Archive for ‘Architecture’

May 7, 2013

Marjetica Potrc





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She builds better worlds.

Marjetica Potrc has made some important art: she’s built dry toilets for Latin American slums and promoted a water jug for Africa that can also absorb the force of land mines. She’s taken the idea that art can change the world and made it come true. Sure, her art-world actions don’t do that much actual good. Instead, they do what art does best: they talk about how the world might be better.

“I believe in art. People need art to negotiate their world,” Potrc says. And the depth of that belief may be this artist’s true contribution.

Potrc (pronounced “PO-turtch,” with Marjetica sounding close to “Mari-EH-tee-tza”) was born in 1953 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, where she still lives. She got her start in architecture, but began making building-themed art about 15 years ago.

A typical Potrc begins with a structure or situation she finds in a distant place—say, Venezuela or Rajasthan, India—then tweaks to make more livable. “We should respect people in favelas, and learn from them, and their living conditions.” Other work comes closer to sculpture, as she mashes up constructions: in a big installation at MIT called Hybrid House, Potrc set down a wild building that hybridized features of buildings from Caracas, the West Bank, and West Palm Beach. By colliding three such different visions, Potrc achieves a surrealist edge that also embraces the real.


January 27, 2013

The Hourglass

Marc Newson’s latest creation for Ikepod sees the Australian designer interpret the most iconic timepiece of all: The Hourglass. Director Philip Andelman traveled to Basel, Switzerland, to document the designer’s modern take of the classic hourglass inside the Glaskeller factory. Each hand made hourglass comprises highly durable borosilicate glass and millions of stainless steel nanoballs, and is available in a 10 or 60 minute timer.

January 27, 2013

Marc Newson

1 Aquariva

5 Aquariva

5 Aquariva4

Falcon Jet 900B







gstar2011-2   slump_table_001 wood_chair_001Marc Newson is the most acclaimed and influential designer of his generation. He has worked across a wide range of disciplines, creating everything from furniture and household objects, to bicycles and cars, private and commercial aircraft, yachts, various architectural commissions, and signature sculptural pieces for clients across the globe.
Born in Sydney, Newson spent much of his childhood travelling in Europe and Asia. He started experimenting with furniture design as a student and, after graduation, was awarded a grant from the Australian Crafts Council with which he staged his first exhibition – featuring the Lockheed Lounge – a piece that has now, twenty years later, set three consecutive world records at auction.

Newson has lived and worked in Tokyo, Paris, and London where he is now based, and he continues to travel widely. His clients include a broad range of the best known and most prestigious brands in the world – from manufacturing and technology to transportation, fashion and the luxury goods sector. Many of his designs have been a runaway success for his clients and have achieved the status of modern design icons. In addition to his core business, he has also founded and run a number of successful companies, including a fine watch brand and an aerospace design consultancy, and has also held senior management positions at client companies; including currently being the Creative Director of Qantas Airways.

Marc Newson was included in Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World and has received numerous awards and distinctions: he was appointed The Royal Designer for Industry in the UK, received an honorary doctorate from Sydney University, holds Adjunct Professorships at Sydney College of the Arts and Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and most recently was awarded a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) by Her Majesty the Queen.

His work is present in many major museum collections, including the MoMA in New York, London’s Design Museum and V&A, the Centre Georges Pompidou and the Vitra Design Museum. Having set numerous records at auction, Newson’s work now accounts for almost 25% of the total contemporary design market.

Newson has been the focus of on-going and intense interest in the media, generating significant editorial value for his clients, and has been the subject of a number of books and documentary films.

December 13, 2012

Ai Weiwei

‘Life is never guaranteed to be safe’


‘ Sunflower seeds at the Tate’


December 12, 2012

Ai Weiwei








weiwei stools


Ai Weiwei (born 18 May 1957) is a Chinese contemporary artist, active in sculpture, installation, architecture, curating, photography, film, and social, political and cultural criticism.  Ai collaborated with Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron as the artistic consultant on the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Olympics.  

Ai Weiwei is China’s most famous international artist, and its most outspoken domestic critic. Against a backdrop of strict censorship and an unresponsive legal system, Ai expresses himself and organizes people through art and social media. In response, Chinese authorities have shut down his blog, beat him up, bulldozed his newly built studio, and held him in secret detention.

