Australian artist Matthew Allen, currently based in Sydney, is a colour based painter. His work, which has been consistently exhibited at Sydney’s Sullivan+Strumpf gallery since 2008, consists of a beautiful collection of minimalist colour combinations. Allen’s paintings are absent of any formal composition and physical elements of the artist’s hand to present an ongoing enquiry into the pure materiality of paint upon canvas and the fundamental structure of painting itself: colour, medium and process. The painting is delicately handled to produce soft gradients of tone that in turn creates an atmospheric, sensory and emotional experience for the viewer. Some of the gradients Allen has created, particularly in his 2010 works, look absolutely superb.
Categorized “Art & Illustration”
Danish electronics giant Bang & Olufsen need little introduction. Consistently producing timeless design with high quality materials, B&O have recently released these incredibly beautiful BeoPlay H6 headphones. A pair I have been fortunate enough to test hours on end over the past week. Firstly, the design of the BeoPlay H6 is hugely impressive, striking the right balance of classic and modern design influences, resulting in a simple, elegant, and extremely comfortable pair of headphones. The design itself was conceived by Jakob Wagner, and with a choice of black or natural leather, it is a perfect match for the style-conscious consumer who refuses to compromise quality in sound, design or craftsmanship. The natural, stitched cow leather cover and soft lambskin ear pads, which I am currently using, should age gracefully with use. My favourite design features however, (aside from being the most comfortable headphones I have ever worn) are the detachable audio cable and the ports in both speakers. This not only allows you to decide which side to insert the cable, it also allows you to share your audio with others. For such high-end headphones, there is high expectations for the BeoPlay H6 when it comes to sound quality. Perhaps...
Based in Canberra, Australia, Brian Corr is a sculptor and artist who’s pure and aesthetically simple works I would like to highlight today. Working primarily with glass and the elements of light and shadow, volume and void, he creates architectonic sculpture and large-scale installations, which serve as reflections and interpretations of his own experience. Corr writes: My hope is that these works provide an opportunity for contemplation or meditation; a moment of heightened awareness of the nature and wonder of ourselves and the world in which we exist. It is Brian Corr’s Constructions and Architectural Installation works that have impressed me most, with their simple forms and manipulation of light and shadow. Wonderful. Images by Rob Little.
Amsterdam based artist Berndnaut Smilde is known for his cloud installations. After the TIME magazine listed them as one of the Top 10 inventions of 2012, people’s fascination with Smilde’s work became widespread. The latest cloud installation, called Nimbus Green Room, took place this summer at the Veterans Building in downtown San Francisco. Here is how artist comments on this project: It’s not so much about the shape of the cloud but about placing it out of its natural context. It brings duality, because you can’t really grasp how to interpret the situation you are viewing. People have always had strong metaphysical connections to clouds as they symbolize the ominous. Even though the clouds look spontaneous, each takes meticulous preparation. The room has to have the right temperature and humidity for the effect to last several seconds. Probably the most fleeting installation in history, Numbus creates a profound impact. And each chosen room adds new context and atmosphere. Watch the film about the Nimbus project to see it in the making.
French artist Nathalie Dérouet lives and works in Douarnenez, north-western France. From her ceramics workshop, she creates a range of exceptional porcelain pieces, including unique bowls, vases, pots and various containers, all of which embrace open space. Highlighting a few favourites from Dérouet’s many ceramic creations, it’s clear the inspiration behind these pieces are taken from Chinese and Japanese ceramics, countries where refinement and sophistication are present in many everyday objects, reflecting tradition and modernity. It’s the purity and simplicity of these extremely thin designs that appeal to me most. The smooth surfaces and uniqueness of each piece makes for certain wish-listing.
James Turrell’s latest exhibition, A Retrospective, pays homage to a much celebrated career spanning over half a century. The exhibition is currently being shown at LACMA, where Turrell himself was a driving force behind the curation of his work with instruction; you have to reserve a ticket and there are strict maximum capacities of certain pieces. Such detailing of experience is imperative to his work. Installations that encompass entire rooms and yet are composed of singular lines encompass minimalist principles at best, with vast impact through light and scale. Born in California, Turrell’s career has seen the composition of works that comprise a combination of light projections, prints, drawings and installations. This latest exhibition is about exploring sensory deprivation and highlights work from his past and most recent works. Said to have been a key artist in the Southern California Light and Space movement of the 1960s and 70s, the importance of this exhibition is great. Turrell says, I make spaces that apprehend light in our perception, and in some ways gather it, or seem to hold it. His work is represented across the US and throughout Europe and is not about light, or a record of light; it is...
