Archive for July, 2014

Photography | History in Black & White and Colour

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Paul Outerbridge (1896 > 1958), Egg on Block, 1923
Platinum print © Paul Outerbridge, Jr.
© 2014 G Ray Hawkins Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA.
Property of Städelscher Museums-Verein eV





Lichtbilder.
Photography at the Städel Museum
From the Beginnings to 1960
Städel Museum
Frankfurt am Main | Germany
Until 5th October 2014

The World c 1914
– Colour Photography Before the Great War
Martin Gropius-Bau
Berlin | Germany
1st August > 2nd November 2014





In just a few minutes but for the first time in history, earlier this week, a 3D scanner / printer was used to generate a model of an important piece of sculpture at Germany’s Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung / Sculpture Collection, in Frankfurt. The event can perhaps be seen as a reminder of just how far photographic techniques have advanced in the 175 years since the announcement of the invention of the medium, in 1839.

In 1845, Frankfürt’s Städel Museum became the first major art institution in the world to exhibit photographic works. Until 5th October, to celebrate the birth of photography, the museum is devoting a comprehensive special exhibition, Lichtbilder. Photography at the Städel Museum from the Beginnings to 1960, to European photographic art. The work of early pioneers, Roger Fenton, Nadar, Gustave Le Gray, and Julia Margaret Cameron will feature, alongside that of twentieth century innovators such as August Sander, Dora Maar, and Man Ray.





Otto Steinert (1915 > 1978), Luminogram, 1952
Gelatin silver print on baryta paper mounted on cardboard
© Nachlass Otto Steinert, Museum Folkwang, Essen.
Property of Städelscher Museums-Verein eV, and Städel Museum

Dora Maar (1907 > 1997), Mannequin With Perm, 1935
Gelatin silver print on baryta paper mounted on cardboard
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2014. Property of Städelscher Museums-Verein eV

Lewis Carroll (1832 > 1898), Alexandra ‘Xie’ Kitchin as Chinese ‘
Tea-Merchant’ (on duty)
, 1873

Albumen print. Property of Städelscher Museums-Verein eV.
All photos above, plus top: Städel Museum – Artothek, courtesy Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main





Of course, 2014 also marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I, which, because our visual record of that momentous event, and the many other wars that would follow, would have remained obscure without the reality of the images produced by photojournalists, renders the earlier invention of photography even more significant.





Stéphane Passet, Portrait of a Senegalese sniper, January 1913, Fes, Morocco

Stéphane Passet, Group of Armenian women and girls, Istanbul, Türkei, September 1912

Stéphane Passet, Le Moulin Rouge, 18th arrondissement, Boulevard de Clichy, Paris, France, June / July 1914

Stéphane Passet, A buddist lama in ceremonial dress, Palace of Heavenly Peace, fourth court, eastern annexe, China, Peking, 26th May 1913

Four photos above from Albert Kahn, Les Archives de la planete.
© Musée Albert-Kahn, Département des Hauts-de-Seine





And, even as the nations of Europe had prepared for war, French banker Albert Kahn (1860-1940), excited by the Lumière Brothers’ colour photography process (patented 1903) and intending to perform an anti-xenophobic mission of peace – bringing the outside world closer to home – sent photographers around France and across the globe, among them Stéphane Passet, a selection of whose work we show above, to develop a unique ethnographic photo archive. 70,000 images have survived, all of them in colour, of which 160 will be on show in Berlin’s Martin-Gropius-Bau in The World c 1914 – Colour Photography Before the Great War.





Tell us what you think
The Blog is about art, architecture, books, design and gardens, and anything else that currently interests us which we think might interest you.

The publishers of The Blog insist that all images supplied for publication in our posts are cleared for that use before being sent to us. Whether pictures are sent to us as email attachments or made available as downloadable files, any responsibility for fees which may, under any circumstances, fall due, must be borne by the source supplier





Share this post
Facebook Twitter Linkedin

Sculpture | Everything as Nothing at White Cube

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Rachel Kneebone, 399 Days, 2012-2013
Porcelain and mild steel
540 x 287 x 283 cm



Rachel Kneebone
399 Days
White Cube Bermondsey
London | UK
18th July > 28th September 2014



From today until the end of September White Cube Bermonsey’’s main South Galleries and North Galleries spaces will be devoted to showing Gilbert & George’s powerful, new SCAPGOATING PICTURES for LONDON series, while in stark contrast, the serene top-lit, 9 x 9 x 9 gallery space (81m²), at the centre of the building, plays host to a single, monumental, delicate and intricate, ivory-white porcelain-tiled piece by Rachel Kneebone.

