Akio Nukaga and Friends
July 11 – August 8, 2014
For more information please visit Heath.
Japanese Master Potter Akio Nukaga returns to Heath San Francisco for a special showcase....
For more information please visit Heath.
Japanese Master Potter Akio Nukaga returns to Heath San Francisco for a special showcase....
To know the history of animals is to know the history of humanity. When we had the chance to take a closer look at The Animal History Museum we were immediately captivated by its desire to create a community, not just a museum. Their path shows not only a nuanced understanding of the "museum" itself, but reveals how those who truly love animals may have a broader, compelling sense of community. Its mission: The Animal History Museum is the first museum dedicated to understanding and celebrating the human-animal bond. Its purpose is to serve and educate the public through the creation of a museum in Los Angeles County, California, for the collection, preservation and exploration of the history, culture, science and law relating to the relationship between human and non-human animals; by presenting exhibitions, lectures and other activities that are consistent with, and supportive of, the museum’s educational goals and purpose.
While the musuem is still searching for the ideal permanent exhibition space, it has scheduled excellent summer programs for the whole family:
The Children's Workshop Series, starting 21 June
Please click here to support the museum! A small investment for a big future.
Animals and Empire
April 7, 2014 – ongoing
Review + Interview by Miranda Nesler and Dr. Andy Flack
The exhibition “Animals and Empire” at the Animal History Museum of Los Angeles emphasizes the multivalent reliance of humans upon animals during historical moments of colonial expansion. Drawing paintings such as Jean-Leon Gerome’s 1870 “The Snake Charmer” and photographs such as Philip Klier’s 1907 “Elephants at Work” into dialogue with period-specific newspaper illustrations and advertisements, the exhibit accompanies its works with detailed analysis by history and visual arts scholars.
The online exhibition has three components, each utilizing a different lens for examining animal-human relationships within the British Empire. The first, “Imperial Species: Animals as Symbols,” explores cultural perceptions of domestic and exotic animals that shaped how artists symbolically deployed animal figures in representations of international conflict....
Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China. Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York City.
December 11, 2013–April 6, 2014
Review by Jane Librizzi
Seventy works by thirty-five artists covering the past three decades were on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art's exhibition, "Past as Present in Contemporary China." The exhibition, which included including painting, calligraphy, photography, woodblock print, video, and sculpture, was organized thematically into four main sections: The Written Word, New Landscapes, Abstraction, and Beyond the Brush.
Some of the most intriguing works in this show are devoted to ink art, three dimensional works created when artists wanted to capture motion, to freeze it in the round, rather as the ancient Greek philosophers were preoccupied with frozen moments; water stopped in its tracks by cold temperatures.
The Wave has longstanding credentials as a familiar cultural image. I suspect most viewers will be familiar with Katsushika Hokusai's woodblock print Under the Wave Off Kanagawa. When I looked at the celadon porcelain Wave by Ai Weiwei, China's most notorious dissident artist, I was immediately reminded of another work from the Met's permanent collection: Christopher Dresser's Wave. Also made with glazed ceramic, this one in turquoise, it was designed by the British Dresser in 1880 and is, depending on your point of view, either an example of The Aesthetic Movement or a manifestation of Japonisme.
Weiwei made his version with assistance from craftspeople at Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Province, a longtime center of Chinese porcelain production. Weiwei's form, according to the exhibition's curator, has an ancestor in a work of the Southern Song court painter Ma Yuan (ca. 1160–1225).
The beauty of Chinese brush- painting is the product of a turbulent history. The trouble started when calligraphy, an aesthetic medium, became a vehicle for expressing social and political ideas. The works in the exhibition Ink Art portray that history, traditional in some aspects and provocative in others. Constructed of interlocking wooden pieces, Weiwei's Map of China makes a poignant reference to the shape of modern China, fragments of its past reconfigured, this time in the humble medium of salvaged wood. Its complexity is the complexity of the ink aesthetic. The Ruyi was a wish fulfillment scepter, an emblem of long life and good fortune. Here its traditional form of a mushroom-shaped fungus thought to confer immortality becomes in Ai’s simagination an anatomically specific melange of human organs.
Duan Jianyu, born in 1970, has attracted much attention from critics of the exhibition for her series of works Beautiful Dreams, brush painted scenes executed on flattened commercial cardboard cartons. Her brushwork is exquisite and she works the creases into a texture of great and gentle beauty. Like Weiwei, Duan also makes uses of one of China’s best known landscape images, the Welcoming-Guest Pine of Mount Huang, and one of a pavilion framed by a bird perched on a bare tree branch..
For more than two thousand years ink art has been the supreme medium for painting and calligraphy in China. This exhibition showed how it is being reinterpreted through modern techniques and influenced by contemporary Western art, a whispered suggestion of a continuum between these new works and traditional Chinese arts.
For more information about this past exhibition please visit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
California Design, 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way
March 29-July 6, 2014
From the museum:
The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) presents California Design, 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way, an exhibition of more than 250 mid-century modern design objects. A diverse array of works including furniture, textiles, fashion, classic vehicles and much more celebrates the impact of California designers between 1930 to 1965. The output of legendary designers Charles and Ray Eames.....
The Art of Video Games
June 19–Sept. 28
From the museum:
Enabling the viewer to interact with and control images is what sets video games apart from other art forms. “[We’re] invited by the artist to inject our own morality, our own worldview, our own experiences into the game as we play it. …no other medium affords the world this incredible opportunity,” according to Chris Melissinos, former chief evangelist and chief gaming officer for Sun Microsystems, the founder of PastPixels and the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s guest curator of The Art of Video Games.....
Alexey Brodovitch: Art Director
September 6 – December 21, 2014
From the museum:
Maira Kalman: The Elements of Style
June 6–September 1, 2014
I was so pleased to find this wonderful exhibition! I dedicate this listing to all of my fellow writers, philosophers and thinkers.....
The Frist Center for the Visual Arts presents Maira Kalman: The Elements of Style from June 6–September 1, 2014, in the Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery. The exhibition features paintings by artist, illustrator and author Maira Kalman, which were created to illustrate a 2005 re-publication of William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White’s classic composition guide The Elements of Style.
Renowned as an authoritative treatise on clear and effective writing, The Elements of Style....
Stan Bitters, Modern Primitive
May 31-July 14, 2014
"Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context – a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plan." — Eliel Saarinen
See press release below
Join Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library on the last four Saturdays in May for Historic Automobiles and the Country House, as we continue the tradition of celebrating spring with magnificent displays of historic automobiles.
The 36th Annual Point-to-Point on Sunday, May 4, will feature a stunning array of historic Rolls-Royce automobiles from the Keystone Region Rolls-Royce Owners’ Club. The display will further enhance the festive day
Venetian Glass Birds: Lino Tagliapietra
March 28 -July 9
Press release below:
A small exhibition of elegant blown glass birds recently created by the distinguished Venetian Maestro Lino Tagliapietra opens March 28 at the Toledo Museum of Art. The show is in celebration of the annual songbird migration through the marshes along the southern shore of Lake Erie.
On view in Gallery 2 of the Glass Pavilion, the chosen objects represent three recent series created by this world-renowned master of glassblowing. Admission is free.
For nearly half a century Lino Tagliapietra has developed a distinctive style that explores and expands on intricate traditional Venetian glassblowing techniques.
“Filigree glass has remained the most popular and complex Italian decorating technique since the early 16th century, and Maestro Tagliapietra applies it at the same high level of skill as his Renaissance ancestor....
Signed by Vera: Scarves by an Iconic Designer
May 17 – June 29, 2014
From the museum:
Featuring examples from the prolific designer’s 40-year career, this exhibition will draw from the Goldstein’s collection of approximately 550 Vera Neumann scarves. From humble beginnings in a New York City kitchen, Neumann’s designs ....
Afghan War Rugs: The Modern Art of Central Asia
September 20, 2013 - January 6, 2014
Curated by Enrico Mascelloni and Annemarie Sawkins, PhD
The international exhibition, Afghan War Rugs: The Modern Art of Central Asia,brings to the United States, for the first time, one of the most distinctive collections of Afghan rugs in the world. The mostly women artists, who created the rugs in this exhibition, abandoned their traditional nonfigurative styles to produce rich pictorial images featuring world maps, portraits of kings, khans and military leaders, along with cityscapes and, of course, armaments. Purchased throughout Central Asia and in Europe, the rugs in this exhibition were selected for their age, exceptional quality, and relationship to the history of war rugs.
The Art of Weaving and Rug Restoration
Thursday, October 24, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Weaving demonstration and repair by master rug restorer, Rakhoda Beni, Chicago and rug evaluations by Bezhad Shabahang.
Bring a hand-woven rug and your questions.
Sponsored by Shabahang & Sons Persian Carpets Downtown Milwaukee
For more information please visit: The Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum
Think Outside the Brick: The Creative Art of LEGO®
November 8, 2013 – February 16, 2014
The holiday season brings the second annual celebration of the creative potential of LEGO® brand building blocks at the Columbus Museum of Art. Organized by CMA’s Center for Creativity, Think Outside the Brick will be on view November 8, 2013 – February 16, 2014. The exhibition features local, national, and international artists whose innovative works expand the possibilities of the beloved building block toy.
The centerpiece of the exhibition is a large-scale sculpture by Sean Kenneytitled Bicycle Triumphs Traffic. "One morning as I was riding my bike from my home in Midtown Manhattan to my LEGO studio, I noticed that all the cars on the road were completely clogged in traffic... In both directions, as far as I could see, traffic was just slogging along, and as I quietly, smoothly zipped past everyone in the bike lane, I realized, "I love riding my bike, because it doesn't get stuck in traffic!" And I immediately had the vision for this sculpture: A life-size bicycle, towering over a clogged up crazy traffic jam built by kids,” said Kenney.
