a tale of a few cities

Elmgreen & Dragset’s Powerless Structures, Fig. 101 Unveiled

Posted in architecture, Art, artists, Installation, Photography, pictures, Public Art, Sculpture by petercombe on February 23, 2012

Artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset have become the latest contemporary artists to unveil a public sculpture on Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth. ‘Powerless Structures, Fig. 101’ depicts a classically proportioned young boy atop a flat rocking horse.

The plinth, built in 1841, was originally designed to host a bronze equestrian statue of King William IV designed by architect Sir Charles Barry.  Organisers said that, after 170 years, “Elmgreen & Dragset have completed the process by presenting a new take on the tradition of equestrian statues, directly engaging with the history of the plinth itself”.

Michael Elmgreen (Denmark) and Ingar Dragset (Norway) are a collaborative artist couple who live and work together in Berlin. Their work often takes the form of a wittily subversive intervention or mise-en-scène. They are critical of contemporary art institutions, and restrictive viewing of the white cube viewing space. The duo have held solo exhibitions at galleries including the Serpentine and Tate Modern, in London, and The Power Plant, in Toronto.  As a duo, the artists – who will exhibit at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum in autumn 2013 – are known for works including Prada Marfa, a full-scale replica of a Prada boutique in the middle of the Texan desert.  

Although I like Elmgreen & Dragset’s work, I wish Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla’s proposal had been chosen. Their’s featured a working cash machine embedded within the plinth which, when accessed, would have triggered a functioning pipe organ set on top of the plinth, to play throughout Trafalgar Square.

Elmgreen & Dragset’s Powerless Structures, Fig 101, replaces Yinka Shonibare’s large-scale Nelson’s Ship In A Bottle.

.

[youtube http://youtu.be/watch?v=dLGj7lxwjNk&w=720&h=450]

.

Advertisements

DWR: Whose bad IKEA was that anyway?

.
From 1966 to 1972, Cy Twombly created a number of canvases that resembled blackboards, with light-colored loops and scrawls flowing across grey backgrounds. These works, blurring the line between drawing and painting, were made with white wax crayon loops on gray painted grounds. An abstraction of cursive script that the artist called “pseudo-writing.”
A Fisher-Price-like homage to action painting appears on page 11 of The Bedroom Sale – February 9-21 printed flyer for Design Within Reach. A moonlighting IKEA stylist/stager/Cy Twombly aficionado must have thought to him or herself, “I can do that.”
.
DWR Vice President of Creative and Marketing, caught snöring.
.

Whitney of the Future

.

Situated in NYC’s Meatpacking District at the southern end of the High Line, the new Renzo Piano-designed Whitney Museum Of American Art will replace the current Marcel Breuer building on Madison Avenue. The Whitney’s new outpost, climbing up nine stories and topping out at 270 feet overlooking the Hudson River, will open in 2015. Inside will be “essential new space for its collection, exhibitions, and education and performing arts programs” spread across 200,000 square feet, with the largest column-free gallery in NYC.

Michael Rakowitz, Climate Control, 2000 – 2001

Michael Rakowitz

Climate Control
2000 – 2001
Galvanized steel ductwork, fans, timers
P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, NY
.
Most museums and exhibition spaces have a central climate control system for maintaining the standard temperature and relative humidity (r.h.) necessary to preserve art works on exhibit. P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center lacks such a mechanism and, during the winter, turns its radiators up to 90˚F, ignoring the institutional standard of 68˚ – 72˚F. The dry heat of the radiators engenders a relative humidity reading of approximately 11%, potentially damaging to objects like paintings or prints, which require stabilized environments of between 40% – 50% r.h.
.
In order to lower the temperature of the Special Projects room to which it is confined, Climate Control, an apparatus consisting of ductwork and fans, incorporates the existing radiator system on the interior of the building with the cold winter temperature outside. The resulting maze of ductwork features a central absurd element: the continuous duct which travels outside the windows and then directly back in, visible from the street. An internal humidifier feeds off moisture in the air and maintains a relative humidity of 20%, in keeping with the standard for exhibiting artworks made from galvanized steel. While the system is adjustable and can maintain a stabilized environment for the display of even delicate works on paper, there is no space to exhibit other art: Climate Control completely engulfs the room. The result is an absurd machine built to maintain itself. – Michael Rakowitz
.
I first heard of Chicago-based artist Michael Rakowitz through his collaborative project “Spoils,” a culinary/art experience utilizing plates found in Saddam Hussein’s fallen palaces and held at Park Avenue Autumn this past October. After doing a few searches, I discovered his 2001 Climate Control installation at P.S.1 and was really taken by the Rakowitz’s clever use of space.
.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Rakowitz’s Climate Control spurred the installation of a climate control system at P.S.1, albeit slowly.
.
.

