October 24, 2010

Warhol copies Brillo, someone copies Warhol: Hijinks ensue!


Over 100 of Andy Warhol's "Brillo Boxes" have been found to be "different" from others...
Yes it's a rather strong claim - The board avoids using words such as “fake” or “inauthentic” in its report, nor would it say whether or not it will stamp any boxes presented to it as “denied”, or revoke existing letters of opinion.


The short story:

Two series of boxes produced by Pontus Hultén, the founding director of the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. Hultén claimed that Warhol authorised the production of the boxes for the seminal exhibition that Hultén curated in Stockholm in 1968.

But in 2007, the Swedish newspaper Expressen discovered that no wooden boxes had been displayed in the show and that cardboard boxes from the Brillo factory had been used instead. It set out to research the date and manufacture of Hultén’s boxes, many of which had entered the market.

Anyhow - the prices climb and climb and climb - are auctioned off (they had letters of authenticity and papers and important people saying they are real). Ten were sold through Christie’s shortly afterwards to a UK buyer for £475,650, who turned out to be the art dealer Anthony d’Offay.


The board now says there are two sets of Hultén-­produced boxes: a small number (about 10 to 15) made in 1968, straight after the show. The board refers to these as “Stockholm type boxes”. The rest, 105, were produced at Hultén’s request by carpenters for a 1990 exhibition in Russia. The board refers to these as “Malmö type boxes”.

Full story here at The Art Newspaper


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 06, 2010

Maison Martin Margiela

MMM holiday


MMM holiday3

MMM holiday1


 Not only does the MMM design clothing, shoes and accessories for both men and women, there is also fragrance, a fine jewelry line and objects for the home.

Now you can even stay "Avante-Garde" in the L’Île aux Oiseaux by Maison Martin Margiela. A suite designed by the Belgium house in the 5-star retreat Les Sources de Caudalie in Bordeaux, France.

Loving the white palette (especially the pillows as a headboard) with a "punch in the face!" red lips sofa.

Check out the just launched e-boutique here.


Beauty and Timelessness Meets Function

BMW R75/5  c.1972
BMW R62 c.1928
Although classic simplicity is not a new thing, it's a style and aesthetic that's covertly stood the test of time, in fact almost a century in the case of BMW Motorcycles! This simple aesthetic still exists in most people's minds, ours included, as such a solid thought. None of the thinking of the early Triumph motorcycles are around in any solid form. It's a timeless classic because of the sound thinking and approach behind it's design, form follows function, a tenant of the Bauhaus aesthetic, while managing to be incredibly beautiful, something can be beautiful simply because of it's functional qualities. It's not about making the outside thing pretty, it's about making the soul pretty. The true beauty arrives from it's functional nature.
At the root of the Bauhaus aesthtic was Occam's Razor, an engineering and deisgn principal that espoused the act of cutting away that which doesn't function or what's not absolutely essential to the perfect functioning of the piece. It's about editing, not about adding, a reduction, having the idea of 'motorcycle' in your head and then reducing. To this day a model exists with 2 horizontally opposed cylinders, two wheels and a drive shaft, the R1200R, although computer technology and emmissions regulations have added a burden to it's simplicity, the original idea is still there.
The BMW R62 you see above was brought to the USA from Munich after 30 yrs of being hidden under a canvas tarp in the back of a repair shop, treasured like aging wine. The first attempt after uncovering it got it running again and functional. Consider other things of the time period, the Titanic! Think steamdriven archaic practice, there are no more steam driven luxury liners plying the seas but there's still BMW motorcycles, quietly whispering down the interstate...

The orginal owner of the BMW R62 felt the need to attach a medallion of St. Christopher, the patron saint of travellers, to the front fender. Although I'm sure with further experience of his new purchase, like Occam, he would have found the medallion was an unneccessary addition, as the bike itself was a guardian Saint of travellers.

September 29, 2010

2010 European Capital of Culture

As the 2010 European Capital of Culture- Istanbul a global city that spreads between the two continents, offers lots of cultural, historical and social activities and alternatives. I find Istanbul intriguing, chaotic and enigmatic; a true special blend of the east and the west. The last time I was in the city, I visited three popular spots : Kanyon, Beşiktaş fish market and Istanbul Museum of Modern Art.