Other artists featured in the exhibition include Mike Doyle from New Jersey,Cole Blaq from Germany, Jason Freeney from Los Angeles., Tim Goddardfrom England, and Paul Janssen from Columbus. The exhibition will also feature LEGO animations by Annette Jung from Germany and Mark Weaverfrom New York.
Exquisitely Evil: 50 Years of Bond Villains
Exquisitely Evil: 50 Years of Bond Villains is dedicated to 50 years of the James Bond film series’ most memorable villains, from 1962’s DR. NO to the latest villain, SKYFALL’s Silva. The special exhibit explores the power of the iconic series in shaping the public’s understanding of the world of espionage and enables visitors to make connections between fact and fiction and discover how the evildoers and their plots have changed to reflect their times. In addition to over 110 movie and historical artifacts, the exhibit features captivating videos in which real spies comment on the Bond films and share their own “Bond Moments.” Visitors to the 5,000-square- foot exhibit will also have the unique opportunity to step into Bond’s shoes and to explore their more villainous side through interactive experiences.
Bond Begins: Explore the man behind Bond: Ian Fleming—and his Second World War intelligence work that inspired 007’s creation.
Cold War Power Plays: Meet Bond’s longest-lasting rival, Ernst Stavro Blofeld and uncover his nefarious schemes to set the superpowers against each other—plots which capitalized on real Cold War fears.
Earth Redesigned: Encounter villains who want to wipe out the human race in the late 1970s—a time when the public feared that nuclear weapons would end the world.
Murderous Monopolists of the Information Age: Discover two villains who plan to monopolize information age technology in order to obtain fabulous wealth and control the world.
Drugs and Thugs: Trace how the drug trade evolved on film, from 1973’s heroin dealer Dr. Kananga, to 1989’s bloodthirsty cocaine kingpin Frank Sanchez.
Cold War Castoffs: Meet villains who pursue power, money, and mad schemes of revenge amid the ideological wreckage and changing political landscape of the post-Cold War world.
New World Disorder: Witness a new generation of shadowy villains—burrowed into the highest circles of international power—who back terrorists and exploit environmental causes to mask their evil intentions.
Spies On Bond and My Bond Moment: See and hear from real spies as they make connections between the fictional world of Bond and the real world of espionage, and share their own Bond Moments—memories of their own challenging missions that could have been pulled from a 007 blockbuster.
Weapons of Mass Disruption: See the different ways that cyberspace has become a battleground for the military, terrorists, and spies like SKYFALL’s Silva.
For more informatoin please visit: The International Spy Museum
Designed for Flowers: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics
February 23–May 11, 2014
press release below:
The Walters Art Museum presents Designed for Flowers: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics,Sunday, February 23–Sunday, May 11, 2014. The exhibition displays a wide range of contemporary Japanese ceramic vessels produced for the traditional art of ikebana flower arranging.
“With designs linked to long-standing Japanese traditions and contemporary artistic expression, the exhibition celebrates the works of many of Japan’s greatest living ceramic artists,” says Robert Mintz, chief curator and Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Quincy Scott Curator of Asian Art at the Walters. “Comprised almost exclusively of vases drawn from the Betsy and Robert Feinberg Collection, the exhibition explores the ways contemporary ceramic artists have met the challenge of producing vessels as supports for flowers.”
Responding to Japan’s ikebana flower arranging traditions and to the distinctive design aspects of the Japanese interior, ceramics in Designed for Flowers: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics reveal the beauty and power that has distinguished Japan’s contemporary ceramic artists.
The exhibition celebrates the gift from Betsy and Bob Feinberg to the Walters of contemporary Japanese ceramics. It has been generously supported by The E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, Friends of the Asian Collection of the Walters Art Museum, the Bernard Family, Mr. and Mrs. Douglas W. Hamilton, Jr., and The Edward Clark Wilson Fund for Asian Art.
Metropolitan Vanities: The History of the Dressing Table
December 17, 2013–April 13, 2014
Few pieces of furniture have revealed more about leisure pursuits, popular taste, and changing social customs than the dressing table, or vanity. Metropolitan Vanities: The History of the Dressing Table at The Metropolitan Museum of Art explores the evolution of the modern dressing table. The age-old impulse to be attractive or fashionable informs and animates much of the dressing table’s lengthy design history, as it does many of the objects associated with the toilette, the ritual in which the dressing table reached new heights of elegance and sophistication. The exhibition provides an overview of the origins and development of the dressing table from antiquity to the present day with some 50 related objects, paintings, and drawings selected mainly from the Metropolitan’s collection.
The history of the vanity begins with a box. From ancient times ornate boxes have been crafted to hold a variety of beautifying paraphernalia, including jars for cosmetics, flasks for rare perfumes and exotics oils, implements for applying makeup, and mirrors. It was in the late 17th century in Europe that the form of the vanity as we know it today began to develop.
In the late 17th century, European high society began commissioning luxurious specialized furniture from craftsmen and furniture makers. The poudreuse in France, and the low boy, Beau Brummel, and shaving table in England served as models for the dressing table. Jean-François Oeben and Roger Vandercruse Mechanical Table (1761–63) is one of the finest examples of this period in the exhibition. This table was artfully engineered so that the top slides back as the front moves forward to reveal the vanity mirror and additional compartments. The table was most likely intended for Madame de Pompadour’s château overlooking the Seine. The design telegraphs the marquise’s place in society by way of various symbols, for example the tower—the main emblem of her coat of arms—is depicted at the top of the gilt-bronze mounts at each corner.
In America the designs for dressing tables were simpler, with the Chippendale style among the most popular. During the 19th century, dressing tables were made in many revivalist styles including the Gothic, Elizabethan, Rococo, Renaissance, and Colonial revivals, to name a few. Eventually, in the later 19th century, the dressing table—like other cabinet furniture—became a matching part of the bedroom suite.
It was not until the early part of the 20th century, during the Art Deco period in both Europe and America, that luxurious dressing tables came to epitomize the modern concept of glamour and luxury. Hollywood films of the 1920s and ’30s, with their fantasy world of penthouses atop Manhattan skyscrapers, were hugely popular during this period and often depicted the femme fatale heroine sitting at her supremely elegant vanity table in the bedroom or dressing room. Norman Bel Geddes’ enamel and chrome-plated steel dressing table (1932) is a model for this streamlined and sophisticated style.
More recently, designs for the dressing table have reflected the diversity of new styles, from the modern molded-plastic valet dressing cabinet of Raymond Loewy (1969) to a postmodernist Plaza dressing table and stool by Michael Graves (1981) and a minimalist dressing table of today by the Korean contemporary designer Choi Byung Hoon (2013).
Metropolitan Vanities: The History of the Dressing Table is curated by Jane Adlin, Associate Curator in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The exhibition is accompanied by a Bulletin published by the Metropolitan Museum and distributed by Yale University Press.
The accompanying Bulletin is made possible through the generosity of the Lila Acheson Wallace Fund for The Metropolitan Museum of Art, established by the cofounder of Reader's Digest.
Additional support has been provided by the Mary C. and James W. Fosburgh Publications Fund.
For more information please visit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art www.metmuseum.org.
Book Bindings from The Golden Age
October 26- May 18, 2014
During the late 19th and early 20th century, fine book binding enjoyed a golden age of creativity and lavish decoration. These handmade, individual and highly personal objects were made not only to protect the texts they contained, but also to be admired and appreciated as portable decorative masterpieces in their own right. Some binders strove to execute traditional designs at the highest levels of technical proficiency and artistic elegance, while others chose to break away and explore new emerging styles influenced by the Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements. This focus show of approximately 20 rarely seen examples from the Walters' rare book collection will explore techniques and materials that were employed to showcase the book binder’s craft, sometimes resulting in truly fantastical creations.
For more information please visit: The Walters Art Museum
-listed by Joanne Molina
Jewels by JAR
November 20, 2013–March 9, 2014
Jewels by JAR at The Metropolitan Museum of Art will feature more than 400 works by renowned jewelry designer Joel A. Rosenthal, who works in Paris under the name JAR. The exhibition will be the first retrospective in the United States of his work and the first retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum devoted to a contemporary artist of gems.
The exhibition is made possible by Henry and Marie-Josée Kravis, Phaidon Press Ltd, Nancy and Howard Marks, The Ronald and Jo Carole Lauder Foundation, Agnes Gund, Mr. and Mrs. George S. Livanos, and Hilary and Wilbur Ross.
Growing up in the Bronx, New York, Rosenthal spent much of his early life visiting the museums in the city, stirring in him a passion for art, history, and all things beautiful that has stayed with him throughout his life. Rosenthal left New York to attend Harvard University and moved to Paris shortly after his graduation in 1966. It was in Paris that Rosenthal met Pierre Jeannet—the other half of the JAR story.
Rosenthal and Jeannet spent much time at antique shops, museums, galleries, and auction houses learning about antique jewelry, diamonds, pearls, and colored stones. In 1973, they opened a needlepoint shop on the rue de l’Université. For Rosenthal needlepoint meant painting, mainly flowers, on a white canvas and playing with the palette of the colors of the wools. But the passion for jewelry was there and he wanted to “play with stones,” as he later explained. The needlepoint shop lasted only 11 months, but during this period Rosenthal was encouraged by others to re-design clients’ jewels and turned his attention once again, and more fully, to jewelry. In 1976, Rosenthal moved back to New York to work at Bulgari but returned to Paris and decided to open his own jewelry business under his initials, JAR.
JAR opened in 1978 on the Place Vendôme. At the start, it was run by a team of only two—Rosenthal and Jeannet. The clientele broadened from local Parisians to a range of international clients, and in 1987, Rosenthal and Jeannet relocated JAR to a larger space next door to their original shop—the same space from which they operate today. As they worked more and more with exceptional stones, they expanded the team to include the few exceptional craftsmen still specializing in this field.
