similar borderless notions of the built environment… Like Wright, I also believe that design is a popular signifier of the American landscape," said Karim Rashid.

"Karim Rashid is a designer able to work across various media, who is interested in not only 'surface' but the 'substance' of an object, and who is able to acknowledge his role in design history while continually chipping away at the definition of 'designer,'" commented Scott W. Perkins, Curator of Exhibitions and Collections at the Arts Center. "For many of our museum visitors, this exhibition will explain what it means to be a 'designer,' as it includes not only the finished object, but also sketches, prototypes, and samples that illustrate the creative process."

Born in Cairo, Egypt, in 1960 and raised in Toronto, Canada, Karim Rashid has had more than 2,000 objects put into production to date. His clients have included Acme Studio, Nambé, Method, Prada, Umbra, Issey Miyake, Nienkämper, Wolf-Gordon, Alessi and Target. His many honors include the 1999 Daimler Chrysler Design Award, the 1999 George Nelson Award of Interiors magazine, the 2001 gold award in furniture from the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), the 2003 Best New Restaurant Design citation of Esquire magazine, and a 2005 IDSA Industrial Design Excellence Award. He has an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the Corcoran College of Art & Design in Washington, D.C.

The exhibition Karim Rashid is organized by Price Tower Arts Center, Bartlesville, Oklahoma and is presented by Target with additional assistance from Umbra, ConocoPhillips, the Oklahoma Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts and media sponsors, KTUL NewChannel 8 and Oklahoma Magazine.

IMAGE
A site-specific installation, Blobjectory, commissioned for the exhibition-a sleek, suspended metallic "blobject" reminiscent of a landscape with a surface reflecting the surrounding architecture-will unite Rashid's work with that of another visionary: Frank Lloyd Wright, the architect and designer of the Arts Center's landmark home. Also included will be a survey of Rashid's work-furniture, wallcoverings, ceramics, glassware, interiors, graphics-from throughout his career.


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