By CYNTHIA A. DRAYTON
In the dining area Canadian artist William James Frampton’s anguler 1972 painting Split Red boldly contrasts with a wood and steel dining table provided by Klaus Nienka?mper and ten Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Cane chairs.
CHARLES EAMES ONCE REMARKED that “Eventually everything connects — people, ideas, objects. The quality of the connections is the key to the quality per se.” In the case of the Wolf House in Toronto, several people connected over thirty years to create and maintain this award-winning architectural landmark. The initial link was forged by Mary and Larry Wolf who hired the architect Barton Myers to design the house in the early 1970s. A further tie occurred when Myers wanted to hire Heather Faulding, a South African, to work as an architect in his firm approximately a decade later, but she was denied a visa by the Canadian government. A final connection happened when the Wolfs hired Faulding to update the house in 2008. Continue reading→
They are father and son. They are designers. They work within walking distance of each other in Amsterdam. We visit the studios of Gijs and Aldo Bakker and find similarities, but also differences, in the ways they work, think, and create.
By LEEN CREVE
Father and son designers Gijs (right) and Aldo Bakker.
NO ONE HAS SEEN DUTCH DESIGN EVOLVE as closely as Gijs Bakker. Indeed, no one has had a hand in that evolution as much as Gijs Bakker. The seventy-three-year-old Dutchman is a silversmith and jewelry maker, a creator of furniture and of lighting; he was a co-founder of the ever sassy Droog Design in 1993 and, in 1996, of the jewelry brand now called “chp…?” He also taught for many years. And he still designs. He’s busy. On a sunny morning he opens the front door of his studio on the Keizersgracht in Amsterdam with a welcome question: “Coffee?” Continue reading→
In Los Angeles, A Frank Gehry Retrospective
By Beth Dunlop
FONDATION LOUIS VUITTON FINAL DESIGN MODEL, 2004–14, BY GEHRY PARTNERS, LLP
It’s not often possible to speak in absolutes, but it is safe to say that no other living architect has transformed the field as much as Frank Gehry has. In more than six decades of practice (he opened his Santa Monica, California, office in 1962), Gehry has changed not just the aesthetics of architecture, but also the way in which architecture affects society. His most prominent buildings—the Guggenheim in Bilbao and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles (to name just two)— are powerful landmarks of our time, expressing more than the architect’s particular vision by expressing the cultural aspirations of a generation. Continue reading→
Through her shimmering compositions in glass, Beth Lipman conjures up worlds old and new, delicate and muscular
By FRANCES BRENT
HOW DO YOU GET INSIDE A PICTURE and what can you do there? These are questions a child asks and an adult struggles to answer. A picture, of course, is an illusion. You get inside through imagination. Once there, you might assume it’s full of words since objects tell stories. Continue reading→
By Nicole Anderson
Atelier Carlos Motta: 40 Years at the ESPASSO gallery in New York.
One mark of creativity for a designer is the ability to reinvent and stretch the limits of the quotidian objects and furnishings that are essential to our everyday lives. In Carlos Motta’s first US retrospective Atelier Carlos Motta: 40 Years at the ESPASSO gallery in New York, the chair proves a fertile testing ground for new ideas. Of the 50 pieces in the exhibition, 29 are chairs (14 dining and 15 lounge chairs), and go a long way towards illustrating the breadth of the Sao Paulo-based designer’s work. “I decided to bring chairs because they are representative of the work,” says Motta. “It is not a big object but it is so expressive, and it is not easy to design.” Continue reading→
THIS FALL, THE GROUNDBREAKING WORK OF PAUL RUDOLPH COMES INTO FOCUS WITH AN EXHIBITION AND A SYMPOSIUM DEVOTED TO THE GREAT MODERNIST’S ARCHITECTURE
By Beth Dunlop
Cocoon House (Healy Guest House), designed by Rudolph and Ralph Twitchell, c. 1950. Photo by Greg Wilson.
RIVERVIEW HIGH SCHOOL, completed in 1958 in Sarasota, Florida, was one of the architect Paul Rudolph’s great early achievements. Passively cooled and instinctively green, it was at once modern and tropical, and for all its size (a high school after all), it had a surprisingly delicate presence, the kind of open and airy architecture that is anathema to school boards thinking about building fortresses resistant to hurricanes and school shootings. Against considerable outcry, the school was demolished in 2009, an act that began to focus much-needed national and international attention on the remarkable modernist architectural legacy of Sarasota, of Rudolph, and of his colleagues and followers. Continue reading→
By Beth Dunlop
“There has really not been a show like this before, at least in recent memory,” says David Rago, the auctioneer who is also an advisor to the Modernism Museum Mount Dora. The typography for the title of this exhibition, esherick to NAKASHIMA, gives a pretty big hint of the focus. The museum’s founders, Ken Mazik and Donna Brown, have a superlative collection of both Wharton Esherick’s work and George Nakashima’s. But, as Rago points out, this exhibition, which opens October 3, is “not simply showing off a collection. It is a comprehensive exhibition with a scholarly basis.” The Modernism Museum Mount Dora relies on scholarly and curatorial input not just from Rago, but from his fellow board of advisors: Suzanne Perrault, who is Rago’s wife and partner in Rago Auctions; John Sollo, a leading expert on twentieth-century design; Paul Eisenhauer, former director of the Wharton Esherick Museum; and the design scholar Robert Aibel, whose Moderne Gallery has represented Nakashima over the past several decades. Continue reading→
Photo by Iwan Baan
With the launch of the Chicago Architecture Biennial on October 3 (running to January 3, 2016), the city will once again prove itself as a locus of architectural ingenuity and discourse. Under the title “The State of the Art of Architecture,” the Biennial—the first of its kind in North America—will gather some sixty firms and practitioners from around the world to shed light on the state of the field today through new and commissioned architectural works, lectures, film series, performances, and exhibitions. Co-Artistic Director Sarah Herda discusses the motivation for the Biennial and her vision for the event. Continue reading→
AN EXHIBITION AT FRIEDMAN BENDA IN NEW YORK BRINGS TOGETHER THE MASTER DESIGNER’S IMPORTANT CERAMICS
BY JENNY FLORENCE
Designer Ettore Sottsass.
“If there is a reason for the existence of design, it is that it manages to give—or give anew—instruments and things this sacred charge for which [...] men enter the sphere of ritual, meaning life.” — Ettore Sottsass
IN PHOTOGRAPHS, ETTORE SOTTSASS (1917–2007) is mustachioed, heavy-lidded, and dark, his expressions running from bored to thoroughly unimpressed. In one he sits on a stool, a cigarette between his fingers, long-haired, stone-faced. In another, among a pile-up of grinning designers in a boxing ring–shaped bed, he is against the ropes, head in hand, aloof. If ever a face masked a deep and long- standing interest in human expression, it was this one. Continue reading→
Grand New Spaces for Design and Art
EDWARD CELLA ART + ARCHITECTURE IN L.A.
Photo by John Ellis
Edward Cella Art + Architecture is known for its emphasis on the intersection of fine art, architecture, and design, a focus that has made it a destination gallery in Los Angeles. The interdisciplinary program boasts an exceptional collection of twentieth-century architectural ephemera and materials, including seminal pieces by such mid-century greats as Richard Neutra and Rudolf Schindler, while also offering contemporary fine art programming with a roster of emerging, mid-career, and established artists and designers. In May the gallery officially moved from Wilshire Boulevard to a new space in the heart of Culver City’s art district at 2754 South La Cienega Boulevard. Continue reading→