October 20, 2010

Has the art market thawed? Frieze thinks so.

5081576167_1d4cb53b79photo above from Everyday Lifestyle

Just in case you don't have your finger on the pulse of the art world, here's the skinny.  There are a series of "Art Fairs" in major cities all over the world that take place annually or biannually.  Galleries apply and pay a substantial amount of money to rent a "stall", and in turn sell artwork to the public. These fairs are massive cultural meccas - full of art, talks, panel discussions, performances, awards, and contemporary musings on current educational platforms and art-making in general. In short, it's a total playground for new and emerging ideas and practices as well as established ideas and concepts.

5079153001_9b52803812 photo above from Everyday Lifestyle

Each year, thousands of collectors come in droves to these fairs - so smaller fairs have popped up around the bigger fairs and are populated by the galleries who were rejected from the bigger fairs, or simply didn't want to pay the premiums. These smaller fairs have leveled the playing ground somewhat, but there is a status symbol to being included in the big-deal fairs like Basel, The Armory, Frieze, Cologne,...

For example, the Frieze Art Fair takes place every October in Regent’s Park, London. The fair showcases new and established artists to an international audience (the complete list of exhibitors is here) over 170 galleries were exhibiting work this year, with miles and miles of labyrinth-like temporary walls studded with works - some hung so heavily that you wonder how the wall stays vertical.

5092542699_b50e00448d_b photo above from Visionet

There are more galleries than ever this year and a higher quality of applicants,' says Frieze co-founder Amanda Sharp, who, when she set up the annual art fair eight years ago, never in her wildest dreams thought it would become such a London blockbuster. (from Wallpaper magazine)

Stories like this one are not uncommon: "New business is what makes fairs worth it, otherwise we could just stay in our galleries and work on our shows,” said Rachel Lehmann (B13). The gallerist sold only to new clients, including Jennifer Steinkamp’s Orbit 8, 2010 (shown below) (all three editions plus the artist’s proof), for $55,000 each." (From TheArtNewspaper.com's article here)

1286654223_4f5ba118_iphone(above: Jennifer Steinkamp, Orbit 8, 2010)

Andreas Geiger at Sprüth Magers (B9) summed up the overall feeling: “People are acquiring, but there’s no more five-minute buying. The market has found a good pace, it’s not crazy, but it’s solid.” (The Art Newspaper)

But it's not all about selling - it's about seeing and learning. There are a series of talks and educational events, concerts and performances, and prizes awarded to Artists and Galleries. There are also a series of Artist Projects - including Jeffrey Vallance among others.

"The coveted Cartier Award is open to artists living outside of the UK, up to five years from graduating from an undergraduate or postgraduate degree or under thirty years of age. The Cartier Award is organized by Frieze Projects, sponsored by Cartier and presented in collaboration with Gasworks. The recipient of the prize will have the unique opportunity to present their work at Frieze Art Fair 2010, guaranteeing a major international audience. Additionally the prize will cover production costs of up to £10,000, an artist’s fee, per diems, travel expenses and a studio residency at Gasworks in London from August to October 2010." (from Art Knowledge News)

Bridget Riley was one of the featured "conversations" of the Frieze Art Fair, she spoke with Michael Bracewell about her lifetime of artmaking and development of her signature style. Many of the talks are available here as podcasts.

Riley_largeweb(above: Bridget Riley)



October 12, 2010

Kieran Timberlake - Loblolly House

Kieran Timberlake  won the 2010 Copper-Hewitt National Design Award.

A small firm based in Philadelphia, their work captures the organic way in which the best architecture develops from initial concept.  Taking inspiration from the site conditions, this house is "about the trees within the trees". The work is deep and incredibly thorough, taking into account the complexity of assemblage and looking responsibly onto the building life-cycle and the disassemblage necessary in the future. Much like the trees, the house has a structural system, from which all parts (walls, mechanical systems, cladding, etc. ) hang. Moreover, light is artfully manipulated both in the buildings orientation and in the careful choreagraphy of the external cladding; internal and external logic is fully defined.





images of the Loblolly Project are taken from the Kieran Timberlake's website

September 19, 2010

The Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus Ohio, Mark Bradford, and me.

