Tag Archives: eye on design

Eye On Design: César Expansion Table

cesar expansion table photo by gail worley
Installation View With Rene Gabriel’s Bridge Armchair (All Photos By Gail)

The celebrated French artist César (born Cesare Baldaccini) was a founding member in 1960 of the Nouveaux Réalistes group. His amorphous bronze and glass Expansion Table (1977) is one of the rare works in which César applied his Expansion technique to a functional object. Whereas he also created a handful of bronze ashtrays, lamps, as well as the console commissioned by Henri Samuel, the Expansion Table is the object in which César philosophy — his belief that life and art are one entity, indivisible —achieves its apex.

cesar expansion table detail photo by gail worley

Some background on César’s Expansions: One of the artist’s great breakthroughs in the late 1960s took the form of sculptural spills called Expansions. Realized with liquid polyurethane foam, a novel material at the time, each spill involved actively pouring specifically tinted foam, allowing it to expand, and then leaving it to set in a process that resulted in soft forms several times larger than their original liquid volume.

cesar expansion table detail photo by gail worley

César was moved by this material’s freedom and energy — rather than conforming to the matrix of a mold, it actually spread and expanded in what would famously become a critically admired analog for the new spirit of liberation that marked the era. As Pierre Restany noted in 1970, “César’s expansions reveal a new phase in his work, the phase of maturity: the mastering of the technique allied to the freedom of form.”

cesar expansion table installation view photo by gail worley

Photographed at at Demisch Danant, Located at 30 West 12th Street in NYC.

Eye On Design: Jonathan Trayte, MelonMelonTangerine Seating

melon melon tangerine photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

Suitable for either indoor or outdoor use, Jonathan Trayte’s MelonMelonTangerine loveseat (2019) brings together different colors, textures and forms supported by a tubular frame of powder-coated steel in a warm, sunshine yellow.

melon melon tangerine seating photo by gail worley
Installation View with Bikini Squash Sculpture

The seat incorporates a variety of natural and man-made fabrics including a  nylon-weave lower ‘shelf,’ black leather seats, cowhide upholstered seatbacks, and leather headrests, with furry wool armrest covering and polished brass accents. A mounted disc of polished marble provides a small table for holding your afternoon cocktails, or whatever you please.

melon melon tangerine seating photo by gail worley

Photographed at Friedman Benda Gallery in NYC as Part of the Exhibit, MelonMelonTangerine.

Eye On Design: Popworm Bookshelf By Ron Arad

pink popworm bookshelf by kartell photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail

The creativity of artist/designer Ron Arad combined with the technological expertise of design company Kartell results in a bookcase design of industrial scale that can rightfully be considered the world’s most daring and revolutionary: behold the Popworm Bookshelf (2015), the flexible bookshelf. A careful analysis of extrusion technology has allowed the creation of a curvy bookcase which assumes any desired shape, without compromising toughness and functionality. The shapes that can be formed are limited only by personal creativity. Available in three different lengths, Popworm is marked by a series of bookend supports. The shelf combines flexibility and superior durability, allowing for a load of approximately 22 lbs for each support. It is advisable to wall-mount the shelf in a curved shape to keep the materials in tension and to increase resistance once loaded. Popworm is available in three sizes (with 7, 11, or 17 bookends) and in three colors, Pink (shown), Light Blue, and Yellow. Visit Kartell’s Website for pricing.

