Maggie Judge, an architect with a soft spot for wine and design, kindly agreed to write this guest post on a lil’ SFMoMA exhibit that y’all should check out. Sláinte, Mags!
There are only a handful of days left to catch How Wine Became Modern: Design + Wine 1976 to Now at the SFMoMA. The exhibition — a seven-segment tour of the culture, design, science, and soil of wine — ends on April 17. Overall, it’s a lot to swallow, but a delectable feast for wine fans.
A great deal of the work on display showcases things you may come across in your day-to-day life: paint samples with wine-inspired names, a wall of wine bottles thematically grouped by label art, or Japanese manga comics about the protagonist’s search for the perfect wine. This pop-culture heavy approach puts a lot of pressure on the curation and design of the exhibit itself. Henry Urbach, the SFMoMA’s honcho on architecture and design enlisted the talents of Elizabeth Diller to pull together (and contribute to) the exhibit. [BTW – her firm, Diller, Scofidio + Renfro is the creative force behind The High Line (for all you New York transplants).] As with a great deal of DS+R’s work, you get the sense that there were some really big theories behind these tongue-in-cheek displays. For example, they try to tackle the ever elusive topic of terroir by using petri dish enclosed soil samples sourced from wine growing regions around the world, and linking them to live-feeds of climatic conditions.
The exhibit as a whole presents a real, multi-faceted look at the world of wine. So make some time over the next few days, and go with your friends before it closes. The Museum Cafe, Cafe Museo, is hosting tastings to celebrate the exhibit on Thursday nights (when admission is half price). This week, they are featuring wines from renowned importer Kermit Lynch.
FYI – here are some press articles on the exhibit for your reading pleasure: