PaperBridge: A Load-Bearing Arch of Paper Sheets Spans an English Creek

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all photos by Steve Messam courtesy the artist

While it’s certainly not the longest, this weight-bearing structure is definitely one of the more interesting bridges we’ve come across. Unveiled earlier this month, PaperBridge is the latest site-specific installation by environmental artist Steve Messam. It was constructed using 22,000 sheets of bright, red paper. And despite weighing in at over 4.2 tons, the free-standing structure doesn’t have a single screw, bolt or swab of glue holding it together.

On an aesthetic level, PaperBridge acts as focal point that creates a stark contrast between the bridge and the lush landscape. But on a conceptual level, Messam explains the key relationship between the bridge and its surroundings:

Paper is a simple material made from wood pulp and water. The intensity of colour used in the bridge contrasts with the verdant landscape making a bold statement of form and design. Alongside this the materials used have a resonance with the natural environment and the construction of the bridge also reflects local architectural forms, specifically pack horse bridges found throughout the area. All of the paper used in PaperBridge will be recovered and returned to the Burneside Mill for recycling into new paper once the project ends. This transparent cycle is part of the overall environmental narrative of the piece.

PaperBridge was part of the ‘Lakes Ignite’ project. It was located in the Grisedale Valley, near Patterdale and the public was invited to walk across it before it gets taken down today. (via Designboom and The Kid Should See This)

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New Trompe L’oeil Sculptures of Flowing Dresses and Leaves Constructed from Plywood by Ron Isaacs

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When looking at these wall-mounted sculptures depicting wrinkled dresses that sprout leaves or butterflies by artist Ron Isaacs (previously), you would be forgiven for thinking they were constructed from anything other than their actual materials: plywood and acrylic paint. Isaacs uses pieces of layered Finnish birch to construct every detail of these architectural clothes which he then covers in trompe l’oeil painting to create the illusion of depth. “I am still fascinated by the old simple idea of resemblance, the very first idea of art after tools and shelter: That an object made of one material can take on the outward appearance and therefore some of the ‘reality. of another,” says Isaacs. You can see his most recent collection of work as part of his second solo show at Tory Folliard Gallery in Milwaukee through May 23, 2015.

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Miniature Hand Blown Glass Vessels and Scientific Instruments by Kiva Ford

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Glass artist Kiva Ford draws from his vast experience in scientific glassblowing to create perfect miniatures of wine glasses, beakers, and ribbon-striped vases, some scarcely an inch tall. A member of the American Scientific Glassblowers Society, Kiva creates instruments for scientists who require one-of-a-kind designs for various experiments. The same techniques and tools used for scientific equipment also apply to his artistic practice including the miniature works you see here, as well as larger sculptures, and ornate drinkware.

This week Kiva will be doing several demonstrations of both artistic and scientific glassblowing at the Corning Museum of Glass in New York as part of GlassFest. You can also purchase many of his miniatures on Etsy, or follow on Instagram. (via Colossal Submissions, Art is a Way, thnx Rachel!)

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Photographic Portraits of Famous Artist’s Paint Palettes by Matthias Schaller

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Palette of Marc Chagall

Since 2007 photographer Matthias Schaller has photographed raw, abstract paintings. The paintings however are not found on canvas, but rather smeared onto the tools used to craft each work of art—the palettes. His series, Das Meisterstück (The Masterpiece), claims these behind-the-scene objects as portraits of the artist, while also giving a direct insight into the detailed techniques performed by each painter.

Schaller was first inspired to begin his photographic collection during a visit to Cy Twombly’s late studio. During the visit he stumbled upon the artist’s palette, which he discovered to be an accurate reflection of the artist’s paintings. Encouraged to further discover the similarities between palette and painting, Schaller has gone on to photograph over two hundred of these historic portraits. His search has led him to collect palettes from all across Europe and the United States, finding the objects in major museums and private foundations and in the custody of artists’ relatives and collectors. The palettes he’s photographed so far in the series belong to seventy painters from both the 19th and 20th century, and include such artists as Monet, van Gogh, Matisse, and Picasso. To accurately analyze the details from paint hue to brushstroke, Schaller presents the images in large format, each work existing at approximately 190 x 150 cm.

