Archive for January, 2016

Architecture | All Hail the Image Resolution!

Friday, January 29th, 2016

The Leadenhall Building, London, UK
Photograph by Mark Gorton
Architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners



Philharmonic Hall, Szczecin, Poland
Photograph by Laurian Ghinitoiu
Architect Estudio Barozzi & Veiga



Building Images
Sto Werkstatt
London | UK
5 February > 25 March 2016



The winners of the Arcaid Images Architectural Photography Awards 2015, showcasing the world’s most renowned architectural photographers, were announced in early November at The World Architecture Festival 2015, so it’s very likely that regular subscribers to daily newsletters from architecture and design sites such as Designboom or Dezeen, or those who follow the likes of ArchDaily or Architizer on Twitter, have already seen these pictures: or at least some of them, albeit fleetingly, online, as here, at 72 dpi.

Overall Winner 2015
EPFL Quartier Nord, Ecublens, Switzerland
Photograph by Fernando Guerra
Architect Richter Dahl Rocha & Associés



Sede Transforma, Torres Vedras, Portugal
Photograph by Fernando Guerra
Architect Pedro Gadanho + CVDB



But looking at photography only on our computers, on our tablets or on our phones does the images and their respective photographers little justice. We may be able to scan a tremendous volume of architecture images every day in this way, but whereas a few single images – usually of buildings designed by famous architects – might have the power to stick in our minds, the majority tend to blend into one amorphous mass, soon to be replaced by another. And besides, architecture is generally concerned with scale and space, elements that are not easily transported at low resolution from within the confines of a laptop monitor, and tend to appear coarse and lacking in detail on larger screens.

De Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Photograph by Ryan Koopmans
Architect Rem Koolhaas OMA



Long Museum West Bund, Shanghai, China
Photograph by Su Shengliang
Architect Atelier Deshaus



Yick Cheong Building, Hong Kong
Photograph by Lingfei Tan + Song Han
Public housing development



There are a great number of hard copy architecture magazines in which the winning images from this competition and even some of the runners up will also have appeared, where the photographs can be better examined and appreciated, providing they were well laid out. But if this wasn’t the case, the printing was a bit off, or the pictures were overwhelmed by text, their quality may have been compromised, or they could have been denied their potential in terms of scale.

As Lynne Bryant, co-founder of Arcaid Images, reminds us, ‘…the earliest known image [View from the Window at Le Gras, 1826 or 1827 by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce] taken with a camera obscura, could be said to be architectural,’ therefore as a genre architectural photography is particularly worthy of our respect and should be treated with due dignity.

It might be stating the obvious, but the advantage of visiting the Building Images exhibition at Sto Werkstatt is that all the Arcaid Images Architectural Photography Awards 2015 winning pictures, and all of the runners up, are each displayed at their best, as large, high resolution prints, all accurately credited and captioned. The experience must knock the socks off  viewing these photographs by any other method.

All images courtesy Sto Wekstatt and Arcaid, © the photographers


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

The Blog’s publishers 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 that may, under any circumstances whatsoever, fall due, must be borne by the source supplier



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Art | Drawing Revisited

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

Julian Opie
Pine forest. 7., 2014

Vinyl on wall
© Julia Opie. Courtesy of Lisson Gallery.
Unique, site-specific installation for
Line at Lisson Gallery



Tom Wesselmann
Study for Mouth, 8, 1966

Synthetic polymer paint and pencil on paper
© Estate of Tom Wesselmann/
Licensed by VAGA, New York City, NY
On show in Drawing Then at Dominique Lévy



Line
Lisson Gallery
London | UK
22 January > 12 March 2016

+

Drawing Then:
Innovation and Influence in
American Drawings of the Sixties

Dominique Lévy
New York City | USA
27 January > 19 March 2016



In 2015, auction house Christie’s broke records by selling $1 billion worth of art in the space of a week. A recent article on US-based ArtBusiness.com contends that ‘the art market is superheated to the point of meltdown’ and that prices for art by the ‘right artists’ are skyrocketing, however, it brings us back down to earth by telling us that ‘…[contemporary] art has no empirically measurable or quantifiable properties. It’s just mushed around paint, metal, wood, plastic, digital files, photosensitive surfaces, audio, video, clay, and whatever else those wacky artists can get their hands on,’ which begged the site’s query, ‘How on earth do galleries wring value out of that?’

