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 02, 2010

Art + Design = Life

(Etsy: ArgyleWhale)

When it comes to design, we forget that it is handmade, just in a different way.

Certainly this had some labor involved in its making.

(NYT Logo - made of chairs)

But design can be fun and lite (or light).


Design can be inspired from anywhere and anything.


Ikea has put out a visually stunning cookbook (notcot.org) titled: Homemade is Best


Is this the future? Will everything be broken down into a global visual language?


Which begs the question:


Design + life = unexpected delights in everyday life
(blend of hand-made, mass-produced, creative applications)



Everything is going to be alright

That goes for everyone. (below: Kumi Yamashita)


And anyone.
After all, this is our world.


(above: Richard Galpin, "Noosphere", 2006)

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 04, 2010

Charting Information as Art

Informational drawings - please comment at blog2modern with more information or diagram info/links. I will post best of the links before Xmas/holiday breaktime. T minus. 3.5 months and counting, tick tock!

August 28, 2010

Ice, Ice Baby!

Summer is coming to a close and the temperatures are soaring. To keep cool, or at least brace ourselves for the colder days ahead - enjoy the following photos of nature's ice sculptures. The wind, water flow and temperature changes carve the ice into strange and wonderous shapes.

Just think about how cold it must be...


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Above: Nele Azevedo, 1000 ice sculptures at Gendamenmarkt public square in Berlin, highlighting climate change in the Arctic region.

June 14, 2010

Unusual Fruit Bowls

Doesn’t it feel good, when the dining room is clean and organized, to spruce it up by putting out something new on the countertops or the walls? Easy way to bling-up your kitchen is to buy a new fruit bowl. Here are a few that I like. 


“The Ring” is an unusual fruit bowl made of porcelain.  Its concept is between art and design. The fruit is put into the opening at the top and can be taken out at the bottom. At both sides opening are located to show the amount of remaining fruit. In small dining room, space is precious on table, but walls are often left bare. So the ring, decorative design, hang on the wall, make it easier to save some space. Designed by Joung Myung Lee.


Bubblicious is a fruit bowl comprised of varying volumes of spheres, that allows you to place fruits of different sizes, in a way that enables to position the object in a new equilibrium each time, due to the change in the center of gravity. Designed by D-Vision – Via.

Cocoon Fruit Bowl is an elegant and stylish stainless steel fruit bowl in a contemporary design.

I hope, you'll find one that suits you perfectly

February 17, 2010

Solar Power Tower In Spain


Rather than gathering sunlight it looks as though it is emanating sunlight. The images, almost out of a fantasy and unearthly but grounded in reality with a field of 624 mirrors which move throughout the day, tracking the sun, and focusing its beams onto the tip of a 160-meter-tall tower.  The rays are water evaporating, so yes, the images are real. 


The project makes use of well proven European technologies, like glass-metal heliostats, a pressurized water thermal storage system, and a saturated steam receiver and turbine.  The focused light heats up a tank of water at the tip of the tower, which in turn powers the steam turbine of an electrical generator. This simple process can generate up to 20 megawatts of energy. 



Tall and lean the tower was designed to reduce the visual impact.  The PS10 solar at the Solucar Platform in Sanlucar la Mayor, southern Spain is one of two.  When the entire complex is completed in the 2013, the plant will produce enough energy for 180,000 homes, equivalent to the needs of the city of Seville.   The tower will prevent the emission of more than 600,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases each year.

Hot water for my bath... Yippie!  Pass the bath salts please.

Have an infinitely modern day!

December 01, 2009


I just stumbled across some amazing prints over at Lumadessa, a little art and design label by Josh Brill that focuses on limited edition art prints and design products.

The Extinct Edition is brilliant! I love the color palette and the use of shapes to create a "sciencey" aesthetic to the prints. They come in 5″×7″ or 8″×10″ and are giclée (digitally) printed on a high quality professional Epson printer, with pigment-based, Epson UltraChrome K3 inks, that will last up to 100 years. Printed on Epson Ultra Smooth (hot press) 250 g/m2 archival fine art paper.

Also, 5% of profits are donated to Animal and Environmental charities.

And my favorite from the Birds Collection has to be the Baltimore Oriole print. ( You can take the boy out of Maryland.... and so on).
Make sure to check out all the prints at Lumadessa.


November 09, 2009

Bits and Pieces

Bits ‘n Pieces is a traveling exhibition of work by international designers, architects, computer scientists, and material and technology researchers. It will showcase projects still in their development stage, as well as furniture, architecture, jewelry, graphic design and products that anticipate the next phase of the digital revolution, focusing on how society is imbued with, shaped by and shapes technology. This new era will be marked by increased awareness about, and accessibility of, continuously advancing technologies and materials and the changes that we will be making in our lives through them will be not just formal but structural, not merely aesthetic but substantive, changing how we actually think about, design and build our objects and space. What will life look like based on changes that are sometimes visible to the public and sometimes invisible? 

There are some pretty cool projects showcased in the exhibit, I like the concept of the Brain Waive Sofa.

Brainwave Sofa is a collaboration between Lucas Maassen and Dries Verbruggen from Unfold
The shape of the Brainwave Sofa is entirely determined by recording 3 seconds of Maassen’s neural 'alpha' activity the very moment he closed his eyes. The resulting 3 second computerfile is sent to a CNC milling machine that mills out the Brainwave sofa in soft foam. It is a tongue-in-cheek reference to a futuristic production workflow in which the designer only has to close his eyes and a computer 'prints' the result out as a functional form. A warm grey felt with buttons in the valleys is applied by hand to the foam honoring the traditional codes of a sofa.

Picture 102 

The exhibit is running till Dec 4th
Material ConneXion 60 Madison Avenue, 2nd Floor New York, NY 10010 

November 02, 2009

The Living Wall Project

The Living Wall project, led by Leah Buechley at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab, uses magnetic and conductive paints to create circuitry in attractive designs.

The electronically enhanced wallpaper promises not only eye-pleasing designs, but also the ability to activate lamps and heaters – and even control music systems.

When combined with cheap temperature, brightness and touch sensors, LEDs and Bluetooth, the wall becomes a control surface able to "talk" to nearby devices. You can touch a flower to turn on a lamp, for example, or set heaters to fire up when the room gets cold.

To create the wallpaper, the team started with steel foil sandwiched between layers of paper that are coated with magnetic paint – acrylic paint infused with iron particles. Over this base they paint motifs such as flowers and vines using conductive paint, which uses copper particles rather than iron. The designs form circuits to which sensors, lights and other elements can be attached.

“It really is just a sheet of paper, and could be produced with existing printing and construction methods,” Buechley says.

Having exposed circuitry on your wall might sound dangerous, but Buechley says the system runs at 20 volts, drawing around 2.5 amps when fully loaded with devices. “You can go up and touch the wall and not even feel a tingle,” she says.

Dn18066-1_300 Paint_thumb

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