Posts tagged with "Painting":

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Norwegian National Museum showcases Le Corbusier’s overlooked paintings

An exhibition in Oslo, Norway, is showcasing some of Le Corbusier's most important and oft-overlooked paintings. The exhibition, Le Corbusier by the Sea, is themed around the architect's sojourns in the French seaside town of Le Piquey where he would sketch natural objects like pinecones and shells. These sketches would be worked into paintings when he returned to his Paris studio. Several of the paintings also depict bathers lounging in the sand, rendered in informal, curvilinear shapes that recall the organic geometries that Corbusier's architecture tended toward later in his career. A statement from the museum posits that the architect was inspired by the shabby houses of local fishermen and links his visits to the area with his works' turn toward supple stone and wood forms and away from the austere High Modernism of his earliest buildings. The exhibition includes letters and various artifacts from Le Corbusier's life between 1926–36 when the architect traveled every summer to the shore. Two films on the famous designer will also be screened as part of the show and are intended to show the lighter side of the man's personality. The show is being held in the Villa Stenersen, a venue managed by the Nasjonalmuseet, Norway's National Museum. The Villa is itself an architectural attraction, being a carefully-preserved Functionalist home that was designed in 1937–1939 by Arne Korsmo, a leading Norwegian architect. The structure is in the process of being restored to its original colors and materials. The show will be up until December 16, 2018. Click here for more information.
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New Landon Metz exhibit uses art to frame architecture

Asymmetrical Symmetry, an exhibition by Brooklyn-based artist Landon Metz, is now on view through October 20 at Manhattan’s Sean Kelly Gallery. His latest body of work unveils a series of site-responsive paintings that were created to directly complement the massive, Toshiko Mori-designed art space. Inside the 22,000-square-foot, white-box gallery, Metz has placed five distinct groups of paintings. Using the walls, floors, and even the ceiling as display spaces, Metz forces the viewer to contend with his unorthodox arrangement of the art. The architecture of the room, from its industrial concrete flooring to the white paint-covered mechanical systems overhead, is on full display as part of the artwork’s narrative, according to Metz. “Here you’ll see that nothing is covered up in this room,” he said. “The natural tone of the primed canvas as well as the object on the canvas itself merges with the other panels and with the environment to become one. I wanted to emphasize the subtleties of the space so people could create their own authorship over the art.” The pieces on display are rendered in four unique colors mixed by the artist using watered-down dye. Metz outlined the shape on every canvas and then poured the color into every figure, allowing the color to fill uniquely every time. Gravity forced the dye to create surface tension on the canvas and form different gradients within the shapes. Metz noted this material-focused painting method made him relinquish his own authorship over the art as well, especially since from a distance, the imperfections of the paintings aren’t as easily visible, but closer up the differences are more clear. The show also highlights his tendency to paint between canvases, allowing one whole form to be articulated across two panels. By hanging the panels in a series, he aimed to enhance the framework of the room. “It now becomes more of a choreographed dance when you enter the gallery and see the repetition combined with the negative space,” Metz said. “Even the columns become sculptural objects. The works aren’t just isolated to the walls, but the entire room becomes an object as well and contributes to the sound of the space.” Metz likened the architecture to a musical composition with the panels laid out as long and short notes with breaks in between where the white wall takes over. “I was working to create sounds that rise out of silence, kind of like the way architecture unfolds from something that was once nothing and becomes a form of measure we inhabit,” he said. “The rhythm in this gallery allows you to move freely throughout the space in a way that can be different from a traditional exhibition. There are preconditioned expectations as to how to act in a place like this, but I wanted people to have authority over it and choose where they want to go, even if they want to stand in the middle and take it all in.” Metz’s meditative approach to painting allows his practice to be both concentrated and methodical, but without total control over the end result. As a new addition to the Sean Kelly Gallery, he’ll have the opportunity to create new works that further tell the story of the space. Metz will lead a walk-through tour of the exhibition this Saturday at 11 a.m. with a live stream on the gallery’s Instagram Story.
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Peep these modernist homes transplanted into Thomas Kinkade paintings