JAR makes jewels that fulfill an aesthetic rather than commercial ambition. A particular skill of the JAR team is selecting stones for their color compatibility, complementary range, or contrast. Rosenthal, who once said, “we are not afraid of any materials,” uses metals as strong as platinum and as lightweight as aluminum as bases for his designs. He reintroduced the use of silver in fine jewelry making and blackened the metal to enhance the color of the stones and the shine of the diamonds. The color and the shading of his pavé technique became a signature, as did the diamond thread work.
Rosenthal experiments with a variety of forms, designs, and themes. Two significant and recurring themes in his work are flowers and butterflies, which often appear in the form of brooches. Rosenthal’s flowers are not shaped regularly, but rather capture the role of chance in nature—be it in the form of a bud, a flower in full bloom, or a falling petal. Each JAR piece is unique and three-dimensional.
Jeannet summarizes Rosenthal’s process this way: “At every step of the making of a piece, he checks and corrects. And if at the end his eye is not happy, we destroy the piece. But the piece, finished, is not yet at home; his last look is to see that the jewel has gone to the right lady. Then he sighs, his work is done.”
Credits and Catalogue
Jewels by JAR is organized by the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The exhibition curator is Jane Adlin, Associate Curator in the department.
The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue (hardcover $40), published by the Metropolitan Museum and distributed by Yale University Press.
For more information please visit: The Met Museum
November 9-February 17, 2014
VMFA’s fall exhibition, Hollywood Costume, celebrates a century of costume design and its contribution to cinematic history in American culture. Visitors will step behind the scenes to explore the collaborations between directors, actors and costume designers that bring to life some of the most unforgettable and beloved screen characters.
Visitors will experience traveling between soundstages, walking among costumes from the silent era to today’s digitally enhanced productions. The exhibition represents movies from the Golden Age to modern blockbusters, including The Wizard of Oz, Cleopatra, The Blues Brothers, Shakespeare in Love, Titanic, Moulin Rouge, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Casino Royale, Twilight: New Moon, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and The Dark Knight Rises. Hollywood Costume includes costumes that have never left private or archival collections in California, and most have never been publicly displayed or seen beyond the secure walls of studio archives.
“Visitors to this exhibition will gain a fresh understanding and appreciation of costume design in America’s film industry,” Director Alex Nyerges said. “Cinema is considered by many to be the greatest and most broadly accessible art form of the 20th and 21st centuries, and this ground-breaking display of iconic costumes will offer a unique insight into the art of movie-making.”
Also at VMFA this fall is Made in Hollywood: Photographs from the John Kobal Foundation, which features more than 90 prints by more than 50 of the most important photographers working in Hollywood 1920–1960.
For more information pleaes visit: The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Vietnamese Ceramics from the Menke Collection
August 24 – December 22, 2013
Review by Jane Librizzi
The quiet and self-contained pottery of Vietnam is less dramatic than its more familiar Chinese counterpart, but its charms reward time spent in their silent company-- epsecially when viewed in the soft light of a late autumn afternoon in the Finger Lakes. In lightness and precision, the Vietnamese excelled, creating a technique known as hsieh-yi (to write with meaning).
Vietnam, the country, is a narrow strip of land, one thousand miles long, its eastern border being the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin and the South China Sea. Its western border is an upthrust of Mountains, separating it from its neighbors. Bounded by the fertile deltas of the Mekong River and the Red River, Vietnam is a land of tropical nature, of jungles and lush flora of palm trees, bamboo, banana trees - the of ornamentation.
Although China was so much larger and more powerful militarily, its influence on Vietnamese arts was rather benign, stimulating the local artists to greater innovation and commercial competition for export wares. Pottery production began in northern Vietnam, near the border with China, and moved south as villagers were able to make a living producing stoneware.
The Thanh Hoa province and more specifically, Dong Sun were sites of large burial grounds that occasioned major pottery production. In these funereal objects you can see the Chinese influence play out in Vietnamese art as the Vietnamese artists reinterpret the Chinese belief in the survival of the soul after death in various items of tomb pottery, from vases to utilitarian pots and tools for the dead to use in the afterlife. The Vietnamese climate, with its jungles, made the need to protect the tombs themselves against the effects of moisture important, but the practical baked brick construction was then decorated with blue and yellow glazes.
The 13th and 14th centuries were a period when the Vietnamese created especially compelling works, having mastered the process of making ewers and other elaborate shapes from a single body of clay, outpacing their Chinese neighbors. The Chinese guarded jealously their experience working with porcelain while the Vietnamese excelled at delicate brushwork, executed with the lightness of a feather, and the subtle application of glazes. Look closely and you cannot mistake the the blue and white Le Dynasty vase for a Chinese piece; the dragon chasing a flaming pearl makes only a nod - and perhaps a wink – at its Chinese counterpart. The colors are so subtle, typical of Vietnamese taste.
The ewer from Thanh Hoa has a yellowish base overlaid with a transparent glaze while the decorations of a makara and the parrot are finely modeled decorations. The parrot, of course, is a tropical bird, while the makar is a creature from Hindu mythology, a creature half human in front and aquatic in back. Taken together these elements for a sophisticated yet deceptively simple whole. Though more awkward looking, the earlier ewer with elephant head spout is a an example of the popularity of zoomorphic shape, despite the technical difficulties innovated in their production.
The Menke ceramics collection comprises fifty-seven artworks that span a period from the Dong Sun era (700-43 BCE) through the 17th century. Currently on a long-term loan to the Johnson Museum, the collection was the avocation of John R. Menke, a nuclear physicist.
The Unbearable Lightness of Scarpa
Review of Venetian Glass by Carlo Scarpa: The Venini Company, 1932-1947 Nov. 5, 2013 – March 2, 2014
“Scarpa had this thing for detail that would kill you with pleasure.” - Ida Barbarigo Cadorin, painter (b 1925, Venice)
To understand the glass that architect Carlo Scarpa created for Venini one must travel back in time—before 1906, the year of his birth in Venice, before Napoleon and the Austrians had their way with the floating city, and even before Casanova escaped from prison and rowed a gondola to freedom.
The fires in the glass furnaces on Murano have been stoked for eight centuries. It is natural that the Venetian craftsmen with their artistic lineage that dates from the 13th century would have a deep affinity for glass. Apprehensive about potential fires and the unlawful sharing of professional secrets, all glassmaking moved to Murano by 1271. The discoveries were astounding; gold leaf graffito, crystal, lattimo milk glass, filigree, incalmo, mirrors. millefiore, reading glasses – all put into production on Murano with attendant patents by the middle of the 16th century.
Armed with his degree in architectural drawing and a fascination with this material that evokes water and light--the quintessential elements of Venice--the 20 year-old Scarpa embarked on a journey that would continue this ancient Venetian tradition.
It was the glass manufacturer M. V. M. Cappellin who first invited the young architect to Murano to restore the gothic Palazzo Da Mula in 1926. Did Cappellin suspect that glass would dominate the architect’s life for the next 20 years? Cappellin did not prosper and declared bankruptcy in 1931. The next year Scarpa became the artistic director of Venini. He submerged himself in the spirit of glass making. Not content designing during daylight hours he would spend the night at the foundry to study how the glass was born; its characteristics in infancy. He worked in concert with the maestri, experimenting, investigating, and demolishing boundaries to realize new techniques, patterns, color combinations, and textures.
The exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a 300-piece inclusive display of the work that was created during the 15-year period of Scarpa’s collaborations at Venini. It originated in Venice at Le Stanze del Vetro, the new gallery on San Giorgio Maggiore devoted to glass exhibitions. In addition to offering more space for visitors to circumnavigate the vitrines (designed by the architect Annabelle Selldorf who created them for the original exhibit), the Met’s curators also pulled from their museum’s formidable collection and included Asian porcelain, 19th century Italian glass and ancient Roman murrine to help visitors better understand Scarpa’s design inspirations and historic precedents.
Detailed wall texts throughout the exhibition describe Scarpa’s techniques, and at the end of the exhibit there is a brief presentation that places Scarpa’s glasswork in the context of his architectural work, which followed his fertile period at Venini. At the preview Nicholas Cullinen, the curator of the Met’s exhibit, commented on Scarpa’s “restless innovation;” mastering a technique and moving on every two years. As the wall text attests, the majority of glasswork was exhibited at the Venice Biennale and the Milan Triennial, which I suspect strongly motivated Scarpa to conquer and innovate every two years. He was, in fact, a consummate marketer and insisted in his 1945 contract that his name be included in all exhibits and denoted as “artistic collaborator.”
In the late sixties there were student protests at many universities, and Venice was not immune. Scarpa marched into the Instituto Universitario di Architettura, Venezia (IUAV) where he was the director and tore down banners and removed protest signs. It wasn’t the politics he was upset about; he felt the students should be ashamed of their bad lettering. I had the same response to the blue banner that greets visitors to the exhibit.
The glass at the Met exhibition is ordered chronologically and by technique, peppered with photographs of Scarpa and drawings from the foundry. Scarpa was an inveterate draftsman; his architectural drawings in colored pencil with layers of transparent paper are an intricate testament to his process. His glass drawings are naively simple; they feel almost hasty, as if he could barely wait to get from pencil to glass. There is one particular drawing that captures Scarpa’s enthusiasm. He was designing a corroso gold bowl for Countess Volpi (her husband, among other things, founded the Venice Film Festival in 1932) and alongside the drawing of the bowl Scarpa demands that you listen to him by invoking the imperative with the addition of multiple exclamation points. It is a humble and revealing sketch of passionate innovator.
