Lyonel Feininger: At the Edge of the World Whitney Museum of American Art 945 Madison Ave. at 75th St. New York, NY 10021 T 212-570-3600 “The ultimate aim of all artistic activity is the building! Let us desire, conceive, and create the new building of the future together. . . [and it] will one day rise towards the heavens from the hands of a million workers as the crystalline symbol of a new and coming faith,” Walter Gropius boldly declared in his 1919 “Bauhaus Manifesto,” laying the foundations for a new architecture and a modern approach to design. Seeking to reunite the artist and artisan together, the founders of the Bauhaus looked to medieval guilds as a model for a new design school that would combine the arts and design under one roof. To illustrate the manifesto, Gropius selected a woodcut by American-born German artist Lyonel Feininger, titled, “Cathedral,” an abstracted depiction of a late Gothic church. This collaboration marked Lyonel Feininger’s first involvement with the Bauhaus—he would be later hired to teach printmaking—that would continue until the school was closed under pressure from the Nazis in 1933. Until October 16th, “Cathedral” is on display at the Whitney Museum of American Art as part of the retrospective, Lyonel Feininger: At the Edge of the World. It is the first show in the U.S. to include the full range of Feininger’s work. The exhibit begins with his whimsical street scenes filled with bright, saturated colors; there are also his Chicago Tribune “Kin-der-Kids” comics, his black and white photographs of the Bauhaus, hand-carved miniature buildings, and his prism-like, Cubist inspired portrayals of towns and seascapes. At the Edge of the World captures the expansive diversity of Feininger’s German and American subjects, formal expression, and mediums. The exhibit design is simple and fluid, if conventional for a contemporary retrospective: Feininger’s work is organized chronologically rather than thematically, arranged on white walls, with ample breathing space between pieces. A 1925 Time magazine review of a “Blue Four” exhibition in Manhattan, which included Feininger’s work alongside Alexej von Jawlensky, Wassily Kandinsky, and Paul Klee, straightforwardly declared that in modern art, “Artists should put down lines, lay on colors, with the simple purpose of giving the eyes an adventure.” The Whitney succeeds in conveying the exciting experimentation between art and design, so central to Feininger’s work and the Bauhaus vision.
Posts tagged with "New York":
It's almost time to face the mid-August blues, that moment when the back-to-school copy books hit the drug store shelves. Well, there's still time to cram in a few summer day trips. One item at the top of the list should be a visit the recently landmarked Childs Restaurant building, better known as the headquarters for Coney Island USA. There, the freak shows still reign and Zoe Beloff's small show on toy theater dioramas has an extended its run till mid-September. The four dioramas at the museum are part of a larger project called "The Somnambulists," with the diorama segment called "Four Hysterical Dramas." The show's focus on the 19th century theater's preoccupation with madness makes perfect fit for the Coney Island Museum, which take up the second floor of the Child's building. "The show is about about where the science and sideshows collided," said the artist. Beloff's last show at the museum also dealt in early psychoanalytic themes and is now touring Europe. Three of the four theaters are inspired by real buildings, two of which are insane asylums while a third is the gate house at Snug Harbor in Staten Island. But the Chinese-style theater is derived from a more traditional source, a toy theater featured in Peter Baldwin's book on the subject. Pollock's Toy Museum in London provided the artist with additional grist. Inside the three dimensional Victoriana, twenty-first century technology brings the project to life, archival film footage is projected by a hidden DVD onto semi-silvered glass, giving the illusion of 3-D. In the diorama titled "Hysterical Hemipligia Cured by Hynosis" 19th century footage of a mentally ill patient was taken from the archives of the Dr. Guislain Museum in Belgium. "I’ve always been interested the science in a more reputable way, but in the museums of the 19th century things were more fantastic," said Beloff. "I am really fascinated by dioramas, where the science becomes a spectacle, which is highly contrived and controlled."
