Time is naturally marked by repeating astronomical phenomena, by the daily cycle and the seasons, as nights and months come and go. To slice it into finer fractions, our forbears invented sundials, which track the movement of the shadows projected by the sun, or clepsydra, hourglass-like devices that count time based on a consistent rate of water flow. But ever since 1657, when the first watch was created, we have used the oscillatory movements of a mechanical system to do that job. The photographer Guido Mocafico, whose previous books include Venenum, Medusa and Serpens, sets out in this new project, Movement, to observe these systems. He chose complex and rare mechanisms–physically mechanical rather than electronic–which led him into a world of traditional knowledge controlled by master watchmakers. To remove the back from one of their tiny creations is to plunge into an unknown world: these images of the tiny springs, levers, screws and gears that drive the hands of time forward, etched with the slightest texture possible and engraved in the smallest type possible, present an abiding mystery of the everyday, representative of all of the technologies we have come to take for granted. Mocafico was born in Switzerland in 1962. A specialist in still life, he works for international magazines such as Vogue, French Vogue, The Face and Wallpaper. Based in Paris, he has also undertaken numerous advertising campaigns for Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Clinique, Shiseido and Hermès.
Guido Mocafico: Movement, Edited by Patrick Remy. Text by François-Paul Journe, Stephen Forsey, Antoine Simonin. ISBN: 9783865214553
Buy it here: Amazon
A soft tufted sofa with plenty of right angles. Made from a flexible polyurethane core, leather or fabric, and a stainless steel base.
Edward Sofa, by Carlo Colombo, for Poliform
Studio Olafur Eliasson is an experimental laboratory located in Berlin. Led by renowned Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson, it functions as an interdisciplinary space, generating fresh dialogues between art and its surroundings. A new product designed for Zumtobel is a modular lighting system called Starbrick.
Starbrick consists of injection-moulded polycarbonate components with a matte black finish. The semi-transparent, yellow, reflective surfaces at its core are backlit by LEDs. The light from the outward-facing LED Boards is concentrated and evenly distributed via polycarbonate refractors.
Starbrick by Studio Olafur Eliasson, for Zumtobel
This mid-terrace house in Ireland has been extensively refurbished into a contemporary live/work space. The new structure was conceived as a simple form which connects at ground level with the existing house. The tight site and strict planning constraints defined the form of the new extension from an early stage.
This significant exhibition is the first in America to explore the work produced by German designer Konstantin Grcic, one of the most important industrial designers working today. Grcic is known for his logical designs, driven by an honesty of materials and an appropriateness of production methods, yet injected with an inventiveness and originality that set his work apart.
Konstantin Grcic: Decisive Design, November 20 – January 24,
at Gallery 184, The Art Institute, Chicago, USA
Fifty Chairs That Changed The World lists the top 50 chairs that have made a substantial impact in the world of design today. It includes design classics from Thonet’s 1870 Side Chair to Konstantin Grcic’s Chair_One. It is possible to trace a remarkable complete history of design in the last 150 years through a sequence of chairs. The Design Museum values its collection of contemporary chairs, and this book provides an introduction into 50 of the key chairs that have shaped the story of design.
Fifty Chairs That Changed the World – The Design Museum, Hardback, 202 x 152 mm,
112 Pages, Published by Conran Octopus Ltd,
Buy it here: Amazon
The Highlight of the upcoming African & Oceanic Art auction at Sotheby’s in Paris, is this Bamana sculpture with its profound understanding of form. Early 20th century painters and sculptors were influenced by the “Negro” art which was to profoundly change creativity in the modern world. It was also magnificently apparent in the exhibit entitled Primitivism displayed along with works by Max Ernst.
The Kònò mask can not simply be reduced to the powerful wild animals which its forms evoke in this case probably the hyena (long ears embodying the predator’s sentiency) and the elephant (wisdom, intelligence) the combination of which is remindful of the polymorphism of the powerful divinities whom the priests must influence favourably.
…brilliantly translated by the sculptor through the paradox of its absolute formal purity, and in this respect it resembles no other Kònò mask. Above and beyond the obviously perfectly accomplished work and the significant fact that the roots of its forcefulness delve into the subconscious, the emotions aroused in us by the arresting beauty of this masterpiece of Bamana art are the ultimate confirmation of its importance.
Lot 58: A Bamana Masterpiece: Kònò Society Mask, Mali, Estimate €300,000 – €400,000, African & Oceanic Art Auction, Thursday, Dec 3, at Sotheby’s, Paris
Update: Hammer Price €1,408,750
“In a place of profound silence, after a day of fog and mist, an intense light is mirrored off the still, deep waters of the majestic Hudson River. This is a place where the sunsets are a thousand colors and where water sparkles in millions of reflections. It is a place where the clean air is calm and mild. It is a place that seems very close to heaven. In building here, we wanted to create a structure that would be worthy of its surroundings, something that would not intrude on this space but only serve to enhance it. Since we would not attempt to embellish on this landscape, we decided we would simply underline it. To do so, we built a large box, measuring 122 feet long x 54 feet wide and 12 feet high, with strong concrete walls that have a solid relationship to the earth. Bedrooms, bathrooms, mechanical and service rooms reside inside this concrete box. In the center of the box and connecting the main entrance with the garden, there is a large luminous hall. The lid of the box is a stone and concrete platform with a roof measuring 100 feet long x 40 feet wide and 9 feet high. This is supported by a 20 feet x 20 feet framework consisting of cylindrical steel pillars—the entire roof projecting out 10 feet. On top of this platform, we created living space by glassing in a surface 25 feet wide x 94 feet long that resembles a large table with 10 legs. Three areas have been created inside this space by boxes of white plaster that do not reach the ceiling. They contain the stairs, the elevator, the powder room and the wet bar. The central space is the living room and the dining area; the south side is a pensatoio, a meditation room with a fire place; the north side is for the kitchen. The main idea of the house is the creation of this underlining plane, conceived primarily to contemplate and at the same time be part of, this incredible landscape, and–in addition–to house a collection of contemporary Italian Arte Povera.”
- Alberto Campo Baeza
Olnick Spanu House, by Estudio Arquitectura Campo Baeza
Buy the Book: Alberto Campo Baeza: Idea, Light and Gravity Available at Amazon
MoMA presents an interactive website on its current exhibition on the Bauhaus. It it the Museum’s first major exhibition since 1938 on the subject of this school of avant-garde art. Founded in 1919 and shut down by the Nazis in 1933, the Bauhaus brought together artists, architects and designers in a conversation about the nature of art in the age of technology. Aiming to rethink the very form of modern life, the Bauhaus became the site of an array of experiments in the visual arts.
A book, “Bauhaus: A Conceptual Model“ will accompany the exhibition, documenting some of the most important works, including the newly re-discovered Marcel Breuer and Gunta Stölzl’s early Bauhaus African Chair and Laszlo Moholy Nagy’s Light Space modulator – a kinetic sculpture from the 1930’s; paintings and sculpture by Kandinksy, Albers and Klee as wells as works by Walter Gropius, Hannes Mayer and Mies van der Rohe.
Bauhaus 1919–1933: Workshops for Modernity, November 8 – January 25, at Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, USA
Buy the Book: Amazon