Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Pettersen & Hein invite you HOME

A home has many functions – a physical shelter, a place of personal expression and a refuge from daily life outside. But what if a home’s function could be stripped away and its contents – such as chairs, tables and lights – became works of art rather than objects with a practical purpose?

This question has been posed by Danish design duo Pettersen & Hein in their latest exhibition, Home, at Etage Projects gallery in Copenhagen. Lea Hein and Magnus Pettersen are renowned for transforming everyday objects into beautiful sculptures and their Home exhibition plays with notions of what we call furniture.

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The exhibition features a floor of striking multi-coloured concrete tiles and a series of sculptural abstract forms. There are rough-cut concrete vases, conceptual side tables and polished steel chairs that reflect both the tiled floor and the other objects in the exhibition. “The floor becomes alive and the surrounding furniture becomes like people in your ‘home’,” the design duo explains of the mirrored pieces.

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Hein is a furniture designer and maker and Pettersen is an artist and a graduate from Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen who is recognised for his concrete sculptures. Despite their different backgrounds, their collaborations have garnered attention around the world. “When boundaries between design and art are effaced, potential for magic occurs,” they’ve said. “When working in the space between art and design you are free from restrictions, there are no rules. Having fewer limitations allows you to work experimentally.”

HOME pays homage to material, colour and form rather than functional use and presents a different perspective on the objects that reside between our four walls.

All Photography by  David Stjerneholm

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On the Origin of Art at MONA asks what is the purpose of art?

What is the purpose of art? Is it a biological impulse or a cultural expression? These are some of the questions posed by MONA founder David Walsh in his museum’s latest exhibition, On the Origin of Art.

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The answers may be found in a series of works that explore the relationship between evolution and art. Four curators from outside the art world have brought together a series of works from more than 35 countries. Some of the pieces date back centuries, such as the three prehistoric flint hand axes on display, which are thought to be 300,000-800,000 years old. Other works are new, including a yellow and black polka-dotted room-size installation from Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama.

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In the exhibition, each curator – scientist, linguist and author Steven Pinker, evolutionary neurobiologist Mark Changizi, professor of literature and evolution Brian Boyd and evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller – is given a room to express their theory on the origins of art.

Pinker’s theory is that we make art simply because we enjoy the sense of pleasure that comes from looking at it. Changizi believe that art exists as a means of mimicking nature, while Boyd sees art as a form of cognitive play and Miller regards it as a mechanism for attracting mates, just like bumble bee’s dance or a gorilla thumping its chest.

Each theory is supported by a selection of works by artists including Brett Whitely, Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

You may not agree with each theory about why we make art but, as the works in this exhibition prove, it’s a question worth looking at – see some of our highlights below

On the Origin of Art is at MONA until April 17.

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BLEND by Dutch Studio RAW COLOR

A blend of colour and texture lit up the London Design Festival in a new exhibition from Dutch studio Raw Color.

Reflecting its multifaceted layers, the solo exhibition, called Blend, was housed at Aram Gallery. It includes self-generated work from the Eindhoven studio, as well as creations made for clients.

fibonacci-stone_blend-by-raw-colour-ldf_02A series of installations in Blend showcased Daniera ter Haar & Christoph Brach’s research into how colour works – and how using different textures and materials can change the way we view colour.

Movement played a big role. The Fans installation features shelves of fans, each with three contrasting blades in yellow, orange and red, which blur into each other. It was a riot of colour that was mesmerising in its fluid, repetitive pattern of movement.

fibonacci-stone_blend-by-raw-colour-ldf_08 fibonacci-stone_blend-by-raw-colour-ldf_04A second installation, Chromatology also used movement for its execution, with the physical presence of visitors causing brightly coloured paper to rain down from a series of suspended shredders.

As the crowd grew throughout the day, and more and more visitors set the shredders to work, mounds of paper in single block colours built up underneath each shredder.

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fibonacci-stone_blend-by-raw-colour-ldf_03Other installations focused on clocks made from brightly coloured graphic patterns, described by the studio as “somewhere between a kinetic object and a functional timepiece”. Textiles were also on show, with a series of blankets illustrating how varying shades of colour can be used in fabric. Semi-translucent wool curtains hung in groups according to colour, inviting visitors into their ethereal world. Photography was also featured, with a series photos transformed into geometric paper compositions.

