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102 posts categorized "Art"



December 22, 2010

Plans revealed for new Whitney Museum.

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The Whitney Museum has unveiled the plans for its new downtown space, designed by Renzo Piano. After much debate, the new Whitney will not connect to the High Line for security reasons. Groundbreaking on the new museum will take place on May 24. The museum’s current location, a Marcel Breuer-designed building on the Upper East Side, holds only 10% of the Whitney’s permanent collection.

December 15, 2010

Forget satellite: this radio is out of this world.

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The Garod 126 Circle Grille radio (scroll down for our Dec. 11 post) went for $5,490 yesterday at the Bonhams auction of the Michael and Diane Schoeman Collection of Vintage Radios. Another highlight of the day was the Sparton Bluebird 566 (above) designed in 1935. This radio sold for $9,150, and is described in the catalog as “one of four sets designed by noted industrial designer Walter Dorwin Teague, and introduced at the National Electrical and Radio Exposition in New York on September 18, 1935.”

December 02, 2010

Beauty moment of the day.

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In researching the work of Piet Mondrian, I was surprised to discover this painting, so different than the abstract geometric work for which he is known. Painted in 1909, “View from the Dunes with Beach and Piers, Domburg” is included in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. As an antidote to the hectic pace of the holidays, I offer you Mondrian’s peaceful beach. Just you, your thoughts, and the sunset. Enjoy.

November 29, 2010

Saloni Milano NYC begins today.

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Starting today, a six-week program called “i Saloni Milano New York" will bring a taste of Milan’s annual design week (which turns 50 next April) to NYC. Celebrating Italian design, art and culture, Saloni Milano will include showroom events, parties and exhibits. Starting on December 3, check out the Park Avenue Armory for Peter Greenaway’s video installation, “Leonardo’s Last Supper: A Vision,” which was seen at the 2008 Salone in Milan. For a complete schedule of events, try www.isaloni.it/ny (not working as of this posting) or the daily New York Times.

August 30, 2010

Le Corbusier exhibit opens today, August 30.

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If you’re anywhere near Brooklyn, New York, be sure to check out “Le Corbusier – Miracle Boxes” at the Pratt Institute. From the press release: “Divided into three parts, the exhibition will focus on Le Corbusier’s unique multidisciplinary approach as demonstrated in his architecture, city planning, books, paintings, furniture, and sculpture. The exhibition will provide a comprehensive analysis of the work of Le Corbusier and show how his ideas for reinventing modern living are echoed in contemporary architecture and design.” The exhibition will run through October 15. Images courtesy of Fondation Le Corbusier.

August 20, 2010

The art of heavy breathing.

one hundred and eight from Nils Völker on Vimeo.

TGIF! To ease yourself into the weekend, check out this mesmerizing video of Nils Völker’s latest work, “One Hundred and Eight.” The installation features 108 garbage bags that are selectively inflated and deflated by 216 computer-controlled fans. Each bag has two fans, one to pump air in, and the other to suck it out. The result is an undulating wall that has the grace of rolling ocean waves (and the lung capacity of a giant).

July 23, 2010

SFMOMA selects Snøhetta to design new wing.

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SFMOMA has selected the Norwegian firm Snøhetta to be their partner in building the new Fisher wing. The expansion will add more than 100,000 square feet of exhibition space to accommodate their growing collections, including the Doris and Donald Fisher collection of modern and contemporary art. Follow the museum’s progress here.

May 25, 2010

Yellow dresses, naked men and a furniture show.

When I heard that seven women were sharing a 100-square-foot platform for five days in Bryant Park, I was curious. When I heard that they were wearing matching yellow dresses and were not allowed to talk to each other, I knew I had to see it. I caught the end of their “act” when I flew to NYC for the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF).

Seven women in taxicab yellow dresses participating in an art project in Bryant Park, NYC

The “Walk the Walk” project was the work of Kate Gilmore, who asked her volunteers (a questionable term since a ladder was required to escape from the eight-foot-high platform) to walk with purpose from 8:30am to 6:30pm. However, even with a shift change at midday, the hours spent in matching ivory pumps had turned the walk into more of a hobble, and the answer to “is there a Dr. Scholl’s in the house?” was clearly “no.”

In contrast to the yellow-clad gals on the move is the Antony Gormley exhibit of naked men who don’t move at all. The lack of movement is because they are iron statues, and it’s a good thing too, because they are perched on the edges of rooftops.

