Tomorrow I head out-of-town to New Orleans for a few days. On my list of “must sees” is the traveling exhibition, Woman, Art and Social Change: the Newcomb Pottery Enterprise. Having grown up next to a “Sophie Newcomb Lady” or a woman who was educated at the Tulane woman’s college, I am excited to see the product of this legendary institution.
That both the costumes’ and the production’s design of The Great Gatsby were by the hands of the same person helps to explain how her work for both earned her the Oscar for both, last night. Catherine Martin, whose work with Muicia Prada this page brought to your attention back in May, brought her talent & penchant for improbable material excess to the job of meticulously illustrating improbable material excess. If Nick Carraway narrates memories from an overwrought world, who better to bring that to exuberant life than she? With Set Decoration by Beverley Dunn, West Egg was never so tastily overcooked.
A very successful interior intervention is under foot at Lincoln Center for a few more days. An art project, commissioned by New York City Ballet, executed by French artist JR inhabits the second floor lobby and finally bridges the space for art and the art of ballet. JR photographed the NYCB dancers with paper and then made a large-scale collage to manipulated the State Theater lobby. So interesting to see what it does to the space. As you pop in see the Lee Bontecou piece, with the deep-set “eye” that might have been a formal impulse.
Elizabeth Whelan experiments in her low-tech studio to discover high-tech textile solutions for the furniture and apparel industry. I’m inspired by her brightly lit studio containing a small dye-lab and loom. Sketching patterns from nature; creating new yarns by combining together anything from silk to thermoplastics; mixing colors through dying fiber; building structure on her small loom. Recognized for her award winning’Form-Sensing Mesh’ textile used on the Liberty Chair for Human Scale. She now has moved on to equipment for Nike. Found through FastCoDesign.com. Photo from her web site.
In communist Poland, film poster design was one of a few art forms free of state censorship, giving artists a platform to sneak in subversive commentary. American Westerns, with their open spaces, tall hats and braying horses, provided particularly potent imagery to critique the violence of the Soviet-backed regime. Now on at the Denver Art Museum is a show of 28 of these posters from the 1950s-80s, which give new meaning to familiar titles, and slyly incriminate an oppressive government with loaded symbols. (The guns shown in the poster for “Cat-Ballou” is a German WWII Walther Pistol, not a “six shooter”. And the horse shown for “The Misfits” alludes directly to Picasso’s anti-war masterpiece, Guernica). If you can catch it, Rebranded: Polish Film Posters for the American Western is up & running through June 1.
This is such an exciting example of design interacting for the civic good. The dormitory students at The Amsterdam Conservatory in Ijburg have an unique way of interacting with their neighbors. On the face of the building there is a red light that tells the neighbors that a gifted music student is recording in one of the beautifully appointed studios. Spotted on Yatzer.