For its seventh furniture series, MANIERA invited the American designer Jonathan Muecke to a residency in Belgium. The one-week stay was to take place in specific architectural surroundings with the aiming of being an inspiring source for the designer, as Henry Van de Velde’s Wolfers House was for Richard Venlet’s MANIERA 03. From a number of possibilities that MANIERA offered Muecke, the designer almost immediately chose the Van Wassenhove House by the Belgian architect Juliaan Lampens.
Jonathan Muecke & Juliaan Lampens, Maniera Gallery
In his ‘Spring’ exhibition at Carpenters Workshop Gallery in London, Mathieu Lehanneur takes us into a world of flux. As if the cycle of the seasons and nature’s forces have specially looked at the fate of objects… Here, the artist-designer with a passion for science, grapples with ancestral materials in order to suffuse them with plasticity, fluidity and tone.
The works in the ‘Spring’ exhibition seem to hesitate between solid, liquid and gaseous. They appear to be suspended mid-transformation in a poetic state of metamorphosis. Marble and aluminium become liquid, onyx becomes air and glass softens as in a return to its original state.
Mathieu Lehanneur: ‘Spring’ exhibition, (17 – 25 September 2016), at Carpenters Workshop Gallery, London
As humanity finds itself more and more exploded and human beings are less and less (or increasingly) aware of themselves in the “coming community” of unidentified unity- seeking entities deciphered by Giorgio Agamben, Konstantin Grcic’s series from Da Messina’s Saint Jerome represents a significant contribution to the displacement of the issue of the individual. In these five pieces of furniture, the way the sitter positions himself is always an open question: there is, in each of the pieces, a choice to be made between the several places to sit; there is in every case a need to accept, with the angles of the seats and the curve of the legs, a certain tension.
There is no discomfort, but challenge in comfort, exactly as we should not let ourselves limit ourselves in ourselves, but in fact should expand, exercise our abilities in order to expand our world. The five items are all a small pedestal – a stage, seemingly separating us from the world; and there is a certain amount of theatricality in each of them, by mean of the materials used; fibre-cement, aluminium, marble, 3D print, all make for quite an effect. But at the same time there is no weight that would locate them beyond the logics of life: they all remain in the human community, and do not seem to escape into another world.
Exhibition: Hieronymus, at Galerie kreo, Paris, March 23 – July 14, 2016
Exhibition: distance(s), Lisboa, Portugal, by Pedro Léger Pereira
With the major exhibition »The Bauhaus #itsalldesign« (26.09.2015 – 28.02.2016), the Vitra Design Museum presents, a comprehensive overview of design at the Bauhaus for the first time. The exhibition encompasses a multiplicity of rare, in some cases never-before-seen exhibits from the fields of design, architecture, art, film and photography. At the same time, it confronts the design of the Bauhaus with current debates and tendencies in design and with the works of contemporary designers, artists and architects. In this way, “The Bauhaus #itsalldesign” reveals the surprising present-day relevance of a legendary cultural institution.
The Bauhaus #itsalldesign, by Vitra Design Museum
Moore constructed a new body of work that fuses his bold, graphic, op-geo vocabulary with extruded mosaic forms that bring the works to life in three dimensions. The series is activated by the angle and intensity of the light source, be it a deliberate directional lamp, or the natural curve of each day’s sun cycle. Symmetries and depth are revealed in a spectrum of proportions, and color palettes are expanded upon, into numerous parallel hues revealed by the shadows.
The exhibition is comprised of 5 chapters, each with its own concept and aesthetic. A series of greyscale cut-paper mosaics created in Montreal in Fall 2014 is displayed as evidence of the explorations that led to the layered sensibilities of the more elaborate colorful works created during this Bay Area residency. A series of 4 pure symmetry colorful compositions reminiscent of sacred geometry grids, timeless diamond cuts, and architectural monuments hangs as a family on one side of the space. Opposite this wall is a series of 12 square works that bring Moore’s signature graphic syntax into three dimensions, playing with the eye when viewed from different vantage points. One extra large modular construct composed of 5 pieces that hang synchronized is displayed void of color to allow the viewer to explore the subtle nuances of light and shadow without the distraction of color.
On the back two walls of 886 Geary Gallery, Moore has constructed a large mosaic dimensional mural comprised of the same forms used in the rest of the series. This in-situ installation has been left to chance and intuition, with Moore opting to freestyle the build spontaneously rather than reference drafted blueprints.