His vessels and plates are magnificent journeys through centuries of glass making in the hands of a modern alchemist. I had to remind myself often that the work I was viewing was not created yesterday, but in the 30’s and 40’s. The 300 works exemplify a mind that was consumed with light, color, opacity, fragility, irony, history, and poetry. Scarpa did not only look to the legacy of the ancient Romans; he ventured to Asia and Byzantium, and circled back home to his gold-infused city of reflection. Ruskin wrote that the laws of glass could not be forced because craftsmen must follow the rules that govern the synergy between sand and fire. Experiencing the body of work that Scarpa created belies Ruskin’s theory: his profound manipulations of glass clearly show who was boss.
There are also radical interventions. There is glass that erupts in brutal bumps, atavistic glass that looks archaic, iridescent glass that changes color with the light, and glass so saturated it mimics ceramic. Scarpa looked to the past and to the east, but he also looked to the very bottom of the refuse bin. With his devotion to material and insatiable curiosity, Scarpa found inspiration in the sediment of scraps.
Guido Pietropoli, an Italian architect who studied and worked with Scarpa, contributed a poignant essay to Marino Barovier’s comprehensive exhibition catalogue. He wrote about Scarpa’s “beautiful and remarkable hands,” and his ability to “…evaluate the nature of materials just by brushing against them briefly.” During his tenure at Venini Scarpa formed the basis for the rest of his architectural career. His fascination with glass extended to all the materials he would dominate and incorporate into his building - ebony, rosewood, brass, marble, terrazzo, mosaic, and plaster. Scarpa treated each medium with respect as he bent them to his formidable artistry.
In Cullinan’s erudite catalogue essay he acknowledges that the exhibit, “aims to augment [Scarpa's] growing, if not fully realized, international reputation.” For the Met, the exhibit is not only a first in 20th century Murano glass. For many it will also be their first introduction to the work of Carlo Scarpa. It feels right for this enigmatic Venetian architect that our acquaintance begins with his exquisite glass, because it remains the filament of his life’s work. Scarpa felt that architecture could be poetry, but he also admitted that society does not always ask for poetry. Perhaps it is time for us to be reminded.
For more information please visit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
And for all things Venetian and wonderful pop in and say hello to JoAnn Locktov at any of the following!
Part I and II of JoAnn Locktov's Scarpa Trilogy:
Venini making one of Scarpa’s designs: SERPENTE:
Mapping the Moon
November 9, 2013 – January 26, 2014
Mapping the Moon explores the influence of human perspectives and scientific tools in lunar mapping. As our closest neighbor, the Moon is a natural place for people to explore. In the years since the invention of the telescope, increasingly advanced equipment has revealed more lunar details to be mapped and named. Mapping the Moon tells the story of lunar observation and discovery from the seventeenth through the mid-twentieth centuries. Focusing on twenty collections artifacts, highlights include the objects above with captions.
For more information please visit: The Adler Planetarium
September 14, 2013 - January 5, 2014
The artists of Material Transformations, Angela Ellsworth, Alison Foshee, Johnston Foster, Kirsten Hassenfeld, Rune Olsen, Lucrecia Troncoso, and Paul Villinski all find symbolism in the very unconventional substances they use to construct their works of art. They find inspiration in the stuff of life, items we frequently encounter, use, and discard with rarely a second thought such as aluminum cans, cleaning sponges, construction debris, corsage pins, masking tape, office supplies, and wrapping paper.
Manipulating and transforming these humble and common objects, the artists address a multitude of ideas including our culture’s preoccupation with goods, along with other cultural and social issues of the twenty-first century. Removed from their normal use, and modified into inventive works of art, the artists give these ordinary products an extraordinary second life. In their altered form, these new objects form intriguing works of art that challenge us to question our relationship to the consumer-based foundations of our modern lives while leaving behind established hierarchies between art, craft, and design.
Organized by the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama.
Material Transformations is sponsored by National Endowment for the Arts; Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama; The Daniel Foundation of Alabama; MAX Credit Union; Dawn and Adam Schloss; Doug's 2; Laura and Barrie Harmon.
For more information please visit: Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts
Hidden Heroes: The Genius of Everyday Things
February 23 through May 11, 2014
This exhibition comes to MODA via the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany and highlights the stories behind the design of 36 ordinary objects that have revolutionized the way we live. In Hidden Heroes: The Genius of Everyday Things, visitors have the opportunity to enhance their knowledge of everyday objects by means of images, patent drawings, films and audio that illuminate four aspects of their design: innovation, production, evolution and inspiration. A “hidden hero” could be anything from a paper clip to an adhesive bandage or an umbrella. It is an ordinary object, used by people all over the world based on an ingenious, yet easily comprehensible idea. It is produced a billion times over and constitutes an indispensable fixture of daily life. It has proven itself time and time again and has remained essentially unaltered for decades. In other words, it’s a classic.
For more information please visit: MODA
Gogo: Nature Transformed
October 5 - December 29, 2013
Inspired by nature, Georgia designer Janet “Gogo” Ferguson creates sophisticated and intriguing jewelry and home wares. Based on Cumberland Island, the southern-most barrier island on the Georgia coast, Gogo spends much of her time in this beloved environment finding animal bones along with shells and seaweed washed ashore – objects that are the creative force behind her dazzling wearable art.
Over the last 25 years, Gogo’s nature-derived designs have evolved as she began incorporating different techniques and materials. First working directly with the fragile bones and shells, Gogo created cast versions in gold and silver made with the lost-wax process to capture minute detail. Now, in addition to casting, she also employs 3-D scanning technology. Playing with scale, Gogo creates large works that echo her wearable pieces, including a mobile of whalebone, a sea urchin pouf, and a seaweed sculpture. Through her vision, these large pieces, together with her elegant jewelry, offer a transformed experience of nature.
Organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia
For more information please visit: The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts
Ornament and Crime
November 2 – December 8, 2013
“For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror. . .” Rainer Marie Rilke
“I will not subscribe to the argument that ornament increases the pleasure of the life of a cultivated person, or the argument which covers itself with the words: “But if the ornament is beautiful! ...” To me, and to all the cultivated people, ornament does not increase the pleasures of life. If I want to eat a piece of gingerbread I will choose one that is completely plain and not a piece which represents a baby in arms of a horserider, a piece which is covered over and over with decoration. The man of the fifteenth century would not understand me. But modern people will. The supporter of ornament believes that the urge for simplicity is equivalent to self-denial. No, dear professor from the College of Applied Arts, I am not denying myself! To me, it tastes better this way” -- Adolf Loos, Ornament and Crime: Selected Essays
"I believe the right question to ask, respecting all ornament, is this; was it done with enjoyment? Was the carver happy while he was about it?"-- John Ruskin
"When all the claims of use are satified, then the life of personality begins to show-- the fullest and most pernament form of self-realization known to man on earth lies in ornament" - Laurence Housman
Dear Gentle Readers,
Isn't it strange-- a bit funny--how many stylistic flourishes and often brutal, overly-dramatized phrases (dare I say ornamental?) that populate the essays that contain the very "modern" ideas of Adolf Loos. A central text for all instructors touching upon Modernism-- as well as the decorative arts and architecture--- to be sure, his essays have been at the center of many debates in classrooms spanning the disciplines. And certainly my fellow feminist philosophers and critcal race theoreticians have much to offer in response to his claims about form, substance and the "organic." It's a strange geography to be sure. And one that even those claiming to use him via critcal theory and aesthetics to understand urbanization and archietcture often fail to navigate well-- meaning uncritically. Ladies and gentleman, my bet is on Rilke.
To that end, one might wonder how a response to Loos might appear. Wouldn't it be interesting if the best response would lie in the hands of artists? It's more than interesting. It's fantastic. In the brilliant hands of Lauren F. Adams (thinker, artist, instructor, curator-and all around lovely person) we find a group of internationally renowned artists and thinkers who have the courage and intellectual and aesthetic sensibility to not only understand the implications of Loos' text, but to respectfully, provocatively respond to his assertions. I highly reccommend "Ornament and Crime" to those interested in art. archietcture, critcal theory and the continuous conversation between art and philosophy. -- J. M.
(press release below)
Ortega y Gasset Projects is pleased to present "Ornament and Crime," an exhibition organized by Lauren F. Adams comprised of artworks by Stephanie Syjuco, David Mabb, Stacy Lynn Waddell, and Susanne Slavick. The exhibition contends with the Adolf Loos essay from 1913 of the same name—a provocative and supremacist philosophy of how ornament and decoration impairs modern society, not only through wasted labor but also by embodying that which is degenerate or unsophisticated. Unlike Loos, the artists included in this exhibition engage ornament not as mere style or form, but as a platform to debate the political and societal concerns of our time.
Together, the works in this exhibition are actively defying what Loos described as the greatness of the modern age, “freedom from ornament.” Instead, these works seek to illuminate the weight of history, resuscitating or borrowing archival patterns in an effort to elucidate contemporary notions about political order, social hierarchies, and constructed authenticity. Existing between homage and critique, the artworks in the exhibition utilize ornament as a sort of Trojan horse acting as subversive cover to reveal disruptive or terrible truths.
Installations by Stephanie Syjuco of various ‘ethnic’ and ‘tribal’ patterns question the very categories that we assign to regional patterns in the amnesiac globalized marketplace. Syjuco achieves this through appropriation, such as in the Dazzle Camouflage Propositions, which pictures Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye in France, covered with Vietnamese and Algerian patterns. The result is the contrasting of iconic modernist architecture with decorative languages that are native to countries colonized by France, and eventually emancipated through brutal wars. Syjuco’s interventions are simple juxtapositions that reveal contested histories a visual contradiction resulting in an uneasy reconciliation.
