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Side of Bacon

Ever wonder where Francis Bacon got his screaming figures from? Or maybe what he thought of a dead carcass? This video helps...

 

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Canvas House

In 1933 architect, Albert Frey wrote and article entitled, "Subsistence Farmsteads" for Architectural Record, in response to the Depression, when many people tried to supplement their incomes by growing some of their own food. The farmstead housing Frey designed to be built on minimally sized lots and was neither intended to compete with commercial farms nor provide total subsistence. The scheme was versatile and allowed the construction materials to change according to local conditions and availability.

Frey's response to this was the Canvas Weekend House he built with Lawrence Kocher in 1933-1934 at Fort Salonga, in Long Island, NY.

CANVAS….it's made of canvas. 

It was supported by six steel columns that carried wood-framed floors and walls insulted with aluminum foil. The canvas was applied horizontally, starting at the bottom of the wall, and was overlapped and nailed every six inches with copper-headed nails. Interior walls and ceiling were veneered plywood with canvas floor. It apparently needed repainting and resealing every three years. 

The canvas was donated by the Cotton-Textile Institute to test it's ability to be used as an exterior sheathing material. Frey was the first to take this technology and incorporate it into the wrapping of an entire building. The house withstood a hurricane in 1938, only to be demolished by a developer in the late 50's….(fucking developers).

Excerpts and photos taken directly from "Albert Frey, Architect" by Joseph Rosa

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Heike Weber

German artist, Heike Weber, uses permanent marker to create these wall and floor installations that sometimes cover up to 5000 square ft. 


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Built Ins

Sometimes spaces call for built-ins (I get it). And sometimes, I genuinely think it's a good idea (but not often). 

For example, in this case…the dining table. I support this. 

 

Dining Room by Guto Requena in Sao Paulo

Dining Room by Guto Requena in Sao Paulo

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Sea Chair

This is a beautifully filmed short about the "Sea Chair".

London-based Studio Swine teamed up with local fishermen to collect plastic debris that gets hauled in with the crew's fishing nets. While they fish, the crew members melt down the plastic in a DIY furnace and then slowly construct a stool, or "sea chair," out of the recycled plastic.

So brilliant. I want one. 

Studio Swine, even offers their own tutorial for you to make one of your own. 

http://studioswine.com/sea-chair-open-source

Credit: Studio Swine photos

Credit: Studio Swine photos

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Bjorn Weckstrom Ring {Giveaway}

Thank you to the people who participated yesterday in the Giveaway. The winner is…..

 

Congrats! (We will be in touch about shipping)

Bjorn Weckstrom, 'Petrified Lake" Ring, 1971 -  Signed, (sterling silver and acrylic)

$400 value

Weckstrom is a Finnish designer born in 1935. He is known for his sculptures and jewelry design. One of his most famous creations was a necklace he designed for Lapponia in 1969. Carrie Fisher wore it in the first Star Wars movie. 

John Lennon and Yoko Ono were also big fans of Weckstrom. You can find photos of Yoko wearing one of his Petrified Lake rings.

 

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Drama

In 1957, two years before his death, Frank Lloyd Wright sat down with WNYC to discuss his design philosophy, exhibiting his trademark eloquence and blistering opinions. Wright was interviewed by Geoffrey Ellis Aronin.

In this clip he pokes fun of Le Corbusier. 

 


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Priorities...

Cornelius Gurlitt, the elderly recluse that has hoarded over a thousand "lost" paintings acquired by the Nazi regime, passed away yesterday at 81. The paintings were discovered and confiscated in 2012 from Gurlitt's tiny Munich apartment in a raid by tax authorities. 

The collection was inherited from Gurlitt's father, Hildebrand, who was one of four dealers authorized by the Nazi's to sell confiscated art abroad. The current worth has been valued at over a billion dollars and includes works by Picasso, Matisse, and Gaugin. Since they were confiscated, Cornelius equates the loss to being more tragic and "harder to bear than the deaths of his parents and sister". The paintings have been tied up in court and until now it has been uncertain of their outcome. 

Today, it was determined that Cornelius Gurlitt left his collection to the unsuspecting Swiss Museum, Kunstmuseum Bern. According to the statement from the museum, Mr. Gurlitt had not had "any connection with the Kunstmuseum Bern."  

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Been done before

In 1692 the artist “A. Boogert” developed a book in Dutch about mixing watercolors. He explained that just by adding water, one could create different hues. 

There are nearly 800 color blocked pages that Boogert intended for educational purposes. The irony is that it is a one-of-a-kind book and probably did not reach the intended audience. 

For some perspective, Pantone did not come out with their color charts until the 60's which was 217 years later. 

The book is currently kept at the Bibliothèque Méjanes in Aix-en-Provence, France.

 source via Erik Kwakkel

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Interior Design

Incredible vignette from the home of Bruno Frisoni, as shown in Architectural Digest France. The  Hervé Van der Straeten console is on point.

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If I had a million dollars

Christies has some phenomenal art for sale coming up. If we were playing the "if I had a million dollars" game, this study by Francis Bacon would be on my short list. Sort of a two for one. I'm fond of the artist and the subject.  

Three Studies of Lucian Freud, 1969

“When I was younger, I needed extreme subject matter for my paintings. Then, as I got older. I realized I had all the subjects I needed in my own life.”

