Artists Magazine

Primary School

On a recent visit to the Oakland Museum of California, I chanced upon a retrospective of the Charles and Ray Eames design studio. A significant tenet of this successful mid-century company was the emphasis on essentials, particularly in terms of color. Like their famous contemporaries Alexander Girard (American, 1907–1993) and Massimo Vignelli (Italian, 1931–2014), they sought intense color effects by limiting their palettes to bright primary hues, likely inspired by the Dutch Modernist painter Piet Mondrian (1872–1944). The latter’s “neoplasticism” emphasized strict geometric shapes filled with red, yellow,

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