Saturday, October 9, 2010

Lygia Pape, Central Exhibition 53rd Venice Biennale 2009

"Imbued of art's regenerative mission," the artists of Rio de Janeiro's Grupo Frente united in 1953 under the banner of what critic Mário Pedrosa hailed at the time as a new "freedom of creation" for art understood as a "vital, independent activity."(1) A founding member of the Frente ("the Front"), alongside artists including Ivan Serpa and Hélio Oiticica, Lygia Pape emerged at the forefront of the Brazilian avant-garde of the 1950s. Rejecting representation and naturalism, the Frente artists gravitated toward the principles of concrete art and geometric abstraction first introduced to Brazil at the São Paulo Bienal of 1951. Influenced by Mondrian's Neo-Plasticism and the aesthetic principles of the Bauhaus, brought to Brazil in the person of Max Bill, Pape and others found a powerful point of departure in the constructive rigor, formal sequencing, and serial geometries of concretism.

The Frente artists would eventually diverge from the more severe formalism of São Paulo's Grupo Ruptura, whose 1952 manifesto first set out the values of concrete art in Brazil, evolving the objective language of abstraction gradually toward the participatory experience of form. The creative freedoms explored by the Frente group anticipate the emergence in 1959 of Neo-Concretism, a movement embraced by Pape, Lygia Clark and Oiticica for its privileging of subjectivity and phenomenological experience. Perhaps best known for her Neo-Concrete works, Pape experimented freely with medium and process during those years, producing the marvelous Book of Creation, which through the viewer's interaction reveals the story of the world's creation through form and color, and the Neo-Concrete Ballets, which inventively combined performance, sculpture and film.

Pape showed in Frente group exhibitions in 1954 and 1956, and her work from this early period already suggests the directions in which she would move by the end of the decade. Pape's wooden reliefs take their cue from concretist precepts, witnessed in the formal sequencing of the set of black squares in the present work, for instance, and in the clear distinction between those squares and the orange background. Here, the rhythmic order of the identical black squares simultaneously echoes the shape of the orange square and suggests a departure from the constraints of that form. The centripetal energy of the diagonal between the squared-off clusters of black squares is set in dynamic tension with the opposing diagonal, which in turn suggests the perceptual integration of the artwork into its surrounding space. The internal tension between the forms and their background, from which Pape started, cedes to the new tension between the object-hood of the work and the space in which it exists. "These reliefs are incorporated in the wall (real space) as if they were part of it," Fernando Cocchiarale explains. "Their optical and tactical integration is created through a chromatic artifice." In the present example, the orange square contrasts with the white of the gallery wall in the same sense that the smaller black squares stand out against the orange background, resulting in what Cocchiarale describes as a "perceptive feeling of continuity, which makes the reliefs look like a geometric protuberance on the walls of the exhibition space."(2)

Pape's interest in integrating the artwork more organically with the external world would reverberate throughout her career, as she variously explored the formal, expressive and social dimensions of art. Her works from the Frente years, such as the present relief, positively suggest the beginnings of her aesthetic project in the constructive ideas of geometry and their projection into the space of the world.

Abby McEwen.

1) M. Pedrosa, quoted in F. Gullar, "Frente Group and the Neo-Concrete Reaction," in Constructive Art in Brazil: Adolpho Leirner Collection, São Paulo: DBA, 1998, 146, 148.
2) F. Cocchiarale, Lygia Pape: Entre o olho e o espírito, Porto: Mimesis, 2004, 63-4.

Monday, October 4, 2010

np status

...loose words knotted themselves to asphixiation !!!!!!!!!

Mayahuana Lamps by Toyo Ito for Yamagiwa

Yamagiwa has supported Toyo Ito for his architectural lighting projects for many years yet the MAYUHANA is the very first collaboration for the product design development.  A number of trials and errors were required in order to industrialize the MAYUHANA lamps, although the idea of collaboration launched more than a decade ago.
Today, there are a total of 14 types of MAYUHANA available from floor lamps to large scale pendant lamps. Toyo Ito has continued creating a variety of shapes and sizes of MAYUHANA lamps since its premiere of prototypes in Milan during the International Furniture and Lighting Fairs.

MAYUHANA series was created by reeling string around a mold the way thread is spun off a cocoon.  The softness of the light reminiscent of a traditional Japanese portable paper lantern (Bonbori) is enhanced by the light coming through the double and triple shelters, and brings to mind the image of light depicted in the famous novel Junichiro Tanizaki's ''In Praise of Shadows''.

In the course of designing new additions, Ito mentioned that MAYUHANA does not refer specifically to Occidental nor Oriental design.  It is both geometric and non-geometric.  It is something he looks for in his architecture, where he is not restrained to existing boundaries
by Nacasa & Partners inc, 
Spazio Vito Nacci, Milano,April 2009

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Descartes's Mechanical Philosophy

According to French philosopher René Descartes (1596-1650), the universe operated as a continuously running machine which God had set in motion. Since he rejected Newton's theory of gravity and idea of a vacuum in space, Descartes argued that instead the universe was composed of a "subtle matter" he named "plenum," which swirled in vortices like whirlpools and actually moved the planets by contact. Here, these vortices carry the planets around the Sun.

Andreas Gefeller; The Japan Works

The Japan Series are as interesting as the urban textiles under which we live every day and under which we travel. The urban has a textile scale which it can not be overlooked in this images. It is made present by switching its horizon from above to infront, the scale is also confronting as is one has never before seen such a thing, being that it is there always.

Textiles and photography and not related but a reading of it.

The artistic work of Andreas Gefeller comprises the series »Halbwertszeiten« (1996), »Soma« (2000), »Supervisions« (begun in 2002) and »The Japan Series« (2010).
The Japan Series was photographed in the context of »European Eyes on Japan« in the prefecture Tottori. In the series Supervisions, Gefeller employs a technically elaborate method to scan the surfaces of urban sites. By means of long-term exposure, the Duesseldorf based photo artist has captured a world of starkly utopian quality in Soma. Halbwertszeiten throws an intense light on people and landscapes in the near surroundings of Tschernobyl − 10 years after the nuclear catastr

Andreas Gefeller; Supervisions

Andreas Gefeller is a photographer born, living and working in Dusserldorf, Germany. 

There is a strong repetition of patterns and a methodical labor behind each image on his Supervisions series. Landscape and building alike are scaned and sewn together like a patch work quilt, seemlessly. Any trace of boundaries is blurred. The images are no less than 100cm x 100cm the resolution of the detail is surprising as you would think the image has been take from very far.