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July 26, 2012
I always have had a “thing” so to speak for young London artists! For some reason they have an innate sense of instilling their art with a bit of sometimes the macabre. Which, as a good friend of mine, an art dealer just told, me, so does my personality and taste in art!
You’d be forgiven for not realising Idris Khan’s photos were actually photos at all. With their accretions of smudgy black marks, they look more like hand-rendered charcoal drawings than flat
snaps realised at the push of a button. Get up close, though, and the thick black lines dissolve into a spore-like buildup of words or musical notes. His images
are composites built from layered sheets of music, book pages, paintings or other photographs that seem to squeeze journeys in time – like reading or hearing music – into a single picture.
Frederick chopin’s nocturnes for the piano- (2004), for instance, is just what its title claims. The music sheets are photographed and manipulated on a computer by Khan to become a lone image whose blurred hieroglyphs seem to convulse. It’s as if each rendition of Chopin’s music could be seen rather than heard, experienced in one visual
cacophony. In Sigmund Freud-(2006), Khan uses the same technique on the psychoanalyst’s landmark essay on eerie recurrences. In the artist’s image, the crease at the book’s centre is built into a menacing well of darkness, like a trauma waiting to surface.
In fact, although the 31-year-old London-based artist was awarded the Photographer’s Gallery prize in 2004, he doesn’t consider himself a photographer. The camera was simply the tool he turned to as an aspiring art student who longed to paint or play music but couldn’t.
July 24, 2012
Any of us today, especially those of us who have attained a certain age without withering under the weight of it all, have lived multiple lives — either in tandem or in sequence. We have hyphenated identities that often reveal a colorful collage of karmic convergences.
So it is with Gabriella Crespi, who at 82 can look back on having been a designer, artist, manufacturer, marketing genius, glamorous socialite and, since 1987, ardent follower of Shri Muniraji, an Indian guru with whom she studies for months at a stretch high in the Himalayas, seeking Satya (truth), unity and a feeling of infinity.
Today, her furniture and decorative objects are beginning to bring high prices, as the design world turns its focus from midcentury French to Italian. Suzanne Demisch, a New York dealer in 20th-century furniture who has sold a number of Crespi’s pieces, considers her work ”much more innovative than what other Italians were doing at the time.” It is also more difficult to find, according to Liz O’Brien, another New York dealer, because ”people still treasure it.” O’Brien recently sold an elliptical brass coffee table for $15,000.
The Tavolo 2000 table features retractable leaves and was envisioned by Crespi as furniture of the future. Originally designed as rectangular forms made of stainless steel, the tables were eventually reworked as ovals made of brass, a material the Italians were crazy for in the 60′s. Similarly, a square end table called the Magic Cube later evolved into a brass cylinder. In a taller form, it opened into a bar.
While the furniture looks like sculpture, it moves with the precision of a fine watch, and her mechanisms are patented. This is due, no doubt, to her architectural studies at the Politecnico Institute in Milan. ”I was in love with Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright when I was young,” she said. But it was also familial. Born in Milan in 1922, she was raised in Tuscany near Florence, where she first developed her love of nature. Her father was a mechanical engineer, and her mother taught her ”to be generous with others,” a trait that has been most apparent in her spiritual wanderings. By 1945, she was already on a spiritual path, having spent many months at the end of the war in isolation in the Hebrides, off the coast of Scotland. ”The desire for silence and infinity had already been born inside me,” she said. She met her husband, Giuseppe Maria Crespi, at a tennis club in Milan. After their marriage in 1948, she lived with his family, one of the richest in Italy.
July 23, 2012
Happy Monday! For those of you that know me, no, this is not a guy I just met! Actually he WAS one of thee most important furniture makers in American Cabinetmaking.
How I came to write about him-I just bought a set of 6 of his “harp back chairs” which of course for my client’s purpose,
I am lacquering white, but they are a beautiful style and it is taking a more French approach to a Hollywood Regency idea.
Duncan Phyfe immigrated from Scottland and ultimately wound up in New York.
He had an incredible impact on furniture design and actually the idea of a working collective of cabinetmakers, apprentices and journeymen.
At one time, thinking back to the time we are discussing, he had over 100 people working for him.
