An Intimate Glimpse of Richard Prince

By Marieke Treilhard

ARTIST RICHARD PRINCE IS NO STRANGER to controversy. An early pioneer of appropriation art, Prince spent the 1970s and ‘80s undermining the necessity of authorship in art, re-photographing existing images and modifying them only minimally to make them his own. A constant target of copyright infringement and intellectual property law allegations, his creative strategy was, and still is, reliant on the subtle manipulation of content excised from popular culture, the media, commercial advertising, and the like. With an uncanny ability to transform the context and meaning of an image with a simple gesture or a minimal material intervention, Prince established himself as an expert in confiscation and concision. Continue reading→

Gallery ALL Opens Doors to New Ideas

By Adam Dunlop-Farkas

WITH SHOWROOMS IN DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES and Beijing’s 751 Design Park, Gallery ALL occupies design niches on both sides of the Pacific. The gallery was founded in 2013 by Yu Wang and Qinqyun Ma after the two men were introduced by Wang’s wife, Xiao Lu, who also joined the endeavor to serve as the gallery director. The following year Gallery ALL opened its doors on the first floor of L.A.’s historic Bradbury Building to introduce Chinese design works to Western patrons. While Chinese visual arts had progressed to the forefront of contemporary art, the country’s design culture had remained relatively anonymous in American and European circles. The Chinese-born Wang, who studied architecture and design in the United States, and Ma, a prominent Chinese architect and dean of the University of Southern California School of Architecture, both viewed this not only as a shortcoming of the marketplace but as a unique circumstance. “We had the opportunity to work with the best designers in China,” Wang says. Continue reading→

A New Focus on Design in San Francisco

THE JUST-REOPENED SFMOMA ENHANCES THE GLOW OF THE GOLDEN CITY

By ROBERT ATKINS

Snøhetta’s expansion of the new SFMOMA, which reopened in May.

GEOGRAPHY IS DESTINY, as Napoleon is rumored to have said just before invading Russia. The reopening of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art—three years in construction and now the largest American museum of its kind—is emblematic of a dramatic shift in the city’s center of gravity from north to south of Market Street. SFMOMA’s bet on its South of Market location more than a quarter century ago has paid off. Thanks to greatly enhanced collections, a restaurant helmed by three-Michelin-star chef Corey Lee, and Snøhetta’s suave architecture, the reopened museum’s destiny seems predictable: expect record growth echoing that of the two decades since the museum moved into its distinctive building designed by Mario Botta in 1995, which is now incorporated within its expanded 460,000-square-foot quarters. Continue reading→

Sitting Pretty


The restored modernist Villa Cavrois offers a fine home for a new exhibition of 20th century chairs

By Clotilde Luce

Until its recent restoration, Robert Mallet-Steven’s Villa Cavrois was a ransacked and crumbling modernist castle, with trees sprouting inside its once ultra-sleek salons. But thanks to the advocacy of such architects as Renzo Piano and Tadao Ando, and the French government’s meticulous $25 million rehabilitation, the 1932 private villa has been given a long-awaited second chance at life. Situated next to Croix, known as the capital of France’s rust belt (and just a fast, one-hour train ride from Paris), the villa has drawn over 100,000 visitors since opening its doors last summer. Continue reading→

Christo’s Next Chapter

by Beth Dunlop

Christo and Jeanne-Claude on-site at The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 2005. It was their last project together before Jeanne-Claude’s death in 2009.

ON A DRIZZLY AFTERNOON SOMEWHERE between winter and spring, Christo is thinking about summer. He is at his home in SoHo, in the cast-iron building he and his late wife, Jeanne-Claude, moved into in 1964. “Phil Glass installed our bidet,” he says, “and Gordon Matta-Clark put in the closet.” Much has happened since then: Christo and Jeanne-Claude completed twenty-two projects, all in the public eye and at an extraordinary scale. Over the years they have stacked, wrapped, covered, shrouded, and surrounded buildings, monuments, Roman walls, beaches, bridges, islands, trees, barrels, even bales of hay—and more. But today, Christo is looking forward as much as he is looking back. Continue reading→