For more information please visit Ortega y Gasset Projects
NYC address: 1717 Troutman #327, Queens, NY
PERU: KINGDOMS OF THE SUN AND THE MOON
October 17, 2013-January 5, 2014
**SAM is the only U.S. venue for this comprehensive collection of rare Peruvian treasures covering 3,000 years of history
This fall, Seattle Art Museum (SAM) will present Peru: Kingdoms of the Sun and the Moon. On display from October 17, 2013 through January 5, 2014, the exhibition features more than 300 spectacular treasures chronicling Peru’s rich cultural history from the Pre-Hispanic era to the Colonial period and from independence to the modern art movement of Indigenism.
Uncover a millennia-old culture now considered one of the six cradles of civilization along with Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, China and Mexico. Peru: Kingdoms of the Sun and the Moon invites visitors to discover Peru’s vibrant history and experience this vital and ancient country during its most influential and identity-forming periods.
“SAM is honored to be the only museum in the United States to host this breathtaking exhibition of rare Peruvian art spanning 30 centuries” said Kimerly Rorschach, SAM’s Illsley Ball Nordstrom Director. “The exhibition provides visitors with an opportunity to experience the power, beauty and mystery of these remarkable objects and the window they provide into history.”
Many of Peru’s ancient treasures and artifacts are included in this spectacular exhibition, including a rare Mochica forehead ornament (pictured above) made of gold and shells. It is being exhibited for the first time in the United States since its return to Peru in 2006. Crafted for a Mochica ruler between 100 and 800 A.D., this ornament is believed to have been buried at a site on Peru’s northern coast. Looted in 1988, and later recovered by Scotland Yard in London, the piece was returned to Peru in 2006.
Superb and rarely seen works of sculpture, metalwork, painting and textiles from the Mochica, Chimú and Inca cultures give visitors a taste of Pre-Columbian Peru’s rich cultural heritage. One of the most complete sets of adornments known today is included in the exhibition. The seven-piece set of head and body ornaments, made of an alloy of gold, silver and copper, gives an idea of the rich body ornamentation belonging to the Chimú elite.
Paintings of saints and liturgical processions provide insight into the initial overlay of Christianity and the syncretism drawing from indigenous and Spanish religious traditions following the Spanish conquest in 1532. A selection of Peruvian post-independence artworks is showcased illustrating the re-emergence of native aesthetic identities and the reaffirmation of Peru’s local heritage after independence from Spain in 1821 and into modern times.
Mythical Peru, the cradle of Andean civilization, and its Pre-Hispanic, colonial and modern history is examined and explored in sections organized thematically and historically.
The organization of this exhibition provides insights of breadth and depth into the ebb and flow of ancient cultures and their art, the artistry that resulted from Spanish and native interactions, and the works of the modern era that re-established a Peruvian aesthetic and identity. The principal thematic thread that unifies the show is the reverence for the past and pride in having one of the longest histories of artistic excellence and invention.
“The sophistication of the Peruvian artistry stands out in this exhibition,” said Barbara Brotherton, SAM’s Curator of Native American Art. “Beautifully crafted works in ceramic, noble metals, precious stones and alpaca fiber dazzle the eye and speak to the importance of art and its connection to political and visual diplomacy. Stunning paintings and sculptures attest to the inventive ways artists negotiated two different world views while, after independence, modern Peruvian artists who envisioned an inclusive society used prints, photographs, paintings and popular arts to deploy their messages. ”
The first section explains how archaeology rewrote Peru’s national history with photographs of Machu Picchu, the Incan citadel, by American explorer Hiram Bingham during his excavation of the site beginning in 1911. It continues through to more recent restitutions of artworks back to Peru, describing along the way how each archeological discovery acted as a source of identity for Peruvians during the era of nation building in the 19th and 20th centuries.
The second section focuses on the myths and rituals of the early civilizations of the Andes including the discovery in 1987 of the first intact tomb of a ruler of ancient Peru which lead to the discovery of a total of 15 royal tombs. The human remains of the “Lord of Sipán” were found in a wooden coffin along with an impressive set of ornaments and emblems in gold, silver and turquoise. This discovery, by archeologist Walter Alva, is the most significant find in Peru since that of Machu Picchu.
The relationship with death, particularly the constant dialogue between the world of the living and the dead, is an essential component of Andean spirituality. This section of the exhibition will focus on objects associated with the sacrificial ceremonies practiced by the Mochica people (200 to 800 C. E.) and the funerary rites of the Chimú and Lambayeque cultures (11th and 15th century C.E.).
The third section illustrates the perpetuation, concealment, and hybridization of the indigenous culture during the colonial period. Beginning with the Spanish conquest in the 16th century C.E. and continuing until Peru’s independence in 1821, this section features paintings and ceremonial objects that illustrate both the adoption of Catholicism and the syncretism and blending of Christianity with indigenous religious practices and cultural values.
The final section highlights the rediscovery of indigenous Peruvian culture in the 20th century and the revalorization of ancient symbols of identity in contemporary Peruvian iconography. Works in this section demonstrate the idealization of Peru’s Pre-Hispanic past, especially the Inca Empire, as well as an overarching interest with the contemporary local subjects of indigenous peoples and the Peruvian countryside, exploring the way this recombination of the past with the present has transformed Peruvian art in the Modern period.
Peru: Kingdoms of the Sun and the Moon exhibition is organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The Seattle presentation of this exhibition is made possible with critical funding provided by SAM’s Fund for Special Exhibitions.
Exhibition Sponsors are Microsoft and the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture. Major Sponsors are Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne, the Snoqualmie Tribe, Starbucks and Wells Fargo. Additional support is provided by Port Madison Enterprises and the Kreielsheimer Exhibition Endowment. Print Media Sponsor is The Seattle Times. Official Airlines Sponsor is Delta Air Lines.
For more information please visit: The Seattle Art Museum
-listing posted by Joanne Molina
FUTURE BEAUTY: AVANT-GARDE JAPANESE FASHION
"The fashion designers featured in this exhibition are remarkable for their daring visions, bold wit and incisive creativity," said Lynda Roscoe Hartigan, PEM's James B. and Mary Lou Hawkes Chief Curator and the exhibition's coordinating curator. "Through their designs we are exposed to alternate definitions of beauty, new ways of considering the human form and insight into some of the most provocative artistic minds working today."
The fundamentals of haute couture in Europe and America -- highly sexualized fitted forms, balance, finish, invisible tailoring and complementary color and pattern -- are noticeably absent from contemporary Japanese fashion. Instead, imperfection, transience, austerity, asymmetry, roughness, simplicity and subtlety are valued. As designer Yohji Yamamoto affirmed, "I think perfection is ugly. Perfection is a kind of order ... things someone forces onto a thing. A free human being does not desire such things." The avant-garde visions featured in Future Beauty carve a new aesthetic path forward, one that bridges tradition and innovation while charting a new understanding of what beauty can be.
In Praise of Shadows
A watershed moment for Japanese fashion occurred at the now legendary Paris catwalk show in 1983 where designers Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto debuted their black and white collections. Asymmetric and sculptural, Kawakubo and Yamamoto's forms enveloped, rather than revealed, the body in a way that radically rejected the trending obsession with body consciousness and form-fitting silhouettes. Through variability, imperfection and layering, Kawakubo's Autumn/Winter 1983-84 ensemble seen here emphasizes the contrast generated by the textures and looseness of layered fabric. Their "new black" became the "in" color and widely influenced Western designers.
Jun'ichir? Tanizaki's influential 1933 essay In Praise of Shadows is often credited for Japanese designers' gravitation toward asymmetry, layering and use of darkness. Fascinated with shadows as dynamic, shifting spaces, Tanizaki posited that, "the collision between the shadows of traditional Japanese interiors and the dazzling light of the modern age."
Tradition and Innovation
After World War II, the development of synthetic and industrial fabrics expanded Japan's legacy of creating sophisticated textiles. New techniques and processes were devised for weaving and dyeing a range of materials -- from silk and paper to polyester and stainless steel -- resulting in a host of new textures, visual effects and creative possibilities. Junya Watanabe's voluminous honeycomb construction, seen in his Autumn/Winter 2000-01 Techno Couture collection, exemplifies this ultra-modern approach to fashion that unlocked the potential of using fabric as a sculptural material.
Counter to the prevailing Western emphasis on the tailored form and traditional dressmaking conventions, contemporary Japanese fashion delves into the tension between flatness and form. Voluminous garments embody the Japanese concept of ma, a uniquely Japanese aesthetic concept that refers to the energetic potential of space. Wearing a garment activates the space it defines and transforms it from a two-dimensional garment to a three-dimensional experience. Hiroaki Ohya's The Wizard of Jeanz collection explores this concept in a particularly clever manner. Presented as a series of books, Ohya's works unfold like giant paper lanterns into a range of voluminous garments such as skirts and capes. Riffing on the geometric principles of origami, modern Japanese designers continue to explore new ways of expressing form and dimension.
Japan's street culture enjoys an explicit relationship with high fashion. Since the mid-1990s, Tokyo's Shibuya and Harajuku districts have gained a global reputation as hot spots of youth fashion: from the Lolita look typified by young girls' predilections for everything kawaii (cute), cosplay (costume play) and manga characters such as Hello Kitty and Astro Boy, to the reinterpretation of gothic, punk and hip-hop. In 2002, the international press coined the phrase "Cool Japan" to describe the country's ascendancy as a cultural superpower. In reinterpreting these looks, Japan's pioneering designers play with the cute and strange, the beautiful and the ugly. The result is highly eclectic, fun and nonconforming.
In addition to immersive, large-scale fashion runway show videos, Future Beauty features contemporary Japanese fashion pieces that visitors can try on to experience these unique design attributes firsthand. Select ensembles from Future Beauty also appear in PEM's Japanese and Japanese Export Art galleries to inspire aesthetic connections that span time.