Ever looked at a Thomas Kinkade painting of a cozy cottage nestled into an impossibly golden landscape and thought: That picture would be better with some avant-garde architecture? If so, you're not alone. One Indianapolis-based architect took to Twitter this weekend to debut his series of mashups featuring modernist structures set inside Kinkade's light-filled, idyllic settings. The resulting images—which are stunning—were precipitated when architect Donna Sink asked the Twitterverse if anyone could take on the challenge: @robyniko responded saying he’d start off “easy” with Louis Kahn’s Fisher House, which apparently screams “for the twilight treatment.” Several other interested viewers chimed in with requests for @robyniko, and the series began to form. He set Philip Johnson’s Glass House within a breathtaking creekside mountain vista, and then put Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye inside a Christmas winter wonderland. He also placed Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House within a meadow and forest landscape. @robyniko’s Twitter bio discloses that he’s a self-proclaimed procrastinator, but this mashup series was undoubtedly encouraged by those scrolling in earnest and tweeting at him: “You definitely had to do this,” from @SWardArch, and, “I hope these end up in your portfolio,” from @ianwrob. The Architect’s Newspaper reached out to @robyniko to get more details on why he decided to pursue the unlikely project. “It was one of those asides that you chuckle about imagining and then move on,” he said, “but I was home for the weekend without my family and decided to indulge my curiosity about how these famous modernist homes would fit into Kinkade’s universe.” @robyniko noted that though he approached the project as a way to distract himself, it ended up conjuring something worthy of discussion. “I think that, given the difference in who typically appreciates Kinkade’s ‘never-was’ nostalgia versus who likes modern architecture,” he said, “it can be part of a conversation about architecture, representation, and how the public responds to both.” And the response was clearly strong. When @robnyiko uploaded his final rendered masterpiece, the oceanside Gehryhaus—a relocation of Frank Gehry’s residence in the Santa Monica suburbs—his followers realized all of these water-adjacent buildings represented in the thread would be likely to flood. In a later tweet, @robnyiko jokingly concluded that Kinkade’s work is a commentary on climate change, a theory he backs up with an attached screenshot of a Google Image search showing row after row of blown-out Kinkade paintings with skies that evoke the smoke and haze of this summer's wildfires. Maybe Kinkade’s work isn’t a nod to global warming, and maybe these modernist homes strictly belong where they were originally built. But this mashup presents a unique perspective on how a piece of architecture can be irrevocably altered when it's transplanted into new surroundings, especially those of Kinkade's somewhat surreal universe. More than that, these world-renowned buildings become nearly unrecognizable in these alternate settings, presenting questions about the relationship between the stark, minimalist designs and the soft, meadowy landscapes. As both Kinkade's work and modernism as a movement can be potentially polarizing forms of art, can these genres combine to form a common ground for people to see them in a new light? 
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Brooklyn artist Leigh Ruple creates moody paintings of Williamsburg

The mundane moments of Williamsburg trespass on Leigh Ruple’s canvases. The Brooklyn-based artist’s works are inspired by her daily life, featuring stylized, temperamental depictions of objects and figures abstracted within an array colors and forms. Her studio is located in East Williamsburg, allowing her to observe the architecture and people within the thriving neighborhood, and the geometries and patterns of the district’s local architecture have become motifs of her paintings. Her work also explores the city’s nightscape, with changing highlights and shadows. In a painting titled Nightstand, the Manhattan skyline is backlit by moonlight, while an assortment of prosaic objects including kitchen gloves, a pair of scissors, and a trimmed plant occupies the foreground, hinting at the inner life of an unseen subject. In Red Door, a bare-chested man sitting on an inverted tin bucket paints a fence door from blue to red; the red light shining from behind the fence illuminates parts of the man’s torso. The placid scene is dramatized with contrasting tones, hues, and lighting effects. Ruple is an expert in conveying moods through colors and composition. In Healthful, the ordinary scene of shopping for apples is exaggerated with backlit lighting and a heightened exaggeration of a mainly red-and-blue palette. The face of the shopper is tinted with magenta, the same shade as the apples in the basket. Ruple continues to draw references from New York’s cityscape and frequently captures the sidewalks, lampposts, animals, and plants with her paintbrush. In many paintings, a main figure takes center stage, often with blank and indifferent expressions; a reference to the solitude and loneliness of living in a bustling city like New York. Leigh Ruple’s most recent exhibition was at the Morgan Lehman Gallery.
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Two Cuban artists uniquely capture Detroit’s built environment—both its decay and hope for the future