Schaller’s practice focuses on non traditional portraits, which he considers “indirect portraits.” Other subject matter has included children’s rooms in Naples, Italy, 150 Italian opera houses, astronaut suits, and early punk vinyls. Through June 8, the Giorgio Cini Foundation will present Schaller’s Das Meisterstück alongside the Venice Biennale, an exhibition that will focus on 20 of Schaller’s palette photographs. (via Hyperallergic)

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Palette of Paula Modersohn-Becker / Palette of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

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Palette of Wassily Kandinsky, 2007, 190x156cm, Copyright: Matthias Schaller,Lenbachhaus, München;

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Palette of Claude Monet / Palette of Édouard Manet

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Palette of Edgar Degas

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Palette of Eugene Delacroix / Palette of Georges Seurat

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Palette of J.M.W. Turner, 2013, 190x156cm, Copyright: Matthias Schaller, The Royal Academy of Arts, London;

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Palette of Francis Bacon, 2007, 190x156cm, Copyright: Matthias Schaller, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, Dublin.

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Palette of Cy Twombly, 2007, 190x156cm, Copyright: Matthias Schaller, Collezione Nicola del Roscio, Gaeta;

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Palette of Pablo Picasso / Palette of Henri Matisse

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Palette of Vincent van Gogh, 2007, 190x156cm, Copyright: Matthias Schaller, Musée d’Orsay, Paris;

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Skeletal Leaf Bowl Sculptures by Kay Sekimachi

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While attending school at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, artist Kay Sekimachi was struck by a quote from her teacher Trude Guermon-prez: “Try to make something with the simplest of means.” Over the span of her sixty-year art career Sekimachi took the words to heart as she rose to the forefront of contemporary fiber art in the 60s and 70s by creating challenging artworks with extremely limited means. Leaves, hornet’s nest paper, grass, shells, and linen constitute many of the materials in Sekimachi’s repertoire. Via the Smithsonian:

Sekimachi uses the loom to construct three-dimensional sculptural forms. In the early 1970s she used nylon monofilament to create hanging quadruple tubular woven forms to explore ideas of space, transparency, and movement. Inspired by her ancestral homeland of Japan, Sekimachi repeatedly returns to that ancient culture for ideas.

Among her more recent works are these delicate bowls made from maple leaf skeletons. The pieces are held together with the help of Kozo paper and special coatings of both watercolor and Krylon. Several of the works will be on view at the Bellevue Arts Museum starting July 3, along with an exhibition of work by her late husband, renowned America woodturner Bob Stocksdale. (via My Modern Met)

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Beautiful Abstract Bird Plumage Photographs by Thomas Lohr

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Photographer Thomas Lohr is known mostly for his high-profile fashion shoots for clients like Vogue, Le Monde d’Hermès, and i-D, but somewhere in his grueling shooting schedule he still finds time for personal projects, the most recent of which is a collection of bird plumage photos gathered into a limited edition book titled Birds. Lohr wanted to take a slightly different approach with the project and instead of capturing the animals in their entirety, he decided to focus on what intrigued him the most: the color, texture, and form of their feathers.

The abstract photos of wings, bellies, and other near unrecognizable parts of each bird are accompanied by each species scientific name like “Anodorhynchus Hyacinthinus” or “Geronticus Eremita,” creating yet another unfamiliar layer of abstraction. You can take a peek inside the book on Lohr’s website, and read an interview over on AnOther. (via AnOther, This Isn’t Happiness)

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Analogue Experiments with Gravity Filmed by Clemens Wirth

Austrian director and visual artist Clemens Wirth created this gorgeous visual feast of gravitational experiments called Gravity. With the exception of a segment depicting digital black fabric, all the visuals were made with practical effects inside a special rig that can be rotated 360° with or without the camera. Wirth says he found inspiration both from the film Inception, and a similar project from a few years ago by Feedme Design. (via swissmiss, Vimeo Staff Picks)

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