What a treat it is to experience the Pierre Cardin exhibit Future Fashion, currently on view at the Brooklyn Museum. I admit to being unaware that Cardin also made furniture until I saw a selection of his amazing woodwork staged amongst his retro-space-age fashions. This cabinet, which emulates a sunset above ocean waves, is from 2018.
Cardin’s passion for woodworking began as a child in central France. Later, he created furniture inspired by the skies, landscapes, and forms of nature, using traditional woodworking and lacquer techniques that correspond to the handiwork in haute couture fashion. For this reason, Cardin described his handmade cabinets, tables, dressers, and chairs as “couture furniture” and utilitarian sculptures. Cardin intends his furniture, like sculpture, to be place so that the viewer can see if from all sides and directions.
Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion Will be on View at The Brooklyn Museum Through January 5th, 2020.
This poster by Peter Savile, who first came to prominence for his designs for Factory Records, was issued to promote Joy Division’s 1979 debut album, Unknown Pleasures. Band member Bernard Sumner found the image, a rendering of successive waves emitted by a pulsar, in an astronomy textbook. Saville reversed the image from black-on-white to white-on-black, conjuring the darker atmospherics of the album’s sound. The Cover Art design has attained an iconic status, particularly of late, going so far as to spawn the term “joyplot,“ which refers to a method of data visualization that involves the layering of successive and comparative histograms.
Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Too Fast To Live Too Young to Die: Punk Graphics at the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC.
The dynamic, curvilinear design of the Current Chair (2004) by Vivian Beer seems to defy the strength and hardness of the steel from which it is made. Historically, few women have worked in metal other than to fashion jewelry, and fewer still have made metal furniture.
About her innovative design, Beer remarked, “I wanted this chair to seem as if it had been cut and crushed out of a single sheet of metal. At the same time, I wanted it to feel as fast and clean as water its silhouette . . .The balance and the trickery are important.” The chair’s title suggests that the artist’s choice of the color blue alludes to swiftly moving water.
303 Gallery is currently hosting an exhibition of new works by Mary Heilmann, whose work you might remember from This Post.
On view are an arrangement of paintings on canvas and handmade paper, glazed ceramics, and a group of her distinctive furniture sculptures.
Cups on a Table
Wryly poking around the history of abstract painting, Heilmann’s imaginative approach to the geometries of spaces, things and thoughts has made her one of the foremost painters of her generation. Adopting waves and roads as inspiration for many of the works in this show, her deft perceptive logics suggest simultaneously intimate and expansive experiences.
Highway My Way
In Heilmann’s paintings, waves and roads each generate their own sources of life. They move and travel and interlock. Positive and negative space inhabit alternating roles, as colors riff on memory in vibrant undulations as well as protracted expanses. Heilmann’s geometrics abut forms and steer the eye backward between them and seemingly through them.
In San Andreas (2012), a glowing red core pokes through chunks of earthy green glazed ceramic, its tactile surface bubbling with tension. In The Geometry of a Wave, a tiny painting on paper suggests an entire universe in two colors. Pigment pools in the paper’s irregular crevices, as a wave’s fragile surface is rendered with a penetrating directness.
In his memoir Barbarian Days, William Finnegan writes of the hallucinatory power of surfing, “It was as if we were suspended above the reef, floating on a cushion of nothing . . . Approaching waves were like optical illusions.” Heilmann’s own waves begin to depict a similar imagery with their synchronic positives and negatives. What seems like a simple gestural game drifts into the essential, into an intuitive understanding of a form’s resonance and a furtive ability to shape it.
Heilmann’s Sunny Chaise #10 and #4 shown at the Exhibit Opening Reception
To that end, Heilmann’s installation of her signature chairs encourages viewers to sit, linger and engage in dialogue with the paintings, with each other, and with themselves. To sit and watch the waves, to hit the road.
Left and Right
The edges of the paintings point at each other; one can imagine the air between them as tactile. If a painting has its own language, why not try to speak with it?
Mary Heilmann’s Geometrics: Waves, Roads, etc. will be on Exhibit Through December 19th, 2015 at 303 Gallery, Located at 507 W 24th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
We’re not sure if the surviving members of Joy Division or the estate of the late Ian Curtis has green-lighted Disney’s selling of these amazing T-Shirts inspired by the cover design of Joy Division’s legendary 1979 debut album, Unknown Pleasures, but if not I’d say that you should snatch one up now before someone throws a copyright infringement lawsuit their way (though it would be hard to imagine an entity as litigious as Disney not covering their asses on a venture this audacious).
“Waves” Mickey Mouse T-Shirt sells for $24.95 at This Link!
Thanks to Julio Diaz for the Tip!
Update 1/26/12: As predicted here, the shirt is no longer for sale. Details are available at This Link.