Two Cuban artists, Alejandro Campins and Jose Yaque, feature in the City of Queen Anne’s Lace exhibition now on view at the Wasserman Projects gallery in Detroit. Using painting, sculpture, and drawing, they embody the emotion of Detroit's past, present, and future. Campins' works, laconic in style, are similar to those of Polish artist Joseph Schulz, whose Form 14 (archetypal of Schulz's style) exhibits architecture without detail. That work was cited by critic Stephen Parnell in his essay "Post-truth architecture." "Stripped of just a few elements, such as lettering, mundane architecture can reveal an uncanny elegance," Parnell said. The same could be said of Campins' paintings, if not for the moody tones and visible brush strokes (he used oils, watercolors, and also pencil) that convey the opposite. His works represent an abandoned Detroit, yet, despite their sense of silence, there are symbols of optimism: A green traffic signal and blank billboard can be interpreted as signifiers of opportunity. Yaque's work, meanwhile, is more explicitly optimistic. Made from Detroit's recycled trash, a large-scale installation rises up from the ground, topped with grass, flowers, and other greenery. The work appears at a glance to be molded by layers of sediment and soil (and Detroit's history)—almost as if a section of the earth's crust lifted from the ground. The piece physically dominates the gallery; exactly what is atop the chunk of recycled earth is unknown and out of sight, but we know from what we do see is that the land upon which is grows is evidently fertile. This piece also references the exhibition's name. Also known as a "Wild Carrot," Queen Anne's Lace is a flower that is commonly found sprouting from the city's decaying buildings. While most often associated with Detroit's downfalls, the plant has substantial nutritional value. Yaque also uses a more traditional medium. Like his Cuban counterpart, he draws, though Yaque employs charcoal to depict Detroit's urban vernacular. Yaque's technique allows his drawings to be nostalgic as they don the faded aesthetic of a century-old photograph. Smudging, often applied to the based of a work, connotes energy—the lost energy of the lonely landmarks and time passing by, wind-like and invariably contributing to the building's demise. Unlike his built work, these images hark back to a Detroit that is certainly consigned to memory, with buildings either no longer used or repurposed. However, in a similar vein to his sculpture, this reference point is only implied. City of Queen Anne’s Lace has been curated by Rafael DiazCasas, an art historian and independent curator based in New York City. The exhibition came about after Wasserman Projects founder Gary Wasserman saw Campins' works while in Havana. Through DiazCasas, the two discussed the parallels between Detroit's and Cuba's history. Inspired by this, Campins visited the Michigan city for himself, later introducing Yaque to the city too. The pair encountered much Wild Carrot during their foray into Detroit. According to a press release, they found the flower to be symbolic of change and natural rebalancing. This sentiment formed the basis of their work for the exhibition, promoting a feeling of hope while looking at Detroit through an alternative lens. City of Queen Anne’s Lace is on view at Wasserman Projects through June 24, 2017.
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Exhibition showcases 60 years of a Cuban-American painter’s exploration of vernacular architecture

The Architect’s Newspaper’s April 2017 issue takes a deep dive into Florida to coincide with the upcoming AIA Conference on Architecture in Orlando (April 27 to 29). You can see all those articles on this page. Here, Senior Editor Matt Shaw’s editorial from that issue highlights what we’ve explored in the Sunshine State.