Happy Monday - Blog2Modern Readers,

I haven't had a chance to post an entry in a while, due to the fact that I am currently in Columbus, Ohio at the Wexner Center for the Arts (!!!)  I was invited (in August) to do a large-scale solo installation in the lobby area of the Deconstructivist gem, designed by Peter Eisenman - one of the New York Five.  (For you architects out there, you've probably seen the Wexner every contemporary Art History and Architecture book out there.)

(Below: Main façade of The Wexner Center for the Arts)

Thanks Wikipedia for summing up the mission of the Wexner and doing all my links for me:
"The Wexner Center for the Arts is The Ohio State University’s multidisciplinary, international laboratory for the exploration and advancement of contemporary art. Through exhibitions, screenings, performances, artist residencies, and educational programs, the Wexner Center acts as a forum where established and emerging artists can test ideas and where diverse audiences can participate in cultural experiences that enhance understanding of the art of our time. In its programs, the Wexner Center balances a commitment to experimentation with a commitment to traditions of innovation and affirms the university’s mission of education, research, and community service. The Wexner Center opened in November 1989, named in honor of the father of Limited Brands founder Leslie Wexner, who was a major donor to the Center."

Currently on view is Mark Bradford's mid-career retrospective.  They don't allow any photos in the galleries, but he did an installation in the lobby (below)


Bradford and his assistant projected his name onto the wall, traced it and then painstakingly removed portions of the wall, exposing the myriad of past colors that the wall has been painted.  This wall will be removed and will travel to each of the venues (
Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) following its debut at The Wexner Center for the Arts.  Bradford is a recent recipient of the MacArthur "Genius" Award. (new recipients to be announced September 28).  His show is on view at The Wexner until October 10.


My installation will run concurrently with the remainder of Mark Bradford's show as well as the next round of exhbitions titled Six Solos which will open in November and run through February. I'm particularly excited to be showing with Erwin Redl, who works with LED lights and will be outdoors on the grid-façade.  I absolutely adore his work. I'm also excited for the Tobias Putrih/MOS show too!

(below: Erwin Redl, "Flow" 2007)


I am working directly with the lobby, which is known for its "floating column".

(below: Eisenman's "floating column")


We're still working on the installation, which was designed spontaneously on-site via 3D modeling software. Here are some teaser shots of my work in progress, title is still in the works.



My website will have photos upon completion of the project. The installation opens on Tuesday, please come and see if you are in the Columbus Ohio area, or like to travel or drive.

This installation was inspired primarily by the supposed "death of print" and therefore, CMYK design. Thus my selection of cyan, yellow and magenta as my palette. The "off register" look of the striped walls was highly inspired by mis-printed cartoons, the printing process, mathematical progressions, the use of lines to create space, and the inherent translucency of the material, flagging tape. 

Oh, and "Go Bucks!"

And just in case you wanted some gift ideas - Check out this really rad CMYK inspired dishes and this neato pen "for designers" - I want all of the above!

September 08, 2010

Tokujin Yoshioka





The complete work of Tokujin Yoshioka, one of the most innovative designers working today. Based in Tokyo, Tokujin Yoshioka has built a career using unconventional materials to create objects and spaces. Often employing paper and glass, as well as unusual elements, such as plastic drinking straws, his studio’s work has achieved a cult following among design enthusiasts. Leading design museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and the Centre Pompidou, Paris, have Yoshioka’s work in their permanent collections.~Rizzoli

Published by Rizzoli. Release date of October 2010.  MUST GET.

July 28, 2010

Bridget Riley - A study in movement and color

When I think about Art that I love, the list is long and always getting longer. There is no shortage of great artwork in studios, galleries, museums, public places, and private homes. The internet allows us to take a guest visit into somewhere else with the ability to look privately. Though it is never as good as the experience that you have standing in front of the artwork.

I implore you to look publicly, in person, with your eyeballs. 



Bridget Riley is an inspiration to me in her mastery of the simulation of movement in a static two-dimensional plane. As an added bonus to entice you to see them up close is that the longer you look, the better they get. The more physical they feel, like a mesmerizing presence.


This fabulous story by the Liverpool Daily Press highlights Riley's meetings with Caroline Douglas, the Arts Council's head of collections. When asked to describe Riley in 2009 she said, "She is 79 now but still as active and energetic and intellectually engaged as she ever was.” (Photo below taken in 1981.)