Visual references abound – in the exquisite handling of the human form, of course it is Rodin, with whom Kneebone shares an interest in the the representation of vitality, mourning, ecstacy and death, but, at the same time, there is something of Hieronymous Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, c 1500, in the concept. In terms of the architectural scale of the piece, she takes inspiration from the 19th century plaster cast of Trajan’s Column at London’s V&A Museum, while reminders of interior details from late baroque churches are apparent. These potent ingredients are blended together, manipulated, played around with to produce a coherent, magnificent whole. The finish, as it should be, with work of this quality that relies on the same material as its base,  is similar to that of Meissen figurines. 399 Days represents the largest and most ambitious installation the artist has produced to date.

Attractive, repellant, huge and complex in form, the surface packed with writhing, entangled and interlocked headless, naked bodies melting one into another, the work is seemingly an embodiment of humanity in its rawest state, but paradoxically, via excess and overabundance, in 399 Days at White Cube Bermondsey, Rachel Kneebone seeks to express nothingness, more demonstrably as less, everything as nothing.

Photos Stephen White, © Rachel Kneebone
Courtesy White Cube



Tell us what you think
The Blog is about art, architecture, books, design and gardens, and anything else that currently interests us which we think might interest you.

The publishers of The Blog insist that all images supplied for publication in our posts are cleared for that use before being sent to us. Whether pictures are sent to us as email attachments or made available as downloadable files, any responsibility for fees which may, under any circumstances, fall due, must be borne by the source supplier





Share this post
Facebook Twitter Linkedin

Architecture | Going Underground

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Customer bank vault Julius Bär, Zürich, Switzerland.
Interior by Swiss graphic designer, Gérard Miedinger, 1983

Photo Christian Zingg, 2013. © Julius Bär Art Collection





Underground – The Spectacle of the Invisible
Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
Museum of Design Zürich
Zürich | Switzerland
Until 28th September 2014





Main building of the Ewha Woman’s University, Seoul. Dominique Perrault, 2008
Photo André Morin, 2008. © André Morin / DPA / Adagp





Secrecy, worship, economic necessity, shelter, curiosity, getting from one place to another – even just for fun: some of the reasons why for thousands of years humans have chosen to delve into the depths of the earth, and to enter, create, or taylor underground spaces to suit their own requirements.

The excitement of travel and having fun may well have been in the minds of those driving through Switzerland’s Gotthard Alpine road tunnel / Gotthard Strassentunnel, on that fateful day in 2001, when fire turned it into an inferno and 128 people perished. On a somewhat happier note, on 14th October, 2010, the last of the 33 miners trapped deep underground in northern Chile for more than two months was rescued. Meanwhile, the Gotthard Base Tunnel / Gotthard-Basistunnel, 57km in route length, but with a total of 151.84 km of tunnels, shafts and passages, surpassing Japan’s Seikan Tunnel will be the world’s longest rail tunnel, when it opens in 2016.





Hotel Therme Vals, Switzerland. Peter Zumthor, 1996
Photo Hélène Binet, 2006. © Gabrielle Ammann, Ammann gallery / Cologne

Reservoir Ibruch, Zumikon, Switzerland, (Finished 1967),
from the Series Geflutete Kathe-dralen, Silvio Maraini, 2011

© With the photographer





In the short period since the start of the new millennium the volume of all tunnel and shaft constructions in Switzerland has practically doubled. The new exhibition Underground – The Spectacle of the Invisible, at the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich, a reaction to this national phenomenon, beckons us forth and asks us to consider the subject of man-made tunnels and spaces from a global perspective, and as a single entity that amounts to far more than the sum of its water reservoirs, stations, bunkers, cold stores and basement clubs. The organisers also encourage us to ponder whether underground constructions, lacking external appearance, count as a buildings? Coal mines, underground transit systems, tunnels that cut under mountains and seas linking one country to another: all in a sense negative spaces with no mass – they enclose space, but their skins are invisible – stand in evidence to their creation as often incredible engineering feats, but should they be considered as architecture?





Trainstation Stadelhofen, Zurich. Santiago Calatrava, 1990.
Photo: Paolo Rosselli (1991), © with the photographer





In the condensed modern city, where outside space is ever more precious and limited, developers, having in the past concentrated almost exclusively on the vertical, are now exploring the possibilities afforded from pushing downwards, to the extent that permanent independent subterranean habitats are being created deep within the earth. So are we, in a since, albeit at much grander scale, returning to the ancients roots of human habitation? Munich’s Kunstbau gallery, an early, 20th century example in neighbouring Germany, part of the famous Lenbachaus, is entirely underground – entrance is via the Königsplatz subway station. Inaugurated in 1994 with a site-specific light installation by Dan Flavin, it can be seen as a direct descendant of caves such as Lascaux, the walls of which our stone-age ancestors so beautifully painted with images of the beasts they hunted on the surface above.





Tell us what you think
The Blog is about art, architecture, books, design and gardens, and anything else that currently interests us which we think might interest you.

