Allied Member, ASID
December 5, 2013
For all the years I have been in love with architecture, one of my top favorites has always been Tom Kundig, of Olson Kundig. He is true to his practice, form concrete, steel, glass, a metal
He never misses. I should start a fan club! I am in the midst of a project, and was having a total ADD meltdown,
so naturally I go to my library to get grounded, and pull Kundig’s book out,
one of them I should say, and then in this months Architectural Digest they have a piece on him
I always get asked “if I could choose” yup, I would have Kundig design a house for me, and be beyond thrilled. He is thee guy!
Ok, here is the story of Tom Kundig, the photos tell you really all you need to know
Kundig’s work encompasses residential, commercial and institutional
and is located around the world. His signature detailing and raw, kinetic construction explore new forms of engagement with site and landscape, which he frames in the workings of unique, building-size machines. In his houses, which are quickly becoming recognized as modern-day classics, brute strength and tactile refinement are held in perfect equilibrium. Recent projects and current projects include the mixed-use Art Stable and 1111 E. Pike, Le Massif de de Charlevoix master plan, a gravity-fed winery in the Naramata Bench of British Columbia, adaptive reuse of the Georgetown Brewing Company and Nissan Stadium Seattle, the Rolling Huts and private residences in Spain and throughout North America, including the Pierre, Shadowboxx, Studio Sitges and Outpost.
In 2006, Princeton Architectural Press released Tom Kundig: Houses; the book is one of the Press’s bestselling architecture books of all time. Kundig has been published in over 250 publications worldwide, including the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal,
December 3, 2013
I had the unique pleasure of being introduced to the sculptor David Smith at the home of one of my clients. They have just recently purchased one of David Smith’s sculptures . I am not familiar with his work at that point and have now come to adore him!
I do hope you find his work as fabulous as I do!
David Smith, is considered the greatest American sculptor of the 20th century. He died in a car accident in 1965 (at the age of 59) during the planning of a major exhibit for the new Los Angeles County Museum of Art,
which opened on Wilshire Boulevard that year.
And in fact there is a retrospective that was just there of his work!
Born in Indiana in 1906, Smith worked as a welder and riveter at a Studebaker auto factory while attending college. He later moved to New York City to study art and was heavily influenced by Pablo Picasso and Cubism, Italian sculptor Alberto Giacometti, and Spanish artist Joan Miró.
When Smith saw images of Picasso’s iron constructions in 1932 he realized that he could use his welding skill and knowledge of industrial materials for making art.
Smith, who preferred to work with steel, iron, and aluminum, has “often been presented as a counterpart to the abstract expressionist painters or as a draftsman in space.” The welder from Indiana befriended many other prominent artists, including Adolph Gottlieb and Milton Avery
in the 1930′s and Robert Motherwell, Jackson Pollock, and Franz Kline in the 1950′s.
During WWII, smith worked as a welder for the American locomotive Company, assembling locomotives and M7 tanks. He taught at Sarah Lawrence College.
After the war, with the additional skills that he had acquired, Smith released his pent-up energy and ideas in a burst of creation between 1945 and 1946. His output soared and he went about perfecting his own, very personal symbolism.
Traditionally, metal sculpture meant bronze casts, which artisans produced using a mold made by the artist. Smith, however, made his sculptures from scratch, welding together pieces of steel and other metals with his torch, in much the same way that a painter applied paint to a canvas;
his sculptures are almost always unique works.
Smith, who often said, “I belong with the painters,” made sculptures of subjects that had never before been shown in three dimensions. He made sculptural landscapes (e. g. Hudson River Landscape), still life sculptures (e. g. Head as Still Life) and even a sculpture of a page of writing
(The Letter). Perhaps his most revolutionary concept was that the only difference between painting and sculpture was the addition of a third dimension; he declared that the sculptor’s “conception is as free as a that of the painter. His wealth of response is as great as his draftsmanship.”
David Smith’s signature
Smith was awarded the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship in 1950, which was renewed the following year. Freed from financial constraints, he made more and larger pieces, and for the first time was able to afford to make whole sculptures in stainless steel.
