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Design

The Twist: A New Gallery in Kistefos Sculpture Park Connects Two River Banks

September 24, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

A sinuous new gallery and bridge reaches across the Randselva River in Jevnaker, Norway. Designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), the aluminum-clad structure joins north and south river fronts on the campus of Kistefos Sculpture Park. 15,000 square feet of space allows visitors to explore Kistefos’s large art collection while also taking in the surrounding landscape through floor-to-ceiling windows. The Twist opened to the public on September 18th, with an exhibition featuring the work of conceptual artist Martin Creed and painter Howard Hodgkin. Kistefos Sculpture Park has  ticketed admission, which includes entry to The Twist, and is open seasonally from the end of May to mid-November. (via Design Milk)

 

 



Art

Bronze Sculptures of Regal African Women by Wangechi Mutu Make History at the Metropolitan Museum

September 14, 2019

Andrew LaSane

The Seated I, 2019. Wangechi Mutu

Kenyan-American artist Wangechi Mutu was commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art to create four bronze sculptures of African women collectively titled “The NewOnes, will free Us.” The seated women are nearly 7 feet tall and each weigh more than 840 lbs. The sculptures are the first works of art to fill the niches of the museum’s Fifth Avenue facade since the building’s completion in 1902.

Mutu’s sculptures, individually titled The Seated I, II, III, and IV, are dressed in coiled garments and feature polished discs on different parts of their heads. This ornamentation references the jewelry and lip plates worn by women in some African tribes. They also reference the West African and Greek tradition of caryatids, female figures carved out of wood or marble that were depicted as structural or metaphorical supports.

“Caryatids throughout history have carried these buildings to express the might and the wealth of a particular place,” the Nairobi-born artist said in a video interview on The Met’s website. Looking to use her sculptures as a way to stage what The Met calls a “feminist intervention,” Mutu added that she wanted to “keep the DNA of the woman in an active pose, but I didn’t want her to carry the weight of something or someone else.”

The NewOnes, will free Us” will remain on view in the museum’s niches through January 12, 2020. Follow along with Mutu’s travels and cultural inspirations on Instagram. (via Hyperallergic)

Photo: Zachary Small / Hyperallergic

Photo: Zachary Small / Hyperallergic

The Seated II, 2019. Wangechi Mutu

The Seated III, 2019. Wangechi Mutu

The Seated IV, 2019. Wangechi Mutu

 

 



Design

A Geological Landmark’s Phosphorescent Glow Inspires the National Museum of Qatar’s Cavernous Gift Shop

April 25, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Patches of natural and artificial light highlight the curved layers of the National Museum of Qatar’s recently completed gift shop. The massive undulating walls were constructed from over 40,000 pieces of timber that tower high above visitors’ heads and imitate the shape and feeling of the Dahl Al Misfir or Cave of Light. The Qatar landmark is an underground formation that contains a wealth of gypsum deposits, which illuminate the cave with a phosphorescent glow and often form clusters of rose-shaped crystals known as “desert roses.”

Koichi Takada Architects wanted to connect visitors to the museum back to Qatari desert landscapes, while also creating a natural extension of the “Desert Rose” concept created for the museum by French architect Jean Nouvel. In addition to the museum shop, the architects also designed its restaurants, including the Desert Rose Cafe, Cafe 875, and Jiwan Restaurant. You can see more of the firm’s previous projects on their website and Instagram, and take a look at the museum’s exterior here. (via designboom)

 

 



Art

Artist JR Transforms the Louvre With a 2000-Piece Paper Optical Illusion

March 31, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Images via @JRArt on Twitter

With the help of a small army of 400 volunteers, French artist JR (previously) pasted thousands of strips of paper around the Louvre in Paris, turning the courtyard around the museum into a massive optical illusion. Installed in honor of the structure’s 30th anniversary, the collage titled “The Secret of the Great Pyramid” provides a glimpse at what may lie beneath the iconic glass pyramid.

A follow-up to his 2016 work that made the museum disappear against the backdrop of the Louvre Palace, JR’s new illusion reveals a construction site with the tip of the pyramid at its center and a much larger structure extending down into a rocky quarry. In a “Photo of the Day” post on his website, the artist explains that the installation was designed to last a single weekend. “The images, like life, are ephemeral,” JR writes. “Once pasted, the art piece lives on its own. The sun dries the light glue and with every step, people tear pieces of the fragile paper. The process is all about participation of volunteers, visitors, and souvenir catchers. This project is also about presence and absence, about reality and memories, about impermanence.”

