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.
The Gagosian Gallery chose an empty storefront at the the southeast corner or Fifth Avenue and 43rd Street for a Pop Up exhibit by Swiss artist Urs Fisher. The ad hoc gallery space contained exactly one work of art, a life-size Aluminum Rhinoceros entitled Things, whose form is adorned with an array of familiar, functional objects, ranging from a toilet to a handbag. The objects are either imbedded in the hide of the great beast, or they seem to float on its surface, as if attracted by a magnetic force. I went to check out Thingson the penultimate day of its exhibition, which happened to be after work on a Friday.
Here’s some background on Things, and its meaning, from the Gagosian website:
“Amid the bustle of midtown Manhattan, a rhinoceros can be glimpsed through tall, arched windows at street level. Various man-made objects — including a copy machine, a car door, a handbag, a vacuum cleaner, a shovel, and a table — seem to float right through the creature, as if released from Earth’s gravitational pull.
Carved out of aluminum, this barrage of incongruous items forms a single, continuous unit, anchored by the rhinoceros, which stands its ground. Produced at life size from a 3D scan of a taxidermy animal, its furrowed visage looms from a height of more than ten feet.
Things considers the ways that objects and forces — from plastic bottles and Wi-Fi signals to memories, history, and emotion — gather around and pass through our bodies as we move through the world, creating countless versions of reality that are specific to each of us.
Like the rhinoceros, we absorb all that comes into our vicinity, and in the process we ourselves undergo a constant, often undetectable metamorphosis. Existence itself is thus presented as an accumulation, a collective gathering of physical and metaphorical baggage.
In his use of traditional materials and current technologies, Urs Fischer’s art tests the boundaries of possibility and perception. He has used clay, steel, wax, bread, dirt, vegetables, and fruit, among other substances, often to extreme paradoxical visual effect, revealing a keen attunement to the infinite mutability of image and form. The vicissitudes of objecthood are further complicated when Fischer’s sculptures are installed outside of the typical white-walled gallery.
In a courtyard, a vacated bank, an open field, his extroverted works have acted as portals into the uncanny. Here, the portal opens right between Grand Central Terminal and Bryant Park. An extraordinary creature made up of ordinary parts, Things transports unsuspecting passersby, if just for a moment, into a world that is at once prehistoric, digital, and mysteriously uncharted.
Things was produced in a series of three identical pieces, and all three have been sold to private collectors.
Monet’s Water Lillies with Gazing Ball (All Photos by Gail)
Hey remember back in the spring of 2013, when Jeff Koons launched his magnificent Gazing Ball series? I sure do. Gazing Ball was a collection of stark white Greco-Roman statuary, augmented by assorted replicas of common objects such as a Mail Box or Snowman, each of which was enhanced with a bright blue mirrored globe, also known as a Gazing Ball. Trust me: it was Rad.
So, Gazing Ball is a Thing now. Koons revisited the concept when he created the artwork for Lady Gaga’s 2014 CD, ArtPop, and now he’s done it again with a massive show at Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea appropriately titled Gazing Ball Paintings.
As the title implies, Gazing Ball Paintings are Koons’ copies of works by Famous Masters with a Gazing Ball attached to the front of each canvas.
As much as I am inclined to suggest that Koons “phoned it in” for this series, that is not to say that I didn’t totally love the work.
Because, just as the crappiest attraction at Disneyland is still lots of fun, Jeff Koons is Jeff Koons. He could go full-on Yoko Ono and I would still go see the show.
I should probably mention that photography using a “Professional Camera” — which is what the Gagosian staff call a point-and-shoot camera — is not allowed. You can only take photos of the art using a Smart Phone or, I am guessing, an iPad. Lame City.
Up Next: Gazing Ball with Food.
Jeff Koons Gazing Ball Paintings will be on Exhibit Through December 23rd, 2015 at Gagosian Gallery, Located at 522 West 21st Street in the Chelsea Gallery District. Jeff Koons!
A Section of the Greene Street Mural at Gagosian Gallery (All Photos By Gail)
In December 1983, Roy Lichtenstein created Greene Street Mural, an unprecedented, site-specific and temporary wall painting measuring 18′ × 96 1/2′ at Leo Castelli Gallery, located at 142 Greene Street. In accordance with Lichtenstein’s intention, the work was destroyed after the six-week show.