From the outset of his singular career, designer Marc Newson has pursued parallel activities in limited and mass production of functional design objects. Revisiting his roots as a jeweler and silversmith in an exhibition at Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea, Newson explores increasingly rare decorative techniques at an unconventionally large, even unprecedented, scale.
Newson’s Cast Glass Chairs (2017), made in the Czech Republic, are continuous symmetrical forms comprised of two hollow quarter-spheres. The boldly colored upper halves rest on clear bases, which absorb some of the reflected hues in their clouded interiors, an effect that subtly changes depending on the viewer’s vantage point.
When You Just Get Tired of Waiting for that Final Person to Move Out Of Your Way
Photographed in the Gagosian Gallery, Located at 522 West 21st Street, Chelsea Gallery District, NYC· The Chairs are on View in the Gallery as Part of a Larger Exhibition of Newson’s Limited-Edition Furniture and Artworks, Through February 20th, 2019.
At the turn of the 20th century, New York City’s wealthy elite gathered in opulent private ballrooms to define their social status. In contrast, Central Park granted democratic access to public space when it was established in the 1850s as one of the nation’s first urban parks.
Open House is a new commission by Los Angeles-based artist Liz Glynn(b. 1981, Boston, MA) that highlights these historic class distinctions. It references one of the grandest Fifth Avenue interiors designed by Gilded Age architect Stanford White: the now-demolished William C. Whitney Ballroom.
Open House transforms Doris C. Freedman Plaza into an open air ballroom, where only scattered furniture and arches remain eight blocks south from the original mansion.
Check This Guy Out
Glynn’s lavish Louis XIV sofas, chairs, and footstools evoke the historic home, but with a twist —- these objects feature sculpted additions and are cast in concrete, a populist material more commonly seen in modern architecture.
With this revision, the artist invites the public to enjoy a previously exclusive interior space that is now open and accessible to all. In this strange facsimile, Glynn addresses the evolving face of a city: who has access to space in a society that is increasingly divided along socio-economic lines?
Open House will be on Exhibit Through September 24th, 2017, at the Doris C. Freedman Plaza, Located at 5th Avenue and 60th Street at the Entrance to Central Park in Manhattan.
Donald Deskey (November 23, 1894 – April 29, 1989) was an American industrial designer. Deskey’s approach to design was strongly influenced by the new European modernist principles he encountered while attending at the 1925 International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts in Paris and visiting the Bauhaus in Germany. Initially, Deskey experimented with these ideas at his company, Deskey-Vollmer, Inc., during the late 1920s. Most European modernist works, however, were made with expensive materials and labor-intensive procedures. These were characteristics that Americans were reluctant to embrace in the wake of the Depression. By the early 1930s, Deskey had struck out on his own and revised his approach. He made his designs more affordable and appropriate by adapting nontraditional materials, such as cork, aluminum, and steel, into his furniture and interiors. In 1932, he was awarded the commission to complete the interiors of Radio City Music Hall (RCMH) — the first public commission to feature these unlikely materials.
Although we now consider the interiors of this landmark theater to be a great achievement in the history of design, project manager Samuel “Roxy” Rothafel originally envisioned a more traditional rococo style. Deskey, a strong proponent of modernism, met Rothafel halfway by designing an interior in a style he called, “modern rococo.” Aluminum wallcoverings, whimsical modern patterns, and furniture made of Bakelite and tubular steel graced the halls, lobbies, and powder rooms of the theater.
A Room Full of Ideas (All Photos By Gail, Click on Any Image to Enlarge for Detail)
If you’re intrigued by the idea of visiting an artist’s studio, where you could not only see finished works but also get a peek inside his head to discover what concepts he’s experimenting with, then I suggest you visit The Hole to check out Holton Rower’s new exhibit, Too Many Ideas.
Fans of this blog may recall reading about Rower’s art when we previously reviewed his exhibit of Pour Paintings and Focus Paintings, examples of which are scattered throughout the gallery for the Too Many Ideas show. The process through which Rower creates the Pour Paintings – which are really quite gorgeous – is also adapted for use with various kinds of sculptures including functional furniture.
A Pour Painting hides behind a set of chairs, created by the same paint-layering methods.
Here, a folded Pour Painting collapses on the ground under a work bench.
It looks like he had fun creating these colorful and primitive looking Busts.
Rower also experiments with groups and collections of similar objects. Above, a collection of Instrument Mutes gather without comment on a work surface.
This miniature China Tea Set sits atop a found-object sculpture, which can be seen center gallery in the top photo.
He could be creating a series of hanging, grouped objects with this precarious Scissors Sculpture, which is joined in the show by a cluster of hanging whistles and also bike lock chains.
There are at least four works that involve folded paper money (can we call it origami?) including this lovely Shawl.
Detail from Origami Money Shawl
Not everything works, but I enjoyed the “group show” feel and the excitement of continuous discovery as I walked around the gallery taking in all of the different pieces. It will be fun to see which ideas he chooses to develop for future shows and which are abandoned.
Too Many Ideas By Holton Rower will be on Exhibit through May 4th, 2014 at The Hole, Located at 312 Bowery (at 2nd Street), NYC. Visit The Hole NYC for Gallery Hours and More Information.