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Années 80: In its latest exhibition, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris celebrates the 1980s, an era in which a new, undogmatic generation of designers also entered the scene in France.
© Helmo — Agence RSCG, affiche La Force tranquille. Mitterrand président, 1981 © Les Arts Décoratifs / Photo : Christophe Dellière — Michel Quarez, affiche Marche pour la paix. Appel des 100, 1982 © Les Arts Décoratifs / Photo : Christophe Dellière © Adagp, Paris, 2022 — Pierre Sala, chaise Piranha, 1983, édition Furnitur © Centre national des arts plastiques / Yves Chenot — Edwige Belmore et Farida Khelfa au Palace, 1980 © Photo: Philippe Morillon

From Francois Mitterand’s accession to power in 1981 to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the 1980s have impressed themselves on the people of France as a period of change in which postmodern thinking and design opened up new possibilities. The Musée des Arts Décoratifs is now dedicating the exhibition Années 80 – Mode, design et graphisme en France to this era.

Design was a high priority, not least for Mitterrand himself and his Minister of Culture, Jack Lang: even during the election campaign, the campaign of the advertiser Jacques Séguéla had brought a breath of fresh air into political communication; one of the first official acts of the new president was to commission five contemporary designers – Marc Held, Ronald Cecil Sportes, Philippe Starck, Annie Tribel and Jean-Michel Wilmotte – to redesign his private rooms in the Elysée Palace. Milestones that are presented in the exhibition as well as the graphic designs of the “Grands Projets” La Villette, Louvre or Musée d’Orsay. But the work of furniture designers such as Martin Szekely or Elizabeth Garouste and Mattia Bonetti and, of course, the glamorous personalities of Parisian fashion from Thierry Mugler to Jean Paul Gaultier to Azzedine Alaïa also have their appropriate appearance.

The exhibition, which runs from 13 October 2022 to 16 April 2023. The exhibition, which will run from 13 October 2022 to 16 April 2023, will also shed light on the museum’s own roots, which emerged from a merger of the Museum of Poster and Advertising (Musée de l’Affiche et de la Publicité), founded in 1982, and the Museum of Fashion (Musée des Arts de la Mode), founded in 1986: child of a remarkable era that represented “a lusty clash of styles, filling the worlds of fashion, design and graphics with spontaneity and freedom”, as the museum puts it.

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