PEM's FASHION INITIATIVE
Future Beauty is an important building block in PEM's new fashion initiative, undertaken as the next chapter for one of the country's leading collections of historic costumes and textiles from around the world. PEM's fashion initiative began in 2009 with Rare Bird of Fashion: The Irreverent Iris Apfel, followed last year by Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones and continuing in 2015 with a fresh focus on Native American fashion.
Co-organized by the Kyoto Costume Institute and Barbican Art Gallery, London. Support provided by the Japan Foundation, Wacoal Corporation and the East India Marine Associates of the Peabody Essex Museum.
EXHIBITION SPONSOR: The Coby Foundation
For more information please visit: The Peabody Essex Museum
-listing posted by Joanne Molina
September 27 - February 2, 2014
Beginning in 1915, New York’s American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) embarked upon a mission to inspire and energize the American design industry by giving textile designers and manufacturers unprecedented access to the museum’s ethnographic collections. The movement, which at first was limited in focus, was sparked by the disruption in creative direction from Europe caused by World War I. Drawing upon the imperialistic notion that Euro-American culture could lay special claim to indigenous artifacts from the Americas, AMNH anthropology curators sought to innovate a distinctly “American” design idiom based on the museum’s vast collections of Native American, Mesoamerican, Andean, and South American objects. Paralleling the globalization of national consciousness as the United States entered the war in 1917, the AMNH began to embrace a wider array of non-Western material from a more global selection of cultures, such as Koryak (Siberian) fur coats and West African robes.
The central figures in this project were curator of anthropology Clark Wissler (1870–1947), assistant curator of anthropology Herbert J. Spinden (1879–1967), curator of Peruvian art Charles W. Mead (1845–1928), and M. D. C. (Morris De Camp) Crawford (1882–1949), research fellow at the AMNH and Women’s Wearjournalist. Naturally, Crawford was a key liaison to manufacturers and designers, but many documents in the museum’s archives suggest that Spinden, Wissler, and Mead were equally instrumental, if not more so, in the museum’s effort to promote a so-called “primitive” design language. These men, dubbed the “fashion staff,” by journalist Elizabeth Miner King in 1917, presented lectures, held classes, published instructive design manuals, and curated temporary exhibitions. They also selected ethnographic objects for inclusion in the study rooms; allowed textile designers unfettered access to specimen storage rooms; and loaned museum artifacts to design houses and department stores. Seeking a toehold in the broader world of clothing design, the AMNH curators took deliberate steps to attract fashion designers and reluctant manufacturers to the museum, which included supplementing the study room collections with a larger variety of specimens that ranged from Nivkhi fish-skin jackets to garments from the Philippines and Javanese textiles. Designers and manufacturers quickly responded.
In 1919, after four years of promoting a National design identity based on the ethnographic collections, the AMNH mounted the Exhibition of Industrial Art in Textiles and Costumes. On view for two weeks in November, the show featured a comprehensive display of indigenous artifacts and contemporary designs that was clearly intended to promote the utility and value of the museum to designers and industry. By combining handcrafted and industrial products in a museum display, the AMNH unabashedly sought popular validation while trumpeting the commercial viability of its “American” project.
During the next decade, Stehli Silk Co. and H. R. Mallinson & Co. produced silk prints designs such as “Inca” and “Shoshoni Tribe,” respectively, based on artifacts in the AMNH ethnographic collections. These silk prints trumpeted the movement’s legacy into the late 1920s and championed a style that was at the time described as “intimately and unquestionably our own.”
An American Style: Global Sources for New York Textile and Fashion Design, 1915–1928 situates the AMNH’s efforts to engender a distinctly American design aesthetic in the context of the United States’s search for cultural moorings that began with the American Arts and Crafts movement and proliferated through World War I. By examining the disciplinary intersection of early twentieth-century anthropology and American industrial design, as well as the influence of modernist (or American) primitivism, the exhibition presents four major themes: The AMNH’s promotion of “American” sources for design inspiration; global sources and fashion designs; the 1919 Exhibition of Industrial Art; and the legacy of this effort into the 1920s.
A display of the design manuals written by Mead and Wissler alongside related drawings and textiles will reveal the conceptual underpinnings and educational outreach of the AMNH’s effort. The exhibition will feature loans of Mexican clay stamps and Native American dress, as well as a Koryak fur coat and an Nivkhi fish-skin coat from the AMNH. Examples of the movement’s few surviving textiles and garments loaned from the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Museum of American History-Smithsonian Institution, the Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, and the Brooklyn Museum will also be on view, including a hand-batiked caftan-shaped dress from the 1920s and hand-blocked silks for the mass market. To evoke the legacy of the movement into the 1920s, silk prints from Stehli Silk Co. Americana series (1925) and the H. R. Mallinson & Co. American Indian series (1928) will also be on display.
In lieu of suriving artifacts, the exhibition focuses on an extraordinary cache of negatives from the AMNH Special Collections Archive and related ephemera dating from 1915 to 1928. Archival images feature such designers as Harriet Meserole, Ruth Reeves, and Mariska Karasz modeling ethnographic garments from the museum’s collection about 1916 and also document garments created for the 1919 Exhibition of Industrial Art. To communicate the breadth and varied scope of the exhibition, a digital media display will feature surviving installation photographs found in the Special Collections Archive. The work of notable designers such as Ilonka Karasz and Jessie Franklin Turner, as well as the lesser- known Hazel Burnham Slaughter and Max Meyer, will be represented throughout the exhibition.
For more information please visit: The Bard Graduate Center
Gilded New York
November 13, 2013-October 2014
On November 13, the Museum of the City of New York will unveil The Tiffany & Co. Foundation Gallery. Its design and construction were made possible through a grant from The Tiffany & Co. Foundation. The Foundation’s Excellence in Design program supports organizations that are enhancing the field of the decorative arts.
The Tiffany & Co. Foundation Gallery and the installation of its inaugural exhibition Gilded New York, are designed by New York-based William T. Georgis Architects. The jewel-box gallery located on the City Museum’s third floor will feature newly constructed, state-of-the-art display cases that evoke a Gilded Age domestic interior finished with herringbone wood flooring, decorative wallpaper, mirrored window shutters, draperies, as well as a historic chandelier and fireplace mantel from the Museum’s collections. An elegant space, The Tiffany & Co. Foundation Gallery beautifully complements the Museum’s Georgian Revival design.
Gilded New York will be on view from November 13, 2013 to November 30, 2014 and is a vivid exploration of the city’s visual culture at the end of the 19th century, when its elite class expressed their high status through extravagant fashions, jewelry, and decorative arts. Although often derided for its excess, the Gilded Age was also notable for its national aspirations in the arts and design. During these years, the United States—and its cultural capital, New York City—achieved a new level of sophistication in painting, sculpture, architecture, and the decorative arts, enabling the nation to compete for the first time on a world stage and giving rise to a golden age that was worthy of the name “American Renaissance.”
Highlights of Gilded New York include:
Overview of the Exhibition
Fashionable outfits and accessories were a highly visible marker of wealth as changing styles demanded frequent and vast expenditures of funds to stay abreast of current trends. Paris couturier Charles Frederick Worth, whose “Electric Light” fancy dress gown was worn by Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt II to the Vanderbilt Ball, was in great demand among New York’s leading families. Worth’s stunning scarlet silk damask evening dress in chrysanthemum pattern, also showcased in the exhibition, is another example of the trend towards a glamorous look. Meanwhile, Manhattan shops provided a wealth of Parisian-inspired goods, including extraordinary ostrich, and eagle feather fans; a cigarette case adorned with sapphires; and a gold-and-diamond card case, which were the mainstays of an upper-class lady’s public costume and will be included in the exhibition. With the advent of what became known as “Ladies’ Mile,” fashion-conscious elite and middle class women were drawn to an expanse of densely packed department stores in Manhattan, delimited by 14th Street and 23rd Street on the north and south axis, and between Broadway and Sixth Avenue along the east and west. This well-lit shopping district enabled women to walk on the street unaccompanied by chaperones, where they could study and purchase the latest designs displayed behind modern, plate-glass windows.
Complementing the increasing opulence in fashion, jewelry design reached new and dazzling heights during the Gilded Age. For decades, Americans on their European Grand Tours had purchased archeological-style jewelry popularized by designers like Italian Fortunato Pio Castellani and his son, Alessandro, but by the 1890s, they began to turn toward talented French jewelers like Cartier and others who exhibited at Paris’s international expositions. In New York City, the rise of Tiffany & Co., which sold splendid jewels such as the platinum, diamond, and seed pearl choker on view, helped to make the city an attractive and growing center for luxury jewelry. The fine craftsmanship of jewelers like Marcus & Co., evident in their multi-strand arts and crafts necklace composed of gold, demantoid garnets, natural pearls, and plique-à-jour enamel, contributed to this trend. Other New York jewelers whose work will be seen include those by the firm of Theodore B. Starr as well as Dreicer & Co., whose brilliant gold, platinum, and diamond necklace is also on display.
Decorative Arts and Paintings
Wealthy New Yorkers traveled to Europe and returned with luxurious mementos that attested to their experiences abroad. Some of the items they collected were modern reinterpretations of ancient techniques, Italy being a major source of these purchases. They shipped quantities of Venetian glass—such as those in the exhibition—including drinking glasses, wine goblets and glass blown decanters. Women adorned themselves with archeological-style jewelry, popular since the 1850s, which included gold earrings and bracelets with depictions of landscapes, doves, and other subjects depicted in micromosaic settings, also on display.