Cloud Feature Controversies

Posted in 911, architecture, Art, artists, auction, New York City, Parallels, Sculpture by petercombe on December 13, 2011

LOT 75, STUDIO JOB, JOB SMEETS AND NYNKE TYNAGEL, “Robber Baron” floor lamp, 2007

Polished and patinated bronze.
Number one from the edition of five. Base impressed with “JOB 07 01 / 05.”
63 in. (160 cm.) high

ESTIMATE $100,000-150,000

Philips de Pury Auction, DESIGN MASTERS, 13 December 2011, 450 Park Avenue, New York

In other news…

.

Martin Boyce wins Turner prize 2011

Posted in architecture, Art, art criticism, artists, contests, Installation, Sculpture by petercombe on December 5, 2011

Martin Boyce was today presented with the £25,000 award at a ceremony at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead during a live broadcast of the award ceremony on Channel 4, (UK). In his acceptance speech he thanked his art school, saying: “When education is going through the wringer, it is important to acknowledge the value of teachers.” Nick Serota said: “Boyce has consistently reinvented the language of early modern art. But he makes work that doesn’t depend on an understanding of early modern art: it is beautiful and arresting in its own right.”

This year’s £25,000 prize is sponsored by Channel 4, with £5,000 each for the other shortlisted artists. The prize is awarded to a British artist under fifty for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work in the twelve months preceding 4 April 2011. The winner was decided by a jury of Katrina Brown, Director, The Common Guild, Glasgow; Vasif Kortun, Platform Garanti, Istanbul; Nadia Schneider, freelance curator; Godfrey Worsdale, Director, BALTIC and Penelope Curtis, Director of Tate Britain and Chair of the Jury. Turner Prize 2011 is connected by Nokia, presented by Channel 4 and supported by NewcastleGateshead Initiative and Arts Council England.

Martin Boyce’s group of works include Do Words Have Voices 2011, a sculpture inspired by a library table designed by Jean Prouvé for the Maison de l’Etudiant in Paris, and Beyond the Repetition of High Windows, Intersecting Flight Paths and Opinions (A Silent Storm is Painted on the Air), an architectural intervention made for the exhibition. Suspended from the ceiling, the leaf-like forms are drawn from the designs of Jöel and Jan Martel for the 1925 Exposition des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris. Boyce has created the most intellectual of the installations in the sense that it is possible to make sense of the artist’s clues and fetishistic references to the history of Modernist design through the work that satisfyingly creates a dialogue to itself and the space. For this installation, the concrete trees of Joel and Jan Martel reappear as graphic motifs and as quasi-Etruscan typefaces developed by the artist. The room contains a series of interrelated objects that repeat the lozenge shapes in the form of a table, bin, typography, mobile and other elements. A rectangular 8×4’ picture with the title Petrified Songs created typographically with metal letters echoes works by Frank Stella and Joe Tilson; a ceiling of white painted coated aluminium fins echoes iconic modern Italian design; a wooden rhomboid library desktop set within a steel frame and scratched with the artist’s invented alphabet references a Jean Prouvé design; a Calderesque mobile with perforated triangular sails/leaves in shades of black, blue, pink, yellow and green; a red distorted rhomboid waste bin with a fabric liner; four mock air vents are set in the wall echoing the art-deco typography; 100 or so brown paper leaves scattered on the floor are an origami version of the ceiling fins.

Turner Prize 2011 ExhibitionBALTIC Centre for Contemporary ArtSouth Shore Road, Gateshead. NE8 3BAOpen daily 10.00 – 18.00 except Tuesdays 10.30 – 18.00. Admission free. 21 October 2011 – 8 January 2012.

2011/2001

Peter Combe Parallels, Maurizio Cattelan: All, Guggenheim Museum, 2011/Stanley Kubrick, 2001: A Space Odyssey.

I couldn’t help but see the parallels.

Thanks to @Guggenheim for sending this blogpost into the Twittersphere, and to SFMOMA for featuring it on their blog.

Update Nov 28: Sadly the @Guggenheim Ow.ly link has now now fails since I changed my Blog URL a few days ago not realizing previous incoming links would fail. I did however get a hefty 1,000 very appreciated hits before the change.

