Minimalissimo


Categorized “Art & Illustration”

Los Angeles based photographer Nicholas Alan Cope, whose superb book, Whitewash, we featured last year, has again grabbed our attention with another superb photographic series, Vedas. A collaborative project with fellow photographer and designer Dustin Edward Arnold, Vedas — meaning knowledge in Sanskrit — marked their move into fashion imagery through photographing sculptural garments of their own design, and to challenge ideas of what is acceptable against what is possible. In a recent interview with Dezeen, Arnold explains: It was the idea that knowledge is at once both expansive and contractive. For some it shakes foundations, de-stabilises values and opens up the sheer terror of possibility. For others it signifies hope, advancement and discovery. The materials used for this project are flexible, yet manage to hold shape to achieve interesting structures with often blurred, ghostly silhouettes. I like this. We wanted to restrain the palette by focusing entirely on form rather than colour. I will certainly be keeping a watchful eye on this duo’s future collaborations. Fascinating.


I really have no words to express my fascination by Richard Serra‘s latest work — East-West/West-East — a permanent sculptural installation in Qatar’s desert, approximately 60 kilometers from Doha at the Brouq Nature Reserve. The installation is a set of four 50ft steel towers that connect the two seas and the two parts of this ancient landscape. Serra explains: The placement is not geometrical, it’s topological; they can only be placed where they are to achieve the curvature of the land. If one walks through the pieces; he will understand not only the rhythm of himself in relationship to the landscape but also the rhythm of himself in relationship to the height and the length of the pieces. Serra has developed this stunning installation, even though it is situated in the middle of the desert, and is quite possibly the largest scene where he has expressed his art work. Photography by Sally Crane.


Hey is a design studio working mostly in brand identity, illustration and editorial design. Small in size but very big in outreach, the Barcelona-based studio is much beloved internationally, with a marked a style based on simplicity and synthetis and a lovely use of color and geometry. Verónica, Ricardo and Mikel kindly received me for a brief chat about the process behind their very own brand of minimalist work. When you work with synthesis, ultimately you are seeking a concept, and for the most direct way of translating and communicating that graphically. Their poster work is prolific and one of their favorite ways to distill their graphic philosophy. Using the power of cogency — the capacity one has for remembering something visual — they create work that is immediately memorable. Hey always search for the essence in their concepts, and approach a problem with a methodical functionality that is refreshing and produces results that are so well-crafted they become endearing, like with their latest personal project, Every Hey — a daily Instagram feed where they illustrate characters from pop culture. Every illustration is created based on a modular grid system, without ornament, in an effort to optimize the eye in order for it to see better, a strategy they have applied time and again with their popular Monocle maps. The studio’s...


Mariana Fernandes’ Blot collection celebrates the painting process through technique. This Italian-based designer has created a series of useable objects creating a sense of texture through application. The idea of a stain as an artistic symbol, that is absorbed by the cushion as a domestic canvas is the basis for the design. The intent is for the pair of true black and white cushions to artistically accentuate a space. Available through Fabrica, the square pillow is 400mm x 400mm, the rectangle is 500mm x 260mm and they are made of 100% cotton. Fabrica is a global communications research center, studio and school that are an integral part of the Benetton Group, and are based out of Treviso Italy. They are a conduit for showcasing and teaching design and are open to new collaborations that are pushing boundaries. Fernandes, through technique and application, has created a beautiful collection and is one whose dedication to craftsmanship and detail, is one to watch. Photography courtesy of Fabrica.


French born designer and illustrator Thomas Danthony who is currently based in London, has designed N — a 42 page black & white book featuring a collection of graphite and ink drawings. Self-published, N is available in two versions, one of which is a luxury book with a hand made cover. The project was an experimentation by Danthony, differing from his commercial work, which allowed him the freedom to create a simple aesthetic. He explains: My goal was to take a bit of time off the computer to create something by hand, I was looking for a way to keep my commercial style, which is digital and to translate it on paper. To make it possible, it had to be simple, so I only worked with a pencil, a brush and some black ink. I then decided to design a small book to collect the series. I really enjoy the strong and simple compositions throughout. From the concept of the book, to the illustrations themselves, this is a superbly executed self-initiated project. There’s also a short video about N, which is directed by Tom van Schelven.


South Korean artist Yoon Sol has produced a wonderful ceramic series titled From the Archetype, which involves layering porcelain in thin sheets to create different shapes. He writes: I work from a sphere to produce thin layers of bowl shaped elements with different diameters and heights. If these layers are placed one by one, small and big bowls can form an installation piece. From the Archetype tells a story of building up imperfection status through decomposition of a typical and perfect image, and of seeking the right pieces to complete my own pictorial puzzle. Here, Yoon Sol beautifully demonstrates the limitless of variation spawned from a single shape, resulting in a flawless collection of simple white ceramics that go beyond the aesthetics.


