Dance

A Mesmerizing Dance Performance for the Paralympics Hand Off Ceremony Choreographed by Sadeck Waff

October 19, 2021

Christopher Jobson

As part of a closing hand-off ceremony for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games and the 2024 games in Paris, choreographer Sadeck Waff worked with 128 performers in a dizzying performance focused on arms and hands. The French dancer and choreographer has become known for his limb-centric performances which you can watch more of on Instagram. Music by Woodkid. (via The Kid Should See This)

 

 

 



Art History Science

Anatomy and History Collide in Borosilicate Glass Sculptures by Kit Paulson

October 19, 2021

Christopher Jobson

Lungs, 2020. Flame-worked borosilicate glass. All photos © Kit Paulson, shared with permission

In a lovely clash of anatomy and antiquity, artist Kit Paulson (previously) forms impossibly fragile objects entirely from glass. By referencing historical artworks through lace patterns, or traversing the structures of blood veins and bones found in the human body, she externalizes the internal and reveals hidden visceral structures all around us. She pushes the idea further still by creating wearable sculptures like masks and gloves.

Paulson works primarily with slender tubes of borosilicate glass heated with a torch through a method called flameworking. “Even with its sterility and stability, glass must be manipulated by hand, relying on very the physical, muscle memory of the hands which is invisibly powered by blood and bone,” she shares with Colossal.

The artist just arrived at Bild-Werk Frauenau in Germany, an international forum for glass and visual arts where she’ll teach for the next 6 months. You can explore more of her work on Instagram and see dozens of her small glass objects available on Etsy.

 

 

 



Design

Circular Vaults Embedded within a Prague Embankment Contain Shops, Cafes, and Public Spaces

October 18, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © BoysPlayNice, courtesy of Brainworks

New cafes, galleries, and studios are popping up along the Vltava River in Prague, although they’re not immediately visible from atop the embankment. Tucked inside former storage units embedded within the structure itself are several tunnel-like spaces redesigned for public use. Appearing like glass-doored portals lining the waterfront, the multi-purpose project is part of the Czech city’s efforts to revitalize a four-kilometer swath of the riverbank, which previously served as a parking lot, and are the undertaking of architect Petr Janda who helms the Prague-based studio Brainwork.

Each vaulted venue contains concrete walls and flooring and gleaming stainless steel that reflects its surroundings. Six circular tunnels are designated for shops and galleries feature large, elliptical doors in glass, while the other 14 spaces are marked with a sculptural entrance, hiding the remaining area occupied by private tenants or used for public bathrooms from view. “The interventions symbiotically merge with the original architecture of the riverside wall, into which they naturally fuse,” Janda told designboom. “By using the acupuncture strategy, they re-create a monumental whole.”

Head to Instagram to find preliminary sketches for the redesign and to follow Brainwork’s future projects.

 

 

 



Design Illustration

A Colorful Series of Sugar Skulls Appear on New USPS Stamps Designed by Luis Fitch

October 18, 2021

Christopher Jobson

Images © USPS, all rights reserved. Designed by Luis Fitch.

The United States Postal Service has issued a set of colorful postage stamps that celebrate Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), an annual holiday celebrated in Mexico and beyond on the first two days of November. The vibrant stamps depict a family of four calaveras (sugar skulls) designed by Minneapolis-based Chicano artist and designer Luis Fitch who has been obsessed with postage stamps since a young age.

A chance encounter near a train exit by the National Mexican Art Museum in Chicago lead to the creation of the stamps:

Every year, the day before his birthday, [Fitch] writes a list of things he wants to achieve, asking the universe. In October 2018, he remembered his old dream, designing a stamp, and made it number one, the slot for his most difficult and unrealistic goal.

The next day, the director of the stamp design program called.

He had seen the single poster Fitch wheat-pasted—on a whim, while waiting for his son—near the train exit for the National Mexican Art Museum in Chicago. And then he had gone to the museum, where twelve of Fitch’s posters were included in an exhibition on the Day of the Dead. This was just the style he was looking for, he said.