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Everywhere you looked, there is a burst of colour or a subdued graduation of deep to light, bright to faded. Inspiration was drawn from the compelling characteristics of colour and how it transforms our world. It was a perfect blend of sophisticated design with the simplicity of colour and another inspiring example from this innovative studio.

Photography courtesy of Raw Color

 

TONI MATICEVSKI – DARK WONDERLAND

The keys to the world of Toni Maticevski have been handed over to Bendigo Art Gallery, unlocking the secrets of this brilliant Australian fashion designer and taking visitors on a remarkable journey.

‘Dark Wonderland’ illustrates the evolution of Maticevski’s career and explores his innovative use of fabric and materials, which have garnered him international acclaim and accolades since he first sent one of his startling creations down the runway 20 years ago. The most recent recognition for Maticevski came in the form of the Australian Fashion Laureate, which is widely considered the country’s most prestigious fashion award.

fibonacci-stone_toni-maticevski-dark-wonderland_03Fresh from his tremendous success at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia 2016, Maticevski has dipped into his own collection for this exhibition, which explores his early influences, recurrent themes and inspirations.

fibonacci-stone_toni-maticevski-dark-wonderland_05As well as producing both ready-to-wear and bespoke apparel, Maticevski has collaborated with many institutions over his stellar career. He’s contributed to campaigns for The Australian Ballet, Phillip Adams Ballet Lab, Dinosaur Designs, Sydney Dance Company and Autore South Sea Pearls. He is also represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Victoria, Powerhouse Museum Sydney and the Fashion Institute of Design in Los Angeles (FIDM), as well as many private collections.Some of the designs from these collaborations are included in this exhibition, alongside a collection of gowns, accessories, shoes, sketches, visual diaries and film footage.

fibonacci-stone_toni-maticevski-dark-wonderland_06Overseen by Maticevski, the exhibition is a fascinating look inside a creative mind that continues to delight and surprise with its couture craftsmanship and inventive silhouettes.

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Exquisite hand-made pieces adorn each room, which are thematically arranged, with Palette and Texture in the central part of the gallery, Undertones in one room, Orchid in another and Performance in a third.

“Dark Wonderland” runs until November 20. For more information visit the Bendigo Art Gallery website.

Images courtesy of Maticevski

 

Fredrikson Stallard Fluido exhibition

A recent exhibition of sculptural designs by London-based creative duo Fredrikson Stallard illustrated a striking balance between chaos and control.

Fredrikson Stallard’s Fluido exhibition was held at Madrid’s Machado-Munoz gallery and presented a series of dramatic designs that explored materials in unexpected ways.

Patrik Fredrikson and Ian Stallard formed their studio in 1995 and are internationally recognised as leading exponents of British avant-garde design. They’ve earned that well-deserved reputation with a methodical approach to design that encompasses the latest technologies and a liberal amount of innovation and originality.

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Fluido was a wonderful showcase of their talents. Pieces include the hand-formed Detroit table, which is part of Fredrikson Stallard’s Crush Collection. Made from crushed and polished stainless steel combined with aluminum honeycomb, the Detroit table reflects light into spaces in a fluid and changing way and reflects its surroundings in abstract and colourful ways.

The Pyrénées sofa is an example of the duo’s pioneering style. Its deep green textured form is hand-carved from polyurethane foam to create spaces for five people to sit. A rocky mountaintop rises from the centre of the design to form a back rest to recline against.

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The red Rubber coffee table is a perfect contrast to the polished form of the Detroit table and brings a bright splash of colour to its bulging form. The Metamorphosis Mirror, part of Fredrikson Stallard’s Gravity Collection, is a mind-bending creation that draws you in with one glance. Through a seemingly smooth surface, images are distorted to illustrate the complexity of design and imagination.

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Fredrikson Stallard is at the leading edge of contemporary design and continues to inspire and surprise with their boundless capacity for creation.

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Hieronymus Exhibition

Elements of the Italian Renaissance have been given new life in an exhibition of bold sculptural designs by German designer Konstantin Grcic.

