Allied Member, ASID
August 31, 2012
I was fortunate enough to catch the play about Edith Head. It was absolutely wonderful. Then the other night, being the insomniac that I am, I caught the movie Sabrina, the original! And it gave me the idea to bring you this post,
on one of thee most influential women as far as fashion statements. I think of all the old movies that I love, and sure enough, it is she, that was responsible for all of the costuming!
Edith Head was a legendary costume designer who styled the stars of Hollywood’s golden age – a field which at the time was dominated by men. She received her big break on the film She Done Him Wrong, which starred Cary Grant and Mae West,
and featured the often quoted line ‘why don’t you come up and see me some time’. West, who wrote the play Diamond Lil on which the film was based, was typically provocative in her brief to Head: ‘Make the clothes loose enough to prove I’m a lady,
but tight enough to show ’em I’m a woman.’
Over her long career Head was nominated for 35 Academy Awards, including every year from 1948 to 1966, and won no fewer than eight, for films such as All about Eve, Roman Holiday and The Sting – more than any other woman. She designed costumes for more than 1,100 films, dressing a who’s who of greats including Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Barbara Stanwyck, Paul Newman and countless others.
Anyone who has seen Pixar’s The Incredibles will, without realizing it, be familiar with her own look: thick round glasses and short fringe, as spoofed in the character of Edna Mode
For millions of American women, Edith Head became the authority on what was chic, what was of the moment, and how to wear it: she was every bit as influential as her fashion editor counterparts in New York City.
She also dispensed her advice to women across the country through newspaper and magazine articles, radio and television shows, and two bestselling books. Read her savvy, still-relevant bon mot-like tips below.
Legendary costume designer, Ms. Head–aka the “Dress Doctor”–was as glamorous as the stars she dressed, and she dressed countless major Old Hollywood stars in some of their most memorable roles. If you loved Grace Kelly’s iconic look in Rear Window or Audrey Hepburn’s lavish wardrobe in Funny Face, one of Hollywood’s ultimate fashion movies, take your hat off to Edith.
On the flamboyance of the times, Ms. Head once described Old Hollywood as a “Barnum & Bailey World,” filled with gold bathtubs, ermine bathrobes, and film actresses draped in satins and minks. “I caught the flavor and the fever,” she recalled.
Ms. Head’s snippets of advice and witticisms were as closely heeded as those attributed to Coco Chanel, and they remain relevant today:
• “You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.”
• “Life is competition; clothes gird us for the competition.”
• “The cardinal sin is not being badly dressed, but wearing the right thing in the wrong place.”
• “Your dresses should be tight enough to show you’re a woman and loose enough to prove you’re a lady.”
• “Clothes not only can make the woman; they can make her several different women.”
• “I say sacrifice style any day for becomingness.”
August 29, 2012
Everyone that knows me, knows I am in love with the color white! My all time favorite artist for this was always Ellsworth Kelly, but that’s for another post!
Today, I am bringing you another fantastic artist that loves using white!
Robert Ryman was born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1930. Ryman studied at the Tennessee Polytechnic Institute and the George Peabody College for Teachers, Nashville, before serving in the United States Army (1950-52). Ryman’s work explodes the classical distinctions between art as object and art as surface, sculpture and painting, structure and ornament.
Emphasizing instead the role that perception and context play in creating an aesthetic experience. Ryman isolates the most basic of components‚ materials, scale, and supports‚ His work enforces limitations that allow the viewer to focus on the physical presence of the work in space.
Since the 1950s, Ryman has used primarily white paint on a square surface, whether canvas, paper, metal, plastic, or wood, while working with the nuanced effects of light and shadow to animate his work. In Ryman’s work , wall fasteners and tape, serve both practical and aesthetic purposes. Neither abstract norentirely monochromatic, Ryman‚’s paintings are paradoxically surrealist.
About his work, Ryman says,
“I don’t think of my painting as abstract because I don’t abstract from anything. It’s involved with real visual aspects of what you are looking at whether wood, paint, or metal‚ it’s how it is put together, how it looks on the wall and works with the light…Of course, realism can be confused with representation. And abstract painting‚does not mean abstracting from representation‚ My work is involved mostly with symbolism. It is about something we know, or about some symbolic situation…I am involved with real space, the room itself, real light, and real surface.”
August 28, 2012
I had the pleasure of catching an incredible exhibit in New York at The Museum of Modern Art. A photography exhibit that will have you thinking about politics and life and very introspective i found.
I hope you enjoy this post! Love, Jamie
Following is the write up:
This exhibition is the U.S. premiere of Taryn Simon’s (b. 1975, New York) photographic project A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters I–XVIII. The work was produced over a four-year period (2008–11), during
which the artist travelled around the world researching and documenting bloodlines and their
related stories. In each of the 18 “chapters” that make up the work, external forces of territory, power, circumstance, or religion collide with the internal forcesof psychological and physical inheritance.