November 26, 2013
I was in San Francisco not too long ago, and found murals on the sides of buildings that were amazing! Then I found myself in a museum there, where I saw artwork by the same artist, which led me to today’s post. ANDREW SCHOULTZ is an amazing muralist, artist and thinker.
I really loved his attention to detail and the fact that his art doesn’t get lost by the size. You know, sometimes murals to canvas is a big leap, and one not easily made. Kind of like tripling a recipe and it comes out ready for the garbage! His works are awesome and intricate. I hope you enjoy this post!
Sourcing inspiration from 15th Century German map making and Indian miniature paintings, Andrew Schoultz’s frenetic imagery depicts an ephemeral history bound to repeat itself. In his mixed-media works, notions of war, spirituality and sociopolitical imperialism are reoccurring themes,
which shrewdly parallel an equally repetitive contemporary pursuit of accumulation and power. Intricate line work, painting, metal leaf and collage twist and undulate under Schoultz’s meticulous hand, ranging from intimately sized wall works to staggering murals and installations.
While his illustrated world seems one of chaos and frenzy, Schoultz also implies a sense of alluring fantasy and whimsy – a crossroads vaguely familiar to the modern world.
Schoultz (b. 1975, WI) received his BFA from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco (CA). He has had solo exhibitions in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Copenhagen, Philadelphia, Rotterdam, Boston, London, Portland, Detroit and Milan. He has been included in group exhibitions
at the Andy Warhol Museum (PA), Torrance Art Museum (CA), Havana Biennial (Cuba), Hyde Park Arts Center (IL), Laguna Art Museum (CA), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (CA), among others. His work can be seen in the public collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (CA),
Frederick R. Weisman Foundation (CA) and the Progressive Art Collection (OH), in addition to his publicly funded murals in Portland (ME), Jogjakarta (Indonesia) and San Francisco (CA). Schoultz lives and works in San Francisco (CA).
This is an excerpt from an interview Schoultz gave, that I thought shed a lot of light into his personality and his art!
“A lot of the reoccurring themes have to do with the fact that I am drawn to story telling (In a non-definitive way). In stories, characters re-occur and build themselves. I like the idea of developing a character or image. Painting and drawing something over and over again seems like a very natural way to
develop something. Undoubtedly, if you paint the same thing hundreds of times, it is naturally only going to get better and better and development can’t help but happen. Repetition also stems from being involved in graffiti for the last half of my life. Writing the same word over and over, and slowly it changes,
and finds a meaning. Some of the imagery I have been using as of late is sort influenced by a cross section between 15th century German map making, and Indian miniature painting from around that same time period. Most of the purpose behind these two art movements was for conquering new frontiers,
telling stories of war, spirituality, belief systems, and also for the recording of history of those time periods. I am trying to form a parallel with this time period but sort of contemporize it, and address the same subjects that they were addressing but in a present day sense. There is something interesting about
using this type of imagery that was based on older times of war and conflict, to talk about the present day mess that the US is in. This war is insane, and I can’t help but vocalize this in my work. You know the saying “If you don’t know history, it will repeat itself” (or something like that)? It sure seems like in
history the pursuit of greed and power has been a re-occurring theme. The only thing that has really changed is technology and convenience.
I guess I would say I am not as drawn to making art in public places, as I am drawn to the general audience of the public. I like that audience. It is the most truly diverse audience that you can address with art in America today. Your audience could literally be anyone and I like that possibility. It also eliminates
the element of preaching to the choir because it would be impossible to predict who that choir would be on a consistent basis. I think this is the fact that really changes the way you go about doing art in the public space versus in the gallery. Children are also an important audience to me and are often an
audience that is almost non existent in the gallery world.”
November 21, 2013
I am always interested in the asian Art Market. My latest art crush is on DING YI. His use of color and texture and the relationships to where he is from and how he sees an urban landscape is truly interesting.
I hope you enjoy this introduction.
“In my works the ´grid´ is something fixed”, says the artist, “colours and internal forms, on the contrary, are those free elements able to create visual movements and tensions”.