Two of the life-size naked figures perched on buildings in NYC.

The figures were controversial when they first appeared – not because they’re nude, but because people thought they were jumpers. But after New Yorkers understood that it’s just art, they embraced the idea of looking for naked men on buildings around the Flatiron District. What could be better? Like an Easter egg hunt for grownups, there are 31 life-size naked figures to find in NYC; the identical forms are cast from Gormley himself.

It’s ironic that the ladies in yellow were so desperately in need of a chair (and I suppose the naked Gormleys might have enjoyed a bed) since the event happened during Design Week. The International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) is an annual event held at the Javits Convention Center, and while it lacks the punch of Milan’s Salone, there are still interesting things to be found.

Here are some of my favorites:

Cloud Softlight by Molo Design. Made from recyclable Tyvek, these floating forms are lit up by LED bulbs.

“Happy Hardcore” (right) is a tire and hemp seat designed by Fernanda Fajardo, a student at Pratt. “The tire is a symbol of extreme toughness and unwanted filth,” said Fajardo, “while the hemp twine symbolizes the unity and support within the HardCore punk culture.” On the left is Philippe Starck’s lamp for Baccarat (a symbol of the hardcore penthouse culture).

The Private Cloud by Kloker. I imagine that those ladies in yellow dresses would’ve paid money to take a break in this. Add one of Gormley’s naked statues to the mix and we’ve got a showstopper.

Eco-friendly wall coverings by Miss Print (left), made with organic pigment inks. On the right are Jeff Taly and Greg Benson, the designers of our Adirondack Chair and other outdoor furniture. While it looks like Greg is thinking about having some milk, the wall graphics depict the fact that their furniture is made out of recycled milk jugs.

Norman Cherner’s iconic 1958 armchair, shown in natural Redgum. On the right are 1006 Navy® Chairs in a quiet moment before the DWR launch party of the 111 Navy Chair®.

I’ll be posting more images from NYC, and writing about the Hospitality and Design Expo in Las Vegas, so be sure to check our blog this week to see what’s new.

May 01, 2010

Under the ash plumes in Milan.

Despite the horror stories of being stranded in Italy under a veil of volcano debris, I’m still incredibly jealous of the DWR group who just returned from the Salone Internazionale del Mobile. Fortunately, our outdoor buyer Ben was kind enough to share his photos with me, and now I’m inviting you to share in this virtual journey to Milan.

The foliage-studded exterior of the Hedgehog (left), and it’s interior as seen when looking up at the sky (right).

Continue reading "Under the ash plumes in Milan." »

April 08, 2010

Dear DWR Readers,

Wow! We’ve just mailed our first new catalog in months. Welcome back to the DWR world. I have been on the job since January, and I’m so excited about our beautiful company. For the past 11 years, I have been a fan of DWR just like you. I have purchased Bubble lamps, lounge chairs, a fire pit, a bottle opener ... you get the idea.

John Edelman at the DWR Studio in Westport, CT. Photo courtesy of Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times/Redux

I have spent the last 15 years working with my family and my closest friend, John McPhee, producing the finest leather in the world for interior design. After we sold the company to Knoll, it was time to move on, and the opportunity to become the leaders of DWR came at the perfect moment.

Continue reading "Dear DWR Readers," »

January 05, 2010

DWR: Tools for Living SoHo Artist Window Series, No. 7.

New York’s chilly weather and falling snow inspired our latest DWR: Tools for Living SoHo window, “Modern Snowflakes.”

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This window is the work of artist Mika Osborn, who was recommended to us by our good friend James Victore. Mika was born and raised in Tokyo by her Japanese mother (a writer, producer and stained-glass designer) and American father (a commercial photographer). At the age of 15, Mika wanted to explore her American roots and decided to continue her studies in the U.S. She enrolled in a small boarding school in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, and that’s when this Tokyo girl got in touch with her hippie side. Later, while attending college in California as a Communications major, she developed a passion for art and design. She transferred to the School of Visual Arts in New York City and graduated as a Graphic Design major in 2009. She is now working in Philadelphia.

Posted by Dan Murphy, DWR: Tools for Living, SoHo

November 18, 2009

DWR: Tools for Living SoHo Artist Window Series, No. 6.

Our latest DWR: Tools for Living SoHo window comes from graphic designer Grant Gold. His inspiration for this window series was “winter time in the city.” 

