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Art

Division of Birds: A Group Show at Paradigm Gallery Celebrates Feathered Life

August 5, 2022

Colossal

Felicia Chiao. All images © the artists, shared with permission

The Division of Birds, housed inside Chicago’s Field Museum, boasts one of the largest scientific avian collections in the country, representing about 90% of the world’s genera and species and containing more than 480,000 specimens, 21,000 egg sets, and approximately 200 nests. A group show opening this month at Paradigm Gallery + Studio in Philadelphia references this unparalleled archive in a celebration of feathered life.

Curated by Colossal’s founder and editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson, Division of Birds is comprised of dozens of works in a range of styles and mediums. The show includes avian creatures both real and imagined and a vast array of aesthetics, from a trio of paper sculptures by Roberto Benavidez and Felicia Chiao’s emotionally charged illustrations to Lola Dupré’s collaged roosters and a three-dimensional nest embroidered by Megan Zaniewski.

Division of Birds runs from August 26 to September 18.

 

Lola Dupré

Megan Zaniewski

Chris Maynard

Mike Stilkey

Megan Zaniewski

 

 



Art History Illustration Photography Science

A New Book Plunges into the Vast Diversity of the World’s Oceans Across 3,000 Years

July 28, 2022

Grace Ebert

Carl Chun, Polypus levis, from Die Cephalopoden (1910–15), color lithograph, 35 × 25 centimeters. Image from the Biodiversity Heritage Library/Contributed by MBLWHOI Library, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Library, Massachusetts. All images © Phaidon, shared with permission

Despite thousands of years of research and an unending fascination with marine creatures, humans have explored only five percent of the oceans covering the majority of the earth’s surface. A forthcoming book from Phaidon dives into the planet’s notoriously vast and mysterious aquatic ecosystems, traveling across the continents and three millennia to uncover the stunning diversity of life below the surface.

Spanning 352 pages, Ocean, Exploring the Marine World brings together a broad array of images and information ranging from ancient nautical cartography to contemporary shots from photographers like Sebastião Salgado and David Doubilet. The volume presents science and history alongside art and illustration—it features biological renderings by Ernst Haekcl, Katsushika Hokusai’s woodblock prints, and works by artists like Kerry James Marshall, Vincent van Gogh, and Yayoi Kusama—in addition to texts about conservation and the threats the climate crises poses to underwater life.

Ocean will be released this October and is available for pre-order on Bookshop. You also might enjoy this volume devoted to birds.

 

NNtonio Rod (Antonio Rodríguez Canto), Trachyphyllia, from Coral Colors, (2016). Image © NNtonio Rod

Jason deCaires Taylor, “Rubicon” (2016), stainless steel, pH-neutral cement, basalt and aggregates, installation view, Museo Atlántico, Las Coloradas, Lanzarote, Atlantic Oceanl. Photo courtesy of the artist

Christian Schussele and James M. Sommerville, Ocean Life, (c.1859), watercolor, gouache, graphite, and gum arabic on off-white wove paper, 48.3 × 69.7 centimeters. Image courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Duke Riley, #34 of the Poly S. Tyrene Maritime Collection (2019), salvaged, painted plastic bottle, 30.5 × 18.4 × 7.6 centimeters Image courtesy of Duke Riley Studio

Nicolas Floc’h, Productive Structures, Artificial Reefs, -23m, Tateyama, Japan, (2013). Image © Nicolas Floc’h

 

 



Art History

Great Women Painters: An Enormous Volume Surveys the Work of 300 Artists Across 500 Years

July 20, 2022

Grace Ebert

Lubaina Himid, “Le Rodeur: The Exchange” (2016), acrylic on canvas, 72 × 96 inches. Image © Lubaina Himid, courtesy of the artist and Hollybush Gardens, London, by Andy Keate. All images courtesy of Phaidon, shared with permission

In the same vein as Phaidon’s formidable Great Women Artists and African Artists, a forthcoming book from the publisher similarly widens the art historical canon while recognizing some of the most influential and impactful painters working in the medium today. The massive compilation, titled Great Women Painters, highlights more than 300 artists across 500 years and a vast array of movements and aesthetics. Arranged alphabetically, the book pairs icons like Yayoi Kusama, Frida Kahlo, and Leonora Carrington with contemporary artists, including Ewa Juszkiewicz, Katharina Grosse, and Wangari Mathenge, in a broad and diverse overview of the women who have had profound impacts on the world today. The nearly 350-page Great Women Painters will be released this fall and is currently available for pre-order from Bookshop.