The artist’s recent paintings from the period 2001 – 2006 use an increasingly brightly coloured palette. ´Appearance of Crosses 2005-1´ rendered in acrylic and tartan uses dense mark making and a dominating network of green and yellow paint that call to mind a landscape of
lush and unspoilt foliage. Visible in ´Appearance of Crosses 2005-6´ is Shanghai’s transmuted boomtown landscape. The predominance of neon-like red, orange and yellow and the tiny regulated motifs marked out like road systems are a plausible mirror of Shanghai’s complex urban networks.
The work is made up of six large panels hung in an asymmetrical formation. With distance the experience of these pieces changes as individual marks become elements of the composition as a whole.
“Ding Yi’s work is subtle and ambitious, an up to the minute Chinese version of what Baudelaire had in mind back in the mid – 19th century when he called for a ‘painting of modern life’”.
Born in China in 1962 Ding Yi is considered one of the most important abstract painters in China. He is currently based in Shanghai and has exhibited internationally including participation at the Venice Biennale,
Ding Yi is known for his large-scale abstract paintings comprising of x and + symbols that produce dense formations and patterns. Since 1988 these symbols have been a key motif – a distinguishing trademark of the artist’s work.
‘In abstract terms, or better in terms of Ding Yi’s abstract painting, the cross is the most elemental pattern that, created by the orthogonal intersection of a vertical and a horizontal line constitutes the fundamental visual key marking his artistic creation so deeply that, throughout a
fifteen year period it became an immediately distinguishing constant.’
A reaction towards the conventional Chinese ´literati painting´ of his schooling, these paintings were a tightly regulated and repetitive geometric homage to Mondrian and De Stijl. Initially these were monochrome lattices of intersecting grids painted with the use of masking tape and a ruler.
He removed any figurative elements from his work entirely, finding the limits of language liberating rather than restrictive.
November 19, 2013
One of my favorite architects is LOUIS KAHN, and continuing with the brutilist style, it is amazing to think of the achievements and the
inspiration that such an ugly form of architecture led to!
I just rented this movie on LOUIS KAHN, MY ARCHITECT,that was done by his son, and it is fascinating. I thought that I would share an amazing life story with you and some fantastic images!
One of the most influential architects of the mid-20th century, Louis Kahn (1901-1974) realized relatively few buildings, yet the formal restraint and emotional expressiveness of his
Jonas Salk Institute, Kimbell Art Museum and the Capital Complex in Dhaka are regarded as an inspired progression from the International Style.
When Louis Kahn’s corpse was found by the NYPD on the evening of 17 March 1974 in the public lavatory at Penn Station in New York, it took several days for the police to identify him as one of the world’s most admired architects. Kahn had died swiftly of a heart attack and the only form of identification among his possessions was his passport in which he had crossed out his address.
On the evening of his death, Kahn had flown back to the US from India where he was building the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad. He had gone to Penn Station to board a train home to Philadelphia. The Institute of Management and another ongoing work, the Capital Complex of government buildings at Dhaka in Bangladesh, were not only Kahn’s most ambitious project, but among his architectural masterpieces. Yet he had built so little during his life that he died bankrupt owing hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The few buildings that Louis Kahn did realize were so remarkable that they established him as one of the most important figures in 20th century architecture, whose influence is compared to that of Le Corbusier and Mies Van Der Rohe, yet whose work offered new intellectual possibilities to the younger generation of architects searching for alternatives to their hegemonic International Style. Convinced that contemporary architects could – and should – produce buildings which were as monumental and as spiritually inspiring as the ancient ruins of Greece and Egypt, Kahn devoted his career to the uncompromising pursuit of formal perfection and emotional expression.
Eminent though he later became, much of Kahn’s life was a struggle. His Estonian father, Leopold, met Louis’ mother, Bertha, in the Latvian city of Riga, while there on army leave.
The couple settled on the Estonian island of Saarema (then called Ösel) where Louis was born in 1901 followed by his sister, Sarah, and brother, Oscar. The family was so poor that Leopold left for the US and, once he had found work, sent for Bertha and the children to join him in Philadelphia. Shortly after their arrival, five year-old Louis was afflicted by scarlet fever. Together with the
facial scars left by an earlier accident, when he burnt himself on a coal fire, this illness left him too weak to start school and he was taught at home. When Louis finally went to school, the shy boy was so gifted at art and music that
his teachers steered him towards the special courses for talented students in Philadelphia’s enlightened education system. Despite his family’s poverty, Kahn received an excellent education and, inspired by a high school course in
architectural history, won a scholarship to study architecture at the University of Pennsylvania.
