Tag Archive | architecture

Eye On Design: Wrought Iron Dragon Door Sculpture

dragon door photo by gail
All Photos By Gail

In NYC, you will come across amazing discoveries every few feet if you just keep your eyes open. I was walking to the train from a fun visit to the newly-reopened Metropolitan Museum of Art when this unique, wrought iron sculptural door caught my eye. And how could it not: It looks like a medieval Dragon is struggling to burst forth from behind a cage onto the sidewalk! Very Scary!

dragon head photo by gail

While I did not want to trespass onto private property, I did sneak a bit closer so that  I could get a good detail shot of the Dragon’s head. It is super cool! I have no clue who the artist is but what an awesome thing to have designed to make this building stand out. I wonder if Game of Thrones fans live there?

spider web window guard photo by gail

They’ve also kept the design cohesive by adding these spider-web-like guards to the first floor windows. This place is officially ready for Halloween all year long. Well done!

These Architectural Features are Part of a Five-Story, Three-Unit Building (According to Street Easy, Although I Suspect it’s a Private Home) Located at 52 East 81st Street between Madison and Park, on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

dragon door sculpture photo by gail worley

Eye On Design: Set of French Doors from Arthur Heun’s Sedgwick S. Brinsmaid House

brinsmaid house french doors photo by gail worley
Photos By Gail

This set of French Doors was originally installed in the Sedgwick S. Brinsmaid House, one of the earliest examples of Prairie-school architecture in Iowa. The horizontally oriented building, with its stucco-and-wood surface, pierced details, and abundance of geometric leaded glass, relates closely to works by Frank Lloyd Wright. A contemporary of Wright, Arthur Heun began his architectural career in Chicago and was an important member of the Chicago Architectural Club, where he exhibited a design for this house in 1902.

sedgwick s brinsmaid house photo by gail worley

Sash windows, chandeliers, and lanterns were designed en suite with the doors; the distinctive element is the chevron pattern, its angles echoing the broadly projecting gables of the house.

brinsmaid house french doors photo by gail worley

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House Hosts Public Exhibition of Jun Kaneko Sculptures

Space Between FLW Sculpture 2

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House
Provides Perfect Backdrop to Jun Kaneko
Sculptures in Public Art Exhibition

Are you a fan of the late Architect Frank Lloyd Wright? I sure am. When I visited Chicago on my 2019 summer vacation, Geoffrey and I took a day trip Oak Park to tour the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio and we had all kinds of crazy fun. If you are also a lover of art and architecture, and you also have the means to travel to Buffalo, New York, here’s an excursion that is worth the effort to get to. The Albright-Knox’s Public Art Initiative has partnered with Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House to present an exciting installation featuring artist Jun Kaneko’s monumental ceramic sculptures, which will be on view through early October 2021. Titled The Space Between: Frank Lloyd Wright | Jun Kaneko, the installation comprises seven of the artist’s enormous, freestanding ceramic works for outdoor display on the newly restored grounds of the Martin House estate.

Space Between FLW Sculpture 3

Born in Japan in 1942, Kaneko is an internationally renowned artist primarily known for his pioneering work in ceramic materials. His large pieces, called dangos, are the result of a complex traditional Japanese raku firing and glazing process that produces unique geometric shapes and vibrant color combinations. “In this era of social distancing, the safe, engaging, stimulating experience that public art provides is more important than ever before,” said Janne Sirén, Albright-Knox Peggy Pierce Elfvin Director. “We are proud to collaboratively present this exhibition with the Martin House as our organizations strive to fulfill our missions of enriching and transforming our community.” Wright and Kaneko were both pioneers in their fields, and Wright had an enduring interest in Japanese arts and culture and a reverence for nature, all of which are beautifully captured in Kaneko’s work.

Space Between FLW Sculpture 4

“This public art installation is a unique opportunity to experience the interaction between Kaneko’s sculptures, Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture, and the surrounding landscape,” said Mary Roberts, Martin House Executive Director. “The site is now reopened to public tours, and the artwork has provided another reason to visit the estate.” Many of Kaneko’s works represent years of production time due to their immense scale, which takes months to slowly build up to avoid the works being crushed under their own weight. The tallest works in the exhibition are more than 10 feet tall with walls in excess of three inches thick and weigh close to 3,000 pounds. Their fired slip-surfaces create a glass-like coating suitable for outdoor public display in the extreme weather conditions that will occur during the sixteen-month installation.

Space Between FLW Sculpture 1

In addition to the seven large works on the grounds, several smaller works will be on view inside the Eleanor and Wilson Greatbatch Pavilion, the Martin House public visitor center. The selection of works for the installation has been curated by Albright-Knox Public Art Curator Aaron Ott and organized by Martin House Curator Susana Tejada. Visit This Link for more information, and to plan your visit!

Eye On Design: Skyscraper Cabinet By Paul T. Frankl

skyscraper cabinet by paul t frankl
Photos By Gail

In 1927, Paul Frankl wrote, “In my own creations for the modern American home, I have kept within the architectural spirit of our time,” citing the New York City skyline as his most powerful design source. Indeed, the architecture of Manhattan is reflected in every detail of Frankl’s Skyscraper Cabinet, including its simplicity, continuity of line, flat surfaces, sharp and clean moldings, quality of restraint, and overall feeling of power. Not even 18-inches deep, Frankl’s cabinet was designed to conserve space in small city apartments. See other examples of Paul Frankl’s Skyscraper-influenced designs Here and Here.

skyscraper cabinet by paul t frankl photo by gail worley

Photographed in the Art Institute, Chicago.