His style, and why I am writing this today, was very much under the influence of French Directoire. His works are from around the end of the eighteenth century and continued until around 1847.
July 16, 2012
I have always been fascinated with this type of art. Where the artist uses materials found in everyday life, or a certain place, and then brings them into a space and alters the space with these objects, therefore -re-creatignt he space and therby making the art piece.
It is a bit existential in theory i do believe, but I have always admired it. i do hope you enjoy learning about this!
Have a great day!
Carl Andre was one of the founders of the art movement known as Minimal, Systemic, or ABC Art. It is an art that seeks to eliminate everything decorative,
extraneous and additive, reducing all components to art’s purest elements; it is precise, cerebral and austere rather than accessible. Andre once said that what
was beautiful in art was “not that someone is original but that he can find a way of creating in the world the instance of his temperament.” His own temperament
is close to the tranquil philosophy of Taoism, and many critics refer to his work as “pacific.”
He reveals little about himself.
As Minimalism attracted critical attention, he began exhibiting in the city.
For his one-man exhibition at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery, the artist set out eight
rectangular sculptures deployed on the gallery floor, each made of 120 bricks. “One hundred twenty is the number richest in
factors,” Andre explained,
“Arithmetic is only the scaffolding or armature of my work.” Equivalent VIII, one of the eight works, was made two bricks high, six across, and ten lengthwise
(technically and sometimes referred to as “2 high x 6 header x 10 stretcher”). The titles supposedly were derived from Alfred Stieglitz’s series of photographs of
clouds made in the 1920s and 1930s, called Equivalents.
The sculptor’s works have nothing to do with clouds, but in mathematical theory the Equivalence Relation has to do with the relation of sameness between elements, while in physics, the Principle of Equivalence demonstrates the distinction between inertial and gravitational forces
– the sort of disciplines that concern Andre.
Placement, environment, and relativity are important in all of this artist’s works. “A place is an area within an environment which has been altered in such a way as to make the general environment more conspicuous,” he said. “Everything is an environment, but a place is related particularly to both the general qualities of the environment and the particular qualities of the work which has been done.” The bricks in Equivalent VIII are humble materials, basic to building, construction, and manufacture; by treating these cubic, natural -units as sculpture, we begin to view the work’s physical reality as an
esthetic phenomenon. And since placement generates and energizes the piece, Equivalent VIII and its surrounding environment become one work of art.
Carl Andre invariably works within a strict self-imposed modular system, using commercially available materials or objects, almost always in identical units or bar forms,
as timber, Styrofoam, cement blocks, bales of hay, etc., with only one type of material per work. He considers the setting or placement an essential part of the work,
and the form
of each piece is largely determined by the space for which it is constructed. “I don’t think spaces are that singular, I think there are generic classes of spaces.
So it’s not really a problem where a work is going to be in particular. It’s only a problem, in general, of the generic spaces: is it going to be the size of Grand Central Station
or is it going to be the size of a small room?”
July 11, 2012
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Parker is the maverick ideas woman of British art, who came to fame exhibiting Tilda Swinton in a glass case, and showed the backs of Turner’s paintings as her own work. A bright-eyed 53 year-old, her speech a quicksilver crackle of ideas and images punctuated with gusts of
laughter, she has made a speciality of attacking things: shooting a pearl necklace from a revolver, stretching bullets into wire and making drawings out of them and, most famously, having a shed detonated by the Royal Artillery in her signature piece Cold Dark Matter. Is there some deep-seated anger and frustration behind all this?
“There’s a lot of violence in the making of these things, but a quiet aftermath. I take things that are worn out through overuse, that have become clichés, like the shed, a traditional place of rest and retreat, and I give them a more
incandescent future. Explosions are very familiar from films and the news, but how many of us have seen one or even touched a piece of the debris?”
Parker took the shards of the shed and its contents, reassembling and hanging them in space, with a central light throwing dramatic shadows onto the walls and viewer – “almost as though they were coming back together, so you could experience the damage from a quiet place”. And she wanted it to have cosmic resonance implied in the title: a relation to the Big Bang.
“My work has threads of ideas from all over the place. I try to crystallise them in something simple and direct that the viewer can then take where they want.”