Whether bought at home or abroad, decorative objects in silver and gold were key attributes of a well-appointed life. Large and elaborate flatware services included specialized forms designed for culinary delights ranging from oysters to ice cream. Some services reached astonishing sizes, as in the case of a silver-gilt set ordered by William K. Vanderbilt from Tiffany & Co. that numbered more than 900 pieces, and from which a five-piece place setting will be on view. Silver presentation pieces marking important sporting and civic events such as yacht races – as in the handsome 1889 Goelet Prize for Sloops that is adorned with seaweed-draped mermaids – grew in size and grandeur as the century progressed. Silver and gold were also the preferred materials for personal gifts as in the case of the vessel and salver (or stand) designed by Crichton Brothers of London and New York as a golden anniversary gift from J. P. Morgan to the parents of Joseph Hodges Choate, New York lawyer and Ambassador to the Court of Saint James.
Stylish interiors also included fine furniture by Herter Brothers such as inlaid and gilded side chairs and jewelry cabinets such as those in this exhibition. New York area ceramics manufacturers also developed artistic wares that could rival those of Europe. And indeed, many of these manufacturers displayed their artistic wares at international fairs as well as in New York at luxury shops. Luxury tableware in porcelain included such items as oyster plates then growing in popularity, and seen in the exhibition. Some firms benefitted from the talents of foreign-born decorators like Edward Lycett, who in his designs for the Faience Manufacturing Company of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, imparted a richly colored and patterned style based on the exotic shapes and colors of the Near and Far East.
During this time, New York and the United States also achieved a level of sophistication in painting and sculpture that elicited comparisons to the European Renaissance and was therefore frequently characterized as the “American Renaissance.” This is evident from painted portraits of society figure Eleanor Iselin Kane (Mrs. DeLancey Astor Kane) and her son DeLancey Iselin Kane, both by Thomas Dewing, and the bronze bust of New York financier August Belmont by John Quincy Adams Ward.
Digital Photography Displays of Social Events and Architecture
Turn-of-the-century New York was marked by the sudden rise of industrial and corporate wealth, amassed by such titans and their socially ambitious wives as Alva and William Kissam Vanderbilt and Caroline and William Backhouse Astor Jr. who were eager to display their wealth and express their high status through extravagant fashions, exquisite jewelry, and no-cost-spared art and design showcased at lavish balls and other social events. Originally these parties had been limited to existing members of the old guard, but as “new money” infiltrated the city, confusion arose over who was “in” and who was “out.” The excessive quality of these functions is evident in the photograph titled “Billings Horseback Dinner at Sherry’s, 1903,” where New York’s prominent gentlemen are having dinner at a restaurant while remaining on horseback. Wealth was also displayed by the grand residences along Fifth Avenue as well as the high-end shops where women went shopping along known as “Ladies’ Mile. Photographs of these glamorous social events as well as the extraordinary residences and interiors of the era will be displayed on digital monitors outside the Tiffany & Co. Foundation Gallery.
All of these achievements contributed to the city’s coming of age. For the first time,
New Yorkers consciously asserted themselves as international tastemakers and their
city as a world capital, endowed with an ambition that has made—and remade—the city ever since.
Gilded New York is organized by Donald Albrecht, the City Museum’s Curator of Architecture and Design; Jeannine Falino, an independent curator; and Phyllis Magidson, the City Museum’s Curator of Costumes and Textiles.
The accompanying book Gilded New York is edited by Donald Albrecht and Jeannine Falino, with essays by them, as well as Phyllis Magidson, Susan Gail Johnson, and Thomas Mellins. It is co-published with The Monacelli Press.
For more information please visit: Museum of the City of New York
On the Thresholds of Space-Making: Shinohara Kazuo and His Legacy
January 31, 2014 - April 14, 2014
One of Japan's greatest and most influential architects of the postwar generation, Shinohara Kazuo (1925–2006) has remained virtually unknown outside of a small community of devoted followers. A mathematician-turned-architect, Shinohara achieved cult-figure status with his series of sublimely beautiful, purist houses that he designed over a thirty-year period, from the mid-1950s to the 1980s. Shinohara was also a rigorous polemicist, and through both writings and architecture he scrutinized and reframed the architectural conventions of public/private, bigness/smallness, earth/sky, body/space, openness/enclosure, chaos/order, and autonomy/contingency. His slogan, "A house is a work of art," encapsulates his belief in the rhetorical potential of the quotidian and his resistance to the technological approach to architectural design that had dominated Japan's architectural profession since the 1920s; his houses break away from established forms of the single-family home ubiquitous in Japan's postwar suburbia. Perhaps the most iconic of Shinohara's works, House in White (1964–66) rearranges a familiar design palette—a square plan, a pointed roof, white walls, and a symbolic heart pillar—to give the great room almost oceanic spaciousness through abstraction. The underlying formalism in Shinohara's architecture—its basic explorations of geometry and color—lend his work a poetic quality that fuses simplicity and surprise, the ordered and the unexpected.
Presenting rarely seen original drawings, sketches, and other archival material on loan from the Shinohara Kazuo Collection in Japan as well as photographs and models of select houses, the exhibition also showcases the enduring legacy of Shinohara’s work through projects by younger Japanese architects whom he influenced: Sakamoto Kazunari (b. 1943); Itō Toyō (b. 1941); Sejima Kazuyo (b. 1956) and Nishizawa Ryue (b. 1966) of their firm SANAA; and Ishigami Junya (b. 1974).
The exhibition is curated by Seng Kuan, assistant professor of architectural history at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts.
Support for the exhibition is generously provided by the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts and College of Architecture; the Japan Foundation; the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts; and members of the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum.
For more information please visit: The Mildred Lane Kempner Art Museum
William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain
September 20, 2013 – 9 February 2014 (NYC)
March 22, 2014 – July 13, 2014 (London)
Organised by the Bard Graduate Center, New York City
A new collaboration between the V&A and the Bard Graduate Center will examine the life and work of William Kent (1685-1748), the leading architect and designer of early Georgian Britain. The exhibition will celebrate Kent’s oeuvre over four decades (1709-48) when Britain defined itself as a new nation with the accession of a new Hanoverian Royal Family.
Kent was a polymath, turning his hand to painting, sculpture, architecture, interior decoration, furniture, metalwork, book illustration, theatrical design, costume and landscape gardening. The exhibition will demonstrate
Exuberance of Meaning: The Art Patronage of Catherine the Great (1762–1796)
"Exuberance of Meaning" features many works of art and books, most of which Catherine the Great commissioned for her own use or for the courtiers who received them as gifts. Other objects in the exhibition serve as examples of historic precedents for the empress' choices or represent major currents in the history of Russian art of the 17th and 18th centuries. The exhibition presents a comparison of dazzling and masterful objects that exemplify both medieval Byzantine culture, of which Russia was the successor and guardian, and the Western, neoclassical style that was the hallmark of the Enlightenment. The exhibition and publications contribute to the current knowledge of patronage in 18th-century Russia and to an understanding of the role of Byzantine culture in Russia's history up to the era of neoclassicism.
Images courtesy of Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens
For more information please visit: The Georgia Museum of Art
-listing posted by Joanne Molina
American designer Paul Rand (1914 – 1996) defined design as a unified activity, based on analysis and governed by imagination. Throughout his lengthy career – in which he created some of world’s most successful and recognizable logos such as those for IBM, Westinghouse, UPS, and ABC – his design work was governed by fundamental principles that he identified in his writings, such as beauty, intelligence, repetition, symbol, and humor. Today, designers across the world derive influence and inspiration from Rand’s body of work, acknowledging that he set new standards for graphic design.
Paul Rand: Defining Design will examine the trajectory of Rand’s career in an entirely new way, juxtaposing his iconic designs with discussion of the design principles by which they were informed. In addition, short films, interviews, and examples of Rand’s persuasive writings will further illuminate this legendary designer’s thoughts on the design process.
The exhibition is curated by Daniel Lewandowski, creator of the website www.Paul-Rand.com.
For more information please visit: The Museum of Design Atlanta
The Material of Culture: Renaissance Medals and Textiles from the Ulrich A. Middeldorf Collection
For more information please visit: The Georgia Museum of Art
-listing posted by Joanne Molina
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25,000 Years of Jewelry, by Maren Eichhorn-Johannsen, Adelheid Rasche, Astrid Bahr and Svenia Schneider
Fashion Jewelry, From Catwalk to Couture, by Maia Adams
The Art of Bulgari: La Dolce Vita and Beyond
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Alexander McQueen, Savage Beauty, by Andrew Bolton, et al
Rebel/Artist/Dandy Men of Fashion, Edited by Kate Irvin and Laurie Anne Brewer; With essays by Kate Irvin, Laurie Anne Brewer, Christopher Breward, and Monica L. Miller; Preface by Thom Browne
A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk at FIT Museum, NYC
Help The Curated Object support Designers & Books Online Book Fair
How it works:
Scroll down and.....
Find an graphic design exhibition-inpired book you like and CLICK on it to see more information and purchase from Designers & Books, online purveyor of the design industry's most coveted volumes (many at a HUGE discount)-- and meeting place for lovers of design books.
Take a peek at the graphic design book-inspired exhibition and CLICK on it to get museum listing details.
American Modernism, by R. Roger Remmington
Graphic Design Process, by Nancy Skolos and Thomas Wedell
Logotype, Michael Evamy
Paul Rand at the Museum of Design, Atlanta
Mid-Century Maestro: The Textiles of Boris Kroll
Oct. 1-December 7, 2013
Textiles are a form of story-telling; a realisation of cultural relationships whether they are bourne of the factory or the nimble fingers of skilled hands. The scholars and instructors at NYSID and organizers at Scalamandré who designed 'Mid-Century Maestro: The Textiles of Boris Kroll' understand that to fully comprehend the history of his textiles necessitates the examination of the culture (s) that produced them, represented them, and utilized them. It means to study of those artifacts that substantiated and propelled Boris Kroll's work as much as it is the man and machines that produced it. Thanks to this guiding principle and impeccable execution The Curated Object is proud to recommend this fine exhibition to scholars, interior designers, industry members and anyone who wants to understand how Boris Kroll's textile shaped generations. In fact, Boris Kroll might be very pleased to know that he is *still* changing life and culture in important ways--- his former factory has been transformed into housing that is a crucial component of an urban revitalization program.