There's an old expression that perfectly describes the current condition of the Loew's King movie palace on Flatbush Avenue: "regal rot." There's beauty in the decay, yet no one wants to see the the rot take the upper hand. At the moment the dank smell foretells the considerable work that lies ahead for the Houston-based ACE Theatrical Group, the developer selected by NYCEDC and Borough President Marty Markowitz to restore and operate the 1929 building. Despite the deterioration, many of the original decorative elements remain, from a surprising amount of plaster detailing, to crystal strands hanging form the chandeliers, wrought iron on the sides of the chairs, and gorgeous woodwork in the lobby. On completion, the $70 million project will open the Loew's doors for live theatrical events in 2013. Video courtesy NYCEDC:
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A prototype of the city's alternative to unsightly construction sheds is unveiled.Two years after the NYC Department of Buildings and AIA New York launched the UrbanSHED competition to find a new sidewalk shed design that would beautify city streets, a prototype of the winning proposal has been unveiled. Called Urban Umbrella, the shed structure was developed by competition winner Young-Hwan Choi with architect Andrés Cortés and engineer Sarrah Khan of New York-based Agencie Group. Brooklyn-based architecture and fabrication firm Caliper Studio was hired late last year to detail and build the much-anticipated design, which the DOB and architecture, construction, and real estate backers hope will eventually replace unsightly sidewalk scaffolding at many of the city’s construction sites. Like the renderings that much of the city admired when the competition winner was announced, the structure unveiled at an event at Caliper’s studio on Wednesday has an umbrella-like shape free of the low cross bracing used on traditional sheds. But taking the design from rendering to reality was no simple matter. The project was a highly coordinated effort to meet city building codes and stay within budget (the Downtown Alliance is funding the prototype), all while keeping an eye on the larger goal of eventually creating a time- and cost-efficient manufactured system with the appeal of the original models. “We wanted to work with Caliper because there’s an artisanal quality to the work that they do,” said Cortés. “We were to going to get a high level of intellectual feedback.” Because Caliper specializes in parametric modeling and rhinoscripting as well as metal fabrication, the firm was confident it could translate Agencie’s 2- and 3-D models into a working fabrication model that would allow the team to predict every cost. “Every single part was evaluated for cost,” said Caliper principal Jonathan Taylor. “Our model could tell us quantities and total weights.” Ultimately, Agencie submitted more than 450 pages of calculations for approval by the DOB. Though the prototype will likely undergo some tweaks, the design works: The roughly 7-by-12-by-12-foot shed unveiled this week contains hundreds of pieces, but there are just eleven primary steel components. The team found it was more cost effective to source pieces from three machine shops rather than work with off-the-shelf parts. Pieces such as collars supporting the curved canopy were manufactured on a flatbed laser cutter, while a pipe laser cutter was used for the columns and a rolled-shape manufacturer sourced the curved members. The finished shed would be manufactured in two sizes, one for heavy-duty construction and one for lightweight applications, defined as buildings less than six stories. To anyone who has ever stumbled over the wooden blocks used to jerry-rig traditional sidewalk sheds, the canopy’s leveling feet are a happy addition. The top part of the shoe is fitted with a narrow pipe that allows the shed to be raised 18 inches while the lower part can pivot 360 degrees. Tnemic epoxy paint coats the entire steel structure and unlike some other sprayed coatings can be touched up in the field with a paintbrush. The team also delivered on the initial design’s hallmark—a clear roof that left some critics concerned about safety. Once it undergoes additional testing in the coming weeks, high-density polycarbonate will top the umbrella structure. “It’s bringing in 21st-century material technology to something that hasn’t been updated for 40 years,” said Cortés. The non-combustible plastic can withstand more than 300 pounds per square foot—a number derived from the force of a brick falling 300 feet. “Our shop floor is rated at 250 pounds per square foot and we drive our forklift around on it,” said Taylor by way of example. UV-stabilized film adhesives would also allow artwork or branding messages to be applied to the roof. At night, cutting-edge LED SMD (surface mount device) technology from a Korea-based LG affiliate will illuminate the shed, vastly decreasing the amount of electrical conduit, not to mention voltage consumption, at each shed. Several high-profile building sites in Lower Manhattan are still being considered for the prototype’s first official installation in the coming months, but by all accounts the general public won’t be kept in the dark much longer.
