Posts tagged with "Art":

Placeholder Alt Text

Legoland, NY

For those of you who haven't already seen Christoph Niemann's great blog for the Times, "Abstract City"--the expat illustrator renders the city we love in terms of its subway lines and coffee stains--today's post proves to be his best work yet. At least that's the case for those of us whose obsession with architecture began with a pile of LEGO bricks many years ago. (Guilty as charged.) Here are a few of his more architectural pieces, but be sure to check them all out, as his clever renditions are just too good to be missed. Talk about (de)constructing New York.
Placeholder Alt Text

Texas Tea

It's hard to imagine an industry by which humans could have changed the natural landscape more so than through the business of getting crude out of the ground, refining it, and shipping it around the globe. Which makes the oil industry a perfect subject for the Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI), a Culver City, California-based research organization that conducts studies into the nature and extent of human interaction with the earth's surface. And where better to examine what oil hath wrought than in Texas? Beginning on January 16th and running through March 29th, the CLUI will exhibit just what it has learned in the Lone Star State with Texas Oil: Landscape of an Industry at the Blaffer Gallery, The Art Museum of the University of Houston. The research on display at the exhibition was gathered over the past year while the CLUI acted as the University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center’s first artist-in-residence. The show will open with an aerial video, picturing fly-by views of the expansive stretches of the region's oil refineries. In addition to this projection, the gallery's walls will be decked with photographs and texts that describe many different sites across the vast state, from west Texas oil towns such as Odessa and Kermit to petrochemical processing centers on the Gulf Coast. The CLUI's photos pay special attention to places where evidences of previous uses or historical events underpin the oil industry's installations. And if you do find yourself in the Bayou City this spring, be sure to call the Mitchell Center's hotline (713-743-5548) for a boat tour of Buffalo Bayou.
Placeholder Alt Text

Brilliant Bamboo

Morigami Jin's Reclining II

It’s hard enough to see all the gallery exhibitions devoted to architecture in any given New York City week, but if I also try to visit design shows, it takes every waking moment. (I missed the top floor of MoMA’s Home Delivery show, for god’s sake, even though I caught the prefabs on West 54th Street.) New Bamboo: Contemporary Japanese Masters at the Japan Society is a show I read about in the A/N diary and kept thinking: “I should run up and see this.” Well, it closes on Sunday, and I would have never gotten there if New York sculptor Stephen Talasnik had not reminded me that I had promised to look at his bamboo pieces. I ran up this morning, and the show is indeed full of the most extraordinary bamboo designs—from Talasnik’s Bunraku-inspired black basswood and bamboo sculptures, suspended over the central water fountain, to Kawashime Shigeo’s delicate constructions and Morigami Jin’s inwardly-folded Reclining II. For the young architects who think they are creating folded baroque shapes for the first time on CNC milling machines, note well: These objects are all hand made. There is so much more to see, but you need to get there before Sunday afternoon at 5:00! 

Stephen Talasnik's suspended fountain sculptures
 
Kawashime Shigeo’s Drawing to the Sky
Placeholder Alt Text

Pop Art

While pop singer George Michael spent 2008 loitering in public restrooms, making cameo appearances on British television, and touring the world, he somehow found time to join his boyfriend, Kenny Goss, in planning a foray into architecture. The Art Newspaper reported in December that the couple announced that they will be building a 10,000-square-foot gallery in Dallas, Texas, in which to display their extensive collection of contemporary British art.

Goss, a Texas native, was a cheerleading coach and sport-clothing executive before hooking up with Michael. The pair has been collecting contemporary British art for the past 11 years and now own more than 500 works, valued at more than $200 million. The collection includes pieces by Damien Hirst, Tracy Emin, Chris Ofili, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Angus Fairhurst, Gilbert & George, Bridget Riley, Gary Hume, Mark Titchner and Michael Craig-Martin, among others.

In June 2007, Goss and Michael launched the Goss-Michael Foundation in Dallas, and opened a 6,000-square-foot space to exhibit their collection. The foundation also offers a resource center with a library and archive of research materials for students, educators and aspiring artists, as well as a scholarship program for the benefit of Texas high school seniors. Since 2007, the foundation has awarded more than $30,000 in scholarships to visual arts and music students enabling them to pursue a higher education in the arts.

The new facility, to be designed ground-up by Dallas-based firm Buchanan Architecture, will provide more space to exhibit the couple’s permanent collection, as well as travelling shows. A design for the project has yet to be released and a representative of Buchanan Architecture told AN that they were still in the process of land procurement.

Placeholder Alt Text

Voluntary Prisoners of Downtown Miami

Contemporary art curator and AN colleague Leanne Mella has organized a potent and compelling exhibition entitled The Prisoner's Dilemma for the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, known as CIFO, in downtown Miami. With noble intentions, given the socio-political climate of the recent past, the work in Mella's exhibition showcases the ways in which artists respond to the exercise of power in contemporary life. The politics of the show are highly nuanced, visually stunning, and often quite poetic. As the exhibit's introductory text explains:

"The works in this exhibition comment upon, confront and challenge strategies of totalizing power and social control. Issues of powerlessness, exclusion, conformity, marginality, transgression, subversion, escapism, transcendence, protest and resistance are all inventively addressed in this selection of works. 

These works and their expansive forms convey a great sense of scale, immediacy and connection to the viewing subject. Perhaps, because they are intentionally immersive in an age when conventional cinema has relinquished much of its phenomenological power in favor of media miniaturization and portability as represented by the rapid proliferation of DVDs, iPods and YouTube viewership.”

