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Flooded Modernity by Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen

Flooded Modernity by Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen

Flooded Modernity by Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen

Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen has sunk a 1:1 replica of one of Le Corbusier‘s most iconic buildings, Villa Savoye, in a Danish fjord; this jutting, iceberg-like installation serves as a social and political statement pertaining to Brexit and Trump’s election results. Titled Flooded Modernity, the installation is one of 10 waterborne works on display at the Floating Art Festival on Vejle Fjord, an art and architecture event organized by the Vejle Museum in Denmark, available to view through September 2.

Havsteen-Mikkelsen describes Flooded Modernity as a symbol of how the values of modernism have been overwhelmed by technology; from election scandals to third party influence, across the world we’ve seen politics manipulated negatively and falsely via technology. As it relates to the installation, Havsteen-Mikkelsen describes Villa Savoye as a symbol of modernity that represents faith in the public’s critical thinking . . . “after these scandals, I think our sense of democracy and the public sphere has been distorted through the new use of digital technologies to manipulate elections. Our sense of modernity has been ‘flooded’. I sense the need to ‘re-state’ our political institutions – because our old ones have ‘sunk’.’”

Le Corbusier was a pioneer of the modernist movement in architecture of the early 1900s, the Swiss-French architect (amongst many other titles) rejected superfluous, ornamental design, in favor of clean lines and open plans, heavily inspired by mathematical concepts, his design theory having major impact on modern European architecture. Le Corbusier’s connection to water is of note when it comes to this installation; he praised the design of ocean liners and incorporated elements to his work, a barge built by Le Corbusier as a homeless shelter in 1910 sank earlier this year (and is to be restored as a museum) in Paris, and sadly, after going for a swim against his doctor’s orders, Le Corbusier drowned in the Mediterranean Sea off the southern coast of France in 1965.

Villa Savoye has been a returning theme in Havsteen-Mikkelsen’s work, as he considers it to embody the essential values of modernism, including critical thinking and reason.

More at: Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen

The Green Ray by Jotta Studio

The Green Ray by Jotta Studio

The Green Ray by Jotta Studio

The Green Ray by Jotta Studio

The Green Ray by Jotta Studio

The optical phenomenon known as the “green ray” can occur just after sunset or right before sunrise as a very brief flash of distinct green light above the upper rim of the sun’s disk. The subject of Jules Verne’s Le Rayon-Vert, the mysterious fleeting visual event has inspired explorers and artists alike.

Commissioned by Scottsdale Public Art for Canal Convergence 2018, London-based Jotta Studio’s “The Green Ray” installation follows the rising and falling of the Arizona sunset above the Arizona Canal running through Scottsdale. The half-circle sculpture floats just above water level, relying on its own reflection to complete the sun’s shape. The piece, which, in part, represents our dependence on the elements of sun and water, consists of a framework of under-lit stainless steel fillets, inspired by modernist ideals exhibited in surrounding desert architecture. As dawn breaks, the sun emerges from the horizon line of the water through an intense bright yellow, before morphing to a piercing white light at high noon. During the day, The Green Ray’s panels reflect and refract the bright desert sun across the water; at night, the solar-powered structure is lit to recreate the completion of the sun’s cycle, shifting through the color spectrum towards the blood orange sunset, and finally, at twilight, revealing the green ray moment, before settling on the blue hour of night.

More at: Jotta Studio

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide ’17

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide ’17

1. Ann Ringstrand’s earthy, but beautifully inviting Gather fragrance features notes like incense, cypress, and cedramber, $215; 2. Phaidon’s The Japanese Garden is a thorough and historical exploration of the Japanese garden in art and culture, $70; 3. Horse Brand Co.’s naval knife w/brass handle is inspired by traditional Scandinavian maritime knives, and is entirely handmade in Brooklyn, $195; 4. ROE’s white sturgeon caviar is sustainably farmed in California, crafted by hand, and forgoes the oft present preservatives or borax found in European caviars, $150; 5. Consisting of a brass base and a hand-dipped glass globe, Jordi Canudas’ Dipping Lamp is the perfect blend of modernist design and ‘70s California vibes, $275

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide ’17

6. Kikori whiskey is distilled in Japan, made from 100% rice, and aged over three years, $50; 7. The School of Life’s Walden candle is subtly fragranced with natural notes, referencing the quiet life of Henry David Thoreau, $50; 8. More important now than we ever anticipated, a donation to the ACLU helps the organization respond to threats to our civil liberties, blocking attempts to suppress free speech, the denial of reproductive freedom, rejection of immigrant’s rights, racially-based practices in the criminal justice system, among many other fights, donation; 9. Designed by artist and Acme founder Adrian Olabuenaga, this metal rollerball pen & mechanical pencil set look like iconic No. 2 pencils, but write like the fine instruments they are, $74; 10.  Menu’s minimal brass candle cube, designed by Erik Olovsson, looks as striking alone as it does in a group, $75

Ceal Floyer at 303 Gallery / New York

Ceal Floyer at 303 Gallery NYC

Ceal Floyer at 303 Gallery NYC

Ceal Floyer at 303 Gallery NYC

Ceal Floyer at 303 Gallery NYC

A key figure in post-conceptualism from the ‘90s to today, Ceal Floyer was born in 1968 and is based in Berlin. For her current exhibition at 303 Gallery in New York City, the artist presents works in the format of video, photography, and sculpture. Throughout her career, Floyer has explored a visually simple approach to conjuring puzzle and thought through her work; in this exhibition, a collection of pieces extend on the unseen or unthought aspects of the everyday.