Some visitors took pieces of the installation home, while other strips torn by foot traffic have been discarded. To see more of JR’s large-scale photo installations, follow the artist on Instagram.

 

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Photography

A Traveling Exhibition of 100 Stunning Selections from the 2018 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

January 17, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

"The golden couple" by Marsel van Oosten, The Netherlands, Grand Title Winner 2018, Animal Portraits

“The golden couple,” Marsel van Oosten, The Netherlands, Grand Title Winner 2018, Animal Portraits

Last fall Dutch photographer Marsel van Oosten was the overall winner of the 54th annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition (previously) after being selected from over 45,000 submissions. His image, The Golden Couple, captures a pair of golden snub-nosed monkeys against a wooded backdrop. Their bright blue faces glow against the lush forest of China’s Qinling Mountains—the only habitat where the endangered primates are found in the wild.

In total there were 19 category winners from the tens of thousands who submitted images of wildlife and natural environments from all corners of the globe. Winning images included a wasp carrying a perfectly round segment of mud, two owls nestled snuggly in a pipe, and a leopard dreaming on a low branch. The winners, plus a selection of other entries from the competition, are currently in an exhibition which will travel to Canada, Spain, Australia, and Germany. The next stop for “Wildlife Photographer of the Year” is the Field Museum in Chicago, which opens March 22 and runs through January 2020. (via Block Club Chicago)

"Pipe owls," Arshdeep Singh, India, Winner 2018, 10 Years and Under

“Pipe owls,” Arshdeep Singh, India, Winner 2018, 10 Years and Under

"Hellbent," David Herasimtschuk, USA, Winner 2018, Behaviour: Amphibians and Reptiles

“Hellbent,” David Herasimtschuk, USA, Winner 2018, Behaviour: Amphibians and Reptiles

"Mud-rolling mud-dauber," Georgina Steytler, Australia, Winner 2018, Behaviour: Invertebrates

“Mud-rolling mud-dauber,” Georgina Steytler, Australia, Winner 2018, Behaviour: Invertebrates

"Night flight," Michael Patrick O’Neill, USA, Winner 2018, Under Water

“Night flight,” Michael Patrick O’Neill, USA, Winner 2018, Under Water

"Windsweep," Orlando Fernandez Miranda, Spain, Winner 2018, Earth’s Environments

“Windsweep,” Orlando Fernandez Miranda, Spain, Winner 2018, Earth’s Environments

"Mother defender," Javier Aznar González de Rueda, Spain, Winner 2018, Wildlife Photographer Portfolio Award

“Mother defender,” Javier Aznar González de Rueda, Spain, Winner 2018, Wildlife Photographer Portfolio Award

"Lounging leopard," by Skye Meaker, South Africa, Grand Title Winner 2018, 15-17 Years Old

“Lounging leopard,” Skye Meaker, South Africa, Grand Title Winner 2018, 15-17 Years Old

"Bed of seals," Cristobal Serrano, Spain, Winner 2018, Animals in their environment

“Bed of seals,” Cristobal Serrano, Spain, Winner 2018, Animals in their environment

 

 

 



Art

Google Builds a Digital Reproduction of the National Museum of Brazil After its Tragic Destruction

December 28, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

The 13-meter long Titanosaurus

The 13-meter long Titanosaurus

Following a devastating fire this September, Google has released a virtual tour of the National Museum of Brazil, the country’s oldest natural history institution. The digital recreation is presented by Museum View (which uses the same functionality as Google Street View), and allows visitors to explore the institution’s key artifacts as they were displayed before this year’s tragic destruction. The online tour includes a view of Luzia (the oldest skeleton found in the Americas), 3000-year-old Brazilian ceramics, a collection of butterflies and moths currently under threat for extinction, and the museum’s mummified cat.

It’s estimated that the museum lost up to 92.5 percent of its 20 million artifacts in the fire—global relics, pottery, and animal specimens that had been collected by the institution since its founding in 1818. Its digital remains are the result of a collaborative project between the museum and Google, which began in 2016. Despite the horrific loss, the museum’s director Alexander Kellner expresses strength and hope for the institution’s future in a letter in Google’s Arts and Culture section. “It is important to stress that the National Museum, despite having lost a significant part of its collection, has not lost its ability to generate knowledge!”

You can view the full digital archive of the museum in Google’s virtual tour, and learn more about the museum’s history in Kellner’s full letter.  You can view a preview of the collections’s highlights in the video below. (via Artsy)

3000-year-old Brazilian ceramics

3000-year-old Brazilian ceramics

The virtual tour of the National Museum of Brazil on Google.