Grcic’s Hieronymus collection was created to reflect the spatial qualities of furniture depicted in Antonello da Messina’s 1475 painting, St Jerome in his Study. Hieronymus is the Greek and Latin form of the name Jerome.

Grcic trained as a cabinetmaker at The John Makepeace School in Dorset before studying design at the Royal College of Art in London. Since setting up his own practice Konstantin Grcic Industrial Design (KGID) in Munich in 1991, he has created designs for leading brands such as Laufen, Magis and Vitra.

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Grcic’s Hieronymus collection is currently displayed in the renowned Paris institute Galerie Kreo, which features designs from some of the world’s most celebrated contemporary designers along with classic pieces from the 1940s and beyond.

In the Hieronymus collection, each of Grcic five designs offers a variety of seating places and positions, as seen in the Italian Renaissance painting. Made from fibre cement, aluminium, marble, wood and 3D printing, each piece varies in shape and size.

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“What struck Grcic… is the degree of elaboration and architecture of the saint’s study and the way it created a space in itself,” says Galerie Kreo.

One of the designs is a grey ellipsoid made from 3D-printed sand and resin. It looks a little like a submarine and features circular holes across its surface.

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Slabs of Carrera marble form another piece, which illustrates the recesses and shelves depicted in the original painting. Another design is moulded from a fibre-cement composite to create a beautifully sculptural form, while a cuboid walnut seat features sections cut away to form ledges at different heights. A fifth design is crafted from anodised aluminium and features a tall cylindrical shape with recessed shelves.

“As he engages with the monumentality of the original furniture depicted in the painting, Grcic makes it mobile and fluid,” says the gallery.

 

The exhibition runs until 16 July.

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Bureau A recreates Stonehenge in Geneva

Has England’s most mysterious monument, Stonehenge, been transported to Geneva? Not quite, but the prehistoric structure has been replicated in the city with the help of 50 shipping containers and the creative folks at Bureau A.

A World Heritage listed site, Stonehenge is thought to have been constructed about 5000 years ago and is considered a masterpiece of engineering. The biggest of its stones, known as sarsens, are up to 9 metres tall and weigh an average of 25 tonnes. It is widely believed that they were brought from Marlborough Downs, a distance of about 32 km to the north of the Stonehenge site in Wiltshire.

There have been many theories to explain the monument’s construction. The most recent theory is that Stonehenge was built as a symbol of peace and unity.

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When Bureau A were commissioned to create an open-air venue for the inaugural BIG biennale in Geneva, they looked to this ancient monument for inspiration.

‘Steelhenge’ is constructed using 50 blue shipping containers and its circular arrangement is based on the concentric form of Stonehenge.

“We like to work with references, displacement or even direct quotes,” says Leopold Banchini of Bureau A. “In this case, the ruins of Stonehenge and the pagan rituals that it evokes seemed like an interesting landscape relating to the disappearing alternative and squat culture in Geneva.”

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Bureau A are known for their irreverent approach to design. This can be noted in the wooden cabin they concealed in an artificial stone in the remote Swiss Alps and the pink marble urinal installation they created in a Zurich car park as part of the Common Ground art project.

While Stonehenge is thought to have been built over 1500 years, it took only a day to construct Steelhenge in Geneva – with the help of a crane. It’s a case of history repeating itself, it a very modern way.

Design Miami 2015

Each year, the world’s design aficionados and enthusiasts head to the Art Deco headquarters of Miami Beach to mine for the latest modernist offerings of twentieth and twenty-first century furniture, lighting and objets d’art at Design Miami .

Last year’s fair, held from 2-6 December, showcased a range of exclusive commercial opportunities. The results of exciting collaborations between designers and institutions offered up a series of panels and lectures. There were also unique commissions from the world’s top emerging and established designers and architects on display.

British designer Max Lamb turned heads with a bathroom suite for Dzek made from synthetic marble. All fittings were installed in a space lined with the same material. The result was a space awash with multicoloured speckles against a black background – a tempting invitation to dip your toes into this progressive take on an ablution block.

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Harking back to the days of cave dwellers, yet looking to the future for an imaginary tribe, Dutch studio Atelier van Lieshout unveiled an inhabitable sculpture – a cross between a luxury lounge and a primitive dwelling where visitors could stroll through a bedroom, a playroom, a bar, a lounge and a dressing room. A series of outdoor furniture pieces accompanied the house, in a style described as ‘nouveau Brutalism’.