Australian artist and designer Belinda Winkler has produced yet another series to the evolution of her beautiful voluptuous forms, respectively named Gravity + Align + Brink. The collections evoke connections, sensually, emotionally and imaginatively, all embodying a recurring theme of light and shadow while playing on a sense of tension between the objects. Finished from a combination of porcelain and bronze, this minimalist artist describes the process as soft, dove grey dewy forms emerging from their moulds. Winkler has contributed to both solo and group exhibitions, having won awards internationally and within Australia, where she studied. She is based in Hobart, Tasmania where she creates her sculptures and public art. Self described as a maker by nature, her work is represented by the Bett Gallery in Hobart, Tasmania. Described as biotic minimalism, I find her work to be extremely beautiful, intriguing and playful. The performance that each piece plays on gravity, and the traditional expectations of form is incredible and challenges the imagination. Gravity + Align + Brink all tempt touch, be that with the eyes, the hands, the memory or the imagination where the relationship between forms, where curve almost meets curve, nearly, but not quite touching, creating a...
Last month we featured the talented Bern-based Studio Zimoun and their wonderful sound sculptures. The studio’s latest offering is no exception. Introducing thier first permanent installation, Zimoun closely collaborated with architect Hannes Zweifel, producing a large, towering mechanical sound sculpture inside a beautiful abandoned toluene tank from 1951, located in Dottikon, Switzerland. The installation presents a complex kinetic sound sculpture, this time with 329 DC-motors and cotton balls arranged meticulously throughout the interior fabric of the space, producing a stunningly stark appearance and hypnotic hum. I’m happy this is a permanent installation, as it gives me time to get out there and see it for myself. Great work. → Watch the Toluene Tank installation video
2084 is a wall lamp by French-born product designer and visual artist Geoffroy Gillant, whose design intent uses the electric cord to suspend the lamp, maintaining an equilibrium and lightness. Electric cords are often left aside the conception of lamps and therefore rarely considered as part of their aesthetic. In the contrary, the cord of “2084” is used as a structural element that allows a modular lighting, so the lamp could adapt to various daily needs. I especially love this element behind Gillant’s design since it not only challenges what we expect from an ubiquitous object, but it has also produced a visually inspiring silhouette that changes the illumination of a space so elegantly, and so cleverly. There is something so beautiful in the sharp contrast of how even the light is against the minimalist black linear tubes and wires. Gillant had worked with ToolsGalerie to produce an edition exhibited for their gallery which was made with black leather over bended PMMA tubes and dimmable LED strips. Images courtesy of Geoffroy Gillant.
Speaking of the notion of ‘suchness’ in his book Zen and the Brian, James H. Austin notes: In Japanese, the word ‘sono-mama’ had long implied that something could stand as it is, untouched. In Chinese, the expressions ‘Chi-mo’ or ‘Shi-mo’ were used to mean ‘just so’, or ‘so it is.’ I open with this quote to introduce Carl Andre’s sculpture of 1966, Equivalent VIII, which consists of of 120 fire bricks arranged as a rectangular prism on the floor of the gallery space. I would like to suggest—for I haven’t encountered it myself—a Zen Buddhist reading of Andre’s work, which would frame it as a presentation of things as they are, untouched. In David Batchelor’s book on Minimal Art, André is quoted as saying this about his work: The one thing I learned in my work is that to make the work I wanted to you couldn’t impose properties on materials, you have to reveal the properties of the material. And elsewhere, speaking of his sculpture: Their subject is matter. These quotes encapsulate for me what is offered by Andre’s work: the opportunity to encounter this sculpture as just bricks. Let it be so.
Having previously been featured on Minimalissimo, thrilling us with his exceptional sound installations, Swiss artist Zimoun has returned with three new terrific pieces. It is one in particular that I would like to share with you however – 198 prepared DC-motors, wire isolated, cardboard boxes. Curated by CAN Neuchatel, this installation not only offers a beautiful minimalist aesthetic, but it also embodies some of the purest elements of contemporary culture – constant speed, constant noise and constant motion. In an obsessive display of simple and functional materials, these works articulate a tension between the orderly patterns of Modernism and the chaotic forces of life. Carrying an emotional depth, the acoustic hum of natural phenomena in Zimoun’s minimalist constructions, effortlessly reverberates. → Watch the 198 DC-motors video
The String Lights installation, created by London based designer Michael Anastassiades for Italian brand Flos, was presented during Euroluche 2013 in Milan. Thin electrical cords, arranged into laconic shapes, held pendants, fitted with LED light sources. Here is how the designer describes his inspiration: Every time I take the train, I sit by the window and watch the series of perfectly parallel strings connecting the pylons, as we move at high speed. I love the way they divide the landscape and how spheres are occasionally beaded through the wires at random intervals. I also love how, in Mediterranean cultures, strings of lights are stretched between posts to mark an outdoor space for an evening party in a village square. And finally, I love how human ingenuity works around problems created by everyday things in the house (like switches and power points) that others have chosen to position where we don’t want them. I love how these delicate pensil-thin lines create the shapes our mind finishes and makes three-dimensional. Who ever said that the electrical cord is not a beautiful thing?