The virtual tour of the National Museum of Brazil on Google.

One of the largest meteorites in the world

One of the largest meteorites in the world

 

 



Art

The Art Institute of Chicago Now Offers Unrestricted Access to over 52,000 High-Resolution Images from Their Collection

October 29, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Georges Seurat,” A Sunday on La Grande Jatte — 1884″ (1884–8), oil on canvas, 81 3/4 x 121 1/4 inches (image courtesy Helen Birch Bartlett Memorial Collection)

Georges Seurat,” A Sunday on La Grande Jatte — 1884″ (1884–8), oil on canvas, 81 3/4 x 121 1/4 inches (image courtesy Helen Birch Bartlett Memorial Collection)

The Art Institute of Chicago recently announced the release of tens of thousands of images from their collection to the public domain, providing high resolution access to the thick paint strokes of Van Gogh’s “The Bedroom,” the eerie light of Edvard Munch’s “The Girl by the Window,” or the pointillism used in George Seurat’s famous “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte — 1884.″ The works have been made available under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, which presents the works without copyright. Visitors to the Art Institute’s website also can experience enhanced viewing for each image by zooming in on the paintings, drawings, and other artworks with more detail than before. The current image count is at 53,438, however the Art Institute explains that this number will continue to expand regularly. You can begin your dig into their vast store of artworks by visiting this online research tool. (via Hyperallergic)

Vincent van Gogh, “The Bedroom” (1888), oil on canvas, 29 x 36 5/8 inches (image courtesy Helen Birch Bartlett Memorial Collection)

Vincent van Gogh, “The Bedroom” (1888), oil on canvas, 29 x 36 5/8 inches (image courtesy Helen Birch Bartlett Memorial Collection)

Gustave Caillebotte, "Paris Street; Rainy Day" (1877), oil on canvas, 83 1/2 x 108 3/4 in, (image courtesy Charles H. and Mary F. S. Worcester Collection)

Gustave Caillebotte, “Paris Street; Rainy Day” (1877), oil on canvas, 83 1/2 x 108 3/4 in, (image courtesy Charles H. and Mary F. S. Worcester Collection)

Edvard Munch, “The Girl by the Window” (1893), oil on canvas, 38 × 25 3/4 inches (image courtesy Searle Family Trust and Goldabelle McComb Finn endowments; Charles H. and Mary F.S. Worcester Collection)

Edvard Munch, “The Girl by the Window” (1893), oil on canvas, 38 × 25 3/4 inches (image courtesy Searle Family Trust and Goldabelle McComb Finn endowments; Charles H. and Mary F.S. Worcester Collection)

Katsushika Hokusai, "Under the Wave off Kanagawa (Kanagawa oki nami ura), also known as the Great Wave, from the series "Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (Fugaku sanjurokkei)" (c. 1830/33), Color woodblock print, 10 x 14 3/4 in (courtesy of Clarence Buckingham Collection)

Katsushika Hokusai, “Under the Wave off Kanagawa (Kanagawa oki nami ura), also known as the Great Wave, from the series “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (Fugaku sanjurokkei)” (c. 1830/33), Color woodblock print, 10 x 14 3/4 in (courtesy of Clarence Buckingham Collection)

661 x 992 mm (courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Robert S. Hartman)

Charles White, “Harvest Talk” (1953), charcoal, Wolff’s carbon drawing pencil, and graphite, with stumping and erasing on ivory wood pulp laminate board, 661 x 992 mm (courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Robert S. Hartman)  

Georgia O'Keeffe, "Cow's Skull with Calico Roses" (1931), oil on canvas, 36 × 24 in. (image courtesy Alfred Stieglitz Collection, gift of Georgia O'Keeffe)

Georgia O’Keeffe, “Cow’s Skull with Calico Roses” (1931), oil on canvas, 36 × 24 in. (image courtesy Alfred Stieglitz Collection, gift of Georgia O’Keeffe)

Piet Mondrian, “Lozenge Composition with Yellow, Black, Blue, Red, and Gray” (1921), oil on canvas, 60 x 60 cm (image gift of Edgar Kaufmann, Jr.)

Piet Mondrian, “Lozenge Composition with Yellow, Black, Blue, Red, and Gray” (1921), oil on canvas, 60 x 60 cm (image gift of Edgar Kaufmann, Jr.)

David Hockney, "American Collectors (Fred and Marcia Weisman)" (1968), acrylic on canvas (courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Frederic G. Pick)

David Hockney, “American Collectors (Fred and Marcia Weisman)” (1968), acrylic on canvas (courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Frederic G. Pick)