Tomma Abts (German, b 1967) produces her paintings following a strict, self-imposed procedure. For almost twenty years, she has used vertical canvases measuring precisely 48 by 38 centimeters (19 by 15 inches) for her paintings. Rather than begin with a preconceived structure in mind, she allows her abstract compositions to take shape as she works, sometimes over the course of several years. She paints with the support cradled in her arm, not on an easel. As seen here, the surfaces of Abts’ canvases are composed of many layers of paint, with the ghosts of past compositions just barely visible underneath subsequent coats of acrylic and oil. This work’s title, Kobo(1999) is pulled, like all of her titles, from an encyclopedia of German surnames.
Photographed in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
The Pink Dress that Gwyneth Paltrow wore to the 1999 Academy Awards was designed by Ralph Lauren to recall Grace Kelly. Featured in Hal Rubenstein’s 100 Unforgettable Dresses, it testifies to the enduring appeal of a pretty pink dress that makes the wearer look like a princess.
Photographed as Part of The Exhibit, Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color, on Exhibit Through January 5th, 2019 at The Museum at FIT, Located at Seventh Avenue and 27th Street in NYC.
“Hey, look at those upside down trees!” I shouted to my friends as we approached the entrance to Mass MoCA, the coolest contemporary art museum in the Universe. The trees turned out to be a work of art by Natalie Jeremijenko called Tree Logic (1999) in which six live trees are inverted and suspended from a truss made up of a metal armature, stainless steel planters, and telephone poles. In Tree Logic, the art of the piece is not found in its condition at any single point, but in the change of the trees over time.
Trees are dynamic natural systems, and Tree Logic reveals this dynamism. The familiar, almost iconic shape of the tree in nature is the result of the interplay between gravitropic and phototropic forces: the tree grows away from the earth and towards the sun. When inverted, the six trees in this experiment still grow away from the earth and towards the sun — so the natural predisposition of trees might well produce the most unnatural shapes over time, raising questions about what the nature of the natural is. I would love to be able to observe the trees as their foliage changes with seasons.
A docent the museum told me that the trees are replaced and replanted in adjacent green areas every four to five years due to their tendency to “grow upwards.”
Mass MoCa is Located at 1040 MASS MoCA Way in North Adams, MA 01247
Another little known, but very fun, fact about David Bowie that has just started to make the rounds is that he designed the above Chrome-Finish Mini back in 1998-99 to celebrate the brand’s 40th Anniversary. Outstanding! You can read more about this car, including a collection of hilariously snarky quotes from Bowie, over at Jalopnik!