The publishers of The Blog insist that all images supplied for publication in our posts are cleared for that use before being sent to us. Whether pictures are sent to us as email attachments or made available as downloadable files, any responsibility for fees which may, under any circumstances, fall due, must be borne by the source supplier





Share this post
Facebook Twitter Linkedin

Fashion | Supermodel Portraits

Friday, July 4th, 2014

© Dominique Issermann, Kate Moss, Paris, 2004





Supermodels – Then and Now
CWC Gallery
Berlin | Germany
Until 6th September





On the Storm modelling agency’s website, British model Kate Moss’s simple description, height: 5ft 8in / 173cm, bust: 34B, waist: 26 in / 66.04 cm, hips: 35.5in / 90.17 cm, shoes: UK 6.5 / EUR 39.5, hair: blonde light, length: mid-length, eyes: hazel, belies the fact that this week a David Bailey portrait of the supermodel sold for £80,000 at a charity auction in London. Although, aged 16, she had begun modelling for The Face four years before, Moss was barely known when the cult of the supermodel was established in 1990, when Linda Evangelista infamously told US Vogue, ‘We have this expression, Christy (Turlington) and I, ‘We don’t wake up for less than $10,000 a day.’ When Evangelista later quipped to People magazine ‘We don’t vogue, we are Vogue,’ it was pretty much the truth.





© Albert Watson, Christy Turlington, Egypt

© Bruno Bisang, Claudia Schiffer, Paris, 1997





One of the most accomplished models of all time, Evangelista remains the most featured model on the covers of Italian Vogue, was the muse of photographer Steven Meisel and of fashion designers Gianni Versace and Karl Lagerfeld. Strange then that among the generous selection of 24 press images available for Supermodels – Then and Now at Berlin’s CWC Gallery, there is not a single picture of her, an oversight which explains her absence here. Evangelista, however – who, as well as her work with Meisel, has been photographed by Richard Avedon, Gilles Bensimon, Gian Paolo Barbieri, Patrick Demarchelier, Arthur Elgort, Nick Knight, Sante D’Orazio, Norman Parkinson, Irving Penn, Herb Ritts, Paolo Roversi, Francesco Scavullo, Bruce Weber, and Ellen von Unwerth, to name but a few, many of whose images appear in this exhibition – is certainly present in the show itself.





© Brian Duffy, Jean Shrimpton





In the 1980s and early 1990s, Canadian Evangelista, together with Brit Naomi Campbell and American Christy Turlington comprised a triumvirate that was dubbed The Trinity. The trio, augumented by another American Cindy Crawford, with German model Tatjana Patitz, were photographed together by Peter Lindbergh for the cover of the January 1990 issue of British Vogue, and thereafter became known as The Supermodels. There had been big name models before, of course, pictures of whom contribute to the story behind the exhibition – Jean Shrimpton, Penelope Tree, Veruschka, Marie Helvin, Jerry Hall – but while their names may have added a certain cachet to the designers’ clothes they were photographed in, often by great photographers, only Hall crossed over successfully into runway modelling.  Nor did they – aside from perhaps, some years later, Twiggy, and again Hall, both via acting – become world famous personalities in their own right. The names of The Supermodels became as big as those of the biggest movie stars and they were just as big a target for the paparazzi and the gossip columns. Other would-be supermodels followed hot on the heels of the originals, but only Elle Macpherson and Claudia Schiffer achieved a similar level of fame and success.





© Albert Watson, Naomi Campbell, Palm Springs, 1989

© Herb Ritts, Laetitia Casta 2 (for Pirelli Calendar), Malibu, 1998





Paradoxically, Kate Moss, if anything an anti-supermodel at the start of her career, rose metiorically, reaching undreamed of heights in supermodeldom. Gracing 17 W covers, she was named as the magazine’s muse in 2003. She has been the model of choice for more than 30 covers (and counting) of British Vogue, and has modelled major advertising campaigns for almost every high end fashion house in the world. During the past 25 years she has been photographed by every great fashion photographer worth his salt. She has designed clothes for high street brand Topshop – her 2014 collection for the brand, inspired by her own wardrobe will be sold in 40 countries – and handbags for Longchamp, has fragrances named after her, and been the subject of sculpture by Marc Quinn. A model for the mutability of the supermodel, through portraits and nudes by Patrick Demarchelier, Dominique Issermann, Paolo Roversi, Ellen von Unwerth, and Albert Watson, Moss is given a special focus in the CWC exhibition.

Photographs courtesy the photographers and CWC Gallery



Tell us what you think
The Blog is about art, architecture, books, design and gardens, and anything else that currently interests us which we think might interest you.

The publishers of The Blog insist that all images supplied for publication in our posts are cleared for that use before being sent to us. Whether pictures are sent to us as email attachments or made available as downloadable files, any responsibility for fees which may, under any circumstances, fall due, must be borne by the source supplier




Share this post
Facebook Twitter Linkedin