Tag Archive | Modern Design

Vivian Beer’s Anchored Candy Chair

Anchored Candy Chair 1
All Photos By Gail

Vivian Beer’s Anchored Candy Chair may remind you of a stiletto-heeled shoe, or perhaps the sleek styling of a sports car.

By fusing such gendered images, Beer highlights both the obvious differences and the more subtle overlap between masculine and feminine consumer forms.

Tuffet Seat

The red Tuffet seat is the first in a new series inspired by the pieces of industrial scrap metal left over from laser cutting. Beer replicated the cut out look of these fragments on a computer, adapting a pattern from a screen by the Art Deco metalsmith Edgar Brandt (1880 – 1960).

Anchored Candy Chair

Like many women in the historical section of the Pathmakers exhibit, Beer studied at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, which continues to be a center for creative innovation across all disciplines.

Anchored Candy Chair

Since receiving her MFA in 2004, Beer has become well known for her use of industrial materials such as steel and concrete to create sensuously curved seating.

Anchored Candy Chair Detail

Vivian Beers Anchored Candy Chair is part of the Exhibit Pathmakers: Women in Art, Craft and Design, Midcentury and Today, at the Museum of Arts and Design, Located at 2 Columbus Circle, NYC, Through September 30th, 2015.

Paul T. Frankl, Skyscraper Step-Table

Skyscraper Step Table

Skyscraper Step Table, 1927 (Photo By Gail)

The magazine Good Furniture commented in 1927 that Paul T. Frankl (1886 – 1958), “has developed one feature that is absolutely unique. This is the now somewhat celebrated skyscraper type of furniture, which is as American and as New Yorkish as Fifth Avenue itself.” Indeed, what could be more American and modern than furniture based on the uniquely American contribution to architecture – The skyscraper. Frankl was creating furniture of this type by 1925, thereby making him one of the first modern designers of American decorative arts.

Photographed in the Brooklyn Museum.

Sansa Chair in Red By Cheick Diallo

Sansa Chair
All Photos By Gail

The Sansa Chair, an inventive deconstruction of the chair form, is among the original creations that have established Cheick Diallo (b 1960 in Mali, West Africa), as one of Africa’s leading contemporary designers.

Sansa Chair Front
Sansa Chair Front View (2012)

Built from steel and nylon material by artisans from Bamakos at Diallo’s direction, the half-reclining Sansa chair seems to sit midway between a European notion of the chair as a leisure object and a West African idea of the chair as a support for displaying a person of status.

Sansa Chair Rear
Sansa Chair Rear View

I think it is simply stunning!

Part of the Brooklyn Museum’s Arts of Africa Collection, this chair is on view in the Double Take: African Innovations Installation, East Gallery, 1st Floor (Through July 2016).

Susan Stainman’s Color All The Way Through at A.I.R. Gallery

Four Triangles and Pleather Form #1
Four Triangles and Pleather Form #1 By Susan Stainman (All Photos By Gail)

With her compelling use of bright, fluorescent colors and her mix of both hard (steel, plexiglass) and soft (fabric, felt, pleather, elastic) materials, artist Susan Stainman creates minimalist sculptures that maintain an original feel while hinting at other influences. In her new exhibit, Color All The Way Through at A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn, Stainman reveals her work’s roots in late 20th Century American Art, Craft and Architecture along with her fondness for childlike creative impulses. It’s a fun show.

Three Triangles
Three Triangles

Existing in the realm that merges contemporary art with design (any of Stainman’s works would look great placed among the furnishings in a modern decor-filled home), pieces like Three Triangles, with its bright, reflective, angular surfaces recall the neon and glass works of Keith Sonnier.

Four Triangles Alternate View
Four Triangles, Alternate View

Stainman’s incorporation of sewn fabric may or may not be an homage to Louise Bourgeois, but it’s pleasing to imagine that reference, intentional or otherwise. Her desire to explore the texture and tactility of fabrics is certainly exciting.

Blue & Pink Barrel
Blue & Pink Barrel, Side View

Circular Plexiglass Group #2
Circular Plexiglass Group #2

This cluster of ruched fabric “bowls” fitted with bright plexiglass windows is a centerpiece of the A.I.R. show and reminded me very much of the sculptures of Charles Clary from his show at Nancy Margolis in January of this year.