 

 

.sfmoma-1

gugg

Christo, Over the River

Christo, moments after I asked whether anybody had ever called him the first wrap artist. Tate Britain, 14.09.2011

.

Christo, Over the River (Project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado), Drawing 2010 in two parts, 15 x 96″ and 42 x 96″ (38 x 244 cm and 106.6 x 244 cm), Pencil, pastel, charcoal, wax crayon, enamel paint, wash, fabric sample, hand-drawn topographic map and technical data (Photo: André Grossmann) © 2010 Christo

.

Federal regulators on Monday approved a $50 million installation of anchored fabric over the Arkansas River in southern Colorado by the artist Christo, whose larger-than-life vision has divided environmentalists, residents and politicians for years over questions of aesthetics, nature and economic impact.

The project, “Over the River,” will include eight suspended panel segments totaling 5.9 miles along a 42-mile stretch of the river, about three hours southwest of Denver. Construction could begin next year, pending final local approvals, with the goal being a two-week display of the work as early as August 2014.

Christo’s projects — from the wrapping of the Reichstag Parliament building in Berlin in 1995 to “The Gates,” a meandering path of orange awnings through Central Park in New York in 2005 — have often generated heated debate in advance of their creation.

“We are elated,” Christo said. “Every artist in the world likes his or her work to make people think. Imagine how many people were thinking, how many professionals were thinking and writing in preparing that environmental impact statement.” [NYTimes]

This past September, Christo gave a rare talk in London about two works in progress, Over the River, Project for the Arkansas River, State of Colorado and The Mastaba, Project for the United Arab Emirates. He talked about the concepts behind these two artworks, and the significant process of production and realisation when working on large-scale environmental artworks. I was lucky enough to be sitting in the 2nd row center, it just so happened that he sat directly in front of me narrating while slides of his projects were projected on stage. He spoke much about the Over the River project but I was most intrigued by The Mastaba project (a monumental artwork, set in the Abu Dhabi desert, to be made of approximately 410,000 horizontally stacked oil barrels). I had always thought The Mastaba had been abandoned so was delighted to hear that it is an artwork still in preparatory stages.

During question time I asked how one might volunteer to work on one of his projects (48:55). He immediately pointed out that everybody working on his projects is paid since you could not fire volunteers. Jeanne-Claude (his now deceased wife), made sure that laboring help was paid 25% above minimum wage. I was amazed at Christo’s energy and level of enthusiasm, being that he is 76 years old.

Artist’s Talk: Christo, Tate Britain, Wednesday 14 September 2011
.

Kristin Posehn, A Bridge Between Two Rooms

Posted in architecture, Art, artists, engineering, London, Photography, Sculpture by petercombe on June 28, 2011

.

Kristin Posehn, A Bridge Between Two Rooms, 2005 – 2010

top installation view (Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht NL)
left stop and search citation received under the UK Terrorism Act 2000
right single photograph of a block of windows

.

Between 2005 and 2008 Kristin Posehn photographed every window of the the skyscraper at 30 St Mary’s Axe, London, otherwise known as the Gherkin, from street level. The digital photographs were later reworked, their perspective and dimensions corrected and printed out separately. These diamond-shaped photographs were then attached to their neighbors using 1420 translucent photo-clips and a bike wheel, forming a completely hollow self-supporting shell. The shell structure was hung from floor to ceiling in a standard suburban-type bedroom, lit from within as a lampshade.  

It must be noted that while photographing the building Posehn was given a stop and search citation (received under the UK Terrorism Act 2000).

The sheer feat of engineering coupled with Posehn’s mathematical knowhow really is something to behold. Posehn’s preciseness and attention to detail far surpasses the imaginable. I really would have loved to have seen this work in person. 

A Bridge Between Two Rooms >

Beni Bischof, Architecture in the stranglehold of the art

Posted in architecture, Art, Christianity, Exhibitions, Photography, pictures by petercombe on June 23, 2011

Beni Bischof is a multidisciplinary artist creating paintings, sculptures, drawings, collages, photos, zines, books and computer graphics. Based on his series called the Bricked Castles Art society Zurich will provide a unique insight into Bischof’s universe in The Architecture in the Stranglehold of Art.

Ausstellung #3, Beni Bischof 
23. June — 14. July 2011 
Kunstverein Zürich  
Dienerstrasse 70, 8004 ZUERICH 

mail@kunstvereinzuerich.ch
%d bloggers like this: