Design Science

Invisible Forces Vibrate and Quiver within Elaborately Constructed Fields of Magnets

July 1, 2022

Grace Ebert

Elaborately configured grids and systems capitalize on the immense power of neodymium magnets to visualize the invisible. A new collaborative video from Magnet Tricks and Magnetic Games demonstrates how shifting a single element can set an entire design in motion, prompting each component to shake and vibrate in response. A visually mesmerizing example of basic physics, the project is also a study of sound and its manipulable patterns, so make sure you turn your volume up. (via The Kids Should See This)

 

 

 



Art Design

Clusters of Diaphanous Textile Sculptures by Mariko Kusumoto Evoke the Ocean Floor

July 1, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Mariko Kusumoto, shared with permission

Japanese artist and designer Mariko Kusumoto (previously) shapes gossamer coral and sea creatures from soft fibers like polyester, nylon, and cotton. Embedded with tiny ripples or airy pockets, the standalone sculptures and wearables are translucent renditions of lifeforms, and their delicate compositions correspond with the fragility of the subject matter. The Boston-based artist tends to cluster the individual pieces into larger works, creating sprawling reefs and diverse ecosystems brimming with color and texture.

Kusumoto is currently preparing for a solo exhibition next November at Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach, Florida, and until then, you can find more of her ethereal works on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Illustration

Plants, Motifs, and Cultural Symbols Are Superimposed onto Digital Portraits by Sam Rodriguez

June 30, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Sam Rodriguez, shared with permission

San Jose-based artist Sam Rodriguez might liken an abstract leaf sprouting from a young woman’s garment or a Pac-Man-esque rendering floating near a subject’s face to scenic elements. His portraits, which he’s been referring to as “cultural landscapes” for the past few years, are topographies of identity that involve replacing trees, rivers, and horizons with social markers. “It’s interesting to see the endless variants that each individual carries when we unpack who they are,” he shares with Colossal.

Informed by the analog techniques that were the foundation of his early practice, Rodriguez has been working digitally since 2018, rendering portraits rife with symbols. He references an abundance of layers evocative of a visual editing program but incorporates each element as if a feature of an unseen augmented reality app. Sometimes, he deconstructs a nation’s or organization’s flag and recontextualizes its color palette, while others, he superimposes plants, minimal emblems, and bits of typography into densely constructed motifs. His works depend on discovery, he shares, explaining further:

During the process, you absorb, sample, and cook visual ingredients and afterwards you are left as an audience member wondering what it is that you’ve just made. In that regard, I feel that each piece (outside of commissions) is a sort of taste test… This approach is probably a byproduct of our time period where digital and physical co-exist so seamlessly. It should be noted that I am mimicking what so many musicians have done since the 80s, especially in hip-hop with sampling for beats.

Currently, Rodriguez is at work on a book about how prosthetics and artificial intelligence require rebalancing the relationship between humanity and technology. You can follow news on its release on his Instagram, and head to his shop to add one of his prints to your collection.

 

 

 



Photography

‘Modern Women/Modern Vision’ Celebrates the 20th Century’s Most Influential Photographers

June 30, 2022

Grace Ebert

Sandy Skoglund (American, b. 1946), “Revenge of the Goldfish” (1981), Cibachrome print. Bank of America Collection. Image © 1981 Sandy Skoglund

One of the more accessible mediums, photography has long been an entry point for those relegated to the periphery of the art world, and a group exhibition on view now at the Denver Art Museum celebrates those who helped develop and define the genre as it grew throughout the 20th Century. Modern Women/Modern Vision features more than 100 shots by some of the era’s most influential photographers—the list includes Berenice Abbott, Dorothea Lange, Diane Arbus, Eva Besnyö, and Imogen Cunningham—showcasing their distinct aesthetics, politics, and styles.

An indication of the medium’s technical evolution as well as the shifting cultural milieu, the exhibition opens with the modernist sensibilities and painterly impulses popular around the turn of the century, evident in works like Abbot’s textured, black-and-white “Court of the First Model Tenement.” The show ventures into the moving, documentary images funded by the Works Progress Administration throughout the Great Depression—some of Lange’s most poignant shots are included—and then touches on the feminist practices of photographers like Flor Garduño, who captured the life of Indigenous populations throughout Mexico. Reflecting the rise find digital, the collection’s closing section incorporates a broader range of techniques and more directly addresses issues of race, class, and gender that continue to dominate conversations today.