Circular Plexiglass Group #2 Close Up

Circular Plexiglass Group #2, Close Up

Yellow ZigZag
Yellow ZigZag

Pleather Form #2
Pleather Form #2

Susan Stainman has participated in nearly a dozen group shows but Color All The Way Through is her first solo exhibit. It is worth the trip to DUMBO to check it out. Visit Susan’s website at This Link.

Susan Stainman Color All The Way Through Signage

Susan Stainman’s Color All The Way Through will be on Exhibit Through June 22nd, 2014 at A.I.R. Gallery, 111 Front Street #228, DUMBO, Brooklyn.

Artists in Residency Signage

Rob Fischer’s Good Weather (Glass House) at Derek Eller Gallery

Rob Fisher Good Weather Glass House
All Photos By Gail

OK, here is something you do not see every day in an art gallery: a Glass House. Fans of architecture, minimalism and Mondrian are going to be interested in viewing Rob Fisher’s Good Weather (Glass House), which fills an entire room at Derek Eller Gallery on West 27th Street.

Entry Seating and Counter Space
Entry Way, Seating on the Left, Shelf Space on the Right

According to text I took from the exhibit’s press release, Good Weather (Glass House) “is comprised of panes of glass, welded steel and re-purposed wood flooring. The piece contains many of the furnishings of a functional domicile but remains ambiguous about its habitability.”

Glass House Kitchen
Kitchen Sink and Stove Top

“Extensively re- configured and evolved from its original manifestation at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, TX, Fischer’s Good Weather (Glass House) vacillates between utilitarian architecture and fine art object, reconstituting industrial-strength detritus with the outward appearance of fragile elegance.”

Glass House Bedroom
Sleeping Area

Stairs Decending from Sleeping Area
Stairs Descending from Sleeping Area

Living here in NYC, where everyone is always trying to out-do each other when it comes making the most with the smallest living space possible, I was intrigued by this structure and enjoyed walking through it to imagine what it might be like if you could actually live in it.

Work Area Below Bed
Work Area Below Bed

There is no doubt that exploring the structure stimulates the imagination and inspires a sense of adventure. Highly Recommended!

Rob Fischer’s Good Weather (Glass House) will be on Exhibit through April 19th, 2014 at Derek Eller Gallery, Located at 615 West 27th Street, between 11th and 12th Avenues. Hours are Tuesday – Saturday from 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM.

Rear View of Glass House

Clive Murphy’s Post Neo Proto Demo

Clive Murphy New Geometry
All Photos By Gail (Click on Any Image to Enlarge)

Clive Murphys’s Post Neo Proto Demo exhibit is one that Geoffrey and I literally stumbled onto while in the same West 26th Street building for an entirely different exhibit. But I was immediately drawn into the Magnan Metz Gallery’s street level space because I cannot resist an exhibit that mixes Contemporary art with Modern Furniture Design. So, yeah.

Clive Murphy Plant

Post Neo Proto Demo, Murphy’s third solo show at the gallery, “comments on how ones living space is a representation of a created personal philosophy” – that is certainly true in my apartment! – exploring the relationship between the radical and the domestic.

TV Antennas

Taking the legacy of Modernism and the avant-garde as its point of departure, Murphy deconstructs and reassembles, delicately blending the familiar with uncanny, the purposeful with the dysfunctional.

Clive Murphy Green Floor Lamp

The exhibition includes altered domestic tableaus comprised of sculpture made with modified domestic materials. The result allows the viewer to participate in Murphy’s inversion of the classic furniture showroom by blending the purposeful with dysfunctional.

Clive Murphy Material World

In addition, new works drawn and spray painted on pages from iconic furnishing catalogs mirror the arranged living space tableaus with a tongue-in-cheek disruption of idealized domesticity.

Clive Murphy Tabletop Sculpture

I wish that some of these items were for sale at IKEA, because I would totally love to see them in my apartment. At any rate, I left with few inspired new design ideas of my own.

Clive Murphy Asian Lamp Sculpture

Clive Murphy’s Post Neo Proto Demo Will be on Exhibit Through April 12th, 2014 at Mangan Metz Gallery, Located at 521 West 26th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Clive Murphy Post Neo Proto Demo