Chromatic Modernism (Blue, Red, Yellow)

Josiah McElheny (American, 1966-)

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Josiah McElheny draws inspiration from the roles of designers, artists, and architects within the history of modernism, using his work to highlight and recontextualize innovations that are not widely known or recognized.

The support system for McElheny’s Chromatic Modernism (Blue, Yellow, Red) is modeled after a modular rod display system first implemented by Francesco Ruscone during the 1951 Milan Triennial design exhibition. McElheny sees this display system as the pinnacle of modern design and made a replica, which he outfitted with glass panels and arranged within it a selection of glass objects in blue, yellow and red. An expert glassblower, McElheny hand-fabricated the vessels on display, whose designs are based on mid-century Czech, Italian, and Scandinavian glassware. In his novel assemblages of metal and exquisitely crafted glass, McElheny strikes a contrast between mass production and the handmade.

(Donald Young Gallery, Chicago, Illinois); purchased by the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 2010.

Object Information

Josiah McElheny (American, 1966-)
creation date
hand blown and polished glass, anodized aluminum, laminated colored sheet glass, low-iron glass sheet, electric lighting
88-1/2 x 62 x 20-3/4 in. (installed)
Chromatic Modernism
accession number
credit line
Bequest of Kathryne S. Block in Memory of Rudolph C. Block by exchange.
© Josiah McElheny
Contemporary Art

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