Canadian designer and visual artist Mara Minuzzo painted this solitary Pink Horn Chair as part of a marvelous series of Midcentury Chairs, which were on exhibit, along with a selection of her more abstract paintings, in the Lustre Contemporary booth at the recent Affordable Art Fair NYC, Spring Edition. You can see the full series of chairs, and lots more fantastic contemporary Pop art, by clicking on that link!
This modern and affordable dining-room chair was designed by the American husband-and-wife team Charles and Ray Eames. Built after an exhaustive period of testing, the different parts of the chair were fabricated using heat and pressure to bend the plywood. The DCW Side Chair (1946) was lauded for being both ergonomic and comfortable
The Eames‘ pioneering use of new materials and technologies transformed the way people decorated their homes, introducing functional, affordable, and often highly sculptural objects and furnishings to so many middle-class Americans.
Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
If you enjoy humorous, absurdist art in the conceptual style of David Shirley, and you also love Midcentury Modern Furnishings, and you have an Instagram account, then you will surely go wild over Austrian sculptor Erwin Wurm’s latest exhibit, Ethics Demonstrated in Geometrical Order, which is in its final two weeks at the Lehmann Maupin Gallery. Grab your camera and your sense of childish playfulness and head on over!
Ethics Demonstrated in Geometrical Order (which is also the title of the piece seen front and center in the above photo) is an exhibit that a encourages — even demands — viewer participation in that you are asked to physically interact with the art in a series of One Minutes Sculptures, as follows:
The basic premise of a One Minute Sculpture remains uniform. For each work, using a drawing or specific text, Wurm directs participants to pose with an object, which have ranged from cleaning products and sneakers to furniture and fruit. The viewer enacts the proposed sculpture on a low plinth, manipulating their body and the predetermined prop in a pose held for a short time.
While instructions are printed on each object, a descriptive sheet with photo illustrations is available at the gallery’s front desk.
Let’s take a closer look!
A Sofa and a Blue Dustpan invite you to perform the One Minute Sculpture known as The Parallel Universe.
Hold the Dustpan against the sofa with your body.
Instructions for Ethics Demonstrated in a Geometrical Way: kneel in front of the chair and place your head through the hole.
Head TV: Lower your head through the hole in the cabinet.
Wurm reiterates that the success of these ephemeral pieces is determined by the exactness with which the directions are executed, stating, “The One Minute Sculptures only come into existence if the public follows precisely the instructions of the artist and free will has a low priority.”
Deep Snow: Step into the holes and lift the bench, holding it aloft with your legs.
Organization of Love: With a partner, hold the foam sheet between your foreheads with your arms resting on the cushion.
Roast Yourself Under the Sun of Epicure: Rest your head under the lamp.
Spaceship to Venus: Lie down inverted on the seat of the chair and lift your legs in the air.
In addition to the One Minute Sculptures, the exhibition includes five new sculptural works in cast bronze and mixed media, including Equitable (2016) and Flat Iron (2016), recreations of two iconic New York buildings that appear to be melting, and Bad Thoughts (2016), created by casting deformed bags of clay.
Bad Thoughts reminded me of Big Kastenmann, the sculpture that Wurm made for display in front of the Standard Hotel back in 2012. As you can see, the exhibit is lots of fun and be sure to go with a friends so that you can get your snaps in!
Erwin Wurm’s Ethics Demonstrated in Geometrical Order will be on Exhibit Through May 26th, 2017 at Lehmann Maupin, Located at 536 West 22nd Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
A & G Merchandise is a fun home furnishings store that’s just across the street from Sea Thai restaurant in Williamsburg, and Geoffrey and I often use it as our meet-up destination when we are heading to Sea from different points of departure. Recently, I arrived a few minutes before G, so I had time to browse a bit and see what’s new.
Check out this pair of Pink Poodle Book Ends! They look super retro and would be perfect as part of any Midcentury Modern decor! Made of heavy cast iron, one of these could easily serve as an impromptu bludgeoning device if you were being chased around your house by a mad man and didn’t have time to get to your kitchen knives.
The pair sells for $69 and you can buy them at This Link!
A Paracosm is a detailed imaginary world created inside one’s mind. Such a fantasy world may involve humans, animals and things that exist in reality, or it may also contain entities that are entirely imaginary, alien and otherworldly. Commonly having its own geography, history and languages, the experience of such a parascosm is often developed during childhood and continues over a long period of time: months or even years.
Paracosms are also made reference to as types of childhood creativity and problem-solving. Some believe that paracosm play indicates high intelligence. In his installation entitled Midnight Paracosm, Tennessee-based artist Matthew Dutton is creating his own world of creative play. And if you are already familiar with Dutton’s delightfully disturbing found object sculptures, you will understand that this tableau represents exactly what is going on in his mind most of the time.
Taxidermy Deer with Santa Mask and Wig/Beard
My Absolute Favorite: Hula Baby in a Birdcage with Blonde Fall
To me, Midnight Paracosm looks like a Living Room on Christmas Morning in a Midcentury Nightmare. Let’s go to the Video!
As you can see, there are four animatronic creatures inside the Midnight Paracosm, three of which emit audible voice recordings that sound like that of small girl child. I asked Matthew about those voices and he told me that the recordings are all from conversations with his two (“almost three”) year old son. So adorable, and yet very creepy!
Look, more videos!
How fast would you lose your mind if you saw this Mutant Porcupine Baby crawling up the wall? Scary!
And do you even want to know what’s under the blanket on the couch? I prefer to let my imagination run wild!
Thank god this one didn’t move or speak.
Matthew Dutton’s Midnight Paracosm isn’t quite as much fun as going to Disneyland while on Acid, but it’s a lot cheaper.
Midnight Paracosm by Matthew Dutton runs concurrently with Saint Bowie at the Stephen Romano Gallery, Located on the Southeast Corner of Harrison Place and Porter in Bushwick Brooklyn. Take the L Train to the Morgan Exit and Walk a few Blocks East on Harrison to Porter Avenue. There’s a Vietnamese Restaurant Across the Street. Please go there and let me know if the Food is any good.