An exhibition highlighting the enduring impact of the Bauhaus and modernism on Norwegian crafts and design.
Curated by Richard Øiestad and Are Blytt of Oslo-based collective Pyton, the Pyton Place exhibition focused on the effects of modernism on Norwegian design, craft, and art. Part of London Craft Week, the show was organized with support from Norwegian Crafts and the Norwegian Embassy in London. The location, a Georgian apartment in Cromwell Place, allowed the curators to create an exhibition that resembled a home and thus give a nod to Bauhaus member Hannes Meyer’s rules for the ideal organization of a living space. To showcase how both the Bauhaus and modernism left their mark on Norwegian design and craft traditions, the curators brought together dozens of pieces of furniture, objects, and artworks.
Visitors could walk through different areas of the “home”, which included sleep, lounge, eating, and work spaces. These different zones painted the picture of Norwegian art and design from the 20th century to the present moment. Carefully chosen items that represent the country’s fine arts, design, and craft scenes provided a thought-provoking parallel between mid-century and ultra-contemporary designs. The show also included works created by different members of the Pyton group.
A thread that links both vintage and contemporary works.
Designs by renowned mid-century designer Edvin Helseth provided a focal point for the exhibition. Modernist and timeless, his furniture also showcased the simple beauty of traditional woodworking techniques. Made from pine wood, the pieces of furniture have elements that combine without screws or glue. Instead, timber joints or plugs hold different wooden pars firmly together. The exhibition included a table, desk, shelving system, and trolley created by Helseth. To complement them, the curators chose vintage objects by Gunnar Havstad and a tapestry by Elisabeth Haarr. Contemporary additions included designs from Pyton members Richard Øiestad, Are Blytt, and Henrik Ødegaard as well as a painting by Oda Iselin Sønderland, and a stool by ceramic artist Julia K. Persson. The Pyton Place exhibition ran from May 11-15, 2022, at 4 Cromwell Place, South Kensington, London. Photography © Pyton.