Recently opened to the public is the Infinity Bamboo Forest, a spectacular passage in a public annex building located in Wuxi, China. The installation is a reference to the traditional Japanese culture with its characteristic bamboo forests, and from the beginning experienced limitations of space, time and budget. So the result cannot be more magnificent, developing a passage of twenty meters as an infinity bamboo forest essentially using a combination of light and mirrors. The design of the installation was conceived by Prism Design, a Shanghai-based architecture and design studio, founded in 2009 by Tomohiro Katsuki.


Australian Bianca Chang is holding her first solo show Light Maps at A-M Gallery, Sydney. Bianca Chang is a self-taught designer and artist living and working in Sydney and has participated in numerous group exhibitions. Her work embodies a play of lines, through motions of movement and engagement with light. Light Maps is an exhibition comprised of a muted palette and restrained minimalist material composition. The way in which light is portrayed through her work and the approach by which light interacts with the pieces is where the subtle nuances emerge. I find these voids and subtleties are beautiful. Bianca is currently developing a body of work in ceramics and teaches design at the University of Technology, Sydney. She is one to watch, with no doubt numerous future solo shows to follow this one. Photography courtesy of Jacob Ring.


It has been quite some time since we last featured some beautiful minimalist art pieces on Minimalissimo, so today I would like to introduce you to the remarkable painted works of New York based abstract artist, Augustus Nazzaro. Nazzaro’s work over recent years predominantly features dark, minimalist, abstract forms, a number of which are inspired by military campaigns. His most recent project titled, In Pursuit of Shadows, is particularly striking. For me however, his Rifle Locker series from 2011 stands out as some of his strongest work due to the intricate texture of the black surfaces and the repetition of subtle silhouettes. More of this series along with other examples of his paintings can be found on Nazzaro’s website. Photography courtesy of Saatchi Online.


Miso’s latest exhibition Everywhere I Have Ever Been is testament to the propel-able artistic force she is. Every once in a while you’re introduced to an artist who really has a curious dexterity. Miso is that. Her work is reminiscent of an otherness; another reality. It seems to have both an ethereal lightness and a depth of skill and technique that both employ an incited curiosity. Miso herself finds herself between the worlds of her two current homes; Melbourne and Tokyo, although originally from Ukraine. The exhibition Everywhere I Have Ever Been is an exploration of this. She decided to make a drawing for every city and every memory for these last few years while travelling between the cities, dreaming and mapping – hammering memory clusters as holes into paper, like strands of constellation maps. Each piece involves the insertion of tiny pins to create perforations into the medium. These openings, creating opportunities for engagement with light, then evolve into the finished piece. They create shadow and somehow also a sense of tactility that wants of its own dialogue. Essentially, she was playing with all these ephemeral things and making them into something tangible. Her work has recently been purchased...


Last year we featured the wonderful minimalist stainless steel sculptures of Australian visual artist, George Papadimas. His latest works are the products of his ongoing fascination with numerical sequences and the inherent relationships that occur within mathematical algorithms. The sculptural work, Untitled Paired Quarter Sequence, utilises Papadimas’s adaptation of the Fibonacci sequence, in which the resulting multi-digit numbers are reduced to their single digit sum. The imagery, Untitled Paired Digits, is a beautiful series of highly saturated hues, of which the base format is the elementary representation of two paired numbers in written form. At the heart of each work, mathematical premise reigns. One fully embodies the harmonic relationship between line and form, and the other does its best to conceal. I like the concept behind these pieces, but particularly the clean connections of the skeletal structures. These are currently being exhibited at Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam until 8th December 2013.


Sculptor Richard Serra’s latest exhibition New Sculpture is currently being featured at both Chelsea Gagosian Galleries in New York. Described as one of America’s greatest modern sculptors, the exhibition is set to run from October through January 2014 and plays a pivotal role in being an extension and progression of his work to date. The pieces comprise a series of large waterproof steel members engulfing the two gallery spaces. The play on scale and the stripped back minimalism of the raw but exquisitely articulated materiality is both powerful and overwhelming. These giants seem to have a luminescence and their interaction with the adjacent pieces is almost harmonic and creates nuances of quietness. This exhibition through its grandeur and discipline instills reflectivity. Richard Serra’s work is consistently well considered and important. This latest New Sculpture exhibition is one to see and immerse oneself in fully. Photography courtesy of both Gagosian Gallery.