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.
They say that celebrity deaths come in threes. This past week we said goodbye to playwright Terrence McNally, legendary Drummer Bill Rieflin and, on a local scale, NYC Gallerist and Photographer Paul Kasmin, whose renowned Chelsea galleries have provided Worleygig.com with amazing content for more than a decade. Having celebrated his 60th birthday in February, Kasmin was just one year older than me. Mark Ryden, Nir Hod, Will Ryman, Ian Davenport, Erik Parker, Ron Arad, Designer Mattia Bonetti, husband and wife artist team Les Lalannes, and Photographer David La Chapelle are just few of the eye-opening talents I was introduced to at various Kasmin Gallery shows. Geoffrey I had so many good times there.
What follows is the gallery’s official statement on Paul’s passing:
It is with great sadness that we must give news of the loss of Paul Kasmin (1960–2020). Paul passed away early this morning, March 23, after a long period of illness.
Opening his first New York gallery in 1989, Paul devoted himself to a life celebrating art and artists. Those of us who have worked with Paul learned from his extraordinary eye for talent, his delight in the work of the artists he loved, and his rare sense of openness and generosity.
Paul took great pleasure in overseeing all aspects of the gallery until the very end, and it was his sincere wish, and in his plans, that his vision for Kasmin continue as ambitiously as ever.
In the last few years, Paul continued his lifelong passion for photography with renewed enthusiasm. Taking pictures of his family, friends, and the gallery artists and staff, he built a collective portrait of his artistic community. We invite you to view these works on our website, reflecting on the enormous contribution that Paul made to the arts during his lifetime.
Selections from Paul Kasmin’s photography portfolio can be viewed now via the Kasmin Gallery website at This Link. Thank you for all the great art, Paul, and Rest in Peace.
It’s been six years since I saw Industrial Designer Ron Arad’s phenomenal No Discipline exhibit at NYC’s Museum of Modern Art and was immediately smitten by the artist’s unique vision of transforming the functional and mundane into extraordinary works of art. Early last week, Geoffrey and I attended a talk by Arad at the Neuehouse Private Workspace Collective, during which he talked about his upcoming exhibit at Paul Kasmin Gallery and compared creating In Reverse, his new series of compressed Fiat cars, to the process of pressing flowers between the pages of a book. It was an excellent primer to set expectations high for the exhibit, which opened on February 12th.
In Reverse was first installed at the Design Museum Holon, Israel — the iconic building which Arad designed himself. The exhibition examines the ongoing dialogue between handmade and digital processes in his practice. Rather than manipulate materials to generate functionality, Arad reverses their utilitarian purpose and transforms them into one-of-a-kind objects.
Comprised of six of Arad’s Pressed Flower sculptures made up of compressed Fiat 500s in varying colors mounted on the gallery’s walls, In Reverse also illustrates Arad’s long-standing fascination with crushed metals, which he continues to collect in the form of soda cans or toys destroyed by oncoming traffic. For Arad, these crushed car sculptures are “the nearest thing you could do in three-dimensions to action painting.”
Even the Fiat itself retains iconographic importance to Arad; the Fiat Topolino 500c Giardiniera was his family’s first car, and as a child, his father nearly died in an accident in the vehicle.
The exhibition will also feature Blame the Tools (2013), a to-scale, digitally-grided, 3D model of a Fiat in steel and bronze.
In Reverse continues to highlight Arad’s exploration of material, form and function over the last thirty years with an earlier work, Restless (2007), a gravity-defying bronze bookcase. This functional piece simultaneously overlaps convex and concave surfaces to create a seemingly impossible balance that appears effortless.
There’s also video display where you can watch a frame-by-frame example of how one of the Fiat’s looks as it is gradually transformed through the process of compression. See more shots below:
And eventually it looks like this:
Ron Arad’s In Reverse will be on Exhibit Through March 14th, 2015 at Paul Kasmin Gallery, Located at 515 W. 27th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.
A very good activity to plan for a rainy day in NYC is to go to a museum. Whether it’s the Whitney (aka the “Whip Me”), The Guggenheim (The Guggy) The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) or some other place where we can get in for free with our badges from our day jobs, Geoffrey and I like to do the museum thing every few weeks. Because art is awesome. Since our last trip to MOMA, which was I believe to see the James Ensor exhibit back in July, they’ve installed the mind-blowing, skull crushing, eyeball exploding No Discipline design exhibit by Israeli designer Ron Arad and it just fucking will not stop rocking. You should see the furniture this guy designs; it is just crazy great. I wanted to own all of it, but the Chickpad is, sadly, at maximum capacity for new furniture at this time.
Geoffrey Was In Love With this Chandelier
Plus, I’m probably short the several millions of dollars required to own any of his stuff – not that it wouldn’t be 100% worth it. Because it would. Holy mother of god, I have a background in Interior Design and my jaw was on the floor the whole time we were walking through the exhibit. I will definitely go again before No Discipline closes on October 19, 2009. In the meantime, I will be dreaming about that furniture.