The Contemporary Arts Center begins a trio of anniversaries this year, celebrating the 10th year of the Zaha Hadid building in 2013, the 100th year of the organization in 2014, and the 25th anniversary of the renowned Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition The Perfect Moment in 2015. In Formica Forever the CAC highlights another iconic Cincinnati-born organization enjoying its centenary anniversary by simultaneously reflecting upon, and renewing the DNA of its design. Rather than resting on the laurels of bench-mark years, both the CAC and Formica employ the occasion of the anniversary as an opportunity to reinvigorate, revitalize and reshape the foundations on which we grow.
Formica Forever speaks the history of Formica through a language of the forms that made it famous. From boomerangs, twill and woodgrain to ellipses, halftones and dotscreens, the graphic identity of its laminate has colorfully reflected the evolving face of style and society. The ellipse is a special signature form in this inventory, and the CAC has commissioned a select group of Cincinnati-based artists, archi-tects and designers to interpret the shape in unconventional ways. We want 2013 (and beyond) to be seen through the lens of our city’s unique vision.
This show also highlights two more functional applications of Formica, including a selection of dresses and a group of nine chairs originally presented in the CAC’s 2008 exhibition FORM: Contemporary Architects at Play. Alongside video montages and fluid applications of Formica sheets, Formica Forever pays homage to an organization in perpetual motion.