Tag Archives: art

Panton Spanish Specials in Madrid

The Architectural Foundation COAM in Madrid has organised an exhibition of one-off Verner Panton chairs, reinterpreted by a selection of Spanish designers and artists. The show, 10 Autores + 10 Sillas Panton, will close on October 7 with an auction of the pieces, reworked by Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, Alberto Corazón, Álvarez Sala y Rubio Carvajal, Angel Schlesser,  Guillermo Pérez Villalta, Javier Mariscal, Manuel Serrano, Ouka-Leele, Pedro Feduchi, and Tuñón y Mansilla.

Showroom VITRA
C/ Marqués de Villamejor nº 5 – Madrid
Tel. 91 426 45 60 –  www.vitra.com

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Art Deco in Barcelona

The Design History Foundation launches its teaching programme with a course on Art Deco, which will offer both an international approach to the style and sessions on its local impact.

The 18-hour course will take place between 30.09.09 and 16.12.09, at the Disseny Hub Barcelona, C/ Montcada, 12, 08003 Barcelona. Sessions will be in Catalan.

More information here.

A map of writing on walls

IMG_0038

Design collective REDImei are putting together a great online guide to Barcelona graffiti, with photos linked to Google map tags.

UNFORTUNATELY (yes, this is me shouting) I can’t post any of the great pictures here, because all the images on their flickr photostream have an ‘All rights reserved’ Creative Commons licence. Come on, guys. This is street art we’re talking about, our shared urban culture, that laughs at private property and writes on walls.

So the picture above comes not from their otherwise wonderful project, but from my own modest collection. And as all my other stuff on this blog, you are welcome to make good use of it should you so wish, under an ‘Attribution – Share Alike’ CC licence.

At least I can give you the link to their Google Maps page.

The Ballad of the Styrofoam Cup

Recycling and re-using ordinary everyday things to turn them into exquisite glamour-infused objects of art and design is a practice that has become increasingly mainstream, ever since it was showcased almost a decade ago now at the ICA’s Stealing Beauty exhibition in London, curated by Claire Catteral. I have been following the trend with great interest as it has seeped into the recesses of contemporary culture, as an easy conceptual shortcut to comment on the evils of our throwaway society, the excesses of consumerism, the beauty of anonymous objects and the need for sustainable practices.

This now hegemonic trend is about to be enshrined for good in the inaugural exhibition of New York’s new Museum of Arts and Design, Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinary.  (Sept 27, 2008 – Feb 15, 2009). Here’s the blurb:

The exhibition features work by 50 international established and emerging artists from all five continents who create objects and installations comprised of ordinary and everyday manufactured articles, most originally made for another functional purpose. The exhibition includes works by well known designers, Ingo Maurer, Tejo Remy, and the Campana Brothers as well as internationally acclaimed artists, such as Tara Donovan, Xu Bing, El Anatsui, and Do Ho Suh.

Highlights from the show include American artist Tara Donovan’s Bluffs, a group stalagmite shaped structures made of clear plastic buttons delicately placed one on top of the other. Do Ho Suh, a Korean artist creates a jacket made of military dog tags, portraying the way a solider is part of a larger troop.

Paul Villinski, an American, creates beautiful butterflies out of his old record collection, producing a “soundtrack” of his life. English artist Susie MacMurray used yellow rubber washing gloves, turned them inside out and stitched onto a calico form to create an imposing out-sized dress.

Other featured works are made from buttons, spools of thread, artificial hair, used high-heeled shoes, plastic spoons and forks, shopping bags, and 25-cent coins to mention only a few.

The exhibition surveys the rich artistic landscape of much contemporary art, in which hierarchies among art, craft, and design are disregarded. In addition, the exhibition examines the ways in which artists transform our world, respond to contemporary cultural paradigms, and comment on global consumerism.

I offer today for your entertainment, a few snapshots of the humble styrofoam cup on its journey of reincarnation as a lamp, which of course hasn’t made it any more sustainable, but is nevertheless turning it into an A-list celebrity of the creative re-use gang.

If you have come across other interesting examples of this, please send me a picture! bcnd [at] narotzky.com

Styrene Lamp. Paul Cocksedge, 2003

"Styrene Lamp". Paul Cocksedge, 2003

“Untitled (Styrofoam Cups)” Tara Donovan, 2008.

“Untitled (Styrofoam Cups)” Tara Donovan, 2008.

Styrolight from Readymade.com (Issue 4)

"Styrolight" from Readymade.com (Issue 4)

Self-made Styrofoam cups chandelier posted on Apartment Therapy, 2005.

Self-made Styrofoam cups chandelier posted on Apartment Therapy, 2005.

Garbage Lamp, Peter Castellucci, 2008.

"Garbage Lamp", Peter Castellucci, 2008.

EXIT

EXIT, Quarterly Magazine on Image and Culture, published its latest issue with the monographic topic ‘Machines’.

#31 MACHINES
(August, September, October – 2008)
Bilingual edition: texts in English and Spanish

Rosa Olivares, director and editor of EXIT, reflects in her editorial Sensitive Machines, on the cinematographic iconography of the robot and on how the machine not only symbolises man’s fears, but also his desire for perfection. Francisco Javier San Martín, lecturer of History and Theory of Art at the Universidad del País Vasco, traces the history of the way in which the avant-garde appropriated the machine as a metaphor for modernity in his article The Machine and its Shadow. Miles Orvell, Professor of English Literature at Temple University and expert on the history of photography, examines the present day photographic representation of machines. This issue concludes with an essay by Elio Grazioli, Professor of History and Theory of Photography at the Università di Bergamo, which takes Andy Warhol’s famous statement “I want to be a machine” as a starting point from which to investigate the relationship contemporary photographers have with the photographic machine and the concept of automation which can be associated with it.

This issue also includes an extensive interview by Louise Neri, current director of Gagosian Gallery and previously editor of Parkett, with Hiroshi Sugimoto on his Conceptual Forms series, dedicated to teaching models of mathematical formulae and models which recreate complex mechanisms, a series which Thomas Kellein, director of the Bielefeld Kunsthalle, also writes about. Portfolio sections are dedicated to the work of Peter Fraser and Stéphane Couturier and include texts written by the artists themselves.