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It is a time when he feels more introverted and introspective of his life and habits, a time of reflection and response to those reflections. “Winter, particularly in the city, is a period of seclusion for people and it wraps them into themselves,” he says, “around all of their thoughts and into a messy rumpus of trying to comfort their own ideas about who they are and who they want to be.” Grant enjoys the idea that the seasons change the way people act and feel. He wanted to convey winter as a time of “disheveled adaptation.” 

Continue reading "DWR: Tools for Living SoHo Artist Window Series, No. 6." »

October 21, 2009

Can it!

In Danish, the function of opening and closing is called “vipp,” which is also the name of a design company that’s been producing iconic pedal bins since 1939. To celebrate their 70th anniversary, Vipp has partnered with Design Within Reach to hold a charity auction that will benefit DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS). Being auctioned are 35 Vipp bins that have been customized by Ralph Lauren, David Rockwell, Calvin Klein, Nigel Barker, Yoko Ono and others.

While you can’t rub elbows with these celebs at the actual auction (it’s by invitation only) there are two other ways you can participate: Five bins are on eBay, and through October 28, all 35 bins are on display and available for bidding at the DWR: Tools for Living in SoHo. And I don’t want to make your head explode or anything (thus, needing a bin for a beastly task) but the SoHo store also has a new window design by artist Mike Perry.

Of the 35 bins, the award for the farthest-flying Vipp goes to Michael Aram, who sent the bin to his workshop in India to be transformed into a golden pear.

A Vipp Bin in size medium at left, and a Vipp Bin transformed by Michael Aram into a Golden Pear at right. (Pear photo courtesy of Christian Larsen.)

“In the world of mythology,” says Aram, “pears represent bounty and gluttony. What’s more perfect for a receptacle of waste than a golden symbol of excess?” Sporting an oxidized bronze stem (the leaf was lost in transit), the brass body was hand-hammered from the inside to give it the somewhat nubby texture of a real pear. Perhaps, however, it was a bit too realistic, as the bin ended up stuck in Customs when it was deemed a botanical and flagged as a possible restricted item for entry into the U.S. Fortunately, the Homeland Security folks didn’t blow up the suspected Trojan Pear, but I’m guessing that at least one of them jumped when they pressed on the pedal and popped open the top.

From a symbol of gluttony to an example of what’s at stake if we do not curtail our habits, the Vipp bin customized by Nigel Barker is wrapped in a photograph he took when he spent two weeks on the ice in northern Canada.

Nigel Barker, and a Vipp Bin wrapped in his photograph titled “Frozen Cauldron.” (Nigel’s portrait courtesy of Nigel Barker LLC. Photograph of customized bin courtesy of Christian Larsen.)

Barker took this photo in 2007 when he went to investigate the horrors of seal hunting. Since then, there have been significant changes, including strong bans on seal product trade, thanks to the efforts of the Humane Society. The seals, however, are still at risk. A few years ago, the ice melted earlier than usual and hundreds of thousands of baby seals drowned because they were not old enough to swim. The concept behind Barker’s Vipp bin is that it provokes the user to think about the climactic effects of waste before throwing something away. He selected his photo “Frozen Cauldron” because “it’s beautiful, and yet the ice also looks a bit angry, as if Mother Nature has something in store for us.”

David Stark with his Vipp bin transformed into a cactus. (Photo courtesy of Christian Larsen.)

To appease Ma Nature, designer David Stark used a material that is normally seen as trash to create his Cactus bin. Made of simple cardboard, the cactus was hand assembled out of 279 individual and uniquely shaped laser-cut pieces. When asked about his inspiration, Stark said, “it was a trip to Arizona and the various sculptural forms of cacti throughout the landscape, along with my ongoing interest in turning everyday unsung materials (including trash) into extraordinary objects.”

The fact that Stark chose a cactus – a plant covered in sharp thorns – is also interesting. As if to remind people that there can be painful consequences to the items we throw away. Congratulations to all the designers who participated in this special event for DIFFA.

Gwendolyn Horton

P.S. To see a Vipp bin transformed into a xylophone, click here, and to see a video of the Can It! exhibit in SoHo, click on the video below.

DWR: Tools for Living SoHo Artist Window Series, No. 5.

October, the fifth installment of DWR: Tools for Living artist window series in SoHo. This month we invited Mike Perry for an encore performance. Mike is also a contributing artist in Vipp’s October charity auction for DIFFA, hosted by DWR.