In a world usually dominated by men, Riley made a huge splash and dominated the OpArt movement working in black and white until 1966


when she turned to color. She catapulted to international art stardom in the mid 1960s when New York’s MOMA included her alongside Josef Albers (below)



Above: Ellsworth Kelly (Photo by Rex Features/Action Press)

in its 1965 exhibition "The Responsive Eye" and the fashion designer (and museum founder) Larry Aldrich printed knockoffs of her images on fabric for a popular dress collection. In 1968, she won the International Prize for painting at the 34th Venice Biennale. In 1983 she designed a mural of bands of blue, pink, white and yellow at the Royal Liverpool Hospital.


In an article by the artist "At the end of my pencil", Riley states, "My studies of the greys paved the way for the colour movement in Late Morning (1967-68). In that painting, I began in a very simple way to draw with colour. The blue to bright green movement is the form. At the core of colour lies a paradox. It is simultaneously one thing and several things – you can never see colour by itself, it is always affected by other colours. As a child one plays by lying on one’s back and filling one’s sight with the blue of the sky, only to find the blue goes slowly towards grey. Your own eye produced the after-image of yellow-orange to compensate for the intensity of the blue. Colour relationships in painting depend on the interactive character of colour; this is its essential nature. I had given up the complexity of form in my Black and White paintings, but I found that the principles that lay behind them – contrast, harmony, reversal, repetition, movement, rhythm etc – could be recast in colour and with a new freedom.”

People should really look hard at the paintings ... and see the immense complexity of them. They’re not just stripes,” urges Caroline Douglas. 


Where to see Bridget Riley - with your eyeballs - in person.

Group Show: Colorscope: Abstract Painting 1960-1979
Santa Barbara Museum of Art,
1130 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Group Show: Optical Shift
06/27/1- 10/17/10
Im Stadtwald 2, 56410
Montabaur, Germany

Gwangju Biennale
San 149-2 Yongbong-dong Buk-gu, 500-070

Gwangju, Korea

Bridget Riley is represented by Karsten Schubert.

July 20, 2010

Iconic Washing-up Bowl


It´s an entirely new way to clean your dishes. The shape of the Washing-up Bowl changes according to what you put in it.


May 18, 2010

NYC Hoop Rack

A simple circle, resting on the ground with a bar bisecting it. That concept, called “Hoop” — the brainchild of Ian Mahaffy and Maarten De Greeve, designers based in Copenhagen — is the winner of the CityRacks Design Competition and will be used as the new standard bicycle rack installed on New York City’s sidewalks...


April 11, 2010

Sliding House by dRMM Architects, Suffolk, United Kingdom

Sliding House is a very interesting project by dRMM Architects. A new self-build house with guest annexe and a garage, designed for a rural site in Suffolk, East Anglia - a smallholding formerly characterised by bungalow, outbuildings and caravan arranged casually under a big sky.


The stringent local Planning parameters for rural development were accepted by the architect who shares with the client a genuine appreciation of vernacular farm buildings. After studying alternatives they agreed to use the local timber framed and clad 'shed' idiom but with a different approach. The straightforward and sophisticated client wanted a self-build house to retire to in order to grow food, entertain and enjoy the East Anglia landscape. The site offered a combination of rolling England and agricultural Holland, offering a set of parameters that appealed significantly to dRMM, always interested in systems, materials and unconventional architecture. The project was designed to be elaborated on and built by the client, an enterprising mathematician and motorcyclist, a maker capable of calculating the value of design and of risk.


The outcome: three conventional building forms, with unconventional detailing and radical performance. And a big surprise. A 28m linear building of apparent simplicity follows the requisite maximum 5.8m permitted width, 7.2m height is sliced into 3 programmes; 16m house, 5m garage and 7m annexe. The garage is pulled off axis to form a courtyard between slices of building. The 3 fixed buildings are further defined with distinct finishes; red rubber membrane and glass, red and black stained larch respectively. 


The linear composition is carefully sited on a level ridge that runs north/south along the north eastern boundary of the site. Thus the choreographed progression from road past annexe and garage, to house, glasshouse and then on to garden is a logical sequence. The bedroom/service half of the house is modular timber cassette construction, the living half a generic curtain wall glazing system. The annexe and garage are constructed from the modular timber cassette system with Scandinavian laminated section windows and doors. 


