The Aesthetic Post


Bodoni: The Complete Manual of Typography

Bodoni: The Complete Manual of Typography

Bodoni: The Complete Manual of Typography

Bodoni: The Complete Manual of Typography

Bodoni: The Complete Manual of Typography

As part of their Bibliotheca Universalis series, art book publishing house Taschen have rereleased their meticulous printing of Giambattista Bodoni’s masterwork. Bodoni’s Manuale Tipografico, originally published five years after his death in 1818 (with the assistance of his widow Margherita and foreman Luigi Orsi), set a definitive standard for the printing of text, with a focus on elegance and technical refinement. Official printer for the Duke of Parma, Bodoni declared that well-designed type derives its beauty from four principles: uniformity of design, sharpness and neatness, good taste, and charm. Bodoni, the typeface, continues to be used in both print and digital media to this day.

Bodoni: The Complete Manual of Typography

Bodoni: The Complete Manual of Typography

Bodoni: The Complete Manual of TypographyLook familiar? In addition to book printing and body text, variations of, and Bodoni-influenced type are prominent in fields like branding, advertising, and magazine publishing (where high gloss paper retains the crisp detail of fine serifs.)

The book consists of 142 sets of roman and italic typefaces, as well as Greek, Hebrew, Russian, Arabic, Phoenician, Armenian, Coptic, and Tibetan alphabets, and also includes field-specific and decorative print elements. One often understands typeface simply as a shape for print, but this manual illustrates the importance of script variation and character specificity Bodoni found essential to printing books in multiple languages, with sophistication and retention of nuance. He admired the work of John Baskerville, and studied the artistry of typographic masters Pierre Simon Fournier and Firmin Didot, but in the composition of this manual, Bodoni proceeded to create a print style that was all-new. Considering it necessary for good typography to carry a collection of main fonts large enough so that the difference between the adjacent sizes is not easily seen by a trained eye, Bodoni’s system speaks to his consummate dedication to the craft, and virtually revolutionary approach to printing before the advent of digital typography.

The manual, in this new smaller format, is not only an excellent compendium for a typophile or those interested in printing from a historical standpoint, but a great work of artistry and elegance. As a companion to the original character sets, the book includes an essay by print expert Stephan Füssel, who serves as director of the Institute of the History of the Book at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz.

While we are on the subject of type, it is worth mentioning the terminology associated with printed and digital text and characters;  there is a piece worth checking out at Co.Design that thoroughly (but in a way that is easy to understand) explains the difference between “typeface” and “font.” 

More at: Taschen

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

— William Morris

Calvin Marcus: Were Good Men

Opening today at Clearing (Brooklyn), is Calvin Marcus’ second solo exhibition with the gallery, “Were Good Men.”

Consisting of thirty-nine new paintings, many forming an environmental backdrop of grass for the stand-out portraits of war-ravaged soldiers, exaggerated and extreme in their expressions, some startling, others disturbingly comical, the exhibition is an exploration of the realities of fate. Through these characterizations of men, Marcus “observes the relationship between individual and collective identities;” each body is marked with a different sovereign flag, depicting a single universal condition. The show’s title, Were Good Men, speaks to the once vital and living man, all suffering the same fate, sinking back into the grass together.

Calvin Marcus: Were Good Men

Calvin Marcus: Were Good Men

Calvin Marcus: Were Good Men

Calvin Marcus: Were Good Men

Calvin Marcus: Were Good Men

Calvin Marcus is a Los Angeles-based contemporary artist that has exhibited worldwide and is represented by Clearing and David Kordansky. His work is part of the collection at MoMA, New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.

Were Good Men runs September 9 through October 30 at Clearing’s Bushwick, Brooklyn gallery.

More at: C L E A R I N G
Photos: C L E A R I N G

Gold & Gray Apartment by Richard Lindvall

Gold & Gray Apartment by Richard Lindvall

Stockholm-based designer Richard Lindvall is responsible for this transformation of an old embassy space into a modernized, private apartment.

Originally consisting of a 3-walled layout, this floorpan was reconfigured as one large, just-under 1000 sq ft space. The loft-like main space includes the kitchen, dining, and living areas, all tied together through a simple material palette of concrete, muted parquet flooring, and wood fiber paneling. As a compliment to this restrained color story, three oversized brass units serve as a kitchen island, closet, and even a coffee table. 

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Gold & Gray Apartment by Richard Lindvall

Gold & Gray Apartment by Richard Lindvall

The two bathrooms are concrete-floored and have walls of blasted limestone from the island of Gotland, one includes a massive (albeit minimal) concrete bathtub, built to accommodate an entire family of five.