On Thursday, the East River Waterfront Esplanade officially opened to the public. Last week, while the paint on the new bike lanes was still drying, City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden took AN on a walk through of the first section. The commissioner barely contained her excitement while showing off design details by landscape architect Ken Smith and SHoP Architects. Follow the commissioner as she takes us through the dog run and points out clever details like the "Get-Downs," the riverside bar stools, and "seat walls."
Lorena Turner: Made in China 0.00156 Acres 114 Smith Street Brooklyn, NY Through July 31 Product packaging started primarily for hygienic reasons. General stores used to stock sugar, crackers, and pickles in huge barrels, and for every order the grocer would dip in his scoop. Not only was it unsanitary, but customers also might leave wondering if they got what they paid for (“Was his finger on the scale…?”). Food packaging guaranteed sterile products and standardized portions—in a word, purity. Packaging also created new real estate on grocery store shelves, and companies found it necessary to distinguish their product from others like it. What we now call branding spread from food to every kind of product. Right angles and regular shapes made for easier packing and shipping, too. All the focus on the pristine package has led us to take for granted that its contents are immaculate—spotless, clean, untouched. But in fact, that’s an illusion. It’s likely that many people have laid hands on your shiny new alarm clock before it was wrapped up, sent off, unwrapped by you, and put on your bedside table. It’s these ghostly handlers that are the real subjects of Lorena Turner’s show Made in China at 0.00156 Acres Gallery in Brooklyn. After buying China-made products from stores in her neighborhood, Turner carefully peeled back their cardboard shells or plastic sleeves, dusted for fingerprints using CSI-style forensic techniques, and then photographed them under a black light. Her show of small-scale photographs presents what she found on the surfaces of a radio, a ball, a needle-threader and other quotidian objects. Some of these object-subjects make an appearance in the exhibition, piled up in a clear acrylic pedestal that supports the guest book in the pantry-sized gallery. For such meaty conceptual territory, the show feels a bit hampered by the restrictive space. To get to the gallery, one must enter through an adjoining thrift store, itself a showcase for well-worn cast-offs, themselves lousy with prints and past lives. Without knowing their backstory, the subjects of many of Turner’s close-up photographs have an arresting beauty and offer the fascination of a familiar object blown up and made unfamiliar through a new frame. But it’s the sense of the uncanny that takes over after learning that the indistinct smudges on each object are fingerprints. Humanity—and all the messiness and emotion that evokes—is suddenly present. In an instant, each cool, machine-made still life transforms into an affecting, if disembodied, portrait.
The New York City Economic Development Corporation announced Wednesday that the former Taystee Bakery site in Harlem will be redeveloped into a green, mixed-use structure featuring light manufacturing, artists and not-for-profit spaces, a local bank, an ice skating rink, and a local brewery. Project developers Janus Partners and Monadnock Construction asked LevenBetts Architecture to create a design that merges the eclectic program to create an economic and social center for the neighborhood. Called the CREATE @ Harlem Green, the new building will incorporate the masonry walls of the Taystee Bakery facility and add a new modern structure hovering atop the historic buildings. "We're rethinking the industrial building," said David Leven, partner at LevenBetts and director of graduate studies at Parsons. "What's left are big, heavy, dark buildings that have been abandoned or disused for some time. We're preserving what's left but opening the facades up to the street." Plans call for 100,000 square feet of new manufacturing space, 90,000 square feet of office space, 40,000 square feet of retail space, and 10,000 of community facility space, in total estimated to cost $100 million. Renderings revealed by LevenBetts may change as plans for the site are further developed, but Leven told AN that they represent a "well developed concept." The new structure, clad in perforated metal panels, mediates the scales of surrounding buildings, stepping down its height along 126th Street. Leven said the neighborhood expressed support for the massing of the new structure. A continuous band expressing a structural truss and its sawtooth rhythm was originally conceived as a mechanism for hanging lower floors above the historic facades. While the expression will likely remain, its may not have a structural component. "We must think realistically about the budget," Leven said. Green roofs and walls abound throughout the new building, including a wall along 125th Street covered in hops to be used by the Harlem Brewing Company which will operate a brewery in the new building. Harlem Brewing will offer tours of their new facility and run a tap room and gift shop. More traditional green roofs including a landscaped courtyard for Carver Federal Savings Bank, the nation's largest African-American-operated bank, can be found on the larger building. Councilman Robert Jackson praised CREATE @ Harlem Green in a statement, “I am thrilled that this development, which is consistent with the vision of the community for this neighborhood, is moving forward. It will re-activate an important site in our community, and bring hundreds of good jobs to the people of Harlem.” Before construction can begin, the project must move through public review. Developers must also complete assembling their team and evaluating conditions on the site to help with foundation design.
