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BMW 3.0 CLS by Alexander Calder

When race car driver and auctioneer Herve Poulain asked his friend, artist Alexander Calder, to paint the BMW 3.0 CLS that he would race in the 1975 Le Mans endurance race, it was the beginning of a truly gorgeous concept. Calder’s design of the BMW 3.0 CSL was the first Art Car ever, and one of his last works of art before he died in 1976. His rendition of the BMW Art Car boasts powerful colors and attractive curving expanses, which he applied generously to the wings, hood and roof.

Calder saw his art in action when he attended the Le Mans 24-hour race as a guest to witness his work’s premiere.

BMW 3.0 CLS Art Car, for the 1975 Le Mans Endurance Race, by Alexander Calder
via: City Furniture

Eye Exam Poster by Blue Ant Studio

Eye Exam, by Joel Pirela, Digital art, size: 11″x17″, Printed on 80 lb paper in matte finish, Hand signed and dated, Blue Ant Studio

L’Horloge d’une Vie de Travail by Julien Berthier

L’Horloge d’une vie de travail 1
Clock for calculating in real time the hours of work accumulated before retirement (1 minute divided into 60 seconds, 1 week divided into 35 hours, 1 quarter divided into 13 weeks and 40 years divided into 160 quarters). It can be set off by phone in order to meet the needs of today’s increasingly mobile worker. This clock introduces the notion of “individual time” (like “universal time”), which we accumulate only for ourselves. It becomes the reflection of a work system that is moving towards individualisation and is breaking up forms of solidarity by annihilating collective defence strategies.

L’Horloge d’une vie de travail 2
1 minute divided into 60 seconds, 1 week divided into 35 hours, 1 quarter divided into 13 weeks and 40 years and 1 quarter divided into 161 quarters (in keeping with the reform of the law on working time, which came into effect on 1 January 2009).

L’Horloge d’une vie de travail, by Julien Berthier

Exhibition: Objet Préféré by Fabrica

Fabrica features Objet Préféré, with an exceptional collection of fifteen furniture pieces designed by Fabrica. The fifteen amazing furniture pieces have been created following a workshop between young Fabrica designers and personnel such as craftsmen, technicians, and office staff of the Grand-Hornu Images Cultural Center in Belgium.

Objet Préféré, by Fabrica, Sunday May 29 – Sunday October 23, Grand-Hornu, Belgium
Photography by Gustavo Millon, via: Yatzer

Italian Lights: Rare 1950s – 1980s lighting around Gino Sarfatti

Gino Sarfatti “Moon”

Gae Aulenti “Rimorchiadore”

Gino Sarfatti “N°1063″

Ettore Sottsass “Asteroid”

Michel Buffet floor lamp

If there is a domain in which Italian design shines — likewise for Scandinavians — it is light. Only the birthplace of Renaissance could renew and enhance this accessory, indispensable to man for the pursuit of activities whatever the time, with such creative freedom in the post-war years. From this creative profusion, Galerie BSL unveils its pantheon of 1950s to 1980s lighting, a vintage selection rigorously guided by quality and rarity. This new gallery — which opened only a year ago but which has already exhibited at the prestigious Pavillon des Arts et du Design and will do so at Design Miami/Basel — has chosen to only show twenty handpicked pieces. A welcome commitment to help collectors, at a time when everything is ‘design,’ in a market where the best and worst are displayed side by side.

Can be found: duly referenced, often award-winning, always admired lighting icons. Pieces which are above all a metamorphosis of an everyday object into a contemporary sculpture, amazing in their strength and unique character. For many specialists, Gino Sarfatti, creator of hundreds of models, is the 20th century’s greatest lighting designer. “I have never been interested in form,” he confesses, defining himself as an artisan. Everything starts with the bulb for this great chrome stand enthusiast who invented a lamp kit to change as you wish into nine different types of lighting, wall light, reflector, etc.

Credit where credit is due, Gino Sarfatti occupies a core place in this exhibition. The most spectacular piece and the most important: the large N°2068 ceiling light designed in 1952. With its thirty lights, it conjures up a modern castle, a church candelabra or the crown of candles worn by young girls in the procession during the Festival of Light in Nordic countries. Everything is sober, meticulous, but also ethereal with Sarfatti, who chooses to leave the wire apparent “because you have to be able to look at the reason for the lamp.”* Amongst others is the extremely rare wall light N°194 (1950) in brass and lacquered metal, the audacious lamp N°1063 which totally changed the idea of domestic lighting (Compasso d’Oro in 1954, prestigious Italian design award), the table lamp N°604 called Moon (1969), with a scattering of micro-bulbs like lunar craters.

