In 1974, Harry Bertoia was commissioned by the Standard Oil Company to create sculptures for the plaza of their building, a modern skyscraper designed by architect Edward Durrell Stone. At the time of its completion just a year earlier, the Standard Oil Building (now the Aon Center) was the tallest building in Chicago’s skyline.
Bertoia designed eleven Sonambients for the 4,000 square foot reflecting pool at the building’s base, each sculpture ranging from four to sixteen feet in height. The verticality of the Somabients’ brass and copper rods echoed the height and rhythm of the Standard Oil Building itself, and their sound resonated throughout the plaza. The kinetic sculptures he designed for the Standard Oil Company were installed on June 24, 1975 and they represent some of the most important public commissions of Bertoia’s career. The plaza of the Standard Oil Building became among the most beloved public spaces in the city of Chicago until 1994, when the plaza was redesigned.
Wright is proud to offer three large-scale Somabients original to the Standard Oil commission (estimates range from $300,000-500,000 to $500,000-700,000 each). Six maquettes from the presentation Bertoia created for the project are also included in this auction, as well as eight unique sounding sculptures which he presented to the executives of the Standard Oil Company as examples of his work.
Harry Bertoia: Masterworks from the Standard Oil Commission is the second Wright auction dedicated exclusively to the works of this outstanding sculptor. Comprised of seventeen lots, the auction will take place on June 6, 2013 at 12 pm central. Gallery preview runs May 30 to June 5, Monday through Saturday and Sunday by appointment, Auction at Wright
A solid-gold replica of the 1969 Apollo 11 Lunar Excursion Module, presented to astronauts Michael Collins, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin are the highlight of Out of this World! Jewelry in the Space Age, an exhibition of jewelry at the Forbes Galleries.
Depictions of bodies in outer space have appeared in jewelry since ancient times. The influence of the space race beginning in the late 1950s had a major impact on jewelry design and continues to do so today. This exhibition will trace space images in jewelry from the Georgian period through today and will include fine and costume jewelry from the 1960s through the present, jewelry being made by contemporary studio artists influenced by space, jewelry made from materials created by NASA for space exploration, jewelry with materials that came from space and jewelry flown in space by astronauts and more.
Out of this World! Jewelry in the Space Age, March 16 – September 7, 2013, at the Forbes Galleries, New York City
In 1998 Finland issued a design-themed stamp set which featured some of the most iconic works of local design history: besides product and textile designs by Alvar Aalto, Kaj Franck, Bertel Gardberg, Timo Sarpaneva and Annika Rimala, furniture design was represented by one chair — Yrjö Kukkapuro’s Karuselli.
The exhibition in the Museum of Estonian Architecture gives an overview of the interior architect and furniture designer Yrjö Kukkapuro’s artistic production which spans over 50 years. Starting with a student work from 1957 and concluding with a prototype specially designed and manufactured for the Tallinn exhibition, Kukkapuro’s long career is filled with independent experiments in the field but also includes positions as the chief designer of Haimi, Lepokaiusto and Avarte. Kukkapuro’s first successful collection Moderno was created in 1958-1960 and is still in production.
Kukkapuro’s oeuvre is like an X-ray of the design history of the second half of the 20th century. Pop-art influenced colourful plastic chairs, Karuselli, Saturnus or Chair No. 419 manufactured in the 1960s from fibreglass and ABS plastic using experimental methods are contemporary benchmarks carried by utoplan aspirations. The minimalist turn in 1970s abandoned artificial materials, new favourite was birch plywood. Remmi and Pressu models date from that period but at the same time Kukkapuro started decades’ long experiment to create ergonomic office chairs. Piaano, Fysio, Sirkus or Funktus are series which thoroughly redefined the understanding about typical office furniture. in the 1980s the wave of Postmodernism brought back colour, patterns and décor to Kukkapuro’s chairs. The 1990s are characterized by the abstract patterns printed on simple plywood form from
the “tattooed” chairs series and in the 2000s the explorations in materials continue. New favourite is bamboo from which there is a series specially made for Chinese market.
Some of the earlier chairs of the still tenaciousiy active Yrjö Kukkapuro have become design classics which are sought-after in online auctions and vintage furniture stores, at the same time being exhibited in renowned design museums from London to New York. The exhibits, prototypes as well as production models, of the Tallinn exhibition are mainly from Kukkapuro’s personal collection which he has gathered in his atelier over the years.
Yrjö Kukkapuro Furniture, Jan 11 – Feb 10, 2013, at the Museum of Estonian Architecture, Tallinn, Estonia
Originally built in the 1930’s, Das Stue’s diplomatic legacy is evident in the heritage building’s stately architecture and modernist façade, designed by German architect Johann Emil Schaudt (1871-1957) and inspired by Danish classicism. Located in Berlin’s diplomatic quarter, Das Stue was renovated to invoke a calming ambiance, with open spaces and contemporary minimalist design. The Potsdam-based firm Axthelm Architekten added a new wing on the building’s former back courtyard, which is clad in a floral patterned photo concrete surface acting as an elegant counterbalance to the rough dressed stone of the main building.
While Patricia Urquiola artistically directed and designed all public spaces and fluidly integrated shared spaces such as the lobby, cocktail bar and restaurants, LVG ARQUITECTURA finalized the interior room and suite design. Das Stue’s daylight spa, which opens its doors to the courtyard when the first rays of sunlight emerge, offers three treatment rooms, an indoor swimming pool, as well as a glass sauna and gym. In addition to the wellness center, two intimate library lounges offer guests a private and elegant retreat to relax.
Each of the 80 guestrooms is outfitted in subdued modern decor that emphasizes polished surfaces and rich fabrics. The rooms are designed to recall the open spaces of villa environments, complemented by high ceilings, hardwood floors and views of the adjacent Tiergarten; 11 rooms feature terraces and balconies.
Mass-produced midcentury furniture by the Italian modernist Carlo Mollino can cost a few thousand dollars per piece, and his prototypes and custom works cause greater market stirs.
In 2005 and 2008, Christie’s in New York got seven-figure prices for 1940s oak and maple tables that Mollino created for a marquis in Turin. The designer worked in a vocabulary of hairpin turns, spikes and flanges. He was also notoriously moody and obsessive, and a daredevil who flew experimental planes, scaled mountains and raced cars.
His colorful biography adds to the appeal of the objects. “They have a huge aura about them,” said Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, the founder of the Salon 94 galleries in Manhattan.
A show with a few Mollino works from around 1950 (with five- and six-figure prices each) opens on Thursday at the Salon 94 branch on East 94th Street; display cases were designed by the British architect David Adjaye. The exhibition includes an ash bentwood chair and a resin-and-glass bookcase, made for a Turin publishing house, and aluminum boomerang light fixtures from a textile magnate’s apartment in Turin.
On Oct. 23 the Italian government blocked an auction at Christie’s in London that featured 30 pieces of 1950s Mollino furniture, which had long been installed in an Italian industrialist’s country house in the foothills of the Alps. The works, including oak and chestnut tables, chairs, cabinets and ceramic coat hooks, were deemed by the government to be treasures that could not be exported. (They were returned to their owner.)
On Dec. 10 Sotheby’s in New York will offer four 1940s oak chairs (estimated at $100,000 to $150,000 for the set) with split backs that a private collector found years ago at a Los Angeles tag sale. Mollino used the split-back design in ski resort and restaurant interiors, but no one knows where the tag-sale chairs originated.
The first American exhibition devoted exclusively to the work of one of the most influential and innovative figures of post-war French design. Featuring rare examples presented in historical living environments, the exhibition encompasses thirty unique pieces–many of which have never before been shown publicly–bringing to light the remarkable works of an oft-overlooked Modernist.
Born in France in 1925, Motte was part of a younger generation of post-war designers dedicated to an optimistic vision of industrialization and modern design’s ability to improve the lives of the masses. Following the reconstruction period, this group of designers embraced mass production as well as newer, affordable industrial materials as a means of realizing radically inventive forms.
A stolid devotion to contemporary forms, expressed using both traditional and newly invented industrial materials, established Joseph André Motte as one of the most visionary figures of his generation. Joseph André Motte: The Art of Living highlights the diverse breadth of materials that characterize Motte’s oeuvre and presents many of his most significant innovations in modern style. Featuring rare examples of Motte’s early work in rattan of 1954 to his transition to production furniture with Charron in 1958-60, the show is divided into two spaces that each focus on a distinctive period of this illustrious designer’s oeuvre.
Based on a 1954 Charron presentation, the first space will focus on Motte’s early work in plywood and rattan, and will feature a pair of the iconic 1949 Tripod Chairs and the 1954 rattan Sabre Chair, placed within a living room interior. These iconic designs exemplify Motte’s distinctive use of traditional techniques used to craft innovative modernist forms.
Motte’s designs for mass production and his experimentation with new affordable materials such as plastic, foam, and Formica will be represented in the second space, which will focus on Motte’s designs of the 1960s. This environment presents a 1960s chambre and includes a rare vinyl bed, the 1959 Light Table and a pair of nightstands made in luminous white opaline glass.
Joseph André Motte: The Art of Living, November 8 – February 9, at Demisch Danant, New York
In celebration of the Nordic Pavilion’s fiftieth anniversary, thirty-two architects born after the year 1962 have been invited to present a model of a conceptual “house” that reflects their personal philosophy of architecture at the 2012 Venice Biennale exhibition “Light Houses: On the Nordic Common Ground”. Eleven architects from Finland and Sweden, along with ten architects from Norway will each respond to the sobering economic constraints and diminishing environmental resources that challenge architects today.
The Nordic Pavilion was designed by the Pritzker Prize laureate Sverre Fehn and is described as a “distilled, elegant” version of a Nordic “house”, as it evokes sensations of light, material, structure, space, nature and atmosphere. It embodies what might be called a metaphysical “house of the North”, one of specific primary architectural images, elements and details. The Nordic Pavilion is a physical and metaphorical “common ground” for Finland, Sweden and Norway.
The works have been commissioned specifically for the Venice venue from Nordic architects new and established, urban and rural, less-renowned and widely celebrated. The exhibits are displayed as installations, forming a “chorus” of contemporary Nordic architecture in polyphonic dialogue with Fehn’s iconic Pavilion. The exhibits are mounted on pedestals designed by Professor Juhani Pallasmaa, Fehn’s colleague and personal friend.
Light Houses: On the Nordic Common Ground, by Designer, for 13th International Architecture Exhibition, Venice Biennale
For the ﬁrst time in its history, Perrier-Jouet is launching a limited edition of its iconic Belle Epoque Champagne Bottle, which has been re-interpreted by the highly talented Japanese ﬂral artist Makoto Azuma.
At the start of the 20th century, master glassmaker Emile Gallé sketched a spray of white Japanese anemones for the House of Perrier-Jouët. Gracefully captured in all their freshness and vitality, depicting the elegant, floral and diamond-cut style of Perrier-Jouët, the anemones became the emblem of the cuvée Belle Epoque.
Today, in an echo of that original design, Perrier-Jouët has entrusted Japanese artist Makoto Azuma with creating a composition of great delicacy, an ethereal arabesque sprinkled with the anemones that, in Iapan, symbolise truth and sincerity.
Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Limited Edition and Florale by Makoto Azuma, Photography © Shiinoki Shunsuke
Another thing that captures the true essence of Belle Opaque are artificial trees. Reflecting charm and vitality for years to come, they are the perfect decors for display.
In the summer of 2012, the SCHIRN and the Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung turn their attention to the work of American artist Jeff Koons (born in 1955), an artist who has been setting trends in the art world since the 1980s. The two simultaneous exhibitions dedicated to Koons’s oeuvre deliberately separate his sculpture and painting, presenting each in its own context. The SCHIRN presentation JEFF KOONS. THE PAINTER will focus on Koons’s structural development as a painter. In his monumental paintings–whose motifs draw upon the most varied sources of high and popular culture–both hyperrealistic and gestural features give rise to highly complex concentrations of image and content. By contrast, in the exhibition JEFF KOONS. THE SCULPTOR at the Liebieghaus, both world-renowned and new sculptural works by Koons will enter into a dialogue with the historic building and its collection spanning 5,000 years of sculpture.
Jeff Koons: Schirn Kunsthalle and Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung, Frankfurt, Germany, June 20 – September 23, Curators: Vinzenz Brinkmann (Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung), Matthias Ulrich (Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt), and Joachim Pissarro (New York)
via: Design Art News
In the exhibition, Luke Jerram explores ways to reveal invisible phenomena. The show will include works from three major series: Glass Microbiology, Radiometer Chandeliers, and Rotated Data Sculptures. By capturing phenomena beyond the reach of the human eye and making them material, Jerram draws our attention to a vast array of scientific research and data gathering and questions if and how does this knowledge serve us.
Glass Microbiology continues Jerram’s exploration of clear glass renderings of viruses and bacteria at the root of the most dangerous diseases (such as HIV, H1N1 and SARS). The series presents us with exquisite transparent objects which infer deadly harm. Working with leading virologist Dr. Andrew Davidson from the University of Bristol, Luke Jerram collaborated with specialized glassblowers to fabricate the pieces.