Who knew the Power Broker himself was a beer man? The Robert Moses of my imagination could be spotted, martini in hand, at a swanky Manhattan lounge. But in reality, the workaholic was such a control freak that he would never permit himself to loosen up in public, instead spending much of his free time stolen away from the city sailing on the Great South Bay in his boat the Sea-Ef. (Even then, his mind was still on work: he once grounded the boat on a quite visible sand bar thinking of his plans for New York!) Ceaselessly maneuvering and tightening his grip on Gotham politics, Moses may have been the one man in New York most in need of a cold beer. Grub Street spotted a new beer, appropriately made by the Great South Bay Brewery on Long Island, that pays homage to the Robert Moses Causeway and its promise of breezy summer beaches. According to the brewery, the Robert Moses Pale Ale is a beer made for relaxing--hardly the image of Moses at work. Famously, his nemesis Jane Jacobs was an unabashed beer drinker, frequenting the White Horse Tavern on Hudson Street where she fraternized with her Village neighbors. Could the act of clinking a cold one (or in Moses' case, not) explain much of the difference between these icons of New York urbanism?
Glimpses of New York and Amsterdam in 2040 at the Center for Architecture (through September 10) is a clarion call for designers to redefine sustainability in architecture. Though it didn’t start with this intention, the visions of 10 young architecture firms imagining future landscapes of New York and Amsterdam raise questions about what changes are imminent for urban development and what part architects can play. The projects suggest both practical and fantastical interventions to improve the prospect of urban growth in the face of ecological, geographic, and demographic shifts. The program comes hot on the heels of the announcements of Vision 2020: New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan and the similar strategy-based Structural Vision: Amsterdam 2040. Curators Luc Vrolijks, Rosamond Fletcher, and Marlies Buurman’s collective ambition has been to use design and debate to link the two cities in the context of these new directives. This month, the Center for Architecture hosted a series of talks and presentations of the work by the architects and the exhibit is also at the ARCAM site in Amsterdam until August 13, which will raise new questions about potential futures. The projects responded to one of five headings: Breathing, Eating, Making, Moving, Dwelling. Breathing: Both Delva with Dingeman Deijs and W Architecture and Landscape Architecture take water as their starting point. While Delva takes the IJ estuary as a generator for energy, W Architecture’s Hudson archepelagos, made using dredge from the port, provide habitats as well as landing banks. Eating: Here, WORKac focuses on the ‘food desert’ in the Bed-Stuy and Bushwick neighborhoods of Brooklyn and maps the potentially resourceful ways of re-appropriating the streets to harvest food, from future transportation (gondola-type links) to a hybrid fish farm and greenhouse-grown plants (Aquaponics). Van Bergen Kolpa Architects imagines a Landscape Supermarket, where varieties of food can be grown and sourced in park-like environments run by city dwellers. Making: In The Refinery, Solid Objectives-Idenburg Liu (SO-IL) imagined a floating market place where robotic arms compartmentalise waste materials to mend a broken landscape. Barcode Architects on the other hand has developed a contained mega science park from which to export knowledge - “the most valuable commodity of The Netherlands in 2040” said Caro van der Venne of Barcode. Moving: Dlandstudio responds to the future need for water transportation and how this can be an opportunity to also positively affect public wellbeing as well as environmental health. Fabric’s interpretation considers a new urban fabric based on mixing uses to produce “a more complete urban program, so that our daily needs are always near.” Dwelling: The Newark Visionary Museum by Interboro Partners and Space & Matter’s We is the New I both approached the idea of sustainability as social concerns. Interboro’s projection showed a colourful scene of failed plans and possible future solutions to Broad Street’s transportation, entertainment, sports and communication demands. Similarly practical was Space & Matter’s solution to increasing diversity and social cohesion by harnessing and building around common interests.