As a political activist, he has been highly and openly critical of the Chinese Government’s stance on democracy and human rights. He has investigated government corruption and cover-ups, in particular the Sichuan schools corruption scandal following the collapse of so-called “tofu-skin schools” in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.  

In 2011, following his arrest at Beijing airport on 3 April, he was held for over two months without any official charges being filed; officials alluded to their allegations of “economic crimes” (tax evasion).

In October 2011 ArtReview magazine named Ai number one in their annual Power 100 list. The decision was criticised by the Chinese authorities.  Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin responded, “China has many artists who have sufficient ability. We feel that a selection that is based purely on a political bias and perspective has violated the objectives of the magazine”.

AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY is the inside story of a dissident for the digital age who inspires global audiences and blurs the boundaries of art and politics. First-time director Alison Klayman gained unprecedented access to Ai while working as a journalist in China. Her detailed portrait provides a nuanced exploration of contemporary China and one of its most compelling public figures.  This is one to watch and it’s on netflix!

You can follow him on twitter here

December 3, 2012

Theo Jansen


Another great video from Theo Jansen. Directed and Produced by Salazar for Red Bull Media House.  Theo Jansen is a Dutch artist. In 1990, he began what he is known for today: building large mechanical animals out of PVC that are able to live on their own, known as Strandbeest. His animated works are a fusion of art and engineering; in a car company (BMW) television commercial Jansen says: “The walls between art and engineering exist only in our minds.” He strives to equip his creations with their own artificial intelligence so they can avoid obstacles by changing course when one is detected, such as the sea itself. see more here Previous post 


November 8, 2012

Richard Woods

Richard Wood is a Painter, designer, sculptor, architect— In 2002, Woods transformed a New York gallery space with an exaggerated use of historical patterns, architecture, and iconography in his installation Super Tudor. He combined patterns and prints from various periods to overtake floors and walls of the gallery’s interior, using a Tudor-inspired façade to transform the building’s exterior. This project, like many of Woods’s endeavors, shaped an existing environment into a new reality, using cartoon-like decorative surfaces, mainly with hand-printed woodblock techniques. Woods has said that his vibrant color palette is inspired by his childhood memories of his parents’ home in 1970s England, where he was surrounded by “plasticky” colors and garish, narrative wallpapers. Though best known for his architectural installations, Woods is also a distinguished painter and sculptor.
Infused with a cartoon sensibility, Woods work, whether transforming a whole building into a collage of clashing decorative surfaces or creating an approximation of a rock, revels in the idea of beauty literally being skin deep.

Wood’s interventions operate on the boundary between art, architecture and design, exploring the relationship between the functional and the ornamental. It’s all part of Woods’ desire to confront our aesthetic values and the results raise questions about the way we live, with, and in spite of, tightly controlled town planning.

October 11, 2012

Heimo Zobernig


Press Release: Since the 1980s Heimo Zobernig has exhibited extensively all over the world creating a considerable body of work that includes sculpture, video, painting, installation, architectural intervention and performance. Much of Zobernig’s work critically engages with various modern art movements, including abstraction, constructivism, minimalism and conceptual art, as well as with architecture, design and theatre. Drawing on various art histories he questions the principles and conditions which underpin them; challenging and reinterpreting them with a lightness of touch and an economy of material that is at times playful, dry, witty and unsettling.

The canvas series shown in Galerie Micheline Szwajcer is composed of monochromes and grid paintings from the last years. Zobernig questions a classical theme in painting, the articulation between the object and the background and explores themes of minimalism and the historical weight of the opposing pair of “figurativeness vs. abstraction”.

The sculptures are hybrid objects, based on furniture and racks and made of cheap materials. The seeming banality and everyday nature of the materials is reinforced by the reduced functional appearance and standardized aesthetic of the objects. They alternate between minimalist sculpture and functional objects, between the attribution of meaning and function. These pieces, from different periods and contexts all deal with the definition of sculpture and the problem as to what art is or can be, its outward form and function.

The strategy of reduction is also pursued by the artist in his video works; in this exhibition, the video “Heimo Zobernig explains to his double how to make a performance” is installed in a box made up of pieces of colored wood retrieved from previous installations.