Kanyon_2  Kanyon1
Designed by the Los Angeles-based Jerde Partnership, a shopping mall in the middle of an industrial neighborhood, Levent, Istanbul, Kanyon does have a 21st century vibe. Its splashing water at the base of the "canyon", its swooping curvilinear architecture and the greenery within the gray stones do attract not only many kind of shoppers for its brand name stores but also people like me just to get a close feel of its futuristic architecture.  

Fish market

Fish market 1
 Another diverse neighborhood in istanbul, Beşiktaş has a new fish market which is built on a triangular site. This contemporary concrete shell and steel structure is designed to preserve the fish market's original presence and its welcoming feeling. Being a preservation and revitalizing project within the bustling community, the structure respects the sense of community among the merchants and also considers the demands of the growing urban setting.


Another busy district of Istanbul, Karaköy along the Bosphorus is the home for the city's first of its kind modern museum, Istanbul Museum of Modern Art. It is located on a dock in a converted warehouse with a splendid view of the Marmara sea from its restaurant. The permanent collection includes modern and contemporary arts produced in Turkey.



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 29, 2010

The Lair, by Rick Bzowy, Tazmania

If someone said to you "Let's stay at The Lair", you would immediately think of a seedy, dark, urban place full of booze, promises and one-night stands. Surprisingly, this Lair is anything but. Built in an isolated spot on the east coast of Tasmania, surrounded by 40 acres of unspoilt forest with a stunning view of the Tasmanian Sea and Blue Oyster Bay, The Lair, a retreat designed and owned by the architect Rick Bzowy is a magnificent jewel in Australia's tourism treasure chest.


The architect first saw the site back in 1984, on holidays from Melbourne. Twenty years later he is back in Tasmania, buying land that reminded him of something. Looking through his photographs, he found the ones taken in 1984 of the very same land he had just acquired, twenty years to the week. Two years later, he started working on the building itself: making the blue prints, the models of the house, starting and supervising the construction.


The Lair is only a pair of suites, one on either end of the building, sharing the kitchen and the living room/dining room, which are decorated sparsely, with stone floors and monochromatic fittings. There is an outdoor kitchen as well, and a wealth of media in the well stocked library. The owner greets the guests personally and then disappears only to make himself available when needed. 


There is also a spa deck, leading to the outdoor kitchen, with a pool that you can plug your iPod so that one can listen to his favourite music while relaxing watching the incredible vistas. The finest fixtures and fittings from around the world have been used here, laid out with Bzowy's favourite furniture from B + B and Cassina, the evening moods set by Artemide; a haven of simple Tasmanian craftsmanship.


August 26, 2010

It's hot, get naked.

Spencer Tunick, an artist who is famous for working with hundreds of nude bodies in his photographs since the mid-90's is in the midst of several current projects including tackling each state in the US.


above: "Mexico City 1 (Zócalo, MUCA/UNAM Campus)", 2007

His work has spawned an unofficial website/blog too -  his "installations", as he refers to them, are EPIC. They require thousands of participants getting naked and arranged in groups. So understandably, he's get a huge fan base of supporters.

Undress circle - bruges theatre

above: at the Bruges Theatre; below: The artist, Spencer Tunick


Check out his website for more images - he is constantly repositioning naked people in large groups. Instead of this being strange and disturbing for the common person - it is more like looking at a landscape and then only realizing that it is made of people. There is a Soylent Green joke in there somewhere...


Above: On pink rafts in a Miami pool!; below: Tunick talks about his work and past installations.

Stay cool!

August 25, 2010

Sleep Box


As city life gets quicker and faster, time is of the essence a few minutes to rest at an airport or train station is priceless.  Rather than spending time finding a hotel room, would it not be so convenient if there were a quiet place to rest between flights directly at the airport?  





The design could have come from a movie set however, the innovative minds at Arch-Group of Moscow conceived of the SLEEP BOX as a solution.  A place where you can rent a space for a few minutes or several hours directly in the terminal makes life much less weary for the traveler.  The space is designed for a bed, a desk for your computer, environmental controls, media and wifi.  Sweet dreams!

More about Sleep Box.

Have an infinitely modern day!

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