The subjects Simon documents include victims of genocide in Bosnia, test rabbits infected with a lethal disease in Australia, the first woman to hijack an aircraft, and the living dead in India. Her collection is at once cohesive and arbitrary, mapping the relationships among chance, blood, and other components of fate.
Simon’s project is divided into 18 chapters, nine of which will be presented at MoMA. Each chapter is comprised of three segments: one of a large portrait series depicting bloodline members (portrait panel); a second featuring text (annotation panel); and a third containing photographic evidence (footnote panel).
A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters I–XVIII exploits photography’s capacity to at once probe complex narratives in contemporary politics and organize this material according to classification processes characteristic of the archive, a system that connects identity, lineage, history, and memory.
August 22, 2012
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.
August 21, 2012
My newest art crush is Paul Scher! I have always been in love with maps. My Grandfather had a superb collection of maps, since the time he was a child in Austria, vienna to be exact. He had kept a record of how the borders were constantly changing depending on who won the war!
These maps are such an amazing interpretation! i hope you enjoy this post! Much love, Jamie!
In the early 1990s, renowned graphic designer Paula Scher began painting small, opinionated maps—colorful depictions of continents and regions, covered from top to bottom by a scrawl of words. Within a few years, the maps grew larger and more elaborate.
“I began painting these things sort of in a silly way,” Scher, a partner at the Pentagram design firm, said in a recent conversation. “And I think at one point I realized they would be amazing big. And I wondered if I could even do it. If I could actually paint these things on such a grand scale, what would happen?”
All of this detail is the result of work that Scher describes as “incredibly laborious and obsessive”—yet the paintings as a whole don’t feel like the product of tortured obsession; rather, they exude a sort of whimsical, brassy ingenuity. And, unlike their predecessors, the maps in the
exhibition eschew opinion in favor of a barrage of facts—or at least the appearance of fact. “They’re all wrong,” Scher says. “I mean, nothing’s in the right spot. I put in what I feel like. It’s my comment on information in general. We receive a lot of information all the time and mostly it’s lies or slight mistruths.”
Even so, the paintings throb with implication. As Scher explains, “The way the maps work is that they’re total abstractions, and yet they have all this meaning attached to them.” The map of Florida in 2000 jumps out with obvious political import; the state is labeled by county, and the surrounding
black Gulf ripples with the corresponding presidential election results. Yet, Scher’s paintings are at their best when meaning remains tantalizingly elusive. Look at her grand, multicolored patchwork of the United States, reminiscent of the U.S. maps that span the inside cover of many elementary school textbooks.
Up close the painting overwhelms the eye with detail, but step back and it’s the same handsome, lumbering, forthright America we all grew up with—laid open to inspection, hiding nothing, and yet fundamentally inscrutable. This ambiguity lies at the heart of Scher’s cluttered, precise, beautiful maps—
and, unlike real maps, you seem to grow more lost the longer you look at them.
August 20, 2012
I have recently seen the work of Sarah Lucas and fell in love with her art! Her life is really interesting, and again another fabulous story. I love her sense of expression and freedom and just her who gives a damn attitude.
Sarah Lucas was the wildest of the Young British artists, partying hard and making art that was provocative and at times genuinely shocking. Then as Emin and Hirst went stratospheric, she slipped off to Suffolk, where she’s been ever since …
It is surprising to find someone whose most well-known work is so urban – kebabs, fried eggs, dirty public toilets, grimy, paint-splattered walls, burned-out cars; so saturated with the sense of the London she grew up in – tucked away down a long country lane, behind a Baptist church in Suffolk.
Sarah Lucas may not be the most talked about of the Young British Artists but she has always been one of the most important. At the beginning of the 90s, while women were trading shoulder pads for Wonderbras and cocktails for pints of lager, Sarah Lucas swapped feminist theory for Page Three.
Lucas challenged the street slang used to describe women by turning it into physical forms. She replaced anger and embarrassment with humour, portraying breasts as melons or fried eggs, catching public attention with hard-hitting sculpture and spreads from
The Sun. In making physical representations of sexual slang and celebrating stories about rampant dwarves she moved the discussion further along then any amount of protest art.
Sarah Lucas is the “drinking man’s” Rachel Whiteread. You can clearly make out the core materials and traditions of her art – concrete, cardboard, resin, steel and found objects; the cool, minimal associations of which are tinged with humour and sexual innuendo.
Her use of animal carcasses, fish, fruit and veg rotting on top of these surfaces recalls still lifes, while she pays homage to Duchamp with toilets and bicycles.
Within her sculptural compositions there are extremes between her use of materials (a chicken and bra stretched and tied to each end of a steel-sprung bed in Bondage Up Yours, 2000) but nothing is clumsy or unresolved. She knows exactly how much information to give,
which angles suggest dominance or subservience, and how far apart or close objects should be to create or emphasize tensions out of otherwise inanimate items. And it’s interesting to observe her decisions about scale.
