Tag Archives: museum of arts and design

Modern Art Monday Presents: Patti Warashina, Gold Finger

patti warashina goldfinger photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

Patti Warashina’s Kilns series subversively undermined the macho “cult of the kiln”: a phrase used to coin the sexist culture that surrounded kiln-building during the mid-twentieth century. As a ceramics student at the University of Washington, Warashina observed that kiln-building lessons were directed towards men, while surface decoration was the jurisdiction of women.

gold finger photo by gail worley

In response,  she created a pointed feminist critique, taking symbolic control over the image. Gold Finger (1973) can be read as a female stereotype imposed on a male one, with its shiny gilt decorative surface and two protruding fingers, their nails painted bright red. Fairy-tale depictions of beanstalks and peas further emphasize the playful yet gendered imagery, exposing problematic conventions.

gold finger photo by gail worley

Photographed in the Museum of Arts and Design in Manhattan.

Eye On Design: Circumspect Neckpiece By Kiff Slemmons

circumspect neckpiece photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

Kiff Slemmons‘ neckpiece Circumspect (2003) is an object that does what it is and is what it does. Composed of lenses and mirrors collected and categorized for a purpose that the collecting itself reveals, it is both a tool of taxonomic assessment and a record of a taxonomic class of useful and evocative things.

circumspect detail photo by gail worley

Denying the role of jewelry as something only to be looked at, it meets and counters the gaze — returning agency to those being seen. It also asks us to emulate what it facilitates: the art of careful looking as a way of understanding.

circumspect neckpiece 2 photo by gail worley

Photographed in the Museum of Arts and Design in Manhattan.

Eye On Design: Copper Wire Cuff By Arline Fisch

copper wire cuff by arline fisch photo by gail worley
Photos By Gail

In 1968, Arline Fisch visited the Gold Museum in Lima, Peru, where she came across a tiny pre-Columbian fragment of woven gold. This trip marked a pivotal point in her artistic practice, resulting in her unique, textile-derived approach to jewelry.  Copper Wire Cuff, in which the artist  ran copper wire through a knitting machine as if it were a strand of yarn, is an example of the type of work inspired by this encounter.

copper wire cuff on model photo by gail worley
Cuff Worn By Model (1985)

The melding of textile technique and body ornament reflects the confluence of a broader range of interests and pursuits, including the artists’s introduction to weaving at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and her self-directed study of jewelry in museum collections worldwide.

Photographed at the Museum of Arts and Design in Manhattan.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Martin Lipofsky, Czech Flowers #6

czech flowers 6 photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

In 1970, Martin Lipofsky started a practice of traveling to glass factories around the world to learn from and collaborate with glass masters. He always sought to infuse the works he made with local culture, primarily through symbolic color.

czech flowers 6 photo by gail worley

Czech Flowers #6 (199192) is an example of this process. Lipofsky would conceive of the work, choose colors, mold-blow, and hot work the glass while abroad.

czech flowers 6 photo by gail worley

 After he returned home, he would finish the piece (in this case: cut, sandblast and acid polish the glass)  using various coldworking techniques. Czech Flowers #6 was created with help from Josef Rasocha.

Photographed in the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC.

Eye On Design: Sam Maloof, Cradle Cabinet

sam maloof cradle cabinet photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

“When you’re working, there’s a communion between the object-maker and the material, [and] it transcends into something much greater,” said  furniture designer and woodworker Sam Maloof.  “When you make something and someone likes it, enjoys it and all, you’re paid tenfold.”

sam maloof cradle cabinet photo by gail worley
Cradle Cabinet, Detail

Maloof was one of the United States’ preeminent woodworkers during the second half of the twentieth century. In 1966, Paul J. Smith, Director of the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), invited Maloof to show his Cradle Cabinet in a thematic exhibition, The Bed. A masterpiece of woodworking skill and sensitivity, the cabinet is also innovative in its design, combining all of the functional needs of a newborn’s nursery into a single piece of furniture.

sam maloof cradle cabinet photo by gail worley
Installation View

Photographed in The Museum of Arts and Design in NYC.

Eye On Design: Zebra Punk Party Dress By Anna Sui

Zebra Punk Party Dress By Ann Sui Photo Bt Gail Worley
Photos By Gail

To create the look of the Zebra Punk Party Dress (which was part of her Spring 2007 Punk collection), Anna Sui combined ripped mesh leggings and armlets, references to Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm Mclaren’s punk fashions of the mid-to-late 1970s. The monochrome zebra print recalls the strict dress color code of the New York clubs that Sui frequented in her youth, such as Max’s Kansas City and CBGB.

Zebra Punk Party Dress By Ann Sui Photo By Gail Worley

Zebra Punk Party Dress is made from Silk chiffon with a nylon petticoat, leggings and sleeves; worn with brass/glass/plastic bracelet by Erickson Beamon for Anna Sui; cowhide boots by Ballin for Anna Sui.

Photographed in the Museum of Arts and Design in Manhattan.

Eye On Design: Anna Sui, Cheerleader Ensemble

Cheerleader Ensemble By Anna Sui Photo by Gail Worley
All Photos By Gail

“When I think about pinafores and jumpers and compromised purity, it’s actually quite punk. Go further back and it’s all about mod and Twiggy and dolly birds and thousands of school girls like me pouring over magazines, reading articles from the front lines of pop culture.”

Throughout her career, Anna Sui has summoned the youthful spirit of the school girl but was an edge, embracing the complexity of teen-hood. For the fall 1994 Schoolgirl collection, Sui focused on Yves Saint Laurent‘s most iconic designs, which she reinterpreted in high-tech sportswear materials.fall 1994 Schoolgirl collection, Sui focused on Yves Saint Laurent‘s most iconic designs, which she reinterpreted in high-tech sportswear materials.

Cheerleader Ensemble By Anna Sui Photo By Gail Worley

Saint Laurent was also a superb colorist, as reflected in the collection’s use of bold colors. The sportswear sensibility extended to a series of outfits inspired by cheerleader uniforms, many of which Sui accessorized with pom-pom hats by James Coviello.

Anna Sui Cheerleader Jacket Photo By Gail Worley

Jacket Front and Back Detail

Cheerleader Jacket Back Detail By Gail Worley

Schoolgorl Collection By Anna Sui Photo by Gail Worley

Schoolgirl Collection Installation View: Cheerleader Ensemble (far right)  worn with plastic/wool pom-pom hat by James Coviello for Anna Sui; Plastic belt, two necklaces, and bracelets by Erickson Beamon for Anna Sui; fishnet nylon hose and acetate/satin-covered domestic cowhide short boots by Emma Hope for Anna Sui.

Photographed in the Museum of Arts and Design in Manhattan.