Emilio Sanchez in South Florida Collections marks the artist’s first show in South Florida in over a decade. The Cuban-American painter’s work is largely centered on his time in Cuba and the Caribbean and, later on, in New York City. His paintings depict the vernacular of his surroundings, often finding inspiration in existing structures and scenes and transforming them into abstract and surreal portraits. “His keen eye and remarkable ability to edit out incidental elements and details imbue the work with a dreamlike quality, as if the buildings he depicted existed in a parallel universe born of memory, longing, and imagination,” said co-curator Victor Deupi, an architecture scholar, in an interview with Cuban Art News. The exhibition encompasses six decades of Sanchez’s professional career, displaying paintings from the 1940s through the 1990s. Alongside his paintings, the museum will display sketchbooks, doodles, and other personal documents to paint a better picture, if you will, of this artist’s prolific work.

EMILIO SANCHEZ IN SOUTH FLORIDA COLLECTIONS Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami 1301 Stanford Drive Coral Gables, Florida Through May 21, 2017

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Frederick Kiesler’s little known ‘painted’ images go on view at New York’s Jason McCoy Gallery

Frederick Kiesler is well known as an artist/architect/designer who worked between disciplines and professional categories. His recent retrospective at The Museum of Applied Arts (MAK) in Vienna highlighted his work as an architect, theater designer, and creator of ground-breaking exhibition spaces like Peggy Guggenheim’s 1942 Art of This Century gallery. A current show at the Jason McCoy Gallery features Kiesler’s little known ‘painted’ images done in ink, oil, and tempera mounted on boards. The exhibit Galaxies of the 1950s highlights Kiesler’s strategy that these works were not created as individual works, but in a series where “the space between the different parts was just as important as the paintings themselves,” as the gallery said in a press release. In fact, he diagrammed and planned the surrounding space of the series, often measuring down to fractions of an inch. Ever the early 20th-century Viennese architect/artist, this series reflected the idea that the "inner necessity" of the work as a whole was the same as “breathing is to our body reality." Each work, Kiesler wrote, “represents a definite unit in itself just as in one family each member is of distinct individuality." Yet for Kiesler, art, like the architect, could no longer “be placed in isolation: that art must strive again to become part of daily experience." He reminds us, in these beautiful works, that painters, sculptors, and architects must still conceive their work as part of the world. Jason McCoy Gallery 41 East 57th Street 11th floor Galaxies of the 1950s is on view until April 29, 2017.
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Survey of Agnes Martin’s moving, minimalist paintings is on view at the Guggenheim

