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Art

Dense Installations by Max Hooper Schneider Feature Vibrant Landscapes Scattered with Human Objects

December 6, 2019

Grace Ebert

Max Hooper Schneider‘s formal training in marine biology and landscape architecture is apparent in his recent installation titled “Hammer Projects.” Schneider’s work features rich landscapes overflowing with colorful natural elements that are interspersed with human objects, like a container of cheese balls, a rusting rifle, and strings of beaded necklaces.

The Hammer Museum describes the Los Angeles-based artist’s work as an attempt to decenter the human experience and challenge assumptions about how and why we classify objects. Through his installations, Schneider explores dichotomous relationships—like the human and nonhuman, construction and destruction, and the political and the personal—that traditionally have informed daily life.

If you’re in Los Angeles, you can see Schneider’s work at the Hammer Museum through February 2, 2020. Otherwise, follow him on Instagram.

 

 



Photography Science

Colored Micrographs Magnify Pollen Seeds, Plant Cells, and Leaf Structures in Photographs by Rob Kesseler

December 5, 2019

Grace Ebert

All photographs (c) Rob Kesseler, shared with permission

Using scanning electron microscopy and a mix of microscopic, scientific, digital, and manual processes, artist Rob Kesseler develops colored micrographs of the intricate patterns within pollen and seed grains, plant cells, and leaf structures. The highly magnified photographs feature specifics of cellular composition that are undetectable without magnification.

Kesseler tells Colossal that as a child, his father gifted him a microscope, marking a pivotal moment in his creative career. “What the microscope gave me was an unprecedented view of nature, a second vision,” he writes, “and awareness that there existed another world of forms, colours and patterns beyond what I could normally see.” The artist says his use of color is inspired by the time he spends researching and observing, and that just like nature, he employs it to attract attention.

Kesseler calls the intersection between art and science “a process and a product, a morphogenetic synthesis of two expansive cultures and a way of examining the world through a series of filters.” And he has hope for the relationship between the two disciplines, saying, “I like to think we are entering a new age where after a century of separation, artists and scientists are again working together, sharing ideas that reflect our age.”

Currently the chair of Arts, Design and Science at Central Saint Martins, Kesseler also is a fellow of the Linnean Society, the Royal Society of Arts and the Royal Microscopical Society. His most recent work includes a project with journalist Mathew Tucker of the BBC and a collaboration with Dr. Louise Hughes at Oxford Instruments. Both deal with the impacts of climate change on the plant world.

You can find more of Kesseler’s painstakingly created photographs on his Instagram and in his books featuring pollen, seeds, and fruit. (thnx, Mike!)

 

 



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

 

 



Illustration

Charming Illustrations by Rosanna Tasker Feature Adventurous Women in Stylized Worlds

October 24, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Using a combination of  pencil, crayon, and gouache, Bristol-based illustrator Rosanna Tasker creates evocative illustrations that convey lively energy and fantastical nostalgia. In Tasker’s illustrations, female figures are often the protagonists, with animals and plants playing supporting roles. Strong geometric shapes, concentrated mark-making, and carefully considered negative space in tightly controlled color palettes form dynamic imagery.

Tasker, who is 25, studied illustration at University of the West of England, Bristol. In an interview with Irina & Silviu, the artist explained that she found her artistic voice by “unlearning everything I was told at school and college about how I should draw. That stuff is important too, and I do believe in learning the rules before breaking them, but to find your own unique style you definitely have to return to your uninhibited childhood roots and rediscover what comes naturally to you,” she shared.

Tasker works full-time as an illustrator, with a roster of editorial and publishing clients including The New York Times, The Guardian, and Tangent Books. Her prints and greeting cards are available from Etsy and Toi Art Gallery, where a selection of works are in the gallery’s Unstoppable Women show. Take a peek inside Tasker’s studio in this interview, and follow along with her latest projects on Instagram.

 

 



Photography Science

The Dynamic Details of Unusual Plants Captured in Singular Moments by Photographer Helene Schmitz

October 23, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Drosera stolonifera” part of the Carnivores series

Swedish artist Helene Schmitz focuses on the fascinating structural details of plants in her macro photographs. Throughout her long career, Schmitz has returned again and again to plants. By  centering her subjects—dramatically unfurling blossoms and carnivorous plants—on matte backgrounds that complement the tones of the specimen, viewers are able to study the unique shapes and structures of each plant. Schmitz titles each work with the plant’s Latin name, heightening the aura of scientific precision in her portraits.

“The focus of my work as a visual artist is how human kind has examined, described, and exploited elements of the natural world,” Schmitz tells Colossal. Blow Up was inspired by German photographer Karl Blossfeldt’s plant portraits, and resulted in Schmitz’s first book of plant macro photography. The artist notes that her second series, Linnaeus Project, drew from Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus’s pioneering work in creating order and categorization in the natural world, but also contributed to a pathway of modern exploitation of natural resources (Linnaeus also applied his hierarchical rankings, highly problematically, to humans). Schmitz’s showcase of the peculiar plants live on the edge of flora and fauna, Carnivores, was an assignment for National Geographic Magazine.

Helene Schmitz is represented by WILLAS Contemporary in Oslo, Galerie Maria Lund in Paris, and Turn Gallery in New York. See Schmitz’s work in person at Fotografiska, a photography-focused Swedish museum with locations in Stockholm and Tallinn, Estonia. The museum is opening its New York branch this winter.

“Nepenthes lowii” part of the Carnivores series

“Papaver orientalis” part of the Blow Up series

“Sálvia patens” part of the Linnaeus Project series

“Venus flytrap” part of the Carnivores series

“Cucurbita pepo 2” part of the Blow Up series

“Musa téxtilis” part of the Linnaeus Project series

“Astilboides tabularis” part of the Blow Up series

 

 



Design

Sprout Oak and Avocado Trees on Your Windowsill with Ilex Studio’s Specially Designed Glass Vases

September 23, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Ilex Studio’s avocado and acorn vases give new trees a head start while adding some greenery to your interior space. Riffing on the age-old technique of using crossed toothpicks or grilling skewers to balance sprouting plants over water, the uniquely shaped glass vessels are comprised of a large, flat-bottomed bulb topped with a smaller open-topped “cup”. The top holds the seed while keeping it dry, and the neck and water-filled base below allow roots to expand. Once the young tree has sufficiently sprouted and is ready to be planted in soil, the Ilex vase can help another one take root. The vases are available on Ilex’s website. (via Design Milk)

 

 



Art Craft

Lush Botanical Forms Translated Into Abstract Embroideries by Helen Wilde

August 28, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

U.K.-based embroidery artist Helen Wilde interprets oceanic landscapes in her three-dimensional hoop embroideries. Using tightly edited color palettes, often featuring teals and natural tones, Wilde layers stitches, knots, twists, and pom-poms. The organic shapes resemble commingled forms of plant life, and are built upon organza or hand-woven fabrics. Wilde’s most recent work was inspired by the tropical modernism of Sri Lanka. You can see more of her botanical embroidery on Instagram and purchase original works in her Etsy store. (via Colossal Submissions)