In March of this year, multidisciplinary designers Signe Emma and Alice Young produced and exhibited an installation titled The Edge, at the Stour Space Gallery in Hackney Wick, London. The beautifully crafted project focuses on the vulnerability of the Eurozone, illustrating how the Euro is teetering ever closer to the edge of collapse. To demonstrate the effect of this collapse we used 100 sheets of A0 paper, which were individually cut to represent the imminence of a foreclosing gap. The assembly of the economy is ultimately the bane of its existence as expressed through each layer and finally to the last where none of the edges of the countries are cut out. An almost transparent Euro symbol in the top left hand corner serves to further the idea of weakness in the currency. I really enjoy the visual effect and simplicity of this installation whilst communicating a very complex issue. Very nice work.
Berlin based German artist Thilo Heinzmann is currently exhibiting his solo project, Tacmo at the Andersen-S Gallery in Copenhagen, Denmark. This interesting and wonderfully executed collection of canvas paintings has been beautifully presented in the gallery, running until 11 August 2012. Each canvas has an intricately structured black surface, illustrating elongated swings, elegant curves, straight lines of varying length and width that result from working into the paint. An acknowledgement of the tradition of colour-field painting, these black planes also become the site of inscription for sparse and well-calculated movements that the artist executes with both a brush and his hands. They produce a visual suppleness and the impression of speed that they project, emerges amidst the general calm that exudes from the paintings. If you managed to see this exhibition in person, please share your thoughts, or if you’re in the vicinity, try to catch it in the next couple of days.
Japanese composer and visual artist Ryoji Ikeda recently designed an exhibition for the Hamburger Bahnhof museum in Berlin, which ran from 28 January to 9 April of this year. The project’s title ‘db‘ (abbr. for decibel) refers to the symmetry of the two halls on the upper level of the museum’s east and west wings, while simultaneously indicating the complementary relationship between the two exhibition spaces. The project is a composition in which time and space are shaped through the most minimal use of sound, light and visual elements. There is a very insightful video of the exhibition, which illustrates just how stunning this work of art is. If you managed to visit the ‘db’ exhibition in person however, please share your thoughts.
Salone Internazionale del Mobile is the global benchmark for home furnishings and this year’s edition begins tomorrow in Milan. One highly anticipated product to be presented is the new SodaStream Source system by San Francisco designer Yves Béhar as part of an installation at MOST. The elegantly redesigned SodaStream Source is the result of a collaborative project between Béhar and SodaStream. The primary focus was on sustainability, reducing and refining the entire sparkling water and soda making experience, as well as the simplicity in aesthetics. Béhar explains: SodaStream uses technology to reduce the complexity and waste of sparkling water and soda, and this is the quality I focused on. The design of Source was a process of elimination. Starting with the larger volume, we chiselled off the functional areas and sculpted transitions. Visual clarity with a single monolithic shape and a carved-out area into which the new bottle finds a home is the new visual signature. Source requires no electricity, but achieves its great feel through refined mechanical ingenuity. A future without wasteful sparkling and soda bottles can only be welcomed. As for the appearance, who wouldn’t want this sitting in their kitchen? Beautiful.
The incredibly talented American painter and sculptor, Ellsworth Kelly is one of the main protagonists in Colour Field painting. Many of his pieces beautifully combines form, colour and space with a strong reduction of the visual language. Kelly’s current exhibition located at the Museum Wiesbaden in Germany is devoted solely to his work in black and white. His black and white works now account for about one-third of his extensive oeuvre and provide information about the stages of his artistic development since the late 1940s. The artist has closely collaborated with Haus der Kunst to present a selection of 50 paintings and reliefs, supplemented by drawings and photographs. This stunning and minimalist exhibition runs from 2 March to 24 June 2012. How I’d love to pay it a visit.
Naked Shapes is an exhibition of aluminum Japanese household objects from the first half of the 20th century, cleaned of dirt and any sort of make-up such as paint, labels or other excess decoration. The objects were collected over the years by industrial designer Seiji Onishi, gallerist Keiichi Sumi and graphic designer Nobuhiro Yamaguchi. A group of students from Parsons The New School for Design in New York did the cleaning. The items are currently on display at the Domaine de Boisbuchet, a country estate in the Southwest of France. Their website describes it well: In their simplicity, anonymity and material nakedness, they express a quiet yet clear poetry of everyday objects. Personally, I love the effect his cleaning has… So honest! What do you think?
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,...
In the past Minimalissimo already showed you some of the great work of John Pawson. Now I would like to inform you about a big exhibition about the overall work of the, by the The New York Times entitled, “The father of modern architectural minimalism”. Pawson, emerged in the 80′s, is known for his rigorous process of reduction, creating designs of simplicity and visual clarity. ‘John Pawson – Plain Space’ runs until 30 January 2011 at the Design Museum, London and shows Pawson’s career with big photographs, detailed models and other resources that hint a the reductive process of the British minimalist architect. The models are very nice, and often large; they are build big enough so that cameras can be placed within and used to test out in advance the interplay of light and shadow.
Less and more: the design ethos of Dieter Rams. More than 500 exhibits on 1000 square meters of exhibition space in the Museum für Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt, Germany. An important focus of the exhibition is context, the historical context as well as the design context of Rams’ oeuvre, and an overview of the concepts of 20th century design with a balance of aesthetics and functionality. Among others, work from Hans Gugelot, Peter Raacke and Richard Sapper are on view. The exhibition does not only want to provide an overview of the work of Dieter Rams, but is also devoted to the future of product worlds. Museum für Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt, Germany. Until September 5, 2010.
The Vitra Design Museum has decided the world has enough of “Design with a capital D.” and newness. “Hidden Heroes: The Genius of Everyday Things“ is a new exhibition, at the Vitra Design Museum, from August 20 – September 19, 2010, in Weil am Rhein, Germany. It pays homage to 35 mass-produced objects that have become classics. Some of these common objects, Kleenex and Post-it notes are now generic words in English. So what’s the appeal? A simple equation: practicality, simplicity, and sustainability. The modesty of these objects can inspire designers to endorse the “less is better” philosophy. According to Jonathan Ive, “There’s an applied style of being minimal and simple, and then there’s real simplicity.” There is something here—and maybe hardly noticed and taken for granted objects, we use unconsciously, can be authentically cool.