In 1929, Buckminster Fuller was introduced to an artist who shared his own mania for “comprehensivity”: Isamu Noguchi. Their first meeting at Romany Marie’s Tavern in New York City was a transformative experience for both men. Noguchi had just returned from studying in Europe on a Guggenheim fellowship, where he worked alongside Constantin Brancusi. For hours Noguchi would listen to Fuller’s orations at the tavern on the utopian possibilities of technology revolving around his “Dymaxion” house and automobile.
In later years, Fuller recalled that the aim of the “Dymaxion” transport project was “to develop an omni-medium transport vehicle to function in the sky, in negotiable terrain, or on water.” Using existing Ford Motor engines, Fuller postulated that by taking the conceptual basis of an airplane and applying the principles of wind resistance and the aerodynamic shape of fish, he could develop a new concept of the automobile. The word “Dymaxion” as an amalgamation of the words dynamism, maximum and ions, represented the energy that Fuller felt could be harnessed and used to advance the current simplistic concept of land transport.
Fuller originally sketched his stylized vehicle in 1927 and in 1932 looked to his friend, Noguchi, to sculpt the three-wheel model for the “Dymaxion” car based on these early drawings. The models were later painted by Fuller.
In the full-scale prototypes, Fuller abandoned the multi-terrain concept and sought to maximize the efficiency of existing technology, using rear wheel steering and aerodynamic shaping. The three realized “Dymaxion” cars were plagued by bad press following a fatal driving accident at the 1933 World’s Fair debut and the project was abandoned.
Dymaxion Car Model, Executed by Isamu Noguchi, Painted by Buckminster Fuller, Sold at Auction $92,500, at Sotheby’s
Works by Charlotte Perriand and Jean Prouvé are in demand. This storage unit designed by Charlotte Perriand was commissioned by Mr. and Mrs. Cor through Galerie Steph Simon to accompany the Nuage Bibliothèque. Three sliding doors conceal storage compartment and two adjustable shelves.
Bloc bahut, 1959, by Charlotte Perriand, Ateliers Jean Prouvé for Galerie Steph Simon,
Sold at Auction for $240,000 Wright
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A sculpture by the Australian artist, Clement Meadmore is up for auction at Wright. Meadmore is best known for his distinct twists and turns in Corten steel, which naturally rusts as it ages. Meditation is fabricated from lacquered aluminum.
Hugh Ferriss (1889 – 1962) was an American delineator (one who creates perspective drawings of buildings) and architect. According to Daniel Okrent, Ferriss never designed a single noteworthy building, but after his death a colleague said he ‘influenced my generation of architects’ more than any other man. Ferriss also influenced popular culture, for example Gotham City (the setting for Batman) and Kerry Conran’s “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow”. “Just Imagine” (movie from 1930), strongly influenced by Hugh Ferriss’s book, Metropolis of Tomorrow (1929), takes the archetype vision of the future city as defined by a Manhattan-like skyline, and portrays it in all its beauty and majesty.
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‘Playful’, ‘controversial’, ‘cheeky’, ‘innovative’ and ‘provocative’ are just some of the terms used to describe BIG. Headed by Bjarke Ingels, this architectural company has in the space of a few years created prize-winning projects, a long list of innovative buildings and an international reputation, as well as taking an active part in current debates in society
This exhibition forms part of a pilot project called ‘Close up’, which through exhibitions, debates, seminars and teaching sessions takes a long, hard look at new tendencies, theories and challenges within Danish architecture.
Sol LeWitt helped establish Conceptualism and Minimalism as dominant movements of the postwar era. Many of LeWitt’s works explore the variations possible within the basic structure of a cube. The permutations are simple, clear and logical.
“Conceptual artists are mystics rather than rationalists. They leap to conclusions that logic cannot reach.”
- Sol LeWitt
Cube Without a Cube, $21,600 (top two) and K 1 2 3 4 5 6 #2, $132,000 (bottom)
by Sol LeWitt 1928-2007, Sold at Auction at Wright
Two installations are on display for Bendetta Mori Ubaldini’s solo show at Fat Galerie. Riding Hood and wolves, and Happy Days, both fill the space with a symbolic and poetic narrative. “They have no internal structure so their presence is almost absent, giving them a sense of wonder, magic”. Creating images in 3 Dimensions, Ubaldini experiments in colour and light on the transparent material enhancing this effect and capturing the imagination of the viewers. In addition to chicken wire works, she now also makes what she calls “ugly art”: scultpures and body image made with balloons. These pieces function as a self-critique of the fantasy and beauty of the animal sculptures.
A rare pendant light designed by Eileen Gray is up for auction at Christie’s. It is expected to fetch just under 1 million dollars. It is part of a collection of the late Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge. The auction, described as the “sale of the century” also includes rare works by Brancusi, Léger, Braque, Matisse and Picasso.
The light is made of cream-painted aluminium, composed of three superimposed flat rings in ascending scale mounted in alternation with three stepped conical shades in descending scale.
Satellite Hanging Light, ca. 1925, by Eileen Gray, Estimate €600,000 – €800,000, Collection Yves Saint Laurent & Pierre Berge, Auction at Christie’s, 23 – 25 February
Constantin Brancusi owes its outstanding reputation mainly his sculptures in stone and bronze, cut or molded, smooth and polished to perfection. The public knows little wooden works, much less numerous and, at first, were not well received, as to be rejected by private collectors.
Madame LR is a wonderful example of the first wooden sculptures by Brancusi: By choosing the material and the technique of direct cutting through the iconography and the intent underlying its creation, this work is Indeed, far from the normal production of the sculptor. While the Bird in Space, amounts to heaven in a spiritual movement and almost intangible—wooden sculptures are massive, rooted in soil and mysteriously enigmatic.
It is difficult to assess accurately the number of wood sculptures by Brancusi realized, as some have been dismantled, reconstructed or destroyed, but it is estimated that there were still some thirty sculptures or fragments of sculpture. Most of them were executed between 1913 and 1925, during which Brancusi also produces oak stands to put his works in marble or bronze. Although he produced some great wooden sculptures after 1920 and continued to pedestals, the works of the early years remain the most surprising.
Portrait of Madame L.R., by Constantin Brancusi, Estimate €15,000,000 – €20,000,000, Collection Yves Saint Laurent & Pierre Berge, Auction at Christie’s, 23 – 25 February
The data sculpture Fundament shows the allocation of the world’s gross domestic product in comparison to the worldwide derivatives volume. The statistical data was aquired from the CIA World Factbook and the International Monetary Fund.
Reflection is a sound data sculpture, which was inspired by and derived from the musical piece by Frans de Waard of the same title.
Fundament, Reflection, by Andreas Nicolas Fischer