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For the current window, Mike revisited theme of building cities and towns through drawing. Using the idea of a city grid as the structure, but like any city, the grid is always disrupted. Mike Perry works in Brooklyn, New York, creating books, magazines, newspapers, clothing, drawings, paintings, illustrations and teaching whenever possible. Mike’s window will be up at the Tools for Living store for the next month. Stop by before October 28 to see the display of Vipp Bins that are up for auction. 

Posted by Dan Murphy, DWR: Tools for Living, SoHo

September 30, 2009

DWR: Tools for Living SoHo Artist Window Series, No. 4.

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September brings forth the fourth installment of Tools for Living’s Artist Window Series. We invited Alex Merto to illustrate thee windows in his unique style. Alex chose a beautiful illustrated cross-stitch pattern with “Home” as his theme. I asked him why he chose it: He said he wanted to make an image composed of tiny little pieces, every piece contributing to the overall. 

Continue reading "DWR: Tools for Living SoHo Artist Window Series, No. 4." »

August 21, 2009

DWR: Tools for Living SoHo Artist Window Series, No. 3.

August brings forth the third installment of DWR: Tools for Living's Artist Window Series in SoHo. This month we invited French graphic designer and illustrator Fanny LeBras to showcase her unique sensibilities. Choosing "trees" as her theme, Fanny's meticulously rendered design is understated and elegant – a perfect complement to TFL's product assortment. 

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Continue reading "DWR: Tools for Living SoHo Artist Window Series, No. 3. " »

August 20, 2009

A sweet new look for San Francisco’s Lombard Street.

Candyland (9 of 24)

King Kandy, Lolly and Princess Frostine helped to transform the crooked street into the land of Candyland in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the game. By 10 this morning, the famous section of road had become a color-blocked path for a life-size game, ready to be played by teams of excited children.

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The natural landscape of hydrangeas and shrubbery became fields of lollipops and cotton candy (at least to those in the crowd of onlookers who still have an active imagination). While looking on and resisting the urge to pluck and eat a hydrangea, I couldn't help but think about Vertigo – both the sensation one feels as they experience this section of Lombard Street as well as the 1957 Hitchcock film. Jimmy Stewart's character, Scottie, lived only a block away – and this section of Russian Hill often conjures up images and moods of the mid-century film. But today's setting and game couldn't have felt more opposite to the mood of that film, and today's events didn't have any unexpected twists, just the turns.

Candyland-(2-of-24) Candyland-(16-of-24)
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The teams came running and winding down the hill as their color cards were drawn, from square to square. The yellow team from San Francisco Children's Hospital took the win. Participants celebrated the fun afternoon with plenty of candy and their very own Candyland boardgame to take home, play and enjoy for the next 60 years.

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July 15, 2009

DWR: Tools for Living SoHo Artist Window Series, No. 2

The Tools for Living June window was such a success, that the storefront has become a favorite spot for a quick NYC flick for tourists, bloggers and even the occasional tweeter. For the month of July, we asked Mike Perry to do a piece inspired by the word “Home.” Mike’s signature line-drawn style, with his bright spray paint splashes and black Sharpie-drawn houses and keyholes, is the perfect interpretation of the theme for our SoHo community. Mike’s work is modern and hip without being pretentious – and that’s what Tools for Living is all about.


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June 10, 2009

DWR: Tools for Living SoHo Artist Window Series, No.1

Last weekend's inaugural installation of the Tools for Living SoHo Artist Window Series had tourists and tried-and-true New Yorkers alike stopping to gawk on Wooster Street. Running with a “Summer in the City” theme, artist Damon Johnson decked out the Wooster Street windows with huge cartoon pigeons and thorny, technicolor roses. His signature “Urban Surrealism” packs the perfect punch to set off the summer season in SoHo.


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June 02, 2009

Soundsuits on the scene.

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Chicago artist Nick Cave (not to be confused with the Australian musician of the same name) merges his background in dance and his passion for clothing design to create his Soundsuits. The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco now has the largest exhibit of his work to date, on display through July 5. I checked it out this weekend and was, well, kind of speechless. Part sculpture, part fashion, part other-worldly surrealism, the materials Cave chooses are startling. Everything from human hair to thrift-store knick-knacks, crocheted doilies to bejeweled sweaters (Golden Girls thoroughly evoked). Each of these utterly unique creations is displayed on a mannequin, bending all ideas of gender and even species. The resulting exhibit is a trip-tastic wonderland of found objects.


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