 

Modern Art Monday Presents: American Gothic By Grant Wood

American Gothic by Grant Wood
Photo By Gail

Premiering at the Art Institute of Chicago in October 1930, Grant Wood’s American Gothic captivated the public’s imagination and catapulted Wood into the national spotlight overnight. The painting depicts a couple — modeled on Wood’s sister, Nan, and his Dentist — who stand in front of a Midwestern house. The house is notable for its lone “gothic” window, a typical feature of the then-popular Carpenter Gothic style of architecture, in which gothic elements are used in otherwise simple, modern wood structures.

Wood identified the pair as father and daughter, though the work was initially assumed to be a portrait of a husband and wife. “I simply invented some ‘American Gothic’ people to stand in front of a house of this type,” Wood later explained. From the painting’s debut onward, its meaning has been the subject of endless speculation. What has remained central is its seeming embodiment of something stereotypically American.

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Grant Wood: American Gothic and Other Fables, on View Through June 10th, 2018 at The Whitney Museum of American Art in the Meatpacking District, NYC.

Iconic NYC Skyscrapers Playground Equipment

Skyscraper Slides
All Photos By Gail

Is it likely that these visually engaging playground slides, which resemble two of NYCs best loved architectural masterpieces, would exist anywhere outside of the Big Apple? Probably not.

Two Towers Playground Slides

Any New Yorker can tell you that the blue one is modeled after the Empire State Building, while the white one is an homage to the Chrysler Building. I spotted them at a playground that appears to be part of a day care of pre-school, located on West 26th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues (I think).

Empire State Building Slide

The slides are rather low to the ground, so I think they are for pretty tiny kids.

Chrysler Building Slide

Eye On Design: Mobile Homestead Swag Lamp By Mike Kelley

Mobile Homestead Swag Lamp By Mike Kelley
All Photos By Gail

In the exhibit The Arcades Project, Walter Benjamin challenges the notion that the past is a fixed object, waiting to be elucidated. He calls the present “a waking world, a world to which that dream we name the past refers.” The dream quality of the past suggests that is is mutable, a patchwork of images and symbols that can be understood in myriad ways.”

Mobile Homestead Swag Lamp By Mike Kelley

The late artist Mike Kelley’s work has also focused on the unreliability of memory. His project, Mobile Homestead, a full-scale reproduction of his suburban, childhood home, resides on the grounds of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit. The building’s first floor maintains the floor plan of the original, but its multilevel basement, closed to the public, includes crawl spaces and rooms that can only be accessed through ceiling hatches.

Mobile Homestead Swag Lamp By Mike Kelley

The dreamlike, labyrinthine architecture suggests the slipperiness of the past. Kelley explores the denial of uncomfortable realities of abuse and oppression in domestic life, not in tune with the American Dream as represented by the suburban home, with its white picket fence. This lamp, a miniaturized version of the building, adds another layer of surrealness to the house. Speaking of home, if you have electrical problems in your home or office contact electrical repair cincinnati oh.

Mobile Homestead Swag Lamp By Mike Kelley
Mobile Homestead Swag Lamp, Installation View

Photographed as part of the exhibit, The Arcades Project: Contemporary Art and Walter Benjamin, on Exhibit at the Jewish Museum in Manhattan Through August 6th, 2017.

Kadar Attia’s Untitled (Ghardaïa): A City Made from Couscous

Ghardaïa

For Untitled (Ghardaïa), artist Kadar Attia sculpted  a scale model of the Algerian city of the title in couscous, a regional culinary staple. The fragile and ephemeral structure is accompanied by two prints portraying  foundational Western modernist architects, Le Corbusier and Fernand Pouillon, and by a copy of a UNESCO certificate that officially designates the city of Ghardaïa as a World Heritage Site.

Ghardaïa Detail
Ghardaïa, Detail

Attia’s work calls attention to the fact that both designers borrowed from and reworked the Mozabite architecture native to the city of Ghardaïa, and to the ancient Mzab region, without acknowledging their inspiration, itself derived from France’s 19th Century colonization of Algeria and subsequent exploitation of its resources.

Ghardaïa

Photographed in the Guggenheim Museum in NYC.

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Pair of Art Deco Gates from the Chanin Building

Pair of Gates from the Chanin Building
Photo By Gail

Designed by Rene Paul Chambellan (18931955) and fashioned from wrought iron and bronze, these gates from the entrance to the Chanin Building’s executive suite, are excellent examples of the important role that metalwork played in defining the art deco style of New York skyscrapers from about 1925 to 1940. The gates’ largely linear, radiating design created an industrially informed aesthetic that was part of the machine-age era.

Photographed in the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in New York City.

Pink Thing of The Day: Pink Apartment Building

Pink Brownstone Full
All Photos By Gail

This gorgeous Pink Brownstone sits at 218 East 5th Street with Good Records and Blush Nail Lounge occupying the ground floor retail spaces. Looks like it’s for rent. I want to live there.

Pink Brownstone 1