Tooth brushes and shaving brushes, brushes for clothing and shoes, brushes for washing and hair brushes, brushes for wigs or removing crumbs, for furniture or stoves, for combing horses and cleaning pots and pans, brushes for paintings and brooms, nail brushes and brushes for eyelashes, and brushes for cleaning the computer keyboard.
Brushes are one of the most useful and diverse items. They are among those commonplace objects which we throw away after use, however they shed light on an aspect of daily life over generations in different countries and cultures. They tell us about the principles of physical hygiene, the development of different materials, about the skills that are no longer and design breakthroughs. The exhibit presents thousands of brushes of different types: tooth brushes and hair brushes, brushing designed for combing wigs, shaving brushes, brushes for clothing and for removing crumbs, brushes for the neck (used after a haircut), hat brushes, brooms, brushes for furniture and for cleaning stoves, shoe brushes and brushes for cleaning shutters, brushing for combing horses, paint and painting brushes, brushes for silversmiths and carpenters, brushes for washing bottles and cleaning flutes, nail brushes, toilet brushes, eyelash brushes and brushes with a double head for cleaning keyboards.
The brushes comes from different countries and periods: France, England, the United States, China, Austria, Russia, Belgium, India, Morocco, Israel, Portugal, Italy, Basil, Guatemala, Norway, Turkey, Japan, Vietnam, Lebanon, Mauritious, Spain, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Senegal, Cambodia, Barbados, Korea, the Ukraine, Kenya, Taiwan, and Germany – from the 18th century until present day.
The exhibition is divided into different sections:
Brushes in the urban tradition: an “exclusive” version of brushes made of silver-plated metals, turtle shell, horn, wood carving, or ivory designed for wealthy families in the 19th century.
Popular tradition: items that tell us about a world that is no more and brushes that have become antiques – brushes for cleaning pots and pans, brushes for cupboards, etc.
Ethnic tradition: primitive brushes from Africa and the Far East that manifest artistic skills that still exist, using natural fiber coupled with sophisticated production.
Kitsch: amusing brushes from all over the world in different shapes and forms. Brushes in the shape of animals (dog, bear, chicken, owl, duck, etc.) men and women in dresses made of hoops.
Design: the connection between brushes and design present in the most routine aspects of daily life, such as Philippe Stark’s fluocaril toothbrush of 1989 that has become an icon.
Daniel Rozensztroch and Shiri Slavin
Opens July 1, closes September 30, 2006