It’s rare that I have architecture envy, but this building (excuse me ) made me red….A temporary theater for London’s National Theater complex is made out of steel framing and painted plywood this lovely “shed” by architecture firm Haworth Thompkins is inspiring. The four towers are ventilation shafts for cooling and the interior is a basic Black Box-every actor’s dream. They sought out to make the building of the building a performance. Its quite the Diva.
Based on the 1957 novel by Count Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa and awarded the Palme d’Or at the 1963 Cannes Film Festival, the movie’s being shown as part of a series celebrating the 100th birthday of actor Burt Lancaster. And while this is certainly one of his best performances, the film truly belongs to cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno, production designer Mario Garbuglia and of course, director Luchino Visconti. In “My Voyage to Italy,” Martin Scorsese’s 1999 documentary on Italian cinema, he sums up the feat Visconti accomplished: “He worked through total artifice as a way to the truth.”
Its lush and gloriously detailed depiction of 19th century Sicily during Italy’s Risorgimento follows the doomed prince of Salina as he, and the independent monarchy he presides over, finally lost their privileged grip as the middle classes rose up to form a unified, democratic state. Watch as the lavish scenography, meticulous costumes, and golden light of an old master’s painting, give way, in the famous ball sequence of the film’s final third, to a rapturously choreographed departure from order, as Lancaster’s bravely wistful nobleman, the Leopard of the title, sees his world whirling inexorably away. For the price of your ticket, you may just lose yourself in the bargain.
I know this is THE important weekend of the design world here in NYC but sadly it coincides with a Dance Mom weekend. So I will go dark for the weekend here at C&B. I might get an hour in at the ICFF on Sunday to give a report. But frankly, I always end up feeling a bit let down by the fair. My practice just does not incur more stuff. So please pardon me from this reality of life. And I will be back on Monday refreshed.
This material quality of transparent resin or rubber is very attractive to me right now. Between Matthew Barney and Rachel Whiteread a translucent, smooth world is calling me. I would steal this idea for a interior project, yes I would…..
Today is the last day of the Frieze Art Fair on New York’s Randall Island. So this is your last chance to step in to a tribute pavilion devoted to “FOOD” the chic, Soho restaurant, started by artists Carol Gooden and Gordon Matta-Clark in 1971. If you can’t make it to the fair, you can see the original place in the beginning of the the 1978 classic “An Unmarried Woman”, when our heroine, Jill Clayburgh, meets her soon-to-be-ex-husband, Michael Murphy, for lunch, and discusses their beach rental, (and then loses that lunch around the corner on Broome Street). This was one of the first restaurants where a daily, changing, chalkboard-menu of upscale health food (duck gumbo, marinated chic peas, carrot juice), was served cafeteria-style, from an open kitchen to a mixed crowd of artists and upper-middle class, camelhair-coat wearing gallerists, back in the old days when Soho wasn’t an outdoor mall for tourists.
But don’t bother trying to find the place now. While the landmarked building is still there, on the northeast corner of Prince & Wooster Streets, the big, operable, wood-framed, double-hung window is now a fixed display for the Lucky Brand clothing chain. Rent the movie instead.
So, yesterday I took my FIT class to the Morgan Library. The point I was trying to make is to show them the power of a historic interior and how it can house, nurture and promote the ideas of the avant-garde with the current exhibition of Matthew Barney. The Morgan did its job in a noble fashion, epic robber baron rooms, lapis column fragments, illuminated manuscripts-you know mystery and history at every turn. But Mr Barney did not help me out. Perhaps I am a juxtaposition addict, I envisioned large resin “anything” draped over marble rooms and staircases. What we got was a very polite exhibition with oddly discreet drawings from Barney’s epic films. My students were intrigued but I wanted more. So strange to understand Barney’s muscular work and then see tiny cryptic drawings. No judgement, I suppose its how he thinks, but is he telling us everything at the Morgan? Oh, read this NYT’s review and enjoy the comment that perhaps his tool box is that of 70′s Feminist art-can’t say I saw this on my visit but love the premise.