Somewhat more elegantly, last December, British Telegraph newspaper art critic, Mark Hudson, informed us that interest in what’s happening now – at least on this side of the pond – seems to have diminished to an alarming extent. ‘As the era of the Young British Artists recedes into history,’ said Hudson, ‘the new generation of contemporary artists has failed not only to strike a chord with the public, but to create any overarching sense of identity.’ He went on to explain that ‘many of those in the know now give Frieze a miss and head straight for the neighbouring fair Frieze Masters [that] is a cornucopia of every kind of art that isn’t strictly contemporary: illuminated manuscripts hang beside tribal masks, classical sculpture and an unbelievable array of 20th-century art.’

Eva Hesse, Untitled, 1966
Ink, gouache and pencil on paper

© The Estate of Eva Hesse
Courtesy Hauser & Wirth
On show in Drawing Then at Dominique Lévy



Ed Ruscha, Trademark [#3], 1962
Oil, ink, gouache, and pencil on paper

© 2015 Ed Ruscha
On show in Drawing Then at Dominique Lévy



Perhaps two new shows, one in New York City, the other in London, both taking drawing as their subject, can be interpreted as a joint signal from the art world itself that a timely reappraisal of contemporary fine art basics might not be a bad idea. Each looks at themes in drawing since the 1960s, when accepted values of all descriptions – perception, time, the environment, identity, and gender – had a great impact on artists, who began to explore new perspectives and techniques and experimented with a limitless array of untried materials. Via a questioning of earlier, narrower approaches to the subject, a fundamental re-evaluation and reinterpretation of drawing was initiated and the notion of the medium radically changed, creating the basis of our understanding of what drawing – and art in the broader sense – constitutes today.

Drawing Then at Dominque Lévy coincides with the 40th anniversary of the 1976 exhibition Drawing Now at MoMA, and is inspired by it. The show features more than seventy works by forty American artists, including Carl Andre, Mel Bochner, Chuck Close, Dan Flavin, Eva Hesse, Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, Ed Ruscha, Frank Stella, Richard Tuttle, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol and Tom Wesselmann, almost half of whom were not represented in the earlier exhibition.

K Yoland, Red Line through Dump
(Marfa, West Texas, USA), 2013

Archival ink jet print
© K Yoland. Courtesy the artist
On show in Line at Lisson Gallery



Tom Marioni, One Second Sculpture, 1969
Black and white photograph

© Tom Marioni. Courtesy the artist
On show in Line at Lisson Gallery



Monika Grzymala, Raumzeichnung (Vortex), 2015
at Albertina Vienna, Austria

3.6 km black and white masking tape
© Monika Grzymala. Courtesy the artist
Ephemeral site-specific installation
on show in Line at Lisson Gallery



Meanwhile, Line at London’s Lisson Gallery, guest-curated by Drawing Room is a more broad-based survey than the US exhibition. Drawing is interpreted here as both a physical entity and an intellectual proposition. Spanning the late ’60s through to performative and site-specific pieces made to intermingle in the three-dimensional volume of the gallery, and extending via sound into the space, works by fifteen international artists, among them Julian Opie, Monika Grzymala, Tom Marioni and Richard Long, are included.

Appropriately, American artist Sol LeWitt, who taught at the Museum of Modern Art School, New York between 1964-7, and in 1968 devised an innovative technique of creating large-scale wall drawings that allowed others to produce them to his specifications in nearby or distant locations, has work included in both exhibitions.


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

The Blog’s publishers 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 that may, under any circumstances whatsoever, fall due, must be borne by the source supplier



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Photography | Man v Nature: An Interface Acted Out

Friday, January 15th, 2016

Joshua Tree (CA), 2002

Taft (CA), 2008

Joshua Tree (CA), 2007

Joshua Tree (CA), 2002

Claremont (CA), 2004

Twentynine Palms (CA), 2002

Sierra Nevada (CA), 2007



Marie-José Jongerius
‘The Magic Tree’
The Ravestijn Gallery
Amsterdam  | Netherlands
16 January > 27 February 2016



Distant, challenging, imbued with obscure meaning: if the British performance artist, model, and fashion icon Tilda Swinton was a landscape, she might resemble the photographs in this exhibition. There’s no denying that Swinton has an enigmatic stage presence that is impossible to ignore, on which her success is based, and these images demand attention for the same reasons. Produced in the hot, dry landscapes spanning the south-western United States, from the Pacific Ocean to the mountaintops of Sierra Nevada and down to the Mojave Desert, despite the golden light – like Swinton’s various personae – each studiously muted  image, resonates with coldness rather than warmth.