The surprise is that these separated forms can be transformed by the fourth and largest element in the group, the 20 ton mobile roof and wall enclosure that traverses the site. This is an autonomous structure; steel, timber, insulation and unstained larch spanning hidden tracks, recessed into a concrete raft on piles. The mobile roof and walls form an insulating structure that passes over the annexe, house and glasshouse, creating combinations of enclosure, open-air living and framing of views according to position. 


Each element of the composition is carefully proportioned in relation to frame, window and wall sizes. All elements were prefabricated to be assembled on site, except groundworks, internal joinery fixtures and external surfaces, which were in situ. Movement is powered by hidden electric motors on 'bogeys' integrated into the wall thickness. Each of the 4 separate motors has its own pair of DC lorry batteries that are charged by mains or PV solar panels. The railway tracks are recessed into the external terrace on which the entire composition rests. The 6m gauge 'railway' is further disguised by stone paving joints and a linear drainage gully. This aligns the whole composition, obviates any roof gutters, and draws the visitor toward the garden beyond. The tracks could be extended in the future should the client wish to build a swimming pool that in turn may need occasional shelter.


Many people would like to live in a glasshouse for the sensation of being in a sheltered outdoors, but this is generally not practical. As a passive model a glasshouse is never comfortable: too hot or too cold; no privacy; little effective user-control unless one resorts to air conditioning, with the consequent implications for further energy use and ozone depletion, creating more volatile weather. The glass living area of Sliding House provides thermal comfort naturally, at almost no cost. Controlled solar gain occurs in the selection of the roof/wall position. This captures requisite heat according to season, and is backed up in combination with a ground source heat pump for cold periods. A wind turbine to power the heat pump and a wood burning stove (with under floor mechanically assisted flue) are in prospect when budget and planning authorities permit. To maintain insulation at roof level, all skylights are doubled-up giving effectively a quadruple glazed system. The principle can be run in reverse to achieve shade and cooling respectively.


Sliding House offers radically variable spaces, extent of shelter, sunlight and insulation. The dynamic change is a physical phenomenon difficult to describe in words or images. It is about the ability to vary or connect the overall building composition and character according to season, weather, or a remote-controlled desire to delight. The project has gathered lots of awards - no surprises there! It won the 2009 Riba East Award, the Grand Designs Awards 'Best New-Build' and 'Home of the Year' Award, plus it was Highly Commented at the House Category of the World Architectural Festival in 2009. 

Photos © Alex de Rijke

April 05, 2010

NSW Sport & Recreation Centre, Berry, Australia, by Allen Jack + Cottier Architects


The NSW Sport and Recreation Centre at Berry in Southern New South Wales, designed by Allen Jack + Cottier Architects, comprises of a collection of institutional buildings which cater to school and community groups, families and the corporate sector. Facilities include a heated swimming pool, tennis courts, a multipurpose oval, and organised programs for outdoor sports such as canoeing, kayaking, rope climbing and bush walking. 


 Situated within an established landscape of gardens and trees, the centre is on a further 60 hectares of prime agricultural farmland. The new Recreation Hall, designed by Allen Jack+Cottier, is located on the threshold between an established area and adjacent grazing land. The hall extends on the range of indoor activities currently available at the centre.


 Alluding to the modest form of an agricultural farm shed, the building is clad in heavy, more durable precast concrete. This material has been transformed by the perforation of starlight holes, giving an otherwise hardline structure a playful edge and newfound lightness and light. Internally, shafts of sunlight constantly animate the floor, changing in intensity and colour. In the evenings the light source is reversed, and the building itself becomes a glowing array of starlights reminiscent of the memorable country sky above.


The building was awarded first in the Sports category at the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona in 2009.

Original source material from Allen Jack + Cottier Architects.

March 22, 2010

The Traveling Fireplace

This seems to be the perfect concept.  It is a fireplace with a handle that can be transported in and around your home.  It is called The Travelmate portable fireplace by Conmoto.  So sleek and simple, weighing only 55 lbs., and easily ignited.  All you have to do is remove the glass panel door, fill the tank with bio-alcohol, and lite with a lighter. The smokeless and odorless flames can last up to 3 1/2 hours.

Suitcase fp

I would love to have this for an outdoor party and then have the ability to move it inside.  What a great product!

Thanks Ameico for sharing the image.

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