Tag Archive | Architecture

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.

Advertisements

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 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.

Save

Pair of Art Deco Gates from the Chanin Building

Pair of Gates from the Chanin Building
Photo By Gail

Designed by Rene Paul Chambellan (1893 – 1955) 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 Museum on 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

Keith Sonnier, Portals at Maccarone Gallery

Circle Portal A
Circle Portal A By Keith Sonnier (All Photos By Gail)

Maccarone Gallery is currently hosting Portals, 14 new wall-mounted neon sculptures by artist Keith Sonnier. Sonnier’s by-now iconic work is emblematic of a generation of artists who sought to liberate the artistic encounter from the formal constraints of Modernism to produce a sensory and emotional experience that also extended beyond the Spartan affect of Minimalism. The category of post-Minimalism, however, does not adequately describe both the unique wit and visceral impact that Sonnier’s work displays.

Gothic Portal
Gothic Portal

In his latest series, Sonnier  take the orphic allegory of the portal and explores its many different historical manifestations. Whether the portal serves as an entrance or an exit, the plane itself is a threshold — a doorway that contains both birth and termination. Taking this metaphor to its logical end, the works in Portals can be thought of as doorways to various different periods in human design — whether it be the neoclassical extension of a line into space or Romanesque arcading, each work is a luminous referent to specific architectural pathways.

Palermo Portal
Palermo Portal

The artist also displays a perversely delightful humor with the libidinous allegory of the portal as human orifice. Neon phallic protrusions punctuate the joints of these architectural gates, playing at the double-entendre embedded in the show’s title. Sonnier challenges the two-dimensionality of neon sculpture through twisting spatial arcs and juts that demand that the viewer change his or her own perspective to deduce what components of the work are exiting or entering. This tension between penetration and accommodation gives each work a wry corporeal undertone that is simultaneously abstracted by architectural allusions. Sonnier evokes art, the body, and architectural history in this polysemous suite of neon works.

Palermo Portal Detail
Palermo Portal Detail

Here are a few of out favorite pieces from this fun show!

Wall Portal B
Wall Portal B

Installation View

Gallery View from the Opening Reception!

Wall Extension B
Foreground: Wall Extension B. Background: Helmut Portal

Gros Bec
Gros Bec

Above and below are, I think studies for Sonneir’s sculptures.

Dough Boy A and Wink
Dough Boy A and Wink

Portal Nave
Portal Nave

Circle Portal B
Circle Portal B

Portals by Keith Sonnier will be on Exhibit Through December 19th, 2015 at Maccarone Gallery, Located at 630 Greenwich Street, NYC 10014.

Syracusa Portal
Syracusa Portal

Keith Sonnier Portals Poster