In the early 1990s, Lucas began using furniture as a substitute for the human body. Through her career, Lucas has continued to appropriate everyday materials (including, for example, freshly made fried eggs) to make works that use humour, visual puns
and sexual metaphors of sex, death, Englishness and gender.
In works such as Bitch (table, t-shirt, melons, and vacuum-packed smoked fish, 1995), she merges tabloid culture with the economy of the ready-made. In earlier work, she had displayed enlarged pages from the sports pages of the newspaper.
Sarah Lucas is also known for her self portraits, such as Human Toilet Revisited, 1998, a colour photograph in which she sits on a toilet smoking a cigarette. In her solo exhibition The Fag Show at Sadie Coles in 2000, she used cigarettes as a material, as in Self-portrait with Cigarettes (2000).
I so have a giant art crush on her! I hope you enjoyed this post!
August 16, 2012
I received a lot of emails regarding the post on Jimmy Lee Sudduth and I thought I would follow up that post with one on ROMARE BEARDON as many people had questions about him. I have always had a penchant for folk art, as I previously wrote, I find that there is a wonderful warm and personable feeling that invites everyone to participate in a way with memories of their own. Not necessarily memories of that of the artist, but those that have to do with one’s life on a personal level.
Many artists and art historians consider Romare Bearden one of America’s most important and inventive artists. But he’s hardly a household name.
Bearden’s primary medium was the collage, fusing painting, magazine clippings, old paper and fabric, like a jigsaw puzzle in upheaval. But unlike a puzzle, each piece of a Bearden collage
has a meaning and history all its own. Shortly before he died of cancer in 1988, Bearden said working with fragments of the past brought them into the now.
“When I conjure these memories, they are of the present to me,” he explained. “Because after all, the artist is a kind of enchanter in time.”
Bearden took snippets of Harlem life and shot them through with vivid images of the American South. His family moved from Mecklenburg, N.C., in 1914 when he was a toddler, and he grew up in the heart of the Harlem Renaissance.
Bearden’s mother was a dashing figure, a reporter for a leading black newspaper. Family friends included luminaries such as Langston Hughes, W.E.B. DuBois and famous musicians who helped ignite Bearden’s passion for jazz.
One of Bearden’s first patrons would Duke Ellington. Much later, he designed a record cover for Wynton Marsalis
Bearden’s collages bring to mind the pleasing graphic unity of patchwork quilts, into which slaves once sewed coded messages about the Underground Railroad. Meaning literally came out of the seams.
Bearden’s dense, multilayered art nodded toward codes and complexity. They were cut, etched and painted with magazine photos from Life, Ebony and Look, recalling rural Southern shanties papered with newspaper clippings.
Marsalis says one favorite work by Bearden shows a Harlem street.
“All of these images of Harlem life,” says Marsalis, “Louis Armstrong’s in it, in the middle there’s a guy in overalls, which you would look at it, and you think, ‘That didn’t belong,’ but at that time, it certainly did belong.”
August 15, 2012
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.
August 14, 2012
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Moshe Safdie was born in 1938 and graduated from McGill University in 1961 with a degree in architecture. After apprenticing with Louis I. Kahn in Philadelphia, he returned to Montreal, taking charge of the master plan for the 1967 World Exhibition, where he also realized an adaptation of his thesis as Habitat ’67, the central feature of the World’s Fair.
I have always be in love with architecture and had I not gone into fashion first, would have gone into architecture. Of course I say that, knowing full well I had a hard time sitting through lectures while I was in school. I came upon Moshe Safdie’s work when I was looking into visiting Singapore and understanding all the buzz about it! The newest playground there is Marina Bay Sands designed by Moshe Safdie. It is a multifaceted resort. it is three 55-story towers and on top a Sky Park.
In 1970, Safdie established a Jerusalem branch office, commencing an intense involvement with the rebuilding of Jerusalem. He was responsible for major segments of the restoration of the Old City and the reconstruction of the new center, linking the Old and New Cities. Over the years, his involvement expanded and included the new city of Modi’in, the new Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, and the Rabin Memorial Center. During this period, Safdie also became involved in the developing world, working in Senegal, Iran, Singapore, and in the northern Canadian arctic.
In 1978, following teaching at Yale, McGill, and Ben Gurion Universities, Safdie relocated his residence and principal office to Boston, as he became Director of the Urban Design Program and the Ian Woodner Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. In the following decade, he was responsible for the design of six of Canada’s principal public institutions, including the Quebec Museum of Civilization, the National Gallery of Canada, and Vancouver Library Square.
The most recent commissions are Marina Bay Sands, an integrated resort in Singapore, the National Campus for the Archaeology of Israel in Jerusalem, the renovation and expansion to the Central Library in Philadelphia, the West Edge project, a mixed-use facility in Kansas City, Missouri, the Renaissance Square project in Rochester, New York, and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.