“I used to look in my mind for the unwritten page If my mind was empty enough I could see it…” —Agnes Martin The Agnes Martin retrospective at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, which opened at the Tate Modern in June 2015 before traveling to Düsseldorf then Los Angeles, presents an intensively engaging collection of work by perhaps the most emotionally honest abstract expressionist painter of the twentieth century. Never before has a painter combined the subtle influence of nature with geometric structure in the pursuit of beauty and enlightenment within a non-representational, self-discovered lexicon that prioritizes giving up the things you do not like for those things that are “acceptable to your mind.” Though Martin’s work from early to late periods feels calculated and in a sense cerebral in its adherence to the line and its parental grids, it consistently negates ideology, substance, and relatability. It is the cellular mechanism of the metaphysical in her work that constitutes substance or nature in her paintings. This quality of tonal otherworldliness inspires sensations of optimism or hope through vulnerability, delicacy, and craft in a way that offers critique of the minimalist tendency in terms of its inherent philosophical attraction to emptiness and its ironic relationship to feeling or sensitivity. Martin once stated, “My paintings have neither object nor space nor line nor anything—no forms. They are light, lightness, about merging, about formlessness, breaking down form.” The influence of artistic peers such as Barnett Newman, Ad Reinhardt and Donald Judd, as well as East Asian thought, contribute to her oeuvre, which could be thought of as a collection of spiritual messages. Martin’s writings, such as her poem “The Untroubled Mind,” which can be found at the end of the show’s amazing catalogue by Francis Morris and Tiffany Bell, reference William Blake, Taosim, Lao Tzu and Zen Buddhism, all of which contribute in some meaningful way to the “habits of her mind.” Themes of renunciation and longing for innocence dominate her work. Installation View: Agnes Martin, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, October 7, 2016– January 11, 2017. (Photo: David Heald © Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation) Installation View: Agnes Martin, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, October 7, 2016– January 11, 2017. (Photo: David Heald © Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation) The chronological survey evolves from the subtle, monochromatic, biomorphic compositions of the mid-1950s through crisp color fields in earth tones suggestive of shape or boundary at different scales, with a deliberate relationship to the edge of the painting. Martin’s move from Taos, New Mexico to New York City corresponds to a dramatic shift in her work defined by serialist expression using found objects which introduce repetition at a smaller scale in her work. These remarkable assemblages are dressed in the same palette as her paintings, which vacillate between the unbelievably cool or neutral and its notional, somewhat muted contrasts—ochre, purple, black—a dialogue perhaps between innocence and experience. Her titles, such as This Rain, The Garden, Beach, all reflect the painter’s conception of nature and solace in cycles, repetition, and solitude. Martin’s work of the early 1960s, such as White Flower, Little Sister, and Starlight bring her serialism back to the canvas in the form of an atmospheric code in which grids, dots, dashes, columns, and rows eventuate deconstructed fields, alternative constructions of her favorite geometric forms (triangles, circles, and lozenges), and new relationships based on a language of negative space, line weight, density, scale, tone and module. As her language continues to proliferate while the visitor travels up the ramps of the Guggenheim, the lines grow faint, condense into weathered stripes or color bars, expand, contract, disappear and reappear, gaining more texture in the process of forming a distressed system or spiritual text. Though the gallery is somewhat dark and it is at times difficult to identify with the rationality of the paintings and their respective, internal arrangements of lines, color, shapes and textures in the disconcerting context of ramps, the survey is stunningly mantric and will leave you feeling curiously wrought and unquestionably human. At once intense yet quiet, the show has “an immense presence” and “powerful energy that almost takes physical hold of the viewer”. Bell and Morris’ catalogue for the survey acts as a cipher for the moments of transition in Martin’s work and the continual questions she asks of us in terms of self-knowledge, perfection, pre-conditional states and the process of destiny. “Beauty is the mystery of life. It is not in the eye, it is in the mind.” —Agnes Martin The exhibition is on view through January 11, 2017.
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Styled like illuminated manuscripts, Lari Pittman’s paintings stand in a Michael Maltzan Architecture-designed exhibition

Lari Pittman: Mood Books, features an exhibition design by Michael Maltzan Architecture (MMA) and is currently on view at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California. Pittman’s works consist of six large-scale art books that contain a total of 65 hallucinogenic paintings styled by the artist in the manner of illuminated manuscripts. Michael Maltzan described Pittman’s works to The Architect’s Newspaper during a recent studio visit as “architectural in scale,” which the firm sought to accommodate via an elaborate and expressive series of billowing, stark white pedestals. MMA’s lofted forms serve to highlight the weighty books, with the smooth, white-painted plywood reliquaries accentuating the bulk and eye-popping color of Pittman’s paintings. The pedestals connect to form one long sequence, an alternating display of spreads that will change throughout the course of the exhibition’s duration as the book pages are turned by gallery attendants.