The show features work by leading artists such as Alexander Apóstol, Judith Barry, Paolo Canevari, Stan Douglas, Jimmie Durham, Cao Fei, Regina Galindo, Carlos Garaicoa, Thomas Hirschhorn, Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Daniel Joseph Martinez, Carlos Motta, Shirin Neshat, Julian Rosefeldt, and Eve Sussman and many more. The CIFO building itself, in the gritty warehouse district and designed by local architect Rene Gonzalez, is also impressive, as it breaks away from the cool neutrality of many exhibition spaces and presents us with a hot tropical jungle facade and a large garden patio for social gatherings in the middle of an otherwise nondescript urban environment. The show will be on view through March 1, 2009. If you are going to be in Miami this winter, this exhibition is a must see.
Placeholder Alt Text

Miami Vices

Designer and AN friend Ken Saylor, of saylor+sirola, reports from Art|Basel|Miami Beach: For the seventh year in a row, the international art world descended upon Miami Beach to instantly transform the city into a galaxy of cultural production, salesmanship, and hopefully, with this year's delicate economy, elite consumption. If you add cars, champagne, mojitos, and cigars, provided by the current corporate sponsors, one's experience of Art|Basel|Miami Beach was a decadently over-the-top trip to the beach. With 24 auxiliary fairs attaching themselves to the main event, it is impossible to see everything, although everyone runs around the city in frantic abandon—entourages in tow—to openings, parties, parties, and, yes, more parties. Despite the mood of abandon, many New York City gallery owners and directors were either somber or pragmatic in their assessment of the current art market, stating that they were either prepared for the recent economic crisis and had downsized their presentations and sales expectations, or chose to show work that was sure to sell. As one prominent dealer put it, "The conversation is finally about art again, not about money." If one was blind to the current state of world affairs and entered the world of excess, however, Miami was awesome!   Art Positions, an exhibition by young galleries that presented their wares in shipping containers converted to public art spaces, was one of the highlights of the Miami trip. Twenty containers surround a central plaza where Art|Basel|Miami Beach and WPS1.org Art Radio created an immersive futuristic environment, featuring an architectural installation by Federico Díaz and E-Area. Surround-sound audio, video projections, mood lighting, food, drink, and live radio broadcasts provided the ultimate art world beach lounge, a welcome spot to chill out after the visual intensity and economic jitters of the fair. The escapist theme was, of course, intentional. According to the press release, "The themes celebrated in this environment are a retro-futuristic vision first explored by artists, architects, filmmakers, designers, and musicians of the '50s and '60s. Some of their organic shapes, space-age materials, hallucinogenic visions, dreamscapes and soundscapes, and early computer-assisted design have been integrated into the project."   As for the design itself: "A deformed topography of polyethylene layers cut by CNC robotic technology blankets the courtyard of Art Positions. The lounge, cafe, and Art Radio broadcast booth were transformed by undulating waves, extrusions, and futuristic furniture all awash in a bed of soothing psychedelic sound, light, and video." Just lovely.   For a different sort of surreality, located within the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens, Cartier presented "Diamonds, Gold and Dreams," an immersive audio-visual environment conceived by filmmaker and visual artist David Lynch. The interior of the dome was designed as an ornate and gilded event space, complete with Cartier jewel cases around the perimeter where you could try on jewelery. The domed ceiling was used as a giant planetarium-esque projection surface using state of the art projection technology.   The seven-minute show begins with an impressive Pantheon dome structure of floating jewels carefully arranged around a small oculus. Then the Lynch magic begins, as the ceiling begins to undulate and graphically transform into a variety of shapes using the clusters of jewels. Finally, the jewels come crashing down on the spectators below. Most of the VIP visitors in the space didn't seem to realize the show's obvious irony: the sky was falling!
Placeholder Alt Text

How Much Is That Building Really Worth To You?

If you've got some extra cash this year—and really, who doesn't?—why not invest in architecture? Not the pricey, unlikely-to-be-built, brick-and-mortar kind. We're talking about 2D architecture, the kind you can hang on your wall. Shigeru Ban, Daly Genik, Hodgetts + Fung and Michael Maltzan are just a few of the architects you could have in your home by Christmas, thanks to this auction where you can bid on their drawings and renderings, with all the proceeds going to SCI-Arc. Opening bids start at $250, so send an email to Lynn_Ordinario AT sciarc.edu if you'd like more detailed descriptions and images of the offerings, or to place your bid. But hurry! Bidding closes tomorrow, Friday, December 12 at 5pm PST, and Eli Broad has his eyes on a few of these, we swear. 1) CHENGDU HUALIN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL Shigeru Ban, Shigeru Ban Architects Framed Size:  15.5” h X 19” w Media: Pencil on paper 2) FREEZE Hsin-Ming Fung, Hodgetts + Fung Framed Size:  17.5” h X 41” w 3) HOLLYWOOD ROOFTOP Christopher Genik, Daly Genik Architects Framed Size:  16.5” h X 24.5” w 4) UNTITLED Michael Maltzan, Michael Maltzan Architects Framed Size:  11.25” h X 13.5”w Media: Ink on paper 5) MEDIACORP CREATIVE CAMPUS, SINGAPORE Wolf Prix, Coop Himmelb(l)au Framed Size:  13.5” h X 21.5” w Media: Ink on paper 6) LINEWORKS SERIES 1 AND 2 Marcelo Spina, P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S Framed Size:  13.5” h X 21.5” w Media: Ink on paper 7) BOARDWALK Stanley Tigerman, Tigerman McCurry Architects, Ltd. Framed Size:  11.75” h X 13.75” w Media: Ink on paper 8) TAIPEI PERFORMING ARTS CENTER Tom Wiscombe, Emergent Framed Size:  19.5” h X 25.5” w