Ionna Vautrin presents a a series of lighting called Moaïs. Each model consists of ten sheets of polycarbonate and ten “combs” in painted or anodized aluminum, and a black aluminum base shaped like a truncated cone. Easy to assemble, some are left white, while others are screen printed.
Moaïs, by Ionna Vautrin, January 26 – March 20, at ToolsGalerie, Paris, France
Katharina Fritsch first showed her work in the United States in 1994, at the Dia Center for the Arts. There she debuted Rattenkönig (Rat king), her now famous work in which 12-feet-tall black rodents face outward in a circle, towering over the viewer, their tails bound together in a giant knot. Like all Fritsch’s work, Rattenkönig is simultaneously seductive and unnerving. She often transforms quotidian objects or ordinary looking figures into something new and strange, through repetition and manipulation of scale and color. Her sculptures are the result of a time-consuming process: a piece is usually molded by hand, then cast in plaster, reworked, and then cast again in polyester.
Katharina Fritsch, at Matthew Marks Gallery
On Display is a great selection of design pieces that are “Made in Spain” in an unusual and creative context: the circus. Go deep into a space where objects explode, stay balanced or are chopped in a guillotine. The wonderful world of the circus offers you the most fascinating products. Different scenes inspired by the art of the circus in which you will have an extraordinary vision of objects. Enjoy a magical and unique setting, in which you will surely see the most mysterious side of the most global Spanish design.
The small wooden houses are studies, born from the desire to experiment and research independent from the clients’ needs. Most of the sculptural works are made of solid wooden blocks, which De Lucchi models with a chainsaw. The architect said he realised the wish to work manually with wood while sharpening pencils with a penknife.
When Praline teamed up with The Model Shop, we were presented with a cauldron being stirred by an excellent set of designers and equally adept architectural model makers. The results are understandably broad, and include a new typeface, architectural models, a neon sign and most importantly one fantastic concept.
Product designer Naoto Fukasawa unfailingly designs shapes to meet people’s expectations. His unique efforts to determine the “outline of things” from people’s unconscious are gathering attention worldwide. Advertising photography expert Tamotsu Fujii superbly depicts outlines blending into light and air.
The “outline of design”, something obvious yet invisible, emerges through the efforts of these two men. This exhibition, including 100 products designed by Naoto Fukasawa and some 70 photographs taken by Tamotsu Fujii over 4 years, is something never attempted before – an exhibition revealing what everyone has sought… the “outline of design”.
Studio Job has created a 175 cm diameter spinning globe applying 500,000 Swarovski crystals. “Maybe it’s the sense of time and gravity that touches us, maybe it is the earth that keeps turning and turning.”
Globe, by Studio Job, for Swarovski Crystal Palace
Like many émigrés fleeing from Nazi Germany in the 1930s, László Moholy-Nagy sought refuge in various countries: the Netherlands, England and, finally, the United States. Wherever he and his family went, they took an enormous metal and glass machine, which looked so odd that it always caused a rumpus at customs. The problem was describing what it was. Telling the truth did not work. Custom officers snorted in disbelief when Mr. Moholy-Nagy explained that he had designed the Light Space Modulator, as the machine was called, to create pools of light and shadow so he could study their movement. They were almost as skeptical when he tried passing it off as a robot, fountain and mixing machine. Eventually he fobbed them off by claiming that it was “hairdressing equipment.”
Moholy-Nagy explains: This piece of lighting equipment is a device used for demonstrating both plays of light and manifestations of movement. The model consists of a cube-like body or box, 120 x 120 cm in size, with a circular opening (stage opening) at its front side. On the back of the panel, mounted around the opening are a number of yellow, green, blue, red, and white-toned electric bulbs (approximately 70 illuminating bulbs of 15 watts each, and 5 headlamps of 100 watts). Located inside the body, parallel to its front side, is a second panel; this panel too, bears a circular opening about which are mounted electric lightbulbs of different colors. In accordance with a predetermined plan, individual bulbs glow at different points. They illuminate a continually moving mechanism built of partly translucent, partly transparent, and partly fretted materials, in order to cause the best possible play of shadow formations on the back wall of the closed box. (When the demonstration occurs in a darkened space, the back wall of the box can be removed and the color and shadow projection shown on a screen of any chosen size behind the box.) The mechanism is supported by a circular platform on which a three-part mechanism is built. The dividing walls are made of transparent cellophane, and a metal wall made of vertical rods. Each of the three sectors of the framework accommodate a different, playful movement study, which individually goes into effect when it appears on the main disc revolving before the stage opening.
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
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