Sagmeister & Walsh Beauty

11 May – 15 September 2019

The exhibition was a cooperation between Museum Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt am Main and MAK, Vienna.

After his greatly successful Happy Show, the graphic design superstar from New York Stefan Sagmeister was back at the Museum Angewandte Kunst in 2019. In his new exhibition project Beauty, developed in collaboration with his studio partner Jessica Walsh, he delivered a very personal – and visually impressive – plea for the appreciation and enjoyment of beauty.

With spectacular interactive installations, the renowned design duo Sagmeister & Walsh took visitors along on a sensually pleasurable search: what is beauty and why do we feel attracted to it?

With the help of numerous examples from product design, urban planning, architecture and graphic design as well as newly produced installations, they invited the audience to see, smell and touch. All as part of an endeavor to demonstrate that beautifully designed objects stimulate human perception and, ultimately, work better. Supported by insights from psychological aesthetics, history, philosophy and the natural sciences, Sagmeister & Walsh took the view that beauty is more than just a superficial strategy: it influences our everyday life, stimulates our perception and makes the world a better place.

Throughout the entire 20th and 21st century, beauty has increasingly fallen out of favor in the design discourse.

© John Madere

Sagmeister & Walsh countered this antipathy with impressive arguments while facilitating the experience of beauty as a central, functional aspect of appealing design.

After its premiere in Vienna, the exhibition, created in cooperation with the MAK, Vienna, permeated the entire first floor of the Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt/Main. Around 70 object groups and installations, divided into six exhibition themes – “What is Beauty”, “A Short History of Beauty”, “The Eye of the Beholder”, “Experiencing Beauty”, “Transformational Beauty” and “Contemplating Beauty”, sparked an aesthetic debate around beauty as a paradigm for high-quality design.

Sagmeister & Walsh: Beauty was the second exhibition project that Stefan Sagmeister has realized with the Museum Angewandte Kunst. With The Happy Show, he shared his rousing quest for happiness with the audience in 2016. The exhibition was a cooperation between the Museum Angewandte Kunst and the MAK, Vienna. It was curated in Vienna by Kathrin Pokorny-Nagel and was coordinated by Peter Zizka at the Museum Angewandte Kunst.

The exhibition was supported by the Dr. Marschner Stiftung. The Associated Partner was Jaguar. The exhibition was sponsored by Merz Pharma and HTC and was supported by Bankhaus Metzler, BEITEN BURKHARDT Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLC and Zumtobel.

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