BERKELEY’S NEW MUSEUM SHINES

— By Robert Atkins

DILLER SCOFIDIO + RENFRO seems to be everywhere in California these days. Since October, three major projects by the firm have debuted around the state: the Broad Museum in Los Angeles, the McMurtry Building (home to Stanford University’s Department of Art and Art History), and, most recently, the University of California’s Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. This conjoined art and film resource is not only the best of the three buildings, but the most accomplished of DS + R’s flourishing career. Continue reading→

Inside Out: At Seomi Gallery, An Illuminating Show of Modern Lighting

— By Adam Dunlop-Farkas

A TWO-PART EXHIBITION AT Seomi International’s Case Study House 21 (Bailey House) in Los Angeles focuses on the role of lighting in design. Organized by Seomi’s P. J. Park in conjunction with Evan Snyderman of the New York–based R & Company, A Case Study in Lighting presents itself as an examination of contrasting motifs: natural and artificial light, East and West, past and present. The first part of the show, which was on display until February 19, featured works by contemporary designers and artists from South Korea, the United States, and Europe. The second part, which opened after MODERN went to press and is on view until June 5, switches over to vintage pieces with a concentration on mid- century modern and Scandinavian design. Continue reading→

In Le Corbusier’s Footsteps

Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, c. 1910

“For Jacob Brillhart, drawing is a way of seeing. Fresh from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Brillhart determined that he would follow the time-honored tradition of a drawing trip. Later calling it “a slow grand tour for a young, restless architect,” he set out with his sketchbooks, pencils, and watercolors. Along the way, he became fascinated with what he would come to call “Le Corbusier’s early mysterious time of intellectual development and most specifically his early sketchbooks.” That early curiosity turned into a quest to follow the master as he traveled through Turkey, Greece, Italy, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany—both as an homage and as a way to see what Le Corbusier saw and learn from him. The following excerpt comes from Voyage Le Corbusier: Drawing on the Road (W. W. Norton), Brillhart’s new book about Le Corbusier’s own grand tours and the drawings they produced.” Continue reading→

Design Miami/ Basel 2016 Exhibitor List Announced

Rebar in Gold by Ai Weiwei 2013 at Elisabetta Cipriani courtesy of Ai Weiwei Studio.

Design Miami/ Basel announced the exhibitors for its 2016 edition, returning to Basel this June with over 40 participating galleries from around the world, featuring all areas of collectible design. Among those making their Design Miami/ Basel debut are Galerie Alain Marcelpoil (Paris), featuring French Art Deco designer André Sornay, MANIERA (Brussels) and Gate 5 (Monaco). In addition, several solo exhibitions will be presented, including returning galleries Friedman Benda (New York), with works by Dutch designer Joris Laarman and Elisabetta Cipriani (London) featuring the first pieces of wearable design ever created by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. The fair will run from June 14 to June 19. Continue reading→

The Kagan Touch

by Beth Dunlop

Kagan worked closely with Hirtenstein to develop the back-to-back custom sofa for his Amy Lau-designed apartment.

Vladimir Kagan is hard at work. It is a breezy, bright day in Palm Beach, and though other octogenarians might be out on the shuffleboard court or lining up for the early-bird special, he is behind his desk (ocean view included) busily refining new designs, shooting off business e-mails, adding photos to his blog, vetting the images for a new catalogue, and much more. His assistant, the recent furniture design graduate Christopher Eitel, is in deep concentration at another computer, but when asked, jumps up to make mid-afternoon cappuccinos. Kagan pauses to give a bit of barista advice and then goes back to his analysis of a sofa he’s been designing, pausing to make a comment or two. “Multitasking is my way,” he says. “It’s my middle name. Call me Vladimir Multitask Kagan.” Though at eighty-seven he is walking more laboriously than he once did (and with the occasional aid of a scooter or walking poles), he is otherwise not slowing down. In this era of technology his work goes where he goes—which is Palm Beach for the winter, Nantucket for the summer, and New York in between. Continue reading→