In the early 1980′s Westwood was the place to hang out in LA. Then there was a gang related shooting one night – and the exodus left a permanent mark on the area. Now the Hammer Museum (located in Westwood) has decided to take matters into their own hands and build an arts community around themselves. For the month of November they filled empty storefronts (no shortage), donated by the property owners to this project, with artisan vendors. Calling it Arts reSTORE LA: Westwood. Some spaces like dosa’s (pictured – my photo) were impeccably turnedout – others more temporary. There was a wide range from crafty stuff to high art (in case you were looking for a $15,000 Barbara Kruger for a Christmas present). We’ll see if it takes…my reporting is a bit late – I caught the last day -but stayed tuned – I’m sure ArtsreSTORE LA will “pop up” again.
Last week my FIT class got a great visit to the Moroso studio in Soho. My focus was to get an eye on the new Mark Thorpe products, the Blur sofa in particular. The process of Thorpe working with Moroso is amazing. he developed the fabric first; creating a bit mapped embroidery to illustrate the blur effect. The result is a smart comment on the way we see artifacts.
If the Thanksgiving holiday might most strongly unite Americans as a “nation of immigrants”, it is fitting we might return at the end of the weekend to find art by installation/filmaker Isaac Julien in two prominent locations: In the atrium at the Museum of Modern Art, on multiple screens variously directed to be seen fully only from divergent vantage points, Ten Thousand Waves tells of the real plight of 23 Chinese migrants attempting to find a home in the UK. A few blocks away in Times Square, displayed across seventeen! billboards for a brief 3 minutes before midnight each day, is Playtime, another story, this time a fiction, featuring actors James Franco and Maggie Cheung, with a distant if related theme, the individual’s unquenchable aspiration for a better life, and the disillusionment he often finds instead.
Not necessarily chipper stuff – but some compellingly beautiful images, and perhaps a suitably sober – if still glossy – punctuation of the festival season.
Modern: Nov 25, 2013–Feb 17, 2014
Times Sq: Dec 1-30, 2013, 11:57 p.m. – midnight
Looking at the interesting work of Maria Nepomuceno this morning. Seeing how she uses the structural logic of sewing spiral coiling together to create the structures of baskets,hammocks,vessels and their corresponding umbilical cords. Epic textiles at their best.
Working on an essay this morning that will explain my contention that a plan drawing, even in this time of the hyper real rendering can tell a story. I have re-read and adored the Robin Evans essay Figures, Doors and Passages were he states ” If anything is described by the architectural plan, it is the nature of human relationships…” In my research I came across this image of Lina Loos’s bedroom the wife of great polemicist Adolf Loos. Oh please, tell me about this human relationship and was that fur drawn in the plan?
Whenever I am at a loss for inspiration I head over to Spoon and Tamago. This time I found some inspiring exhibits for my New Yorker friends to stop by… for this Masanori Oji event you may find some gifts… For this Yayoi Kwana show, it seems you may have to wait in line… And here – you may just find an eyeful of fabulous-ness at this Shinchi Maryama exhibition. Once again, I covet the plane ticket…
Before he designed a modern showroom for Olivetti, introducing daylight & openness to a dark corner of Piazza S. Marco with forms & textures commensurate with Venice’s timeworn dignity; before he renovated the Museo di Castelvecchio, bringing a 14th century building into the present with all its gravitas intact; before he even began his career-long reconciling of disparate teachings from Frank Lloyd Wright to Le Corbusier, Italian architect Carlo Scarpa worked in glass. For the venerable Venini glass company the young postgraduate Scarpa served as artistic consultant from 1932-1947, launching many of the innovative ideas he would later master in his design of buildings: elevating humble materials by their thoughtful treatment, acknowledging history’s patina without mimicking its forms, advancing new techniques by inquiring of existing processes.
The Met has a big jewel-box of a show focusing on this work. With over 300 small, well-lit, works, spanning 15 years of invention, study and delight, it’s a revelation of a beloved hero’s early development. That he was able to take the lessons of delicate, translucent, vessels up to the scale of sturdy, inhabitable spaces, is perhaps what Louis Kahn meant when he praised Scarpa’s “sense of the wholeness of inseparable elements”. The “Beauty, Art and Wonder” Kahn recognized are all on exhibit here. Through March 2 2014.