Shadovvs, Artist Residency & Exhibition, San Francisco, California, by Matt W. Moore, for 886 Geary Gallery
Photography by 886 Geary Gallery and Matt W. Moore
The M.A.D.Gallery is hosting “Optical Variations”, an exhibit by French artist Damien Bénéteau, featuring four of his illuminated, hypnotizing monochromatic mobiles. A photographer by training, Bénéteau creates art dedicated to light, capturing it in a playful and energetic way that renders it nearly tangible. Bénéteau’s kinetic sculptures reflect his fascination with how an object’s volume is perceived in various lighting situations and his interest in mechanics and machines. “My greatest influences come from minimalist sculpture, seen in the mixture of geometric aesthetics, austerity and simplicity found in my work” says the artist.
In three of his installations for the M.A.D.Gallery – “Length Variations”, “Circular Variations” and “Spatial Variations” – the French artist plays with pendulums, pairing their oscillating movement with light to create a trio of mesmerizing phenomena. “Sphérolithe”, in contrast, sees the former photographer moving away from the continuous movement of the pendulum, rather letting light emanating from a stationary point speak for itself. The light pulsates like the throbbing of a heartbeat: consistent, calm, calculated.
Operating from his own atelier in the suburb of Paris, Bénéteau, a connoisseur of machinery, uses milling, polishing and metal turning machines to create his structures, each one requiring between three and six months of work.
Optical Variations, by Damien Bénéteau
Arthur Erickson: Lignes topographiques / Site Lines
World-renowned Canadian architect, Arthur Erickson (1924-2009) created a remarkable body of work, distinguished by the quality of its relationship to site and landscape. Organized by the Canadian Architectural Archives (CAA) of the University of Calgary, which holds a large Erickson collection, this exhibition presents drawings and sketches illustrating eight of the Vancouver architect’s projects designed during the 1960s: five residences, two university campuses (including the famous project for Simon Fraser University), and the Canada pavilion for Expo 70 in Osaka. The exhibition will also be an opportunity to revisit Erickson’s Montreal connection, with a special section prepared by the Centre de Design: two projects designed when Erickson was a student at McGill University (1946-1950), two pavilions for Expo 67, and one intriguing project for a residential complex designed with the idea of offering a monumental entrance to downtown Montreal.
Brasilia was built out on the brazilian savannah in four year during the 60s, based upon a masterplan made by Lúcio Costa. Most of the important buildings are designed by the brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. The lay out of the urban plan resembles an airplane, containing two main axes with the main governmental functions in what would be the “cockpit” of the plane. The pilot plan with its huge open spaces, buildings, streets and public squares was meant to be represent an ideal city of future, true to the ideals of modernistic city planning of that time. Today Brasilia stands out as a well planned utopian future city from the past. Whatever the conclusion might be on the urban planning, the collection of buildings stands out as an impressive work of modern architecture.
Brasilia, by Øystein Aspelund
Over the course of seven seasons, the landmark series “Mad Men” has charted the rise of ad man Don Draper in the “Golden Age” of advertising in 1960s New York. The bench is located in front of the Time & Life Building, fictional home of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Designed by Pentagram’s Lorenzo Apicella, Michael Bierut and Emily Oberman, the monument takes the form of a sleek, elegant bench that features the iconic graphic of Draper from the show’s opening title sequence.
The idea behind the bench is strong and simple. The silhouette of Don with his arm draped over a couch has become a symbol of “Mad Men,” seen in the final moments of the opening titles designed by Imaginary Forces. The show’s story is told against the backdrop of massive cultural changes in the 1960s, and the graphic pictures Don sitting back, taking it all in. The bench invites visitors to do the same, to take a moment and observe the excitement of New York around them. Fans are welcome to “drape” themselves on the bench like Don, and take and post photos.
“Mad Men,” and Don in particular, are known for their cool, consummate sense of style, and the show has been credited with renewing interest in mid-century modern design. Rather than recreate the look of the period, Apicella’s design for the bench echoes it in clean, smooth lines that make the monument the chicest, most sophisticated piece of street furniture in the city. Comprised of only two pieces, the 12-foot-long bench combines a ½” thick-rolled steel plate seat and back, balanced on a 10-foot-long cast concrete base. Don’s silhouette is cut from the seat, which has a powder-coated black finish with white painted graphic elements. The concrete base color was selected to complement the existing plaza paving pattern.
Mad Men Monument, by Lorenzo Apicella with Michael Bierut and Emily Oberman