Lewis Morley became world-famous in 1963 when he took what is considered by many to be one of the photographic icons of the period, his classic portrait of Christine Keeler. Then at the height of her fifteen minutes of fame as one of the protagonists of the infamous Profumo Affair. In 1963 a major political scandal developed in Britain due to model and call-girl Christine Keeler’s affairs with John Profumo, the Conservative Party’s Minister of War, and a Soviet naval attaché. The ensuing controversy was possibly even responsible for the downfall of the ‘Tory’ Party at the following election.
Morley photographed Ms Keeler sitting naked astride a knock-off of an Arne Jacobsen chair (sold by Habitat), her torso tantalizingly concealed by her arms and the back of the chair.
“It was the very last shot on the roll. I was walking away and turned back. She was in a perfect position and I just snapped it. I never found her sexy, though. She reminded me too much of Vera Lynn!”
Two original Zig Zag Chairs made from painted wood and brass hardware were sold at Auction at Sotheby’s. The chair unadorned and the cantilever concept broke new ground in furniture design. They were designed by Gerrit Rietveld and manufactured by Gerard van de Groenekan, De Bilt, in the Netherlands, and then Cassina Italy from 1971.
Zig Zag Chairs, $40,625, Sold at Auction, at Sotheby’s
The Gardiner Museum is one of the world’s pre-eminent institutions devoted to ceramic art, and the only museum of its kind in Canada. It is also one of the major projects in Toronto’s cultural renaissance. The Gardiner renewal, together with the Royal Ontario Museum across the street and the Royal Conservatory of Music around the corner on Bloor Street West, will form a new cultural precinct for the city.
Framed between the neoclassical Lillian Massey building to the north and the Queen Anne-style Margaret Addison Hall to the south, the renewal creates a bolder, more welcoming urban presence for the Gardiner. Inside, the interior is completely transformed to prioritize the display of the museum’s collections and to create a memorable, inviting visitor experience.
An Exhibition called Overview will include a look back at the work created since the Brussels and Lausanne-based design studio, Big Game was founded in 2004.
Lam’ foldable chaise-longue by Luis Ramirez Jiménez
Exhibition: Contemporary Cuban Design Exhibition, part of the Dalón de Arte Contemporáneo de la Habana Galería Villena en la Plaza de Armas, Habana Vieja, Cuba, 21 November – 20 December, 2008
From the 1920s to the 1940s Constantin Brancusi was preoccupied by the theme of a bird in flight. He concentrated not on the physical attributes of the bird but on its movement. In “Bird in Space” wings and feathers are eliminated, the swell of the body is elongated, and the head and beak are reduced to a slanted oval plane. Balanced on a slender conical footing, the figure’s upward thrust is unfettered. Brancusi’s inspired abstraction realizes his stated intent to capture “the essence of flight.” This particular conception of “Bird in Space” is the first in a series of seven sculptures carved from marble and nine cast in bronze, all of which were painstakingly smoothed and polished.
“Bird in Space” has broken the world auction record for a sculpture in 2005 by fetching $27,456,000 at Christie’s New York to an anonymous buyer.
Bird in Space by Constantin Brancusi
In its silver screen debut, Maxalto furnishings take center stage in several scenes in the new James Bond film “Quantum of Solace”.
Highlights of the featured furniture include the Talamo bed from the AC collection and the Max writing desk from the Simplice collection, in addition to a selection of night tables, armchairs and dressers.
Wallpaper*, is selling limited edition prints from their archives. A pop-up gallery at the stylish St Martins Lane Hotel will showcase ten works by some of the world’s most acclaimed photographers in a free exhibition open to the public.
The eight photographers whose signed and numbered prints will be on display are Jonathan de Villiers, Mauricio Alejo, Jonathan Frantini, Christopher Griffith, Stefan Ruiz, Daniel Stier, Benedict Redgrove and Joël Tettamanti.
William Eggleston’s great achievement in photography can be described in a straightforward way: he captures everyday moments and transforms them into indelible images. William Eggleston: Democratic Camera, Photographs and Video, 1961-2008 presents a comprehensive selection from nearly fifty years of image-making.
Born in 1939 in Sumner, Mississippi, a small town in the Delta region, Eggleston showed an early interest in cameras and audio technology. While studying at various colleges in the South, he purchased his first camera and came across a copy of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s book The Decisive Moment (1952). In the early 1960s, Eggleston married and moved to Memphis, where he has lived ever since. He first worked in black-and-white, but by the end of the decade began photographing primarily in color. Internationally acclaimed and widely traveled, Eggleston has spent the past four decades photographing all around the world, conveying intuitive responses to fleeting configurations of cultural signs and moods as specific expressions of local color. Psychologically complex and casually refined, bordering on kitsch and never conventionally beautiful, these photographs speak principally to the expanse of Eggleston’s imagination and have had a pervasive influence on all aspects of visual culture. By not censoring, rarely editing, and always photographing, Eggleston convinces us of the idea of the democratic camera.
Exhibition: William Eggleston: Democratic Camera Photographs and Video, 1961—2008, Whitney Museum, November 7 – January 25, 2009
The Eggleston Artistic Trust is dedicated to the representation and preservation of the work of William Eggleston.
Recommended reading: William Eggleston’s Guide
The modern home is the perfect venue for displaying tribal art. A recent auction of the collection of Frieda and Milton Rosenthal, at Sotheby’s yielded a very rare and significant sculpture.
This Wooden figure from Easter Island (one of the most remote islands in Polynesia, some 2000 miles from the nearest landmass) representing emaciated, sometimes almost skeletal, men locally called Moai Kavakava are named after moai for the monumental monolithic human figures found on Easter Island and the word kavakava meaning “ribs”. Little is known about their cultural context.
Moai Kavakava are said to represent spirits or ghosts (Aku Aku) as well as deceased ancestors. German Expressionist Max Ernst, was inspired by these figures and their rituals and they can also be found in the collections of the French surrealist André Breton.
Moai Kava Kava, Sold at auction, $ 614,500 USD, at Sotheby’s New York, USA