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Art

A New Book Explores the Innovative Sculptures of Abstract Artist El Anatsui

March 30, 2022

Kate Mothes

All images courtesy of Damiani Publishing, shared with permission

Ghanaian-born Nigeria-based artist El Anatsui is known for sprawling metal sculptures that drape, twist, and fold across expansive surfaces in colorful, undulating patterns. A forthcoming book, El Anatsui: The Reinvention of Sculpture, traces his work and career that has pushed the boundaries of sculpture, starting with the terracotta pieces made in the late 1970s. In the following decade, he transitioned to using wood and began to experiment with scale, layers, color, and pattern. These pieces led to the development of his larger metal works, which are made by manually cutting, twisting, or flattening pieces of aluminum such as bottle caps and then stitching the material together with copper wire, creating enormous, textile-like sculptures.

Published by Damiani, the new 360-page volume is the product of more than three decades of research and collaboration with the artist by scholars Okwui Enwezor and Chika Okeke-Agulu, who place Anatsui’s work in the historical context of post-independence Ghana and mid-20th century African modernism in art and writing. Hundreds of color images examine the sculptures in detail, giving the reader an in-depth insight into the artist’s process, how transformation is central to his pieces, and how his approach evolved over time.

El Anatsui: The Reinvention of Sculpture is now available in the U.K. and can be purchased from Damiani. It will be released in late April in the U.S. and is available for pre-order from Bookshop.

 

 

 



Design Food Photography

Everyday Objects Are Organized into Perfect Geometric Shapes in Kristen Meyer’s Flat Lays

January 4, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Kristen Meyer, shared with permission

Kristen Meyer (previously) pinpoints the unique crossroads of organization and art in her meticulous flat lays. Influenced by interior decorating, prop styling, and floristry, the New Haven-based designer constructs precise geometric shapes and network-esque compositions from humble materials like eggshell shards, office supplies, candy, and disassembled bouquets. At once streamlined in material and rich in depth and texture, the dazzling works use implied outlines and negative space to construct interesting categorizations within squares and perfectly round circles.

Each work is a product of collaboration with Meyer’s husband Colin, who shoots all of the final images. You can explore an archive of her work on Instagram, and browse prints in her shop.

 

 

 



Art

A Dizzying Carpet of Crystals Blankets a Salon in the Royal Palace Amsterdam with Prismatic Patterns

July 23, 2021

Grace Ebert

Photo by Benning/Gladcova. All images © Suzan Drummen, shared with permission

The latest installation by Dutch artist Suzan Drummen (previously) masks a stately salon in the Royal Palace Amsterdam with a gleaming carpet of crystals placed in psychedelic swirls. A response to the Golden Age-era architecture, the bright colors of Drummen’s work are intended to clash with the rich, muted hues of the furniture and walls. Because each individual crystal is laid by hand and left unsecured, the labor-intensive process took a team of four nine days to complete.

Equally mesmerizing and disorienting, Drummen’s elaborate installations often rely on a combination of patterns, reflection, and a three-dimensional texture that creates a dizzying effect. Much of her work is informed by the overwhelming amount of information in today’s world that can spark confusion and uncertainty, which she explains:

Phenomena like these alarm me as a person, but as a maker, I’m inspired by that dizzying multiplicity. I‘m interested in things that dazzle us, and in my work, I try to ramp that up. It’s an ongoing quest, with a constant interplay between seriousness, fear, playfulness, and hope. Above all I want it to be vibrant and vital.

Drummen’s piece is on view through October 3 as part of Trailblazers, a group exhibition inviting past recipients of The Royal Award for Modern Painting to show their works within the palace’s halls. Explore a larger collection of the Amsterdam-based artist’s projects on her site and Instagram.

 

The work in progress

Dutch King Willem Alexander and the artist. Photo by Jeroen van der Meyde

 

 



Art Food Photography

Sliced and Diced Food Arranged into Color-Coded Sequences by Adam Hillman

June 9, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Adam Hillman, shared with permission

Adam Hillman (previously) has taken recommendations to choose a balanced diet seriously. For each slice of Granny Smith apple, the New Jersey-based artist pairs a quartered cucumber, halved kiwi, and peeled plantain in a meticulous, color-coded arrangement.

Using produce, candy, and breakfast fare, Hillman organizes an array of perishables into patterns and geometric sequences, which he often shares on Instagram. “There’s something beautiful about working with something so transient, and the beauty of the materials is something that can only be preserved through photography long after the food within the photo has either rotted or been eaten,” he tells Colossal.

For those in need of another dose of nutrients, Hillman offers prints from Society6.

 

 

 



Art Photography

Moments of Isolation and Belonging Explored in Surreal Composite Photographs by May Parlar

November 20, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

All images © May Parlar, shared with permission of the artist

Photographer May Parlar punctuates open landscapes with colorful elements like masses of balloons and accessories separated from human wearers. Her work reflects on themes of belonging and alienation, Parlar tells Colossal, and she seeks to “explore the human condition through a feminist perspective.”

To build her fanciful scenes, Parlar explains that she layers frames to build composite images rather than manipulating the content itself. “I work across different mediums such as photography, film, performance art, sculpture, installation, and landscape art; and all of which gets merged in the end and put together with a glue that for me is the camera”. The artist first was first drawn to photography and filmmaking during her architecture and design schooling in the U.K.

Parlar describes herself as a global nomad, and is currently based in Berlin. See more of her imaginative images on Instagram, and purchase limited edition prints on Saatchi Art. (via Tu Recepcja)

 

 



Art Craft

Magnificently Detailed Porcelain Vessels by Hitomi Hosono Are Blossoming with Hundreds of Flowers, Leaves, and Branches

November 18, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Commission of A Large Dancing Hawthorn Vase” (2019), moulded, carved and hand-built porcelain, 15 3/8 x 17 3/4 inches

Stunning new decorative vessels by Hitomi Hosono layer delicate porcelain flowers and leaves into dimensional forms that appear almost alive. The lavishly embellished bowls and vases feature clusters of finely detailed blossoms, ferns, and stylized tree branches in an aesthetic somewhere between realistic and stylized. In a statement on her gallery’s website, the Japan-born, London-based artist explains that she is inspired by walks in her neighborhood. She closely examines each botanical specimen to create models and moulds, and then hand-carves additional details on each pressed sprig.

Since we last covered Hosono’s work, she has been an Artist in Residence at Wedgwood—the video below takes a look inside the artist’s practice during that time. The London-based artist exhibits widely, and most recently had work on view in “A Natural Selection” at The Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh. Explore much more of Hosono’s work on the Adrian Sasson website, and peek inside her studio practice by following her on Instagram.

“A Nadeshiko and Mangrove Bowl” (2019), moulded, carved and hand-built porcelain, 6 1/8 x 11 3/8 inches

“A Nadeshiko and Mangrove Bowl” detail

“A Very Large Pine Tree Pool” (2019), moulded, carved and hand-built porcelain, 3 1/8 x 16 7/8 inches

“A Very Large Pine Tree Pool” detail

“A Dancing Pine Tree Tower” (2018), Moulded, carved and hand-built porcelain, (L:) 9 7/8 x 8 1/8 inches; (R:) 9 5/8 x 5 3/4 inches

“A Tsubaki and Leaves Bowl” (2018), moulded, carved and hand-built porcelain, 4 1/2 x 13 5/8 inches

“A Small Dancing Sakura and Michikusa Bowl”(2019), moulded, carved and hand-built porcelain, 3 1/8 x 7 5/8 inches

“A Very Large Zenmai Bowl” (2018), moulded, carved and hand-built porcelain with yellow gold leaf interior, 11 x 13 inches