There he was taught by Paul Philippe Cret, a Frenchman schooled in the rigorous Beaux-Arts tradition. An inspiring teacher, Cret instilled his students with his own belief that the architect’s responsibility was to interpret their own time.
“Our architecture is modern and cannot be anything else,” he decreed. Kahn excelled in his four years at the University of Pennsylvania and, after graduating in 1924, was employed by the Philadelphia architect John Molitor.
Four years after graduating he had saved enough money to travel to Europe, where he visited his relatives in Estonia and saw his first modern movement buildings in Berlin. Back in Philadelphia, he found work with Paul Cret and
married Esther Israeli, a research assistant at the University of Pennsylvania.
When the 1930s depression struck, Kahn was made redundant and, for several years, he and Esther were supported by her parents. Despairing of finding work as an architect, he continued his studies and flung himself into
the debates stimulated by T-Square, the radical architectural journal based in Philadelphia. Inspired by Le Corbusier’s work in Europe, Kahn developed his own theories of the architect’s social responsibility, particularly in mass housing.
Professionally he struggled for commissions, partly because of the depression and partly because, as a Jew without money or connections, he was alienated from the wealthy protestants who dominated US architecture.
Kahn won a few modest commissions from Jewish friends in Philadelphia and the city’s Housing Authority. In 1947 he started teaching at Yale having rejected an earlier offer from Harvard, as he was loath to leave Philadelphia. He felt happier with Yale, which was a train ride away, and taught there for eight years
before becoming a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. As an architect Kahn was limited to modest local projects, until in 1951 he won his first major commission – an extension to the Yale Art Gallery.
The Yale commission also offered an opportunity for Kahn to experiment with the ideas he had developed since a trip to Greece, Rome and Egypt when he had become convinced that modern architecture lacked the monumental
and spiritual qualities of ancient buildings. “Our stuff looks so tinny compared to it,” he wrote to his office colleagues in Philadelphia. Kahn was convinced that, as a modern architect, his responsibility was to create buildings with
those qualities using contemporary materials and construction techniques.
Working with simple materials, notably brick and concrete. Kahn applied his principles to create buildings instilled with the spiritual qualities for which he strove through a masterful sense of space and light. From the 1951-53 Yale
Art Gallery extension, to subsequent projects such as the 1954-59 Trenton Boathouse in New Jersey and the 1957-62 Richards Medical Towers in Philadelphia, Kahn combined visually compelling spaces with drama as the changing
light transformed the sensory experience of being in the building at different times of the day and night. By the time he began the 1959-67 Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, Kahn had mastered this approach to create his first masterpiece,
an extraordinarily inspiring sequence of buildings.
Kahn’s private life was equally turbulent, marred by financial difficulties but also by secrecy. He remained married to Esther, with whom he had a daughter, Sue Ann, but had two more children, born to women
with whom he conducted long and passionate love affairs. Kahn had a second daughter, Alexandra born in 1954, with Anne Tyng, a young architect who worked for him in Philadelphia, and a son, Nathaniel,
born in 1962, with another collaborator, the landscape architect Harriet Pattison. Years after Kahn’s death, Nathaniel made a documentary film, My Architect, about his father.
Just as Anne Tyng made an important contribution to Kahn’s 1950s buildings, Pattison arose his interest in the relationship of architecture to its location and landscape during the 1960s. This was one of the
most magical elements of the Salk Institute, perched on a cliff above the Pacific Ocean, and was equally important to Kahn’s 1960-65 campus buildings at Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania, the 1967-72 Exeter Library
in New Hampshire and 1968-74 Yale Center for British Art. Striving for perfection, Kahn’s development during this period culminated in another US masterpiece in the 1967-72 Kimbell Art Museum at Fort Worth in Texas, which is still regarded
as an extraordinarily inspiring and empathetic environment for painting and sculpture.
