This exhibition emerges from the ideas put forth in texts written by Clara Porset, and published in national and international journals, such as Espacios, Arquitectura México, Decoración, Social (Cuba) and Arts and Architecture, among others. The designer’s ideas and concerns provide a space for reflection within the gallery and allow the viewer to encounter the true meaning of her work: a socially conscious design rooted in tradition, but with an identity of its own, anchored on occasion in the national and yet proposing a new way of inhabiting space.
A pioneer in her field, Clara Porset Dumas (Cuba, 1895-1981), challenged the social conventions of her time and stood out as a designer and interior decorator during the heroic period of Mexican modern design. Her critical writings on design were a very important and yet practically overlooked aspect of her career, one that must be considered in conjunction with her vast work as a draftswoman.
Between 1930 and 1970, Clara Porset wrote deeply and prolifically on design, its essence, development, and scope. Her ideas, distributed by national and international outlets, permeated the discussion and reflection on design throughout those years. Clara Porset: Design and Thinking seeks to investigate Porset’s thinking and concepts regarding modern design, its scope, and the difficulties that arose in a period that saw the construction of new identities and narratives.
Expanding on her renown as a practitioner and promoter of design, this exhibition reveals a previously unseen side of the designer: her work as a thinker. The show includes plans, photographs, miniatures, objects, and furniture sourced from private collections in Mexico, and documents from the Archivo Clara Porset in the Centro de Investigaciones de Diseño Industrial at the Facultad de Arquitectura de la UNAM, which houses her archives.
Organized by Ana Elena Mallet, Guest Curator, and Adriana Kuri Alamillo, Curatorial Asisstant, Museo Jumex.
Image: Clara Porset with Totonaca table and chairs at the Enrique Yánez living room, calle Cantil, ca. 1958. Archivo Clara Porset. Centro de Investigación de Diseño Industrial. Facultad de Arquitectura. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Unknown photographer