Mid century modern lecture rooted in “Blade Runner” movie

LOS ANGELES –The 20th Century Decorative Arts Department at Bonhams & Butterfields, as part of its ongoing design lecture series, is organizing a panel discussion titled “Blade Runner: Designing the Future.”

The panel will focus on an exploration of the groundbreaking themes and visual design of Director Ridley Scott’s 1982 science fiction classic, Blade Runner.

The esteemed panel includes the Oscar-winning Producer of Blade Runner, Michael Deeley (The Italian Job, The Man Who Fell to Earth, The Deer Hunter) and legendary conceptual and industrial designer, Syd Mead (Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Tron, Aliens, 2010) who contributed key set and vehicle designs for the film.

Frances Anderton, Host of the “DnA” (Design and Architecture) show on National Public Radio (KCRW, Los Angeles) and Producer of “To the Point/Which Way LA” will serve as moderator for the panel.

Ridley Scott, Oscar-winning Director of Blade Runner and the upcoming Robin Hood (2010), has expressed interest in attending the evening’s program, schedule permitting.

The event, which will be held at the firm’s prestigious Sunset Boulevard galleries in Los Angeles, is planned to coincide with the opening of the auction preview for the April 20, 20th Century Decorative Arts sale and will serve as a fundraiser for the Los Angeles Conservancy. “Blade Runner: Designing the Future” is the latest installment of the ongoing 20th Century design lecture series, which has the goal of engaging the design community in a dialogue about related topics.

“Bonhams & Butterfields is thrilled to present two film industry legends, Producer Michael Deeley and designer Syd Mead for a design-based discussion of the cult film classic Blade Runner,” said Katie Nartonis, Junior Specialist at Bonhams & Butterfields. “As we are now only nine years away from the imagined 2019 portrayed in the film, we look forward to exploring the relevance of the important environmental and social themes of Blade Runner as well as the film’s continued impact on the design zeitgeist. It will be especially interesting to explore the film’s prescient vision of a Los Angeles future as viewed through the lens of the present day cityscape,”

The Los Angeles Conservancy is a nonprofit membership organization that works through education and advocacy to recognize, preserve, and revitalize the historic architectural and cultural resources of Los Angeles County. Key Los Angeles architectural landmarks were used in the filming of Blade Runner, such as Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House, Union Station and the Bradbury Building, which makes the L.A. Conservancy a natural fit for this exciting evening

The panel discussion coincides with the spring 2010 exhibition of 20th Century Decorative Arts to be sold at Bonhams & Butterfields on April 20.

Featured auction highlights on preview will include a selection of lots related to the Blade Runner film, several of which will be sold to benefit the Los Angeles Conservancy.

Featured items will include a Blade Runner promotional light up Umbrella with illuminated shaft (estimate $300-$500) and signed promotional poster from the Blade Runner “Final Cut” release, 2007 ($100-$200) from Deeley’s personal collection; a personalized signed copy of Deeley’s autobiography Blade Runners, Deer Hunters, and Blowing the Bloody Doors Off: My Life in Cult Movies, 2009 ($50-$100); a copy of a 1982 reissue of Philip K. Dick’s 1968 Science Fiction classic book on which Blade Runner is based, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, 1968, signed by Deeley (estimate $50-$100) and a signed copy of Oblagon: Concepts of Syd Mead, 1985, which contains 17 pages of Mead’s art created for Blade Runner from the designer’s personal library ($100-$200).

Additional design lots on offer in the April 20th Century sale will include a Jack Rogers Hopkins single chair (estimate $25,000-$35,000); a Paul Evans sculpted steel credenza (estimate $18,000-25,000); a monumental glazed ceramic bowl by Glen Lukens (estimate $9,000-12,000) and a George Nakashima walnut settee (estimate $8,000-12,000) as well as a strong selection of Italian and Dutch modernism, among others.

The illustrated auction catalog for this sale will be available online for review and purchase at www.bonhams.com/us in the weeks preceding the sale.

Blade Runner: Designing the Future
Bonham’s & Butterfield, Los Angeles, Calif.
7:30 p.m., April 15
Auction Preview: 12-5 p.m., April 16-18
Sale: 10 a.m., April 20
Seating: Limited. For tickets, contact Katie Nartonis at (323) 436-5445


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