The exhibition, “Toys of the Avant-Garde” at the Museo Picasso Malaga closed yesterday and unfortunately, I was unable to fly over to Spain to see it. However, I did purchase the excellent catalog at the MoMA book store. The catalog features most of the works included in the exhibit in addition to eight informative essays. I am aware of two other books/exhibition catalogs published in the last ten years that explore this same subject, “L’arte del gioco da Klee a Boetti ” 2002, Edizioni Gabriele Massotta, Milano (in Italian) and “Kunst ein Kinderspiel” MaxHollien and Gunda Luyken. Schirn Kunsthall Frankfort, 2004 (in German).
Some of the images from the exhibit are posted here.
I have always been curious why some artists were inspired to design toys and how this “toy making” related to their art. I stopped making “Art”, and began designing toys over forty years ago, inspired by the exhibit catalog , “Play Orbit”, by Jasia Reichardt (ICA in London, 1969). It occurred to me that I could keep making objects – a form of sculpture – but I did not have to call it “Art.” What a relief!
Like “Art”, the objects (the blocks) needed an audience but in this case a physically engaged audience– players (kids or adults) – who disassembled (or knocked down) the blocks and created their own forms.