 

Shara Hughes, “Hard Hats” (2021), oil and dye on canvas, 96 × 72 inches. Image © Shara Hughes, courtesy of the artist, Pilar Corrias, London, David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles and New York, and Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich / New York

Ewa Juszkiewicz, “Untitled (after Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun)” (2020), oil on canvas, 63 × 47 1/4 inches. Photo © Courtesy of the artist and Almine Rech, by Melissa Castro Duarte

Hayv Kahraman, “Appearance of Control” (2010), oil with gold paint on 23 wooden panels (sliding puzzle) in artist’s frame, 65 3/4 × 96 7/8 inches. Image © Hayv Kahraman, courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

Wangari Mathenge, “The Ascendants XVII (She Is Here Too but Why Are You?)” (2021), oil on canvas, 193 × 160 centimeters. Image © Wangari Mathenge, by Brian Griffin, courtesy of Pippy Houldsworth Gallery

 

 



Craft Design

An Elaborately Designed Book on Weaving Opens to Reveal a Fully Functional Loom

July 20, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Cai Wei Qun, shared with permission

The swish of a shuttle moving from left to right as it carries threads through the warp might be described as a “xui” sound. A Taiwanese onomatopoeia, the auditory word is also the title of Cai Wei Qun’s elaborately constructed book on the craft, which opens to reveal a trove of history, techniques and tricks, and an entire loom tucked between its covers.

The clever design is fully functional and able to produce tiny tapestries based on the patterns and practices described, making the book an immersive and accessible manual. “Traditional weaving tools are large and have complicated processes,” Wei Qun tells Colossal. “It is commonly difficult to experience. So we hope, by experiencing simple weaving processes, one can initiate ‘interest’ during the process (and) thoroughly understand the culture of weaving.”

Wei Qun was recently awarded a Red Dot Design Award for the conceptual project, and you can find much more on the designer’s website and Instagram. (via Yanko Design)

 

 

 



Photography

Street Photographer Matt Stuart’s Incredibly Serendipitous Images Collected in a New Book

July 5, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Matt Stuart, courtesy of Laurence King, shared with permission

Armed with his Leica and an extraordinary amount of patience, Matt Stuart ventures through the streets of cities worldwide to capture the unexpected and coincidental moments of everyday life. His practice revolves around finding humor, play, and serendipity in the mundane, a skill he’s cultivated throughout his 25-year career and recounts in the recently released volume Think Like a Street Photographer.

Published by Laurence King, the book pairs 100 of Stuart’s images with detailed descriptions of his process. “My general outlook is, get up, get out and go and find things. I try to summon an excitement and amazement for life,” he writes. “Ultimately, you need to remember how lucky you are to be walking around with a strange black box looking at things, making a record of them, and bringing them home. It’s a privilege.”

Think Like a Street Photographer is available from Bookshop, and you can find select prints in Stuart’s shop. To explore a larger archive of his work, visit Instagram. (via LensCulture)

 

 

 



Photography Science

In ‘Seed Stories,’ Photographer Thierry Ardouin Unveils the Stunning Diversity of Plants

June 8, 2022

Grace Ebert

Proteaceae, Banksia grandis Willd., bull banksia. All images © Thierry Ardouin/Tendance Floue/MNHN, shared with permission

The basis of life for many species, seeds hold immense power for reproduction and population. Whether a descendent of the first specimens that appeared approximately 400 million years ago or a modern hybrid cultivated to increase food production, the generative forms are often visually striking in their own right with otherworldly colors, textures, and shapes.

Photographer Thierry Ardouin showcases these marvelous, strange qualities through hundreds of striking macro shots now compiled in a forthcoming book and exhibition. Positioned against stark black or white backdrops, the specimens are primarily derived from the carpological archives of the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, although some come from the International Agricultural Research Centre for Development and the Straw Cereal Biological Resource Centre. This wide-ranging collection includes the veiny, coiled moon trefoil, snake-like scorpion vetch, and small-bur marigold with its prickly body and horns.

The idea for the project germinated more than a decade ago when Ardouin was working on a documentary about French agriculture and discovered that large corporations own the patents to many seed varieties. He explains:

In 2009, in a very particular political context regarding undocumented immigrants, I noticed that there were ‘legal’ and ‘illegal’ seeds. The question arose : does a “legal” seed look like an “illegal” seed? But seeds are tiny and, to see them, I had to get close to them and make portraits of them, as I would do for human beings.

He’s documented approximately 500 specimens since, half of which appear in the pages of Seed Stories to be released this month from Atelier EXB. Spanning 336 pages, the volume is a testament to the incredible diversity and resilience of the natural world. Many of the photos are also included in a group exhibition opening on June 18 at the CentQuatre Paris, which will pair the images with seeds from the National Museum of Natural History collection that visitors can touch and even taste.

Find more of Ardouin’s works on his site, and follow his latest projects on Instagram.

 

Clematis delavayi Franch. Ranunculaceae. Clématite

Fabaceae, Hippocrepis scorpioides Benth., Scorpion vetch

Medicago scutellata (L.) Mill. Fabaceae. Luzerne à ècussons.

Asteraceae, Bidens frondosa L., small-bur marigold

Hedysarum glomeratum F. Dietr. Fabaceae. Sainfoin à têtes

Fabaceae, Medicago arborea L., Moon trefoil