Eye On Design: Isaac Mizrahi’s Lumberjack Evening Ensemble

isaac mizrahi lumberjack evening ensemble photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

In 1995, the Isaac Mizrahi documentary Unzipped was released and it was an immediate hit. Unzipped details the making of Mizrahi’s 1994 fall collection, which was partly inspired by the groundbreaking 1922 documentary, Nanook of the North.

lumberjack evening ensemble rear view photo by gail worley
Installation View

In one dramatic scene, Mizrahi appears crestfallen to learned that designer Jean Paul Gaultier has also produced and ‘Eskimo-inspired’ collection — but Mizrahi need not have worried. His ebullient and cheerful take on Arctic chic — which include Technicolor Parka’s and billowing, vibrantly striped even skirts — in no way resembled Gaultier’s more literal adaptations.

lumberjack parka detail photo by gail worley
Lumberjack Evening Ensemble, Parka Hood Detail

Photographed at The Museum at FIT in October 2017 as Part of the Exhibit, Expedition: Fashion From The Extreme.

isaac mizrahi lumberjack evening ensemble photo by gail worley

Eye On Design: 1920s Evening Dress

1920s evening dress photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail

Among the most popular types of evening wear during the 1920s were loose, sleek, chemise-style dance dresses with sleeveless armholes and wide-cut necklines, which could be pulled directly over the head.

1920s evening dress photo by gail worley

Profuse embellishment, often consisting of glass and metal components that would capture and refract light when in motion, counterbalances the minimalism of form. This 1920s Evening Dress by an unknown, possibly French or American designer, is made from a yellow cotton plain weave embroidered with gold metal paillettes, gold glass bugle beads, clear glass beads and seed beads, and clear glass crystals. These extravagant fashions were devised to glimmer within modern environments newly illuminated by electricity. They also mirror artistic tendencies at the time, such as the Art Deco attributes of geometric lines and shapes, contrasting metallic tones, and an overall streamlined modernity in form.

1920s evening dress photo by gail worley

Photographed as part of the Exhibit In Pursuit of Fashion: The Sandy Schreier Collection, which closed in early 2020, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Eye On Design: Red Chiffon and Organza Gown By Brandon Maxwell

brandon maxwell red gown photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

New York’s Museum of Natural History always has one or two special exhibits that require purchase of an extra ticket above the standard price of admission, but that’s because they are worth it. One of the museum’s current special exhibits is called The Nature of Color, and it is just fantastic. The exhibit is immersive and contains many different galleries and rooms. For example, the Red Room highlights how the color red can mean status, power, and fertility while simultaneously representing sports teams, political parties, and religions.  The centerpiece of this room is a flowing Red Silk Chiffon and Organza Gown created especially for the The Nature of Color by fashion designer Brandon Maxwell.

red gown by brandon maxwell photo by gail worley

Post Continues With More Photos, After The Jump!

Continue reading Eye On Design: Red Chiffon and Organza Gown By Brandon Maxwell

Eye On Design: Washington Skeleton Side Chair By David Adjaye

washington skeleton side chair photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

The Metropolitan Museum of Art does not often invite visitors to sit directly on the art, but they have made an exception for these Washington Skeleton Side Chairs (2013), designed by Ghanaian-British architect David Adjaye, which can be found in the gallery where the 2020 Holiday Tree is on display.

washington skeleton side chair photo by gail worley

These delicately balanced, precisely engineered chairs emerged from the design process for the façade of the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, which opened in Washington DC in 2016.  David Adjaye developed an intricate lattice form that was an investigation of the geometry, materiality, light and shadow.

washington skeleton side chair detail photo by gail worley

Both functional in its shading role, and poetic in its abstract visual qualities, this screen borrowed from African design patterns but also paid homage to the history of enslaved blacksmiths and their ironwork for ornamental gates in southern cities such as New Orleans and Charleston.

washington skeleton side chair photo by gail worley

Utilizing the smaller scale of furniture as an agile testing ground for these architectural ideas, Adjaye produced what he describes as a “narrative about skin, form and structure.“ Here, he shapes the skeletal, ribbed surfaces to mimic the form of a seated person, resulting in a cantilevered, ergonomic silhouette that almost disappears when in use. Made of die-cast aluminum, then powder coated and copper plated, the chairs are manufactured by Knoll International.

washington skeleton side chair photo by gail worley

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

washington skeleton side chair photo by gail worley