One of the exhibition’s key pieces, Plughole, features a video from the perspective of looking at a sink drain, water being redirected to fill each hole, as described by the gallery: “the drain’s function as a receptacle for water becomes a kind of short-circuit, as water itself becomes the material that plugs its own pathway.” Seemingly mundane actions are presented to elicit thoughts about sub-patterns or activity that exists in what sometimes feels like another dimension. Contacts is a series of 128 digital drawings, each geometric form created by tracing the paths between phone numbers on Floyer’s keypad. Works like Domino Effect, a long row of too-tightly arranged dominoes, and Newton’s Cradle, the classic metal ball pendulum, this time tangled and motionless, incur thoughts about what these objects stand for in terms of form or purpose, and if they even have one. Within all of these minimalist queries, there is a direct wit and humor, which can’t always be said for this genre of visual art.

Through July 14, 303 Gallery (555 W. 21st St.).

More at: 303 Gallery

Tool Roots by Mike Abelson at Maison Hermès

Tool Roots at Hermès Ginza

Tool Roots at Hermès Ginza

Tool Roots at Hermès Ginza

Tool Roots at Hermès Ginza

Tool Roots at Hermès Ginza

Postalco co-founder and designer Mike Abelson is the latest to oversee the window design at Hermès’ Ginza store in Tokyo. The display, titled Tool Roots, features a variety of tools and work objects arranged and broken down by their primary elements; Tool Roots is Ableson’s response to the Hermès 2017 theme of “Object Sense,” with 3-dimensional charts of daily objects mixed with drawings. The presentation is interwoven with Hermès products, and spans across two large display cases, as well as smaller feature boxes.

“Maybe tools are like colors? Perhaps they can be blended together, the way colors are, to form new objects with completely different roles?” says Abelson.

Tool Roots runs through July 11, 2017.

More at: Maison Hermès, Postalco
Photos: Mike Abelson

“Beauty is whatever anyone thinks is beautiful.”

– Rei Kawakubo, founder of Comme de Garçons, who is being honored at The Met Costume Institute’s exhibition Rei Kawakubo/Comme de Garçons: Art of the In-Between, May 4 – September 4.

Forms in Space… by Light (in Time) by Cerith Wyn Evans

Forms in Space... by Light (in Time) by Cerith Wyn Evans

Forms in Space... by Light (in Time) by Cerith Wyn Evans

Forms in Space... by Light (in Time) by Cerith Wyn Evans

Cerith Wyn Evans’ installation, Forms in Space… by Light (in Time), at the Tate Britain’s Duveen Galleries, is an exploration of form and perspective via more than a mile of neon lighting; strict lines and graphic shapes of light are suspended from the ceiling, referencing physical and kinetic gestures.

At first glance, the almost chaotic nature of the installation is similar in visual style to “light writing,” a popular trend in art photography, however, as the viewer moves along the installation and perspective shifts, the uniform arrangement appears to be in motion. Structured in three parts that emerge from a single neon ring and develop into three disc forms, Wyn Evan’s implemented choreology – the practice of translating movement into notational form, and was influenced by the precise work of Japanese Noh theater, a gesture-based, highly-crafted performance art. The artist describes the three forms as “occulist witnesses,” a reference to artist Marcel Duchamp’s sculpture The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass), which was donated to the Tate’s collection in 1975.

Best known for his use of neon lighting, the work of Welsh conceptual artist Cerith Wyn Evans ranges from experimental film, to installation, sculpture, photography, and text. Other light installations by Wyn Evans include E=V=E=N=T (2015), a sculpture commissioned for Malmo Live, and Arr/Dep (imaginary landscape for the birds) (2006), at Lufthansa’s Frankfurt headquarters.

Forms in Space… by Light (in Time) by Cerith Wyn Evans runs until August, 20 at Tate Britain, London.

More at: Tate Britain
Photos: Joe Humphreys © Tate

Earth Day Conscious Gift Guide

The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, brought to action 20 million Americans, and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. The passage of the landmark Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, and many other groundbreaking environmental laws soon followed. Twenty years later, Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries, and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage. This April 22, the 47th anniversary of Earth Day, the mission is education; fluency in the concepts of climate change and threats to the environment is the key to action, from laws and policy, to business practices and personal actions.

While the best way to recognize the cause may be to avoid consuming altogether, it is possible to put your money where your mouth is when it comes to environment and sustainability-minded businesses and products. Here are a few selections that forgo standard profit models and support causes and ideas that align with the principles of Earth Day, or perhaps just a little something to remind us to care for the natural world we all require to thrive. 

