New Yorkers will see how design was shaped by two cataclysmic events in the twentieth century—World War II and the invention and use of atomic weapons. "Vital forms: American art and design in the atomic age; 1940-60," at the Brooklyn Museum of Art (12 October to 6 January) traces the evolution of biomorphic everyday objects as a response to rapid advances in technology. Among the 60 works on view are a 1947 chess table by Isamu Noguchi and Elvis Presley's kidney-shaped swimming pool. Another exhibition sure to touch a nerve is a centennial retrospective of the work of Alberto Giacometti at the Museum of Modern Art from 11 October to 8 January, which will proceed as scheduled. One of the last projects of Giacometti's life was to be a group of figures for Chase Manhattan Plaza, the first structure in the lower Manhattan plan that eventually included the World Trade Center. The sculptor could never come up with a design that satisfied him.
Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Endgame in NY: Giacometti and Noguchi et al.'