Fitch’s stamp designs incorporate multiple visual motifs traditionally used during the holiday including lit candles meant to guide deceased loved ones on their annual return journey, and cempazuchitles (marigolds), the most popular Día de los Muertos flower. Each of the four stamps depicts a different family member in the form of a sugar skull: a father with a hat and mustache, a child donning a hair bow, a curly-haired mother, and another child.

The stamps are now available in multiple formats at the USPS. (via Hyperallergic)

 

 

 



Art

Abandoned Caravans and Castles House Mysterious Illuminated Portals in Andrew Mcintosh's Paintings

October 18, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Andrew McIntosh, shared with permission

In abandoned sheds, tiny campers, and imposing, hilltop castles, Scottish artist Andrew McIntosh (previously) nestles glowing entryways to mysterious new worlds. The illuminated portals are central to the artist’s ongoing interest in exploration, curiosity, and a never-ending desire to uncover the unknown, and they offer a tiny window into what lies beyond the immediate landscapes. Each of the compositions exudes a ghostly air, with fog or storm clouds hanging above the once-occupied spaces.

Whether the focus of the work or tucked in an enclave, art historical references proliferate many of McIntosh’s oil-based paintings. He positions the renowned works often preserved in institution halls within the context of outdoor settings or dilapidated travel trailers, a subversion that establishes his conceptual framework. In his most recent series, the artist reimagines the “Tower of Babel” as a rugged termite hill and places the catacombs of the Colisseum into a paint-chipped caravan, a vehicle he sees as “the perfect symbol of human hardiness and the intrepid desire to explore, an instinct that exists no matter how small or humble the being.”

Some of the paintings shown here are part of McIntosh’s solo show God Shaped Holes, which is up through October 30 at London’s James Freeman Gallery, and you can explore a larger collection of his works on his site and Instagram.

 

 

 



Art History Photography

An Immense New Book Surveys the Work of More Than 300 African Artists

October 15, 2021

Grace Ebert

Zanele Muholi, Bhekezakhe, Parktown (2016), gelatin silver print, 50 × 35.9 centimeters. Photo © Zanele Muholi. Stevenson, Amsterdam, Cape Town and Johannesburg, and Yancey Richardson, New York

One of the most expansive volumes of its kind, African Artists: From 1882 to Now compiles a broad sampling of works from more than 300 modern and contemporary artists born or living on the continent. Within its 350-plus pages, the massive text spans a range of mediums and aesthetics, from Mary Sibande’s sprawling postcolonial installations and Wangechi Mutu’s fantastical watercolor collages to the cotton-embroidered photographs by Joana Choumali. The forthcoming volume follows the publisher’s 2019 book Great Women Artists, which gathers works from 400 artists from 54 countries across 500 years, and it’s available for pre-order from Phaidon and Bookshop.

 

Papa Ibra Tall, “La semeuse d’étoiles (‘The Star Sower’)” (undated), tapestry, 201 × 298 centimeters. Photo © the artist

Kwesi Botchway, “Green Fluffy Coat” (2020), acrylic on canvas, 78.7 × 78.7 centimeters. Photo © the artist, courtesy of Gallery 1957, Accra

Mary Sibande, “A Reversed Retrogress: Scene 1” (2013), lifesize fiberglass mannequins and cotton textile, 180 × 120 × 120 centimeters. Photo © the artist, courtesy of the artist

Michele Mathison, “Breaking Ground” (2014), steel and enamel, 203 × 104 × 40 centimeters. Photo © the artist, courtesy Michele Mathison and WHATIFTHEWORLD

Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga, “Fragile 5” (2018), acrylic and oil on canvas, 187 × 196 centimeters. Photo © the artist, courtesy of the artist and October Gallery, London

John Akomfrah. “Vertigo Sea” (2015). Photo © the artist and Smoking Dogs Films, courtesy of Smoking Dogs Films and Lisson Gallery