Marie-José Jongerius at work



At first sight, the seemingly empty, innocuous snatches of landscape might be an amateur’s snapshots from a road-trip to nowhere, but seasoned Dutch photographer Marie-José Jongerius’s photographs are carefully choreographed scenes in which she employs trees to act out the uneasy relationship between man and nature in this arid region, where the artificial interfaces awkwardly with the organic world.

While Marie-José Jongerius ‘The Magic Tree’ at The Ravestijn Gallery is restricted to only the seven large format images shown here, sixty of her landscape works can be found in the two volume book set Edges of the Experiment – The Making of the American Landscape (2015), which we blogged about in April 2015.

Main images courtesy The Ravestijn Gallery, © Marie-José Jongerius.
Portrait by Marcello Scopelliti


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The Blog’s publishers 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 that may, under any circumstances whatsoever, fall due, must be borne by the source supplier



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Books | Flying in the Face of Adversity

Friday, January 8th, 2016


Burkitshi horsemen hunt with eagles in the Altai mountains of western Mongolia



Hunting with Eagles
In the Realm of the Mongolian Kazakhs
Photographs by Palani Mohan
Published by Merrell
Hardcover + jacket
128 pp / 85 duotone illustrations
Available now



The exotically dressed chap with an eagle perched on his gloved hand set in a dramatic, mountainous landscape, on the front cover of this book, might be modelling Alexander McQueen menswear. Only he’s not. The photograph could be an example from an early 20th century anthropological study similar, say, to Martin Gusinde’s formidable work on the tribes of Tierra del Fuego. But it isn’t. It was taken just recently by Indian-born, Hong Kong-based photographer Palani Mohan in the wilderness of the vast and isolated Altai mountains of western Mongolia, close to its borders with China and Russia, and shows a real life, nomadic Kazakh using a golden eagle to hunt his prey, just as his ancestors have done for hundreds of years before him.

Unusual clouds form at high altitudes as the wind rises over the mountains



While the subject matter is lent a heroic, even stylish dimension by the photographs it is, nevertheless, infused with pathos. Ethnic Kazakhs, numbering around 100,00 are Mongolia’s largest minority, but no more than fifty to sixty true eagle-hunters or burkitshi, as they are known locally, are left. ‘I have an important job to do’, Mohan told Orazkhan, one of the oldest and wisest of the men who hunt with eagles, who sipped yak’s milk tea while howling winter winds brought fresh snow to the desolate valley outside, ‘to document the burkitshi before they disappear.’ And over the years he photographed them, Mohan would learn the intimate details of their relationship with the birds that are integral to the existence of these stoic people. How they take female eagles – larger and more powerful than the males – from the nest as pups then treat them as part of the family. How the burkitshi hand-feed the eaglets – as they do their own children – to develop a bond of trust, even love, before training them to hunt their prey: the foxes that provide food for the hunters’ wives and children, whose pelts are made into the warm clothing that is essential for survival in the harsh Altai climate. It is this close family bond that ensures the mature eagles return to present their kill to the hunters. Poignantly, however, after ten to fifteen years, the eagles past their prime, all bonds must be broken and every bird returned – with the reluctance of all parties involved – to the wild.

Golden eagles – like children – are treated as part of the family



Exceptionally well-printed – perhaps appropriately, in nearby China – on premium quality smooth coated paper, Merrell PublishersHunting with Eagles is simply designed in the tradition of the best documentary photography books, with all of the emphasis on Palani Mohan’s extraordinary pictures, which, judging by those on his website, are the most accomplished he has produced to date.

All photographs courtesy Merrell Publishers
© Palani Mohan







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

The Blog’s publishers 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 that may, under any circumstances whatsoever, fall due, must be borne by the source supplier



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