Untitled (Golden) is a 1995 installation by Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1957-1996), an artist born in Cuba who lived and worked in New York. Consisting of strands of beads that fall from a hanging device to the floor, the work functions as a membrane that intersects a room and defines new spaces in the process. Of the work, Lauren Hinkson says: The gentle confrontation of this golden screen provokes the tactile and sensory, inviting the viewer to transform its shape simply by walking through.
Archive of November 2010
Ion Ander Beloki‘s studio reminds me of these pencil cases I had as a child. The kind where it looks just like a regular rectangular brick case, but inside, had many different compartments, side openings, secret panels, and missiles of course. Well, the Spanish window designer, the brainchild behind ja! studio, designed this amazingly modular studio space, named Caja (box in Spanish), is in the heart of Basque Country. There’s hiding closets of libraries, extendible carts holding couches and work desks, hiding toilets and office space, and all still very functional it seems. Ion Ander comments, It is a work area that can be adapted to the different requirements of the project. Its distribution embodies the suggested program: a convertible and unexpected space created with three materials: American oak wood, black MDF and white MDF, leaving the panel’s edges free of any finishing or application details. Now I’d love to find something like this for my living and bedroom space. Photography by Antonio Macarro.
Sometimes you want a bit of a thrill—rich punk chic. Christophe Decamin, Creative Director of Balmain delivered couture punk for his spring 2011 ready to wear collection. Super fun that Haute Couture Balmain house encourages girls to wear our beloved stained jeans without a little—or a lot of—provocation. And we couldn’t be happier looking effortlessly rebellious, with the casual by nature, blue stuff. The focus at Balmain for spring/summer 2011 was rigor with sensuality. Daria Werbowy’s energy confirmed it, as she walked the runway to show off the white corset effect. The repertoire of stripped-down and punky skinny jeans, t-shirts and jackets was accented with safety pins and studs; all this paired with fabulous pointy-toe pumps. Christophe Decami, an unassuming couturier, made it clear his way was not Paris-minimalism. No matter: considering fashion’s current utilitarian mood, I’m thrilled with a revival of simple street wear upped with tough chic. Toned down, holed jeans sensationally suit the simplistic state of my free spirited, design sensibility. No doubt.
French architect Jean Nouvel’s Hook wall is a minimalist storage surface. It is also a new and interesting way to animate home or office walls. Nouvel had been inspired by computer punch cards and sheet music staves when he designed this wall system for Italian brand Methis. The system comprises metal strips with hidden joints, shelves and containers can be hung from gaps between the strips. Jean Nouvel says: A metal architecture, like a quotation from Jean Prouvé’s work: rather than a wall this is a continuous building system that encloses joints into the metal folds. And its corrugated skin, regularly perforated and lacquered, turns into a wall. A wall to capture light and liven up the space around it. I love it as the wall turns into a complete device with infinite potential…
The Slim Table was designed by Dutch furniture and lighting designer Bertjan Pot for the 100 year jubilee of Arco. The most significant characteristic is the feeling that is cannot be a sturdy table, because of it is made of wood, and very lightweight. The trick? The frame is made of aluminum, and laminated with a thin layer of oak wood or a lacquered finish. The result is excellent!
Gladstone Gallery recently presented an exhibition of large-scale installations by Sol LeWitt (1928-2007), an American artist primarily linked to the Conceptual Art movement on the 1960s and ’70s, but his influence on minimalism is undeniable. Of Wall Drawing #792 (conceived in 1995), Gladstone Gallery says: It underscores LeWitt’s early interest in the intersections between art and architecture, which he distinguished and admired as a practice structured by predetermination, empirical logic, and collaboration. What an absolutely gorgeous work.
I honestly can not remember the last time I have used a real calculator, but I love the minimalist calculator by London based designer Alexander Hulme. Over the past 40 years the design of a calculator has not really changed Hulme states. He tried to improve the current design in two ways: by creating a visual memory and history. Have a look at the short video to discover both improvements.
Voids, an entire exhibition devoted to the art of nothing. A retrospective of empty exhibitions since that of Yves Klein (1928-1962) in 1958, who invited thousands to view an empty, white-washed room. This exhibition at the Pompidou Centre in Paris was in 2009 one of the most radical show ever seen inside a museum. Stretched through nine rooms, completely empty, each one was the work of an artist from the past fifty years. The best explaination of the show came from the curators themselves: Bringing together propositions by Yves Klein, Robert Irwin, Laourie Parsons, Roman Ondak, Bethan Huws, Maria Eichhorn, Robert Berry and Art & Language, this very special retrospective includes only exhibitions that presented a completely space, gallery or museum. It casts light on an element in art history that has long been neglected because it represents a challenge not only to the museums but also to the art market. At the same time it raises a number of questions, such as what is an exhibition? or the possibility to revive ephemeral works, known only through documentation and the memories of those who witnessed it? An extreme minimalist experience, a refreshing reprieve to have so much room for contemplation,...
It’s always refreshing to see amazing things coming out of graduation shows. Elin Klevmar from the Swedish School of Fashion & Textiles was shown at London Fashion Week this year for the first time, with her ultra comfortable looking collection. About her collection, Elin comments: I have always had an attraction towards the simple and the honest. And that was also my aim with this collection, to speak my loudest in a silent way. No need for shouting out loud. No need for unnecessary explanations. Aiming for that, every component and detail added plays an important role. A constant delicate balancing act. Where the space in between, the restful clean silent space is the most talkative. Personally, I’m loving the feeling of honesty in this collection. Very MUJI-esque.
Collecting is a strange addiction. As collectors, we always find an underlying argument to preserve things we like. Artur Walther wanted to find a way to share his personal art collection with the public. German born, New York based collector and former investment banker, Artur Walther, converted three of his family homes into a private museum to exhibit The Walther Collection. The Walther Collection’s three exhibition buildings—White Box, Green House, and the Black House opened in June 2010, in Burlafingen, near Ulm, Southern Germany. The White Box, designed by German architect Braungerr Wörtz, honors the spirit of minimalism. Severely stripped of details, the space is calm and pale. The concrete material was not intended to remain beyond the construction phase. Artur Walther liked the raw concrete of the ceiling and walls so much that it ultimately remained exposed, as a design element. The Black House stands quietly, in the green pasture like a dark chocolate cake. Undeniably charming. Reaching collector status had once a constructive meaning in my life. Inventory no longer makes my heart flip-flop. That’s a relief. (Thank you, Eili!)
Tray is the new coffee table collection by Spanish design studio Estudi Arola for furniture company Kendo. The collection is constructed around a central concept: a matt lacquer metal base is combined with mobile trays. These trays, available in a matt lacquer metal or walnut finish, allow you to personalize the object and add a fine touch of color. Kendo has been somewhat struggling with its brand image, but Tray might well be the start of a fresh future. We’ll see!
It has taken him a year of his life, but his Edits by Edit project is finally complete. NYC-based creative technologist, designer and art director Nitzan asked 12 designers from around the world to represent a musical genre using just one shape and one type. This resulted in an eclectic A1 poster series full of brilliant ideas, all of which are now for sale.