Knoll Textiles, 1945–2010 Bard Graduate Center Gallery 18 West 86th Street New York Through July 31 A new show at the Bard Graduate Center (BGC) takes a comprehensive look at the history and influence of Knoll Textiles, both as a brand and a company. It also aims to bring to light the importance of textiles in relation to modern design. Curated by a multidisciplinary team (Earl Martin, associate curator at the BGC; Paul Makovsky, editorial director of Metropolis magazine; Angela Völker, Curator Emeritus of Textiles at Vienna’s MAK; and Susan Ward, an independent textile historian) the exhibit features 175 examples of textiles, furniture, and photographs that explore the innovations, from production of materials to marketing, during the 1940s through the 1960s.
Prepared Motors. Included in recent news from BLDGBLOG, Swiss artist Zimoun installs a series of sound sculptures. Each cardboard piece, comprised of micro-mechanisms, projects subtle sound upon interaction. Watch the following video for the installation plus movement. Renovation Take-over. The New York Times reveals that the Randhurst Mall, just outside Chicago in Mt. Prospect, plans to undergo serious renovation. The indoor mid-century shopping center will take on a new look with a $190 million renovation. Expect commercial transformation as the mall goes outdoors, for which it will destroy most original elements in favor of an open air shopping experience. Highline 2.0. If you haven't heard, the second phase of everyone's favorite park, the Highline, opened this week, stretching from 20th to 30th streets through New York's Chelsea neighborhood. The NYC Economic Development Corporation snuck onto the elevated railway before the official opening and has put together a fascinating before-and-after display. The Design Sector. Archinect features a report from the Center for an Urban Future that specifies the capacity of New York City's architecture and design sector and encourages its continued growth. The report reviews the "untapped potential" despite a remarkable 40,470 designers currently based in the Metropolitan area.
AOL's New Offices Are Snazzy: Fast Company has a slideshow of interior shots of AOL's new offices in Palo Alto. The space was designed to be bright and collaborative. "This being a tech company, naturally, it’s got a game room, too," writes Suzanne LaBarre. The interiors are the work of Studio O+A, which has designed offices for other Internet companies like Yelp, Facebook and PayPal. Philly Set For a Makeover: Sometimes it seems like Philly is the East Coast city people love to hate on for its small size, poor public transit and high crime rates. That may change soon with a new comprehensive plan for the city that could include: "more open space, bike lanes and preservation efforts, as well as specific goals including an extension of the Broad Street subway to the Navy Yard, an east Market Street that can really be Philly's 'Main Street', a waterfront lined with parks." NYC's Lesson for LA: New York Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan blogs on how Los Angeles can learn from New York City's Plaza program. It's the quintessential showdown of cities: New York, a dense metropolis where most native-born teens don't even have their driver's licenses, and LA, a sprawling auto-centric city. There's even a book called "New York and Los Angeles" that says so. Sadik-Khan's piece is part of Streetsblog's new series on how the best transportation practices in other cities can be adapted for LA. Brownwashing Republicans: Grist has a list of 10 Republican politicians who are backtracking on pro-environment statements they've made in the past. The #1 offender is presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, who called for climate action in a 2008 ad for Al Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection. Earlier this year, he said, ""I would not adopt massively expensive plans over a theory."