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Art

Metamorphosis and History Merge in Meticulously Carved Sculptures by Andreas Senoner

November 9, 2022

Kate Mothes

A sculpture by Andreas Senoner of two figures covered in white feathers.

“Origins,” walnut and feathers. All images © Andreas Senoner, shared with permission

Seemingly transfixed in time during a mysterious process of transformation, Andreas Senoner’s mixed-media sculptures capture expressive details in human figures and gestures. “I focus my research on a series of main themes, including metamorphosis, heritage, and stratification,” he tells Colossal. The Florence-based artist explores layers of history by working with materials that are rich in cultural significance, incorporating textures like thorns or spikes, insect-bored timber, or saturated paint that induces tension.

Senoner carefully forms the contours of muscles and limbs in response to the natural grain of each piece of wood, and works can take several weeks to complete. “The essence of the wood also has a strong influence; a walnut sculpture, for example, takes twice as long as one made of lime wood,” he explains. Intricately detailed, life-like body parts sprout thorns, mimic a felled tree, or appear from beneath a cocoon-like cloak of organic material. Many reference figures from classical art history in another nod to the passing of time.

“Feathers have a very strong symbolism, and they are an integral part of rituals and celebrations in many cultures, where they represent lightness and freedom,” he tells Colossal. The feathers create layers, “like an intangible and delicate skin or shell that still is able to confine and shield the represented individual from the outside world.” Contrasting textures and associations of materials like ancient walnut, beeswax, or lichen parallels his interest in the dualities of interior and exterior experiences.

Senoner is currently working toward exhibitions in early 2023 in Italy and Belgium, and you can find more on his website and Instagram.

 

A sculpture by Andreas Senoner of a hand with thorns coming out of the fingers.

“Fear,” walnut

A sculpture by Andreas Senoner of a foot with thorns coming out of it.

“Fragment,” walnut

A sculpture by Andreas Senoner of a figure covered in white and yellow feathers.

“Mask (moulting),” walnut and feathers

A sculpture by Andreas Senoner of a bust with insect-bored wood.

“Nature doesn’t care,” ancient walnut

A sculpture by Andreas Senoner of a bust with insect-bored wood.

“Nature doesn’t care”

Two images of sculptures by Andreas Senoner featuring two arms connected in a U-shape with feathers, and two figures with red legs wearing white feathers.

:eft: “Shapeshifter,” walnut and feathers. Right: Rear view of “Origins”

A torso and lower legs on its side made out of wood by Andreas Senoner.

“Regrowth,” painted walnut

A sculpture by Andreas Senoner of two figures whose legs are sticking out of a covering made of green lichen.

“Origins,” wood and lichen

 

 

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Animation

A Brilliant Orange Orb Shape-Shifts Through Time in a Meditative Animated Short

May 20, 2022

Grace Ebert

A metaphor for the way fragments of time both accumulate and mutate as they slip from one moment to the next, a glowing sphere is the subject of a calming short film by Argentinian artist Ezequiel Pini, of Six N. Five. The CGI animation follows the bright orb as it expands, multiplies, and transfigures into alternate forms like a sun dropping beneath the horizon and windows evocative of the recently demolished Nakagin Capsule Tower. Although simple in shape, the round object “represents care, calm, and attention to achieve its ultimate perfection. We are a circle, without boundaries, beginning or end. Infinity,” Pini says. Watch more of his poetic works on Vimeo.

 

 

 



Art Design

‘Real Time’ Uses Amusing Manual Techniques To Track the Passage of Each Minute

March 18, 2022

Grace Ebert

Part of a series of performances centered on cumbersome and surreal timekeeping devices, Maarten Baas’s “Sweeper’s Clock” chronicles two men as they track each passing moment with heaps of garbage. The aerially shot film follows the pair as they push lines of trash representative of the minute and hour hands around a large circle faintly defined in the landscape, keeping time as they go.

Released in 2009, the video piece parallels other clever works in Baas’s Real Time series, including a painter manually unveiling a digital display and another showing the Dutch artist trapped inside a grandfather clock. Visitors to the international terminal of the Amsterdam airport in 2016 were also greeted with “Schiphol Clock,” an analog device suspended from the ceiling in which a man adjusted the time by hand. “The worker’s blue overalls, yellow rag, and red bucket pay homage to the famous Dutch artist, Mondrian,” Baas writes.

Watch more of the artist’s works at the intersection of art, film, and design on Vimeo. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 

 



Art

Aerial Net Sculptures Loom Over Public Squares in Janet Echelman’s ‘Earthtime’ Installations

October 7, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Earthtime 1.78” (2021), Vienna. All images © Janet Echelman, shared with permission

Suspended in public squares and parks, the knotted sculptures that comprise Janet Echelman’s Earthtime series respond to the destructive, overpowering, and uncontrollable forces that impact life on the planet. The artist (previously) braids nylon and polyurethane fibers into striped weavings that loom over passersby and glow with embedded lights after nightfall. With a single gust of air, the amorphous masses billow and contort into new forms. “Each time a single knot moves in the wind, the location of every other knot in the sculpture’s surface is changed in an ever-unfolding dance,” a statement about the series says.