For at the era of the conquest of space, tomorrow’s light comes from outer space, following the example of the Asteroide (1968) table lamp, a very ‘pop’ creation by Ettore Sottsass, leader of the Memphis neo- baroque movement. Made of perspex, it reflects peninsula designers’ taste for new materials adaptable to the craziest shapes. The Golden Gate by Nanda Vigo features amongst the exhibition’s centrepieces, extensive refined architecture spanning two metres which won its designer, influenced by the silhouette of the eponymous bridge, the New York Prize for Industrial Design in 1971, or Rimorchiatore by Gae Aulenti (1969), an example of which appears in the Centre Pompidou collection. Also featuring are creations by the Italians Angelo Lelli – the Calder of lighting -, Studio A.R.D.I.T.I., Matteo Thun and Joe Colombo (honoured by a retrospective at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris in 2007).

Without forgetting, for comparison, works by Français Michel Buffet in the vein of Serge Mouille and the German master Ingo Maurer. Finally to complete this vintage selection the Escargot (snail) lamp, created by Le Corbusier in 1954 for the Cité Radieuse in Marseille, produced for the first time in 2011 by Cassina with a limited edition of 150 numbered pieces. In short, a historical and didactic journey displaying all that today’s creators owe these exemplary light designs.

Alexandre Crochet, journalist, art historian.

Italian Lights, May 20 – July 23, at Galerie BSL

The Lectori Salutem Desk by Jeroen Verhoeven

The Lectori Salutem Desk is imbued with a symbolic value as it conveys the intimacies of Verhoeven’s own personal life. While ostensibly a desk, produced through a combination of highly-skilled craftsmanship and carefully-programmed technical processes, the personal mark of the maker is strongly evident within the work as two silhouette portraits of the artist’s design collaborators, Joep Verhoeven and Judith de Graauw, are subtly shaped into its undulating surfaces. Thus, the piece combines design functionality with an artistic rhetoric that subliminally communicates the importance of Verhoeven’s immediate creative circle. Constructed using highly-polished steel, the traditional industrialism of this material is inverted to produce an elegant and seemingly lightweight object. Through a delicate distribution of weight, the piece combines streamline curves and flowing contours to create a physical equilibrium and an illusionistic sense of movement and speed.

LS Desk, by Jeroen Verhoeven, Demakersvan
Exhibition: The Curious Image, at Blain Southern Gallery, London, May 12 – July 16

Sound Sculptures & Installations by Zimoun

138 prepared dc-motors, cotton balls, cardboard boxes 40 x 40 x 40 cm. Zimoun.

200 prepared dc-motors, 2000 cardboard elements 70 x 70 cm. Zimoun in collabortation with Architect Hannes Zweifel.

“Zimoun is best compared to a watchmaker of a self-reproducing time constructing his own gauging station.”
- Radjo Monk

Sound Sculptures & Installations, by Zimoun

Exhibition: Charlotte Perriand 1903-1999

In this fresh look at the work of Charlotte Perriand (1903-1999), the Petit Palais reveals for the first time the part played by photography in her creative process, both as a source of inspiration and sometimes as an actual component of her pieces. When she joined the Le Corbusier/Pierre Jeanneret studio as furniture design associate in 1928, she at once began using photography for her preliminary studies, then as a means for observing the “laws of nature” — in the mountains, especially — and the urban context. This provided her with inspiration for her experiments with forms, materials and spatial arrangements. The exhibition also particularly emphasises her passion for objects found in the course of her walks; in their distancing of the rationalist spirit of the 1920s, these brought greater flexibility and formal freedom to her work.

Charlotte Perriand 1903-1999: From photography to interior design
April 7 – September 18, Petit Palais, Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris

Exhibition: Stephen Burks: Man Made

Prototypes & Material Compositions (Pile Up) Including Basket Lamps and Basket Low Tables, 2010

Material Composition 1 (Totem), Polystyrene, Paper, Senegalese Sweetgrass and Polyethylene Basket, Birch Plywood, Acrylic Paint and Oak

The Studio Museum in Harlem is pleased to present Stephen Burks: Man Made, a unique project that furthers industrial designer Stephen Burks’s ongoing exploration of the global economy of artisanal craft. Inspired by Burks’s collaboration with Senegalese basket weavers based in New York and Dakar, as well as projects with artisans in South Africa, Peru and India, Man Made starts with the traditional basket-weaving process as its core concept. During the exhibition, the Museum’s galleries will be transformed into a workshop where New York-based weavers and artisans will create a series of functional and experimental objects and installations conceived by Burks.

Stephen Burks: Man Made, March 31 – June 26, at Studio Museum New York
Photography by Daniel Håkansson for Readymade Projects

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