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UltraModern: Samuel Marx Architect, Designer, Art Collector Hardcover – February 16, 2012
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Given the enviable privilege of unfettered access to a trove of material (including photographs detailing Marx's commissions) owned by the Chicago Historical Society, the Art Institute of Chicago, and numerous other cultural repositories , Ms. O' Brien was able to "cherrypick" the most suitable examples of Marx's furniture to make her point; she presumably chose to exclude information and photographs which would be less compelling in illustrating the putative importance of Marx as a modernist architect and furniture designer. Despite this obvious selection bias, the vast majority of the items chosen to be illustrated by O'Brien (perhaps 80%) were merely comfortable reinterpretations of known traditional styles commonly found in haute bourgeois households of that period. Perhaps more distressing is the fact that a good deal of the furniture "designed" by Marx that would putatively be labeled "modernist" in today's world is shown to have been "adapted" (O' Brien's term) from works that had been previously designed by luminaries such as Jean Michel Frank, T.H. Robsjohn Gibbings, Donald Deskey, Paul Frankl, Isamu Noguchi and others.
In actuality, Marx's adaptations frequently make the pieces less modernist, not more. In some instances his adaptations fail altogether.Read more ›
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Regarding the criticisms in other entries here regarding the title "Ultra Modern", it's my understanding that the author is well aware that it is not a very accurate... Read morePublished on March 7, 2014 by Donald G. Richards
This book gives a very good insight to the man as well as to his work. The photography was excellent. Read morePublished on March 27, 2008 by House Doctor