The outdoor installations are modeled after geological events so catastrophic and powerful that they slightly impact the planet’s rotational speed. Each title refers to the number of seconds shaved off the earth’s day because of that occurrence, with “Earthtime 1.78” referring to Japan’s 2011 earthquake and tsunami and “Earthtime 1.26” speaking to a 2010 tremor in Chile.

Containing innumerable knots and weighing hundreds of pounds, the monumental nets are the product of countless hours and a team of architects, designers, and engineers who interpret scientific data to imagine the original form. Each mesh piece begins in the studio with techniques done by hand and on the loom, and the threads are custom-designed to be fifteen times stronger than steel once intertwined. This allows them to withstand and remain flexible as they’re exposed to the elements, a material component that serves as a metaphorical guide for human existence.

Echelman will exhibit an iteration of “Earthtime 1.26” in Jeddah from December 2021 to April 2022, with another slated to be on view in Amsterdam this winter. You can see more of the prolific artist’s works on her site and Instagram.

 

“Earthtime 1.26” (2021), Munich

Detail of “Earthtime 1.26” (2021), Munich

“Earthtime 1.78” (2021), Vienna

“Earthtime 1.78” (2021), Helsinki

“Earthtime 1.78” (2021), Vienna

“Earthtime 1.78” (2021), Borås, Sweden

 

 



Photography Science

A Minimal Photographic Series Visualizes the Seven Base Quantities of Physics

July 16, 2021

Grace Ebert

Mass. All images © Greg White, shared with permission

In his series Base Quantities, London-based photographer Greg White elucidates the abstract and fundamental concepts of physics. His minimal, graphic images document all seven components (i.e. mass, electric current, temperature, length, luminous intensity, amount of substance, and time) of the arbitrarily defined system used in measuring physical properties. Vividly composed, the visuals include a radiant electric current flowing in a coil, the tonal spectrum of thermodynamic temperature, and a trio of illuminated beams conveying length.

White tells Colossal that the series was born out of a desire to experiment with photographic techniques in a playful, accurate way and is inspired by Berenice Abbot, who dedicated much of her practice to presenting complex scientific principles to the public in a simple and accessible manner.  “Researching within the realms of science it quickly became apparent that everything has rules and quantities and so I chose to visualize the quantities. Rules might be next,” he shares. Each representation is derived entirely in-camera, a process he describes:

I wanted the images to only show something through a technique, so for instance without the motion of an object it would appear completely different or without the strobe again it would be different and not be representational of the concept.  A lot of the techniques involved (the) motion of an object captured over a long exposure. Some additionally have a strobe effect during the long exposure, others use multiple exposures while shifting the lens for instance, or simply incorporating simple props/fx to distort or reveal a notion.

Alongside experimental projects like Base Quantities, White works on a variety of commissions and commercial projects, which you can explore on his site and Instagram. (via Iain Claridge)

 

Electric current

Temperature

Length

Luminous intensity

Amount of substance

Time

 

 



Design History

A Trio of Visual Catalogs Celebrates the Innovative Figures Who Pioneered Modern Information Graphics

May 18, 2021

Grace Ebert

Emma Willard, Temple of Time. Courtesy of Information Graphic Visionaries and David Rumsey Map Collection

A new book set honors the lives and legacies of three figures who fundamentally altered the way we communicate and organize data still today. Information Graphic Visionaries is a catalog trio dedicated to educator and entrepreneur Emma Willard, statistician and founder of modern nursing Florence Nightingale, and scientist Étienne-Jules Marey, who all brought insight and clarity to the modern world by conveying complex information in visually compelling and convincing manners. Edited by RJ Andrews of Info We Trust with art direction by Lorenzo Fanton, the series unveils these previously overlooked histories through newly discovered graphics and prominent works paired with contextual essays and annotations.

Through a combination of atlases, wall hangings, and textbook woodcut graphics, Emma Willard: Maps of History explores how Willard invented new conceptions of time and ultimately defined chronology in the United States. Florence Nightingale: Mortality & Health Diagrams contains the nurses’ persuasive designs that ultimately sparked vital reforms to the English health care system. And the Étienne-Jules Marey volume is the first English translation of the French scientist’s seminal text on data visualization, The Graphic Method, La Méthode Graphique, which was first published in 1885.

After launching May 11, Information Graphic Visionaries is already nearing its goal on Kickstarter, but you still have time to back the project.

 

Emma Willard, detail of Map of 1620. Courtesy of Information Graphic Visionaries and David Rumsey Map Collection

Emma Willard, Perspective Sketch. Courtesy of Information Graphic Visionaries and David Rumsey Map Collection

Florence Nightingale, Cholera Diagram by William Farr. Courtesy of Information Graphic Visionaries and the Wellcome Collection

Florence Nightingale, The Mortality in the Hospitals. Courtesy of Information Graphic Visionaries and the Wellcome Collection