Marguerita Mergentime’s Vivid Textiles Get a Second Course, and Other News

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Marguerita Mergentime x Food52

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Marguerita Mergentime’s Vivid Textiles Get a Second Course

Marguerita Mergentime died young (in 1941, of leukemia at age 47) but her legacy is aging gracefully. Her Americana wall hanging, shown at the 1939 World’s Fair in San Francisco, printed texts on textiles in a linguistic assemblage carried on in the work of Barbara Kruger, On Kawara, and Pippa Garner, while her tablescapes offered bold patterns, clearly defined, to soften the hard edges of Modernism and harder times of the Depression. Form Portfolios, the firm working with historic designers and their estates to revive their work, has partnered with Mergentime’s granddaughter and Food52 on a holiday collection of textiles—napkins, tablecloths, a tree skirt—that reintroduces Mergentime to new generations and whet the appetite for deeper dives into her life and work. —Jesse Dorris

Image courtesy of Madison Square Garden Company

London mayor Sadiq Khan rejects a proposal to build an MSG Sphere in East London.

London mayor Sadiq Khan has rejected a planning application for the MSG Sphere London, a spherical music venue designed by Populous. The decision was made due to concerns about the venue’s negative impact on residents in Stratford, east London. An expert review by engineering firm WSP, commissioned by the Greater London Authority, identified significant issues with the application, including adverse effects on nearby buildings and concerns about the building’s height, massing, and sustainability. MSG Sphere operator Sphere Entertainment expressed disappointment in the decision and is considering other cities for the project.

UNESCO fears that Mexico’s $28 billion Maya Train project will endanger historic sites.

In August, satellite data-based analysis disclosed deforestation of nearly 16,500 acres since the Maya Train project commenced, with an estimated 87 percent of that land being cleared in violation of federal regulations. Sélvame del Tren asserts that 10 million trees have been cut down since 2020, despite campaign promises. Mexico’s environmental cabinet is countering these numbers, claiming just 8,000 acres and 3.5 million trees affected. Sélvame del Tren sent a letter to UNESCO in July 2022, urging assistance in managing the project ethically and legally. The UNESCO World Heritage Committee has reiterated its concerns about the impact on World Heritage sites along the Maya Train route, giving Mexican authorities until February to comply. Environmentalists are concerned about the contamination of cenotes due to drilling and vibrations; archaeological artifacts have also been discovered in some impacted cenotes.

“Turf War” (2003) by Banksy. Photography by Alan Denney, courtesy of The Banksy Story

A new podcast series will air a 20-year-old interview with anonymous artist Banksy.

A podcast series called “The Banksy Story” is set to air a rare full in-person interview from 2003 with a person claiming to be the anonymous artist Banksy. Conducted by Nigel Wrench, an arts correspondent for the BBC, the interview touches on topics like graffiti as vandalism and Banksy’s perspective on the art establishment. In the interview, the purported Banksy seems to verify his real name as “Robbie,” adding to the mystery surrounding his identity. 

George Tscherny, a prominent figure in postwar corporate graphic design, dies at 99.

George Tscherny, a prominent figure in postwar graphic design, has died at 99. Tscherny began his career in the early 1950s during a period of American consumerism and corporate growth, where he played a pivotal role in designing advertising, logos, and annual reports for companies like American Can, Colgate Palmolive, Pan Am, and RCA. Unlike many graphic designers of his time, he infused humor and humanity into his work, known for its jolly wit. Born in Budapest in 1924, his journey from a working-class background to becoming a bridge between commerce and art was influenced by his early experiences in Berlin and recognition of the convergence of high art and commercial art. Fleeing Germany due to the rise of the Nazis, he eventually joined the U.S. Army during World War II and later pursued a career in graphic design. Tscherny also made a lasting impact on design education, contributing to the creation of the graphic design program at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. 

Milan’s 10 Corso Como will undergo a sweeping makeover led by the agency 2050+.

Tiziana Fausti, who acquired 10 Corso Como in September 2020, is transforming the Milan brand and concept store. Led by architect and curator Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli’s agency 2050+, the project involves a makeover that will turn the spaces into a cabinet of curiosities. Fausti also plans to revamp the cultural program, focusing on exhibitions related to photography, fashion history, and art, with an emphasis on the intersection of art and fashion. The project aims to create seamless connections between experiences and disciplines and promote collaboration with designers, artists, and other professionals, making 10 Corso Como a platform for exchanging ideas. The revamp will be unveiled in stages starting next spring.

Today’s attractive distractions:

MSCHF’s first-ever museum retrospective is demanding to be taken seriously.

Snoop Dogg’s surprise “smoke” announcement turns out to be an ad for stoves.

A once-avid coder considers how AI might ring the death knell for his profession.

Bill Gates generously shares his favorite books, courses, and a holiday playlist.

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