November 14, 2013
It never ceases to amaze me where artists get their inspiration from. I am personally asked that question a lot, but never has it come into my focus, a scientific aspect to my being intellectually curious.
But as the saying goes, ” that is what makes horse races”!
Francis belongs to a generation of primarily non-objective painters whose formal repertoire nevertheless
draws considerable sustenance from a wide range of previously
unavailable images now in general circulation due to the invention of the electron microscope as well as notable advances in telescopic technology. In Francis’s case the obvious
associations between microscopic images of spores and sperm and the fundamentals of creation, allied to an avid personal interest in mycology, clearly informed the paintings for
which he first gained recognition in the early 1990s.
November 12, 2013
I had the pleasure of being introduced to Candida Hofer’s work and I have to say I am beyond in love with her style!
I am happy to share her works with you today and wish you a great and joy filled day!
Candida Hofer is an architectural photographer. Her photographs are quiet and grave, yet filled with color and incident. For the most part empty of human presence, they are filled with the residue
and potential of human activity. They reveal her interests and ideas about the world order of space, the organization of knowledge, the exchange of information, the history of design and style, the nature of place,
the transformative function of light.
Hofer, who was born in 1944 in Germany, is one of an extraordinary group of German photographers who helped change our idea of the medium and its possibilities.
Hofer was a student of Bernd and Hilla Becher at the Dusseldorf Academy, they followed their teachers’ lead in applying an objective eye to subject matter, displaying their coolly analytic images in extended bodies of work,
investigating certain themes or motifs in exhaustive depth.
Hofer’s perspective is distinct but connected on the ways individuals interact with the spaces they inhabit. Höfer has embraced photography as a medium of social, cultural, and historical purpose,
choosing public spaces as their subjects.
Höfer engages with history and the passage of time. Höfer’s photographs of libraries, auditoriums, and research centers are mostly uninhabited by people but filled with light and the mystery of visual and intellectual
November 7, 2013
I must be on a subliminal hunt of photographers. Because as of late, I find I am most interested in their eye and their bodies of work! today’s post, is super interesting. Evan’s photographs are hauntingly beautiful and give us such an insight into the south durning the 30′s. I do hope you are enjoying meeting all of these talents!
Have a wonderful day!
b. 1903 St. Louis, Missouri, d. 1975 New Haven, Connecticut
“Leaving aside the mysteries and the inequities of human talent, brains, taste, and reputations, the matter of art in photography may come down to this: it is the capture and projection of the delights of seeing; it is the defining of observation full and felt.” — Walker Evans
WALKER EVANS made his first serious photographs in 1928, at the age of twenty four. His attempt to become a photographer seems to have been almost a willful act of protest against a polite society in which young men did what was expected of them. His own background and education
would seem more likely to have produced a broker, or a publisher, or perhaps an advertising executive, which his father had been.
Evans was brought up in the proper Chicago suburb of Kenilworth, where he enjoyed the temporal comforts allowed by modest affluence, and learned to play a moderately competent game of golf. When his parents separated he moved to New York with his mother, and continued his education at Loomis,
Andover, and Williams. He enjoyed Andover; there he discovered literature and first entertained the idea of being a writer himself. He found Williams no challenge. After a year of free and wide ranging reading in the library he dropped out and returned to New York, where he lived with his mother and
worked as a night attendant in the map room of the Public Library. In 1926 he went to Paris, where he was an auditor at the Sorbonne. He also read Flaubert and Baudelaire, saw the paintings of the School of Paris, and visited Sylvia Beach’s bookshop, where he occasionally saw but never dared speak to James Joyce.
Walker Evans began to photograph in the late 1920s, making snapshots during a European trip. Upon his return to New York, he published his first images in 1930. During the Great Depression, Evans began to photograph for the Resettlement Administration, later known as the Farm Security Administration
(FSA), documenting workers and architecture in the Southeastern states. In 1936 he traveled with the writer James Agee to illustrate an article on tenant farm families for Fortune magazine; the book Let Us Now Praise Famous Men came out of this collaboration.
Throughout his career Evans contributed photographs
to numerous publications, including three devoted solely to his work. In 1965 he left Fortune, where he had been a staff photographer for twenty years, to become a professor of photography and graphic design at Yale University. He remained in the position until 1974, a year before his death.