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London-based designer Elaine Yan Ling Ng brought jellyfish to life in a dazzling installation of crystal-covered strands, which responded to movement by curling and twisting. Ng created the Sundew installation for her commission as one of the 2015 Designers of the Future winners. She used Swarovski crystal fabric to create sparkling jellyfish that appeared to float in deep-sea space. It was designed to mimic the movements of a carnivorous plant entrapping its insect prey with its tentacles.

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A house construction shown through time-lapse video by Richard Rogers and a train crash table symbolising a romantic breakup were also on offer, proving once again that Miami Design is a leader in the world of contemporary design.

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COS LA Pop Up by Snarkitecture

With a name that stands for ‘Collection of Style”, Swedish fashion label COS has raised the design stakes with its new pop-up store in Downtown Los Angeles.

Designed in collaboration with Daniel Arsham and Alex Mustonen of experimental Brooklyn-based design studio Snarkitecture, the latest store takes the retail experience to a whole new level.

COS is the sister store of Swedish retail chain H&M. The LA pop-up store marks its second collaboration with Snarkitecture and follows their sophisticated, dream-like installation for Salone del Mobile at this year’s Milan Design Week. Made up of thousands of individually cut white ribbons, the COS installation was inspired by its spring/summer collection.

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The new COS pop-up references the brand’s autumn/winter  collection by playing with concepts of reflection and monochrome. Housed inside Scandinavian concept store Austere, the design is centered around a floor-to-ceiling two-sided mirrored wall, which creates a sense of infinite space. The collection is sparsely displayed across long clothing rails and Snarkitecture have referenced the strong silhouette of COS pieces by installing of pink-tinted steel and concrete sculptural displays that reflect the structure of individual pieces.

Snarkitecture is a collaborative and experimental practice with a portfolio that blends art and architecture. Projects include window designs for the Calvin Klein Collection in NYC, a temporary retail installation created for designer Richard Chai and a reinterpretation of the iconic Bourgie lamp for Kartell.

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The collaboration with COS features two monochromatic, reflected spaces that create an unexpected and altered world for visitors to experience and share.

“There’s a lot of different types of reflection and doubling that are happening. We set up an opportunity to invite visitors to have different types of interactions,” say Snarkitecture’s Arsham and Mustonen.

The sophisticated silhouette of the COS range is evident in both the new collection and the pop-up’s creative installation. “We hope that people are going to get a feeling of what COS is when they come here,” says Snarkitecture. We think it will be hard to miss.

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Dutch Design Week 2015

The biggest design event in Northern Europe, Dutch Design Week took over the city of Eindhoven in October with the work of more than 2400 designers on display for the 250,000 visitors that flocked to the nation’s capital of design.

The Design Academy Eindhoven has produced major Dutch designers, such as Maarten Baas, Marcel Wanders and Richard Hutten, so it’s little wonder that the city forms the backdrop for showcasing new designs each year. Held from 15-25 October, Dutch Design Week is a celebration of all that is new and exciting in the nation’s design scene.

This year’s event focused on the power of designers’ imaginations and posed the question “What if?” to participants and exhibitors. The answers proved to the both imaginative and inspirational.

Dutch Design Week is different from other design events because it concentrates on the designs of the future. “Designers think about how we will live and live together in the future,” says Dutch Design Week director Martijn Paulen. “They dare to question everything, dream of a different answer and shape it. This is how they lay the basis for the innovations of the future.”

Highlights from this year’s event include ‘Soft Concrete’ by Jolijn Pasmans, which sought to make the robust material appear more tactile by combining it with textile techniques and materials.

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Another highlight was a series of 3D printed totems by Elise Luttik + Hester Stolk and a series of colourful and playful room dividers by Dutch Design studio Tijs Gilde.

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Design Academy Eindhoven’s Graduation Show was another standout of the festival. More than 141 projects were presented during Design Week, with highlights including a series of 3D printed ceramics by Olivier van Herpt and an elegant heated bench made from larch wood and bluestone by Ken Tchikaya.

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If this year’s Dutch Design Week provides a glimpse into the future of design, we’re excited about what’s around the corner.