Modern Women/Modern Vision is on view through August 28. (via Blind Magazine)

 

Berenice Abbott (American, 1898-1991), “Court of the First Model Tenement, New York City, from Changing New York” (March 16, 1936), gelatin silver print. Bank of America Collection

Esther Bubley (American, 1921-1998), “Greyhound Shop” (1942). Gelatin silver print. Bank of America Collection

Hellen van Meene (Dutch, b. 1972), Untitled (2000), color Chromogenic print. Bank of America Collection. Image © Hellen van Meene, courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York

Helen Levitt (American, 1913–2009), New York, about 1940, gelatin silver print. Bank of America Collection. Image © Film Documents LLC, courtesy of Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne

Flor Garduño (Mexican, b. 1957), Taita Marcos, Cotacachi, Ecuador (1988), gelatin silver print. Bank of America Collection. Image © Flor Garduño Photography

Karȋna Juárez (Mexican, b. 1987), “Insomnia” (from the series Acciones para recordar), Oaxaca, Mexico (2012), inkjet print. Bank of America Collection. Image © 2021 Karȋna Juárez

Dorothea Lange (American, 1895-1965), “Child and Her Mother,” Wapato, Yakima Valley, Washington (1939), gelatin silver print. Bank of America Collection

 

 



Art

Graceful Women in Shades of Blue by Hanna Lee Joshi Express a Desire for Autonomy

June 30, 2022

Grace Ebert

“All That Has Come Before” (2022). All images © Hanna Lee Joshi, shared with permission

With long, elegant fingers and brawny limbs, the women that define Hanna Lee Joshi’s gouache and colored pencil works move through the unknown and indiscernible with strength. The Vancouver-based artist renders anonymous figures in motion, whether dancing together or gracefully gliding through water, on their search for greater autonomy and fulfillment unobscured by political, cultural, and social impositions. In comparison to her earlier series, Joshi’s most recent pieces rely more heavily on shades of blue and use more subtle gradients to contour a leg or elbow.

A reference to self-portraiture and a subversion of traditions surrounding nude figures, each of the works is  “a means of reflection, a way for me to distill down the tangible and intangible experiences of my life,” she says. “In a way, they are an extension of myself, portraits of emotions, explorations of unanswerable questions, a way for me to grasp at the immensity of life.”

Joshi has a solo show slated for December at Thinkspace Projects, and “Delicate Veil of Being” is available as a limited-edition print in her shop. Explore more of her introspective works on Instagram.

 

“Wild and Free” (2022)

“Every Last Drop I”

“Belonging”

“Every Last Drop II”

“Every Last Drop III”

“Delicate Veil of Being”

 

 



Art

Through Organic Sculptural Furniture, Artist Nacho Carbonell Channels the Sensual Details of the Mediterranean

June 29, 2022

Grace Ebert

“One-Seater Concrete Tree” (2022), metal mesh, cork, steel, concrete, light fittings, 139 3/4 x 74 3/4 x 112 1/4 inches. All images courtesy of Carpenters Workshop Gallery, shared with permission

Evoking the textures and colors of his native Valencia, the sculptural furniture pieces by Spanish artist Nacho Carbonell are sensual interpretations of life in the Mediterranean. A bulbous, metal mesh canopy sprouts from a rugged pink seat, small wooden sticks comprise the sinuous patterns on a buffet, and a vibrant mosaic takes the form of a headphone-shaped lamp. Tactile and potentially functional, the objects reference the natural, sun-soaked environment of Carbonell’s childhood, in addition to art historical traditions like those of 15th Century painter Hieronymus Bosch and 20th Century Austrian sculptor Franz West.

Constructed from a wide array of recycled and industrial materials like glass bottles and concrete, the works are largely organic and archaeological, rooted in personal memories the artist likens to fossils. He tells designboom:

I learned that when you build something, nature can take over. Here, in this context is where I learned it. But this is not unique in the world, it is happening everywhere. So I just take [the natural elements] and I appropriate them because they are part of me… I feel entitled to say ‘Because we grew together, I can use you in my work to create this narrative for others, to let them know that you exist here.’

Carbonell’s works are on view through September 9 at the new Carpenters Workshop Gallery in Los Angeles, and you can find more from the artist, who is currently based in Eindhoven, on his site.

 

“Contain Nature Cabinet” (2022), metal body, sand, paverpol, wooden sticks, metal mesh, spray varnish finish, 84 5/8 x 61 1/8 x 24 3/4 inches

“Candy Cotton Long Coccoon Chandelier” (2022), metal mesh with paverpol and pigments, metal welded branch, silicone cable, light fittings, 31 1/2 x 106 1/4 x 39 3/8 inches

Detail of “One-Seater Concrete Tree” (2022), metal mesh, cork, steel, concrete, light fittings, 139 3/4 x 74 3/4 x 112 1/4 inches

“Broken Glass Rainbow” (2022), broken blown glass bubbles, metal welded branch, stone base, silicone cable, light fittings, 37 3/4 x 35 3/8 x 15 3/8 inches

Detail of “Candy Cotton Long Coccoon Chandelier” (2022), metal mesh with paverpol and pigments, metal welded branch, silicone cable, light fittings, 31 1/2 x 106 1/4 x 39 3/8 inches

“Archaeological Folding Screen” (2022), metal structure and pink concrete, 76 3/4 x 89 3/8 x 11 3/4 inches

“Pink Wooden Stick Buffet” (2022), wood structure, sand, paverpol, wooden sticks, spray varnish finish, 31 7/8 x 104 3/4 x 20 7/8 inches

 

“Dried Cabinet” (2022), metal body, sand, paverpol, plaster, spray, varnish finish, 68 1/8 x 52 3/8 x 15 3/4 inches

“Colorful Rainbow” (2022), wood, colored marmol sand, paverpol, metal mesh, concrete, spray varnish finish, 31 1/8 x 72 1/2 x 31 1/8 inches