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Sotheby’s Auction: Kònò Society Mask

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

Icon: László Moholy-Nagy Retrospective

László Moholy-Nagy became known in Germany through his formative work as a teacher at the Bauhaus in Dessau from 1923 to 1928. In 1937 he went to Chicago, where he became the founding director of the New Bauhaus (later named the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology). The New Bauhaus, was the immediate successor to the Bauhaus dissolved in 1933 under National Socialist pressure. Bauhaus ideology had a strong impact throughout America, but it was only at the New Bauhaus that the complete curriculum as developed under Walter Gropius in Weimar and Dessau was adopted and further developed.
A retrospective at Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt will examine the complex picture of Moholy-Nagy’s oeuvre in order to present the range of his creative output to the public for the first time since the last major exhibition of his work in Kassel in 1991.

Exhibition: László Moholy-Nagy Retrospective, October 8 – February 7, at Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany.

Georg Jensen Store Opens in Qatar

The new store concept for Georg Jensen has just been opened at The Pearl, Qatar. Designed by Mark Pinney Associates around the concept of the ‘Danish Luxury Lifestyle Home’, the store’s interior accommodates the diverse range of homeware, silverware and jewellery through the creation of an environment that incorporates the elements of the home – dining, living, kitchen and gallery space.
The notion of openness of a Scandinavian interior is reinforced by the store’s layout, from the stone tiled verandah with illuminated glass slat ceiling, to the fireplace located at the heart of the ‘home’.

The concept references elements of Danish architecture and design, particularly the work of Alvar Aalto, Arne Jacobsen, Vilhelm Wohlert and Poul Kjærholm. Materials used are wherever possible Danish in origin and include classic furniture pieces by Poul Kjærholm and Hans J Wegner.

Georg Jensen Retail Store, The Pearl, Qatar, by, Mark Pinney Associates London, UK

Lantern Marine by BarberOsgerby for Venini

Vessel Gallery introduces a collection of hand-blown vases by London designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, Called Lantern Marine the vases took inspiration when the pair were travelling through the lagoon in Venice, they observed how metal frames or cages were used in different types of nautical objects: not just for protecting the hanging lamps on boats, but also in the construction of the buoys, and around the timber posts bricole that mark the traffic lanes through the lagoon. In parallel with this observation, they were experimenting with combinations of glass forms, designing pieces which could interlock and stack together, creating new colours through layering.

Lantern Marine by Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby for Venini, Launches November 5th at Vessel Gallery, London, UK

Tilt Shift Interiors: Normann Copenhagen Store

Photos taken inside the Normann Copenhagen flagship store, using a Tilt Shift filter.

Normann Copenhagen Flagship Store, Copenhagen, Denmark
via: Spotted by Normann Copenhagen

Paper Tower by Shigeru Ban up for Auction

Made from cardboard tubes, the Paper Tower by Shigeru Ban is expected to sell for between £50,000 and £70,000 at auction next week. The tower is made of articulated metal joints, similar in design to the system used by Ban in his construction of a bridge, boathouse and various pavilions around the world. This 22m tall structure was commissioned as part of Size + Matter, a London Design Festival.

Paper Tower by Shigeru Ban, Photography Southbank Centre London Flickr set

Visual Acoustics: Julius Shulman Documentary

Visual Acoustics: Julius Shulman Documentary

Narrated by Dustin Hoffman, Visual Acoustics celebrates the life and career of Julius Shulman, the world’s greatest architectural photographer, whose images brought modern architecture to the American mainstream.

Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman, Directed by Eric Bricker

r5.5 by Jasper Morrison for Rado

British designer Jasper Morrison has launched a collection of watches for Swiss brand Rado. A chronograph reduced to the essential. Three hands, two counters, date at 3 o’clock, all lying under the flat sapphire crystal and activated through the gently curved rectangular ceramic pushers. The steel colored indexes and hands with white luminous sparkle together with the sunbrushed finish of the dial, a continuous entrancing and alluring play of light. The basic models feature only the minimum, the fundamental.

r5.5, by Jasper Morrison, for Rado
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Umka by Scott Wilson for WWF

umka

Named after the animal in the Chukchi language, Umka is a hand-polished polar bear sculpture cut from a solid block of aircraft grade aluminum by Scott Wilson. Umka and Kera are part of Humanscale’s Faces in the Wild live and online auctions to raise money for the World Wildlife Fund.

Umka, by Scott Wilson, MNML for Humanscale

LIFE Magazine Photos of Charles and Ray Eames at Home

The digital archives of Google Books now hosts over 1,860 issues of LIFE magazine, other unpublished photos are also available on Google, including seldom seen images of Charles and Ray Eames at their Pacific Palisades home, also known as Case Study House No. 8. Other LIFE features include Raymond Loewy’s Palm Springs Pad.

Photographs of Charles and Ray Eames, for LIFE
via: The Mid-Century Modernist

Editor's Picks

Bell Side Table
Hand-blown in the traditional manner using a wooden mould, the transparent tinted glass base asserts a sculptural presence in space, contrasting intriguingly with the solid brass frame on top while also forming with it a harmonious unit recalling the elegant curving silhouette of a bell. [more...]

Suggested Reading

The Story of Eames Furniture
Brimming with images and insightful text, this unique book is the benchmark reference on what is arguably the most influential and important furniture brand of our time. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

The Guggenheim: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Making of the Modern Museum
First-ever book to explore the process behind one of the greatest modern buildings in America. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

MoonFire: The Epic Journey of Apollo 11
A unique tribute to the defining scientific mission of our time, the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

Cars Freedom Style Sex Power Motion Colour Everything

Cars
Freedom Style Sex Power Motion Colour Everything. This lavish and beautifully designed book is the gift book for all car enthusiasts and design aficionados. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

Design Icons

Karuselli Lounge Chair
“Without question my favourite piece of interior design, and undoubtedly the most comfortable chair I’ve ever sat in. I like to retire to one with a cigar and a stiff drink as frequently as possible." - Sir Terence Conran. [more...]

Resources

More Books

Case Study Houses
“It’s a huge coffee-table book, which analyses each of the houses in chronological order, with plans, sketches and glorious photographs.” [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

The Eames Lounge Chair
The book examines the evolution of a design icon and places it in its cultural, historical and social context. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

The U.N. Building
Symbol of world humanitarianism, a beacon of unity after the Second World War. More than 50 years on, the 39-story building is regarded as one of the pinnacles of mid-century modernism. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

Loblolly House
Including a DVD of the film "A House in the Trees", a real-time documentary of the design, fabrication, and assembly of this amazing house. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

Desire
The Shape of Things to Come. An up-to-date comprehensive survey on furniture and object design today, showcasing the crème de la crème of designers. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

Marcel Wanders
Behind the Ceiling is the first monograph on one of the most influential, prolific and celebrated international designers today. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

How to Wrap Five Eggs
A mid-60s classic of Japanese design. Stunningly laid-out paean to traditional Japanese packaging is rife with sumptuous black and white photos of all manner of boxes, wrappers and containers that appear at once homely and sophisticated, ingeniously utilitarian yet fine and rare. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

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