Gold & Gray Apartment by Richard Lindvall

Gold & Gray Apartment by Richard Lindvall

Richard Lindvall is a multi-platform designer, but works principally in interior design and concept direction. In addition to interior layout, he designs furniture and the finishings that complete his thoughtfully-approached, functional spaces.

More at: Richard Lindvall
Photos: Mikael Axelsson

Journey by Kohei Oda at Maison Hermès

At the base of the Renzo Piano designed Maison Hermès in the heart of the Ginza district of Tokyo, botanist and cactus enthusiast Kohei Oda has developed a new landscape for the presentation of Hermès’ finery. The installation, “Journey,” which runs through September 26, features Oda’s unusual and astonishing plant life serving as an artful backdrop for pieces from the Hermès collection. The masterful arrangment offers a natural contrast and an unexpected air of relativity to the Hermès selections; in the larger displays, a multitude of textural cacti of varying height create an otherworldly scene, and in the smaller windows, dried plant forms interact and are entangled with the house’s accessories.

Kohei Oda at Maison Hermès

Kohei Oda at Maison Hermès

Kohei Oda at Maison Hermès

Kohei Oda at Maison Hermès

Kohei Oda at Maison Hermès

Kohei Oda at Maison Hermès

Kohei Oda at Maison Hermès

A favorite of The Aesthetic Post, Hiroshima-based Kohei Oda has revolutionized the “face” of cacti. From his world-renowned shop, Qusamura, to international installations, Oda’s work encourages us to reconsider plant life; by presenting cacti in unexpected ways, Oda surely engages the eye, but his horticultural experiments, including those with grafting (transplanting pieces of one plant to grow on another), move into the territory of sculpture and the extraordinary natural possibilities associated. 

Maison Hermès is not only a shopping space, but a structure that houses workshops and offices, exhibition areas, and multimedia quarters, as well as a roof garden and a courtyard with direct access to the Tokyo subway. Its cladding, composed of more than 13,000 glass blocks, developed by acclaimed architect and engineer Renzo Piano, makes for a true architectural destination. The display windows at the base of Maison Hermès are the perfect stage for artists to reexamine “window dressing.”

This video (in Japanese) captures behind-the-scenes of the Journey installation:



More at: Maison Hermès, Qusamura
Photos: Hermès

Light Line Table Lamp by Mary Wallis

Light Line by Mary Wallis

Light Line by Mary Wallis

Light Line by Mary Wallis

Light Line by Mary Wallis

A handsome piece of interior art, the The Light Line table lamp, designed by Mary Wallis for Lindsey Adelman Studio, consists of a hand-bent neon tube anchored by a solid metal base. The form, inspired by a street light, is unusually elegant for such a material, and the base is available in a variety of metal finishes, each lending a different tone to the design.

Australian-born lighting designer Mary Wallis has studied at Central Saint Martins, Parsons, and Pratt; based in Brooklyn, she acts as Senior Designer at Lindsey Adelman Studio.

More at: Mary Wallis

Listening / Viewing: RY X – Salt

Directed by RY X & Dugan O’Neal. From the album Dawn.

Carmen Herrera: Lines of Sight

Carmen Herrera: Lines of Sight

In conjunction with the debut of the exhibition Carmen Herrera: Lines of Sight at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York (September 16, 2016 – January 2, 2017), Yale University Press is publishing a companion book that serves as an evaluation of the artist Carmen Herrera’s life and art.

The 101-year-old Herrera, born in Havana, has lived in New York City since the mid-‘50s; having painted for seven decades, it is only of late that her work has been so internationally recognized and delinquently honored. Exploring her career, that includes time in Cuba, France, and New York, the book examines her early studies, her involvement with the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles in post-war Paris, and her innovative output of hard-edge abstraction in New York.

Exploring Herrera’s evolution as an artist, especially shaped by her time in Paris, where she honed her technique to cleaner lines and a reduced palette, a style she continued to evolve stateside, the book speaks to a lifelong dedication to her art. While her male contemporaries such as Frank Stella and Barnett Newman received substantial attention, Herrera quietly continued her work, and it was not until the age of 89 that she sold her first painting; ultimately, museums including MoMA, the Hirschhorn, and Tate Modern began acquiring Herrera’s pieces, which also include sculptural works, which Herrera refers to as “estructuras.”

Carmen Herrera: Lines of Sight

Carmen Herrera: Lines of Sight

Carmen Herrera: Lines of Sight

Carmen Herrera: Lines of Sight

Carmen Herrera: Lines of Sight

In addition to the 80 works illustrated as color plates, in what is the most extensive representation of Herrera’s work to date, the book includes personal photographs and further material to enrich the record of her life and her life’s work. Lines of Sight was assembled and written by Dana Miller (Richard DeMartini Family Curator and Director of the Collection at the Whitney), with contributions by Serge Lemoine, Gerardo Mosquera, and Edward J. Sullivan, and chronology by Mónica Espinel. 