Lari Pittman: Mood Books The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens 1151 Oxford Road San Marino, CA Through February 20

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New Rashid Johnson exhibition to open at New York’s Hauser & Wirth gallery

Fly Away, named for the perennially reinterpreted gospel “I’ll Fly Away,” is a collection of paintings and sculptures by Rashid Johnson at New York’s Hauser & Wirth gallery. Johnson’s work has been referred to as “post-black,” and often deals with the African-American experience in a range of media, from photographs to music. Following the theme of last year’s Rashid Johnson: Anxious Men at the Drawing Center, the artist uses black soap and wax as materials in Fly Away. Inhabiting one room of the exhibition is “Within Our Gates,” a collection of black metal shelving populated by objects like live plants, books, and shea butter.

According to Hauser & Wirth, the enclosed objects are signifiers inspired by the African diaspora. The room also contains an upright piano that will be played in drop-in performances by Antoine “Audio BLK” Baldwin, a New York–based piano player and music producer. Baldwin will play original jazz compositions during the first week of the exhibition, with periodical unannounced visits afterward. Johnson’s work will also be featured in an exhibition at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Missouri, early next year.

Rashid Johnson: Fly Away Hauser & Wirth 511 West 18th Street New York September 8–October 22, 2016

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New Detroit urban arts venue Wasserman Projects set to open September 25

“Detroit is not having a renaissance,” philanthropist Gary Wasserman proclaimed in the Bushwick, Brooklyn studio space of painter Markus Linnenbruck, “It is an entirely new expression of urbanism.” With the sun pouring in through large, iron-frame windows, he introduced the concept for his new Detroit arts venue. Cities, he says, are “the 21st century frontier,” not the West or Space. “Detroit is not the only city to fail, but it is the biggest,” he said, noting that the city was once over 2 million people, but is now down to 600,000 or so. This has left massive amounts of transportation infrastructure, cultural infrastructure, and housing redundant and abandoned. In this landscape, the city needs more places to sustain urban activity. Wasserman wants to create “a destination providing something of interest that becomes another thread in the urban fabric,” he explained. Wasserman Projects will be located in an old 5,000 square-foot fire station in Detroit’s Eastern Market district and will open on September 25th during the Detroit Design Festival. The new arts hub is expected to spur artistic interaction and development. The space will grow to 9,000 square-feet in the coming months, and will eventually include a kunsthalle, chamber concert hall, a gallery, an artist’s residency, a studio space, and a permanent installation of The Cosmopolitan Chicken Project, which is the work of Belgian artist Koen Vanmechlen. He breeds national symbolic chickens as a metaphor for human diversity. The opening exhibition will be a collection of paintings by Linnenbruck, shown in a pavilion designed by Miami architect Nick Gelpi. The pavilion is a large wooden structure that splits open to reveal a glossy, colorful interior painted by Linnenbruck. The two halves become an acoustic space for performance.
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Painting Palmitas: Artists in Mexico cover an entire hillside village in one enormous psychedelic mural

Pachuca, Mexico is hoping a psychedelic mural can cement the transformation of a once crime-stricken neighborhood to a safer, more unified community. The government-sponsored urban renewal project, called El Macro Mural Barrio de Palmitas, coated over 200 hillside dwellings in a vibrant layer of paint with striking results. The government teamed up with a local graffiti collective, Germen Crew, to create the hillside mural, bringing in local residents to help with the project. The project encompassed an estimated 65,000 square feet of facade in all, transforming the once unembellished exteriors with multicolored swirls in rainbow hues. Up close, the village streets appear coated in large blocks of color, but from a distance, the mural takes its unified form, cascading from roof to roof to create a striking image. “We are trying to create a movement,” said Germen Crew in a recent interview, “We are taking into account the history of the colony but also its present, its people. And when you come to the streets, you'll find the identity of the place, but the idea is also to create an iconic place for everything Pachuca.” Germen Crew's paintings intend to preserve the community’s culture and are created in a way that provokes a more positive outlook. “We are making the world we want to live in, a world where you work and offer talents for the benefit of the common good,” stated Mybe, co-founder of Germen Crew.