Favored for its translucency and durability, marble has been the material of choice for sculptors beginning with the early Greek masters. And their chisels have been used, most typically, to carve an idealized human body but also to create massive pillars and architectural forms like the Supreme Court Building or the Washington Monument. So these mini-architectural interiors come as something we’ve never quite seen before. The intricately carved creations are the work of British sculptor Matthew Simmonds, an art-historian-turned-stone-carver. Inspired by his academic background and, later, his work in helping to restore important historic monuments (in particular, Westminster Abbey and Ely Cathedral) Simmonds began creating these fascinating, empty marble interiors after moving to Italy.
“The sculptures give the viewer a different perspective on space,” noted Dutch art writer Merete Prydes Helle. “They look different from every viewpoint. You long to be in them, and they seem almost more meaningful for that.” Indeed, there’s something about the realistic and tranquil interiors that makes you not want to look away. See more over at on form. (via Yatzer)
Photo by Eli Posner, Israel Museum
Towering 52 feet (16 meters) into the air, 5,000 Arms to Hold You is the latest bamboo installation by artists Doug and Mike Starn at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. This is the 9th construction in twin brother’s Big Bambú series that seeks to explore how order is created from the chaos of life through elaborate bamboo sculptures. For this new piece the duo worked with a team of mountain climbers to help assemble the precarious form using over 10,000 bamboo poles over a month-long period. It is the largest and most complex sculptural installation they have ever undertaken.
“The concept of Big Bambú has nothing to do with bamboo,” Mike Starn tells the Israel Museum. “Big Bambú represents the invisible architecture of life and living things. It is the random interdependence of moments, trajectories intersecting, and actions becoming interaction, creating growth and change.”
“It is philosophic engineering, a demonstration of chaotic interdependence,” adds Doug.
5,000 Arms to Hold You opened to the public on June 16th, and visitors are invited to explore the interactive maze from all angles, including the opportunity to ascend to the very top. You can learn more on the project’s dedicated website, and see many more bamboo installations by the Starn brothers here.
Photo by Eli Posner, Israel Museum
Photos by Eli Posner, Israel Museum
all photos copyright Michel Denancé
For the last 8 years the Pathe Foundation in Paris has worked with Pritzker-winning architect Renzo Piano to design and construct their new headquarters. Slated for a grand opening this September, photos have emerged that reveal, in the architect’s own words, “an unexpected presence”: a curved bulbous structure that looks like it’s been squeezed into an opening within a historic Parisian city block. “The art of inserting a new building into an historic city block,” says Piano, “means engaging in an open, physical dialogue with the existing city buildings.” In other words, it’s an exercise in reclaiming space.
Hidden mostly behind buildings, the new headquarters, which will promote the Pathe’s heritage in cinematography with office spaces, film archives and a screening room, pokes its head out above the neighbors, looking like a giant armadillo. Walking by, an unsuspecting visitor would have no idea was behind that street-side facade. (via Designboom)
Currently on view at Zadok Gallery in Miami, Fiction of the Fabricated Image is the latest body of work from Seoul-based artist Seon Ghi Bahk. Of particular note is this impressive series of architectural columns constructed from pieces of natural charcoal suspended on nylon threads. The work is part of the artist’s An Aggregation series that explores the complex relationship between nature and humanity, where Bahk suggests “nature” can be incorrectly viewed as simply a backdrop or tool used in the creation of civilization. You can see more over on Zadok Gallery where the installation will be up through August 25, 2014. (via My Amp Goes to 11, My Modern Met)
Sunny Meadow Fun Park. Edition of 50, 590 x 590mm.
Con/struct is the latest body of work from Cape Town-based artist, designer, and photographer Justin Plunkett who uses his own original photography to digitally construct fictional landscapes and structures. He shares via an artist statement:
Con/Struct is an exploration into the themes of empowerment and imagination. Plunkett, using his own photography, has created new juxtaposed environments that encourage questioning and exploration: inviting the debate around how marketing- induced aspiration and perceived value can empower but can also corrupt, how it can be both perverse and create beauty. At the same time, at the core of his work, he honours and applauds ingenuity and the creative spirit.
The new works were recently on view at the Cabinet, and you can see more on his website. (via Designboom)
Skhayascraper. Edition of 20, 590 x 840mm.
Langa Longer Shopping Mall. Edition of 50, 590 x 630mm.
Bridge Below Starry Skies. Editions of 50, 590 x 490mm.
Gugulethu Gables. Edition of 50, 590 x 590mm.
Glory to Gold. Edition of 10, 940 x 770mm.
Diepsloot dignity tower. Edition of 50, 590 x 590mm.
Brazilian artist Henrique Oliveira (previously) recently completed work on his largest installation to date titled Transarquitetônica at Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade in São Paulo. As with much of his earlier sculptural and installation work the enormous piece is built from tapumes, a kind of temporary siding made from inexpensive wood that is commonly used to obscure construction sites. Oliveira uses the repurposed wood pieces as a skin nailed to an organic framework that looks intentionally like a large root system. Because the space provided by the museum was so immense, the artist expanded the installation into a fully immersive environment where viewers are welcome to enter the artwork and explore the cavernous interior. Transarquitetônica will be on view through the end of November this year, and you can watch the video above by Crane TV to hear Oliveira discuss its creation.
Like a burst of color on an otherwise grey canvas, a single majestically colored building rises out of a sea of dull grayness. This is not Christo’s latest “wrapping” project, which is what the photographer Peter Steinhaur first thought, naturally, upon encountering the phenomenon. In fact, these are construction sites wrapped in a colorful mesh material, a traditional method employed in Hong Kong to prevent debris from falling onto the streets below. According to Steinhauer, who’s lived and worked in Asia for the last 21 years – but was stunned to discover this unique construction method in Hong Kong – buildings are wrapped regardless of whether they’re coming up or going down. I’ve seen a similar method employed in Japan with smaller houses, but never anything of such monolithic scale. You can see many more photos over on Steinhauer’s site, where he has two series aptly titled “Cocoon.” (via Featureshoot)