-Francis Bacon

 

 

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Peggy

Peggy Guggenheim was an American socialite and supporter of the arts. She had many avant-garde writer and artists friends, that included but not limited to Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Henry Moore and Max Ernst. She was known for her turbulent love life and extravegent life-style but the woman sure did have an eye for art and design. Artist, Alexander Calder was also a close friend. Below, is a silver headboard she commissioned from him in 1946. 

 

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If I lived in Chicago...

This Saturday, (Sept. 21, 2013) my friend, Jeffrey Head, will be presenting and speaking about the inaugural ceremony of the New Bauhaus in 1937.  Jeffrey "unearthed" photographs from photographer and graphic designer, Herbert Matter that have never been published. This blows my mind. 

László Moholy-Nagy, a Hungarian photographer was a huge influencer at The New Bauhaus as professor and director.

Find details about the event here:

http://uima-chicago.org/the-1937-opening-of-moholy-nagys-new-bauhaus-in-chicago/

 

 

Maholy-Nagy  

Maholy-Nagy

 

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Go around

A boy left his bike chained to a tree when he went away to war in 1914. He never returned, leaving the tree no choice but to grow around the bike.

 

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This is not a love story

So, the other day in my treasure searching, I stumbled across a piece of pottery that made me stop. Let me preface that I come across hundreds of vases/bowls/weird ashtrays daily.  This particular piece wasn't jaw-dropping, but it was different. The person selling it just had it listed as a special piece of "mid-century pottery". It was simply signed, "Leonora". The name completely intrigued me and I wanted to know more about this mystery woman. I began diving into my research. It's an unusual name so it didn't take me long to find artist, Leonora Carrington. How have I not heard about this woman? I'm embarrassed to say, I graduated with an art degree and somehow she  slipped thru the cracks. But now, I'm hooked. The more I read, the more fascinating she became and I believed her story was worth sharing. (I will not do this story justice. It is much more tragic and complex than the short version I share.)

Leonora, was born in England in 1917 to a wealthy family. Educated by tutors, nuns, and such, she became rebellious and was expelled from two schools due to her "eccentricity". Awesome. I like her already. With little support from her family to pursue an artist's career, she set out on her own. Fast forward to 1936 (only 19) she was introduced to Max Ernst's work at the International Surrealist Exhibition and instantly became hooked. As fate would have it, a year later, she would meet the 46 year old, at a party. He divorces his wife. They move to France. They collaborate. Complexities ensued. Are you keeping up? Leonora, dove straight into the Surrealist Paris life. It's been noted that one time she sat at a restaurant table and covered her feet with mustard, and served cold tapioca dyed with squid ink to guests as caviar. Visitors to the rue Jacob might wake up in the morning to a breakfast of omelette full of their own hair which she had cut while they slept.

Soon afterwards, War World II (stupid war) happens and her lover and companion, Max, a german, was arrested by French authorities for being considered a "hostile alien". Seriously? Hostile? Come on....What about the love story and making beautiful art?!? I digress. So you think it gets better and they meet up again to continue their love affair?  I'm going to disappoint you.

After Ernst was arrested by the French Gestapo he managed to escape, with the help from this lovely lady, Peggy Guggenheim. As you can imagine, after his arrest, Leonora was devastated. At 23, alone, and abroad she recalls, “I wept for several hours, down in the village, and then I went up again to my house, where for 24 hours I indulged in voluntary vomiting induced by drinking orange blossom water and interrupted by a short nap.”. It was there she developed paralyzing anxiety and had a mental breakdown in front of the British Embassy. Cue, unsupportive parents. Not knowing what to do with their heartbroken daughter, they institutionalized her. And what better  way to cure a broken heart than convulsive shock therapy and hallucinatory drugs. After her treatment, Leonora, ran away and sought refuge in the Mexican Embassy. In the meantime, Ernst made his way to the United States and fell in love (and later married) Peggy Guggenheim. Side note: It's hard to hate Peggy so much when you know she helped so many artists, right?

Later, Carrington, would eventually move to New York for a brief time and then settle in Mexico. It was there that she not only continued her painting, but she created tapestries, sculptures, ceramics, stories, and poetry as well.

SO! Back to my  pottery. Could it be? A rare Leonora Carrington piece of ceramic history? The short version is, I don't know. I might not ever know. I was outbid on the piece and it is owned by someone else who surely was captured by it as much as I was. It would have been a beautiful piece, regardless of it's provenance but it's nice to think I had a chance to own a part of this woman's history. No matter what it was, I'm thrilled I learned about this woman and am familiar with the phenomenal art she produced as one of the leading surrealist painters of her time.

Update: The piece in question is actually by artist Leonora Morrow. She was a flower arranger that could not find adequate pots for her arrangements. Thanks for clarifying Jesse!

 

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Tree Shaper

I think I found the most patient man and woman in the world. Peter Cook and Becky Northey are experts in tree shaping. It's a process commonly known as Pooktre, which is the practice of shaping live trees in artistic shapes and useful structures. 

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Repairs

Drawing on a stock of more than 6,000 colors of thread, a nun repairs a tapestry designed by Raphael, in which Peter receives the keys to the church from Christ. —From the National Geographic book Inside the Vatican, 1991

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