Heimo Zobernig was born in 1958, in Mauthen, in Austria. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts from 1977 to 1980, followed by further studies from 1980-83 at the University of Applied Arts, both in Vienna. After two visiting professorships in Germany, he has been teaching at the Academy of Fine Art in Vienna since 1999. In 1993, he was the recipient of the Otto Mauer Prize, followed in 1997 by the City of Vienna’s Prize for Fine Art. Heimo Zobernig has had a great number of international exhibitions, among them Documenta 9 and X in Kassel, solo shows at the Museum of Modern Art, Vienna, the Kunsthalle Basel, the K21, Düsseldorf, the Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, the Centre Pompidou, Paris, Tate St Ives, Cornwall, Galleria Civica di Modena, curated by Cornelia Lauf, Modena. He lives in Vienna.


August 15, 2012

Philippe Halsman

Philippe Halsman (2 May 1906 Riga, Latvia – 25 June 1979 New York City) was a Latvian-born American portrait photographer. Born to a Jewish family of Max Halsman, a dentist, and Ita Grintuch, a grammar school principal, in Latvia. Halsman studied electrical engineering in Dresden, but moved into photography in Paris in 1931.

He began contributing to fashion magazines such as Vogue and soon gained a reputation as one of the best portrait photographers in France, renowned for his sharp, and closely cropped images that shunned the old soft focus look. When France was invaded, Halsman fled to Marseille and he eventually managed to obtain a U.S. visa, aided by family friend Albert Einstein (whom he later famously photographed in 1947).

Halsman had his first success in America when the cosmetics firm Elizabeth Arden used his image of model Constance Ford against the American flag in an advertising campaign for “Victory Red” lipstick. A year later in 1942 he found work with Life, photographing hat designs, one of which, a portrait of a model in a Lilly Daché hat, was his first of the many covers he would do for Life.

In 1941 Halsman met the surrealist artist Salvador Dalí and they began to collaborate in the late 1940s. The 1948 work Dali Atomicus explores the idea of suspension, depicting three cats flying, a bucket of thrown water, and Salvador Dalí in mid air. The title of the photograph is a reference to Dalí’s work Leda Atomica which can be seen in the right of the photograph behind the two cats. Halsman reported that it took 28 attempts to be satisfied with the result. Halsman and Dali eventually released a compendium of their collaborations in the 1954 book Dali’s Mustache, which features 36 different views of the artist’s distinctive mustache. Another famous collaboration between the two was In Voluptas Mors, a surrealistic portrait of Dali beside a large skull, in fact a tableau vivant composed of seven nudes. Halsman took three hours to arrange the models according to a sketch by Dali.   A version of In Voluptas Mors was used subtly in the poster for the film The Silence of The Lambs,and recreated in a poster for the film The Descent.

In 1947, he made what was to become one of his most famous photos of a mournful Albert Einstein, who during the photography session recounted his regrets about his role in the United States pursuing the atomic bomb. The photo would later be used in 1966 on a U.S. postage stamp and in 1999, on the cover of Time, when Time dubbed Einstein as “Person of the Century.”

In 1951 Halsman was commissioned by NBC to photograph various popular comedians of the time including Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Groucho Marx, and Bob Hope. While photographing the comedians doing their acts, he captured many of the comedians in mid air, which went on to inspire many later jump pictures of celebrities including the Ford family, The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Marilyn Monroe, María Félix and Richard Nixon.

When the photographer Philippe Halsman said, “Jump,” no one asked how high. People simply pushed off or leapt up to the extent that physical ability and personal decorum allowed. In that airborne instant Mr. Halsman clicked the shutter. He called his method jumpology.

 Philippe Halsman’s Jumpology over at the Laurence Miller Gallery.

Philippe Halsman’s Jump Book

Philippe Halsman: A Retrospective – Photographs From the Halsman Family Collection

Halsman at Work

August 10, 2012

Beatrice Coron

Beatrice Coron

After briefly studying art at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts of Lyon, and Mandarin Chinese at the Université of Lyon III, Coron experienced life with a series of odd jobs. She has been, among others, a shepherdess, truck driver, factory worker, cleaning lady and a New York City tour guide. Coron has lived in France (her native country) , Egypt and Mexico for one year, each and China for two years. She moved to New York in 1985 where she reinvented herself as an artist.

Coron’s oeuvre includes illustration, book arts, fine art and public art. She cuts her characteristic silhouette designs in paper and Tyvek. She also creates works in stone, glass, metal, rubber, stained glass and digital media.

Her work has been purchased by major museum collections, such as the Metropolitan Museum, The Walker Art center and The Getty. Her public art can be seen in subways, airport and sports facilities among others.


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