The book Carmen Herrera: Lines of Sight is available for pre-order, to be released in October.

The exhibition Carmen Herrera: Lines of Sight at the Whitney Museum of American Art, runs September 16, 2016 through January 2, 2017, and will continue to the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio (February 4 – April 16, 2017).

Images: Whitney Museum of American Art, portrait of Carmen Herrera by Andreas Laszlo Konrath
More at: Yale University Press, Whitney Museum of American Art

Dressing for the Season: Theory Fall Menswear & The Row Fall 2016

Though the presentation of these collections took place in February, the time to wear them will soon be upon us, so let’s recap two favorites . . . 

Theory Fall 2016 (Menswear)
Theory Fall 2016 Menswear

Theory Fall 2016 Menswear

Theory Fall 2016 Menswear

Theory Fall 2016 Menswear

Head of menswear at Theory, Ben Stubbington’s approach to seasons doesn’t involve of-the-moment trends or hype pieces, but instead, tried-and-true garments that are interchangeable between months and are made to last a very long time. Restraint is key, and as Stubbington comments, “there are no frills, and deliberately so.” This isn’t to say the collection is without character, citing Cy Twombly as inspiration, the charm is executed in inconspicuous sweater patterns and keen use of material. Following Theory’s hallmark of intelligent design, several of the garments are quietly inventive, from hidden pockets to removable layers, even the introduction of Neoteric, a new Swiss-engineered sport material.

More at: Theory


 

The Row Fall 2016 Ready-To-Wear
The Row Fall 2016

The Row Fall 2016

The Row is known for sumptuous fabrics, and the Fall 2016 collection upholds this reputation in a flawlessly minimal way. This is not the uptight minimalism of overcut, strict line-based design, but instead exquisite tailoring that hides the unimportant details and let’s the fabric do the talking. Coats that you can’t imagine coming from any other name were presented alongside high-waisted trousers, sheath dresses, and silhouettes that are loose-fitting and seemingly oversized, but maintained length and polish. With their line, and this collection specifically, the Olsens extend the secret to dressing impeccably, but never “designer.”

More at: The Row

Piece in Brief: Sculptura Chair by Russell Woodard

Sculptura by Russell Woodard

Sculptura by Russell Woodard

Sculptura by Russell Woodard

Sculptura by Russell Woodard

Sculptura by Russell Woodard

Woodard, a family furniture company that started in Michigan, introduced the Sculptura outdoor chair in 1956, and went on to extend an entire collection based on the successfully-received design.

What started as a wood-based production company, Woodard made the switch to metal outdoor furniture when the Great Depression and depletion of Michigan hardwood interfered with business. The second and third generations of the family, Lee Woodard and his sons, rejuvenated the brand as Woodard and Sons. Though Lee pioneered the idea of using wrought iron in outdoor furniture, it was his three sons, Joe, Lyman II, and Russell, who were responsible for bringing attention to their furniture first nationally, and then beyond. Taking a hiatus from furniture production, Woodard and Sons was producing specialty equipment during World War II, but resumed making furniture in 1946. Most designs were traditional in style, and Woodard became a preeminent name in outdoor furniture, both commercial and residential. In the 1950s, Lee’s son Russell Woodard’s contemporary design approach, exemplified by Sculptura, was a new chapter for the Woodard name, a resounding success that went on to become one of the most replicated pieces of mid-century design.

Sculptura’s production used a tooling process that was ahead of its time and eliminated typical factory obstacles. The chair, which can transition between outdoors and in, is almost a balletic amoeba in form, modern, but inviting, thoughtfully molded to cradle the human body. In addition to being comfortable, it didn’t hurt that the pieces were modestly priced, and because of the woven wire body, lightweight and easy to move around. Sculptura was available in a variety of color finishes, with the option of a padded seat. The full line included variations on an occasional chair, sofa, ottoman, and even rocking chair, but the classic armchair is no doubt the most representative of the collection. While wire chairs proliferated in the 1950s, due to emerging production technology and materials, Sculptura elegantly united modernism with the approachable.

In 1994, the Sculptura chair was added to the Cooper Hewitt’s permanent design collection. In 2015, as a response to the public’s interest in authentic mid-century design

, Woodard, now a subsidiary of Litex, revived the iconic Sculptura design collection, introducing new colors and subtle upgrades.

Vintage Sculptura pieces can be found online and at auction, in varying condition, though it is worth noting that most have held up quite well to years of exposure, sometimes refreshed with powder coat, the chairs were built to last. Pieces from the reintroduced collection can be ordered through authorized Woodard dealers and distributors.

Photos: Wright, 1stdibs
More at: Woodard Furniture


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