Nestled on the outskirts of Tel Aviv, in the city of Holon, sits a gem of a museum dedicated entirely to design. Design Museum Holon does not merely curate rotating exhibitions in its gallery spaces; rather, every five months, the network of rooms and hallways housed inside Ron Arad's architecturally stunning building transform into an interactive, informative, and above all, inspiring demonstration of top designers, fashion icons, and private collections from Israel and abroad.
Last month, Je T'aime, Ronit Elkabetz, the museum's recent offering dedicated entirely to the magnificent wardrobe of the late Israeli actress, director, and fashion icon, has been replaced by an exquisite new exhibition featuring “it” duo, Stefan Sagmeister and Jessica Walsh, in their first-ever retrospective.
Back in 2012, after nearly 20 years of running Sagmeister Inc., Sagmeister announced that he was renaming his company Sagmeister & Walsh. He had recognized Walsh's "gigantic contribution" to the company, granting her a more influential role. The unforgettable announcement was blasted out in the form of an email ad that featured the duo standing naked in an office. This was apparently a sort of homage to the ad that Sagmeister used two decades years prior, when he announced his own opening of the design agency.
Since joining forces, award-winning Stefan Sagmeister and Jessica Walsh have created a range of exhilarating samples of visual communication, designed to challenge conventions and push boundaries, whilst conveying their signature mischievous creativity. Specializing in brand identities, campaigns and creative content, commercials, apps, books, websites, and so much more, the agency has worked with major power players, including The Rolling Stones, Levi’s, BMW, Jay-Z, and even The New York Times, providing their oh-so-unique take on modern communication.
Design Museum Holon's summer exhibition Sagmeister & Walsh: A Retrospective, will take delighted visitors on an aesthetic and interactive expedition, showcasing over 70 pieces from the New York-based studio’s prolific body of work.
"Using various techniques, expressive tools, and unconventional materials, Sagmeister & Walsh breathe new life into Marshall McLuhan's well-known phrase: ‘The medium is the message’,” says Maya Dvash, the museum's Chief Curator. "Their subjective approach, which involves a playful engagement with the viewers' senses, gives rise to unforgettable images, while encouraging viewers to think about the images we consume and produce in our everyday lives."
Spanning across all of the interior spaces in the museum's usual fashion, the exhibit will display the trendsetters’ variety of art installations as well as self-initiated projects, varying from posters, branding, and web design to interactive pieces, video projections, and sketches. These works will examine topics such as happiness, beauty, and emotion, and explore subjects like the connection between words and images and raise profound, abstract questions – for instance, what does emotion look like? How is happiness shaped?
“We’re trying to examine the ability to touch the heart of the viewer through design, avoid the usual clichés we designers are often caught up with, and really make an effort to create current and active communication,” says Sagmeister.
Perhaps the most memorable piece is a new installation titled Beauty = Human. From afar, the installation looks like a swoon-worthy typographic piece, showcasing a variety of patterns meant to emulate familiar shapes found in nature. However, closer examination reveals that the work is made out of over 10,000 colorful beetles, bugs, and other insects. The duo's intentions with Beauty = Human were to transform people’s misconceptions of these creepy crawlers into gorgeous works of art.
The power couple will be showcasing their most talked about exhibition until the end of October.
Design Museum Holon, 8 Pinhas Eilon St, Holon (dmh.org.il)