 

1. The Plant magazine brings together photographers, illustrators, designers, musicians, writers, and visual artists from around the world to share their perceptions and experiences around plants.

. . . During photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. This opposite pattern of gas use makes plants and people natural partners. Houseplants can also remove toxins from air – up to 87 percent of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) every 24 hours, according to NASA research. VOCs include substances like formaldehyde (present in rugs, vinyl, cigarette smoke and grocery bags), and benzene and trichloroethylene (both found in man-made fibers, inks, solvents and paint).

2A design inspired by the the Danish concept of “hygge,” the Carrie LED lamp by Norm Architects is a lightweight, portable lamp that can be adapted for indoor or outdoor use, its bulb-free LED is powered by a rechargeable battery.

. . . LEDs are up to 80% more efficient than traditional lighting (fluorescent and incandescent); less energy use reduces the demand from power plants and decreases greenhouse gas emissions.

3. Birdhaus by Claesson Koivisto Rune is a subtle reinvention of the classic birdhouse; this numbered edition is made from 3D printed porcelain and produced by OTHR, a forward-thinking collaborative that allows designers to meld technology with heirloom-quality materials.

. . . OTHR’s production process avoids manufacturing more than is needed by implementing technologies such as 3D printing, this keeps waste to a minimum and the typical warehousing of merchandise is bypassed, directly minimizing environmental impact.

4. Made from 18-carat recycled yellow gold, and featuring a panel of grey-blue fossilized dinosaur bone, this ring by designer Monique Péan is a chic ode to both modern design and our planet’s history.

. . . Péan’s sustainability mission revolves around responsible sourcing (never using mined materials), and recycled metals for jewelry designs. In addition to forgoing the often destructive standards of the jewelry industry, Péan is dedicated to supporting global philanthropic organizations. To observe Earth Day, the brand donates a portion of proceeds to Trees for the Future, helping communities to alleviate poverty, affecting positive social change, and improving both local and global environments by working with farming communities along environmentally degraded and highly traveled trade corridors.

5. Peet Rivko’s Balancing Face Oil is a signature blend of organic avocado, jojoba, and prickly pear oils, rich in essential fatty acids and natural antioxidants.

. . . Peet Rivko use no toxic parabens, sulfates, phthalates, PEGs, phenoxyethanol, silicones, or petroleum in their formulations. They work hand-in-hand with suppliers to ensure the supply chains are transparent, and product formulas are manufactured in a wind-powered lab in Southern California. The brand opts for recyclable and biodegradable packaging, and containers are manufactured with sustainability in mind.

6. The Natural Resources Defense Counsel works to safeguard the earth—its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends. Founded in 1970, NRDC combines the power of more than two million members and online activists with the expertise of some 500 scientists, lawyers, and policy advocates across the globe to ensure the rights of all people to the air, the water, and the wild. Your donation is a direct way to sponsor hard-hitting cases and campaigns in defense of nature.

7. Matt & Nat’s Magistral Notepad Sleeve is a a revival of the classic leather notepad jacket with pencil holder, only this time in modern, vegan materials.

. . . The Mat & Nat brand started with a commitment to not using leather or any other animal-based material; their linings are made of 100% recycled plastic bottles, and they’ve recently introduced recycled bicycle tires to their collections.

8. Koval Organic Vodka is made from organic grain, sourced from local farmers and milled on site, for a complete grain-to-bottle product. 

. . . Organic farming eliminates the possibility of soil and water contamination by synthetic chemicals, preserves local wildlife, and encourages biodiversity. Local-sourcing equates to less energy used for transportation, directly reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

9. bkr’s 1L water bottle is the antidote to cheap, disposable plastic bottles; their glass design, sleeved in silicone, motivates you to drink your daily dose of water, without polluting the environment with wasteful plastic.

. . . For every six plastic water bottles used, only one makes it to the recycling bin, U.S. landfills are overflowing with 2 million tons of discarded water bottles alone.

10. Wool Runners by Allbirds are made from breathable, ZQ-certified Merino wool.

. . . ZQ certification ensures high standards of sustainable farming and animal welfare. The wool used requires 60% less energy to produce than typical synthetic materials used in shoes; castor beans are a sustainable source for the green polyurethane used for insoles, and the Allbirds shipping shoebox uses 40% less materials than traditional packaging.

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide ’16

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide '16

1. Lucetta Magnetic Bike Lights, $20; 2. Japanese Cast Iron Skillet, $84; 3. Mexico from the Inside Out (chef Enrique Olvera), $60; 4. Bäska Snaps, $30; 5. Byredo Incense Candle, $140

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide '16

6. Surf Odyssey, $55; 7. Kid O Go Car, $14; 8. Verso Super Facial Oil, $195; 9. COS Raw-Cut Wool Hat, $35; 10. ILA Wildflower Honey, $35

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









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