November 5, 2013
Joan Mitchell has been another of my all time favorite female artists. Her sense of color and movement is amazing. I do hope you are enjoying all of the abstract expressionist painters as they are some of my favorites. I find their color sense very inspiring and very primal.
Between 1960 and 1964 Joan Mitchell produced work of peculiar darkness and intensity. Painted during a difficult time in the artist’s life soon after her move from New York to Paris, the works of this period reveal a distinct shift in sensibility. In these paintings Mitchell
rejected the all-over style and bright colours of her earlier compositions in favour of sombre hues and dense central masses of pigment expressive of something startling and primordial. Rhythm and vibrancy were displaced for inchoate matter. There is an astonishing physicality to these works.
Paint has been flung and squeezed onto the canvases, smeared on by Mitchell’s fingers, and spilt and spluttered across their surfaces to create sculptural and tempestuous terrains that attest a vital reckoning with the world.
Mitchell referred to these works as “My black paintings –
although there’s no black in them.” In fact, her palette is straight from nature, made up of earthy greens, cerulean blues, pinks and oranges that tie the paintings to the moodiness of landscape and to the work of previous painters on French soil – to the work of Cezanne, Monet and Van Gogh
particularly. These colours give a softness and lustre to the works, a sense of ongoing creation. Despite the darkness at the heart of many of these paintings, there is optimism to them: turbulent and delicate at once, they combine rawness with fearsome resilience.
Joan Mitchell (1925 – 1992)
came to attention in the early 1950s when still in her twenties, exhibiting at the Stable Gallery in New York alongside Joseph Cornell and Robert Rauschenberg, yet it is only recently that her works have fully gained the recognition that they deserve. She travelled to France in the summer of 1955
and settled in Paris permanently after 1959 after beginning an affair with the French Canadian painter Jean-Paul Riopelle. There have been numerous gallery and museum exhibitions of Joan Mitchell’s work including two major shows at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1974 and 2002,
which toured across the United States. Her paintings can be seen in museums worldwide
October 31, 2013
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As you all know, I am always interested in the philosophical nature of art, why , the influences, the time period, what is the artist trying to tell us or hoping for us to experience.
Lee fan is such an artist with a lot to say via his art. My daughters thought it was funny that I would be so interested in “a guy that puts rocks on the floor”! Like what’s up mommy?
But if you enjoy installation art, this is pretty interesting.
Mr. Lee, 75, is an aesthetic distiller. He boils two- and three-dimensional art down to formal and conceptual essences. Sculptures consist of ordinary, pumpkin-size boulders juxtaposed with sheets and slabs of dark, glossy steel.
Paintings made of wide brush strokes executed in gridded order on raw canvas exemplify tension between action and restraint.
A much published philosopher as well as an artist who divides his time between Japan and Paris, Mr. Lee has enjoyed considerable recognition in Europe and in the Far East.
Lee Ufan is acclaimed for an innovative body of work that revolves around the notion of encounter—seeing the bare existence of what is actually before us and focusing on “the world as it is.”
Lee was born in southern Korea in 1936 and witnessed the political convulsions that beset the Korean peninsula from the Japanese occupation to the Korean War, which left the country divided in 1953.
Over the last 40 years, he has lived and worked in Korea, Japan, and France, becoming a transnational artist in a postmodern world before those terms were current. “The dynamics of distance have made me what I am,” he remarks.
In the late 1960s, in an artistic environment emphasizing ideas of system, structure, and process, Lee emerged as the theoretical leader of Mono-ha (literally, “School of Things”), a Japanese movement that arose amid the collapse of colonial world orders,
antiauthoritarian protests, and the rise of critiques of modernity.
Lee’s sculptures, presenting dispersed arrangements of stones together with industrial materials like steel plates, rubber sheets, and glass panes, recast the object as a network of relations based on parity among the viewer, materials, and site.
Over the last 40 years, he has lived and worked in Korea, Japan, and France, becoming a transnational artist in a postmodern world before those terms were current. “The dynamics of distance have made me what I am,” he remarks.