To do justice the story of Boris Kroll's exhibition in a proper way demands an article requiring more than a mere insertion of quotes from organisers and sponsors into a rewritten press release. To that end, I am hoping that my fellow scholars of material culture and cultual studies will take serious note of how successfully this exhibition was organized and preserve this historic moment in as excellent a fashion as this exhibiton's organisers have preserved their subject. It is a hopeful testament to how design and the decorative arts ought to be studied and understood. -- J. M.
(for more information see press release and NYSID link below)
Fabric innovation is a vital chapter in America’s interior design history, and Boris Kroll, internationally known textile designer and weaver, will be the subject of an exhibition this fall, on view from October 2 to December 7, 2013 at the NYSID Gallery, 161 East 69th Street, New York City.
The exhibition will showcase more than 80 textiles from Kroll’s archive, which was purchased in 1991 by Scalamandré, one of the country’s most prestigious producers of fine fabrics, wall coverings, and accessory products. The display of historic textiles,
Armin Hofmann, Color
November 14-Jan. 19, 2014
For Armin Hofmann, lecturing at design schools and working as a freelance graphic artist went hand in hand: his activities as an educator invariably provided inspiration for his own work. Rather than a doctrinaire approach, Hofmann’s teaching style centered on the students’ engagement with their own experiences and abilities, so enabling them to hone their individual perception of design issues.
During his many years as a teacher at various institutions across the world, including the Basel School of Design in Switzerland and the Yale University School of Art, Hofmann accumulated a treasure-trove of experiences and findings on the subject of color. Following his retirement, he produced 20 silkscreen portfolios, each containing 12 compositions. One of these portfolios and 16 studies for the prints will constitute the major portion of Farbe / Color.
The exhibition at A+D Architecture and Design Museum will showcase one of Hofmann’s portfolios as well as 16 studies of the prints as a part of Farbe / Color. The legendary Swiss graphic designer and educator has described his silkscreens as an account of his pedagogical activities.
A discussion and presentation by the Swiss designer, Steff Geissbühler, former student of Hofmann’s will elaborate on how this education applies to commissioned work and personally in his portfolio of design for Fortune 500 companies while working in New York City.
Hofmann’s work in the built environment will be represented as physical, color interventions into the museum itself.
As an educator for 44 years, Hofmann has had immeasurable influence on generations of designers and shaped the world’s perception and understanding of color and design.
For more information please visit: The A+D Museum, Los Angeles
Opening of Armin Hofmann/Farbe
Sponsored by the Los Angeles Swiss Consulate and Vitra
Lecture, ‘Color and the Brain’ by Dr. M.A. Greenstein
Presentation and Discussion, ‘When in Doubt, Make it Red,’ by Steff Geissbühler
Saturday program supported by Otis College of Design/California Institute of the Arts
This exhibition follows a project entitled "Armin Hofmann - Farbe" which was initiated by art historian Fabienne Ruppen and graphic designer Christof Nüssli in 2012
The first stop for Spain’s new international traveling exhibition is Miami, where Tapas - Spanish Design for Food makes its U.S. premiere Nov. 9–Dec. 15 (including Art Basel Week), at The Moore Building in Miami’s Design District.
Honoring the 500th anniversary of Juan Ponce de León’s arrival in Florida,
The Tyranny of Good Taste
Nov. 14-Jan. 25, 2014
Curated by Danny Orendorff, the exhibition features maximalist and anarchic artworks that challenge established fine art hierarchies of value and status-quo conventions of taste.
This group exhibition features artworks by 16 artists from across the U.S. and addresses themes of creative productivity through times of economic turmoil. Studio leftovers, junk food, craft store oddities, urban detritus, and remnants of failed first attempts are some of the low-brow materials incorporated into the contemporary artworks.
Brandon Anschultz (Saint Louis, MO),
Mara Baker (Chicago, IL),
Tim Brown (Kansas City, MO),
Jared Clark (Salt Lake City, UT),
Julia Anne Goodman (San Franicsco, CA),
Ben Harle (Kansas City, MO),
Michelle Hartney (Chicago, IL),
Jack Henry (Brooklyn, NY),
Matt Jacobs (Kansas City, MO),
Cara Krebs (Salt Lake City, UT),
Bobbi Meier (Chicago, IL),
Garry Noland (Kansas City, MO),
Sabina Ott (Chicago, IL),
Matthew Schlagbaum (Chicago, IL),
Dean Roper (Kansas City, MO), and
Jaimie Warren (Kansas City, MO)
For more information please visit: Columbia College's Glass Curtain Gallery
-listing posted by Joanne Molina (my review forthcoming....)
In the nineteenth century, photography surpassed drawing as the preferred artistic medium for recording and presenting architecture. Recognized for their accuracy and precision, photographs could render architectural elements as never before. The intricate ornamented facade, the sprawling sunlit Napoléon Courtyard, and the classical design of the Louvre appear in magnificent detail in Gustave Le Gray's picturesque image of the Mollien Pavilion, a structure completed in the 1850s during the reign of Napoléon III.
Photographers working in the nineteenth century documented historic structures on the verge of disappearance as well as contemporary buildings erected before their eyes. They also captured the built environment during construction, after completion, and in ruin. This photograph by Louis-Émile Durandelle shows the Eiffel Tower, the centerpiece of the 1889 World Exposition, in November 1888 when only its four columns, piers, and first two platforms were in place.
With the advancement of photographic technologies and the modernization of the built environment around the turn of the twentieth century came innovative representations of architecture. Compositions and photographic processes began to reflect the avantgarde and modernist sensibilities of the time, and photographs of buildings, churches, homes, and other structures often showcased these developments. Andreas Feininger, who trained as an architect, utilized an experimental printing technique to depict gothic St. Nikolai cathedral in Greifswald in a nontraditional way.
Images of architecture by contemporary photographers Robert Adams, William Christenberry, and others working in the documentary tradition often underscore the temporality of buildings. Vernacular structures found in his native Alabama are among the subjects Christenberry has systematically recorded for the past six decades. By returning year-after-year to photograph the same places, such as the red building shown above, Christenberry chronicles the decay (and sometimes the ultimate disappearance) of stores, tenant houses, churches, juke joints, and other rural buildings.
Experimental and conceptual approaches toward the representation of architecture have been embraced by photographers. Peter Wegner used skyscrapers in New York, San Francisco, and Chicago as his framing devices to feature the spaces between high rises that form buildings of their own. By upending images of these canyons, he created buildings made of sky. When presented as a grid, they form a new, imaginary city.
The Art of Bulgari: La Dolce Vita & Beyond, 1950–1990.
September 21, 2013 - February 17, 2014
Since its founding in Rome in 1884, Bulgari has become synonymous with innovation and luxury in jewelry design. The jeweler is famous for mixing semiprecious stones with diamonds, mounting ancient coins in gold jewelry, and creating easy-to-wear pieces made with unusual color combinations.
This exhibition focuses on the decades of the 1950s through the 1980s; in the period after World War II Bulgari began to create a unique style inspired by Greco-Roman classicism, the Italian Renaissance, and the 19th-century Roman school of goldsmiths. By the 1970s, Bulgari’s bold and innovative style had gained success with celebrities and the jet set.
The Art of Bulgari: La Dolce Vita & Beyond, 1950–1990 presents approximately 150 showstopping pieces from this era, along with sketches and other materials from the Bulgari archives. The exhibition takes a decade-by-decade look at Bulgari’s innovations in jewelry design and includes several striking pieces from the Elizabeth Taylor collection.
For more information please visit: The de Young Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
-listing posted by Joanne Molina
The Museum of Craft and Design presents Obsessive Reductive, a group exhibition that includes approximately 12 artists working in a variety of media including paper, wood and metal. Participating artists share the common process of intricately, precisely and "obsessively" removing material to create extraordinary imagery and sculpture.
Many of these works have reticulating patterns, and in some cases the use of material absence is employed as a significant design element positioning negative space as a dominant element. The visual similarity of all featured works in Obsessive Reductive will be the concentrated detail and complexity of the work, despite the various approaches and media.
Featured artists include Brian Dettmer, Cal Lane, Kako Ueda, Annie Vought, Drew Daly, Francesca Pastine, Leigh Salgado, Jill Sylvia and others.
Exhibition curated by Marc D’ Estout.
For more information please visit: The San Francisco Museum of Craft and Design
From the vast holdings of the Vatican Ethnological Museum comes a presentation of indigenous spiritual pieces that will enable visitors to learn about the global significance of the objects and their journey to the Vatican. These sixty-five sets of remarkable objects have been selected for their artistic and cultural relevance
Illuminated Palaces: Extra-Illustrated Books from the Huntington Library
July 27- Nov. 18, 2013
Opening July 27 in the West Hall and continuing through Oct. 28, "Illuminated Palaces: Extra-Illustrated Books from the Huntington Library,” features approximately 40 works dating from the late 1700s to the early 1900s, when the practice was most popular.
“It’s at once fascinating and horrifying—the idea that someone would purposefully destroy a book in order to build their own custom creation,” said Stephen Tabor, curator of early printed books at The Huntington and co-curator of the exhibition with Lori Anne Ferrell, professor of English and history at Claremont Graduate University.
For more information please visit: The Huntington Library