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Art

Delicate Flowers of Carved Wood by Yoshihiro Suda Spring Out from Cracks

February 28, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Yoshihiro Suda

Concerned with the ways artworks relate to their surroundings, Yoshihiro Suda often tucks his naturalistic flowers inside small cracks and holes where they’d grow naturally. While his pieces are remarkable comparisons to living florals, though, their compositions differ: Suda carves each African violet, rose, and morning glory completely out of wood.

The Japanese artist includes intricate details like leaf veins and small punctures in the petals, adding to their realistic qualities. “I think art can change our perspective and ways of thinking. It encourages us to see things that we otherwise might miss,” he said in a statement.

Suda was raised in the Yamanashi prefecture near Mt. Fuji in a region full of natural beauty, prompting his admiration for “nature, materials, details, and small objects.” He works within the tradition of Japanese woodcarving and invokes the art of netsuke, the miniature sculptures that came into fashion in the 17th century.

If you’re in Tokyo, stop by The Ginza Space before March 22 to see Suda’s work in person. Otherwise, see which delicate pieces he has available on Artsy. (via Spoon & Tamago)

 

 



Art

Floorboards Burst in Destabilizing Wood Installations by Serra Victoria Bothwell Fels

January 30, 2020

Grace Ebert

2019, part of Beauty Surplus at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center. All images © Serra Victoria Bothwell Fels and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center

Knoxville, Tennessee-born artist Serra Victoria Bothwell Fels ruptures long-held conceptions that human environments are stable⁠—literally. Part of two different projects at Catinca Tabacaru Gallery and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Bothwell Fels creates ridge- and mountain-like installations that split and burst through the floorboards, sometimes even spanning multiple rooms. With lighter pigmented tops, the wood pieces swell and expand, solidifying their resemblance to natural features.

The artist’s goal is to transform mundane spaces into areas of disruption, forcing her viewers to question how their environments inform their senses of reality. In a statement, Bothwell Fels said her “sculptural ecosystems pierce the architectural facade of banality with fantastical outcroppings of growths, pores, wrinkles, spills, fractalized structures, and rupture, inviting a reassessment (of) the norms that are established and reinforced through the physical materiality of our built environments.”

Her show Beauty Surplus is on view through May 24 at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Check out Instagram for more of Bothwell Fels’s destabilizing projects. (via Art Ruby)

2019, part of Beauty Surplus at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center

2019, part of Beauty Surplus at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center

“Untitled (Flooring)” (2016-2017), flooring, shims, plaster, at Catinca Tabacaru Gallery in New York City

“Untitled (Flooring)” (2016-2017), flooring, shims, plaster, at Catinca Tabacaru Gallery in New York City

“Untitled (Flooring)” (2016-2017), flooring, shims, plaster, at Catinca Tabacaru Gallery in New York City

“Untitled (Flooring)” (2016-2017), flooring, shims, plaster, at Catinca Tabacaru Gallery in New York City

 

 



Art

Using Found Twigs, Artist Chris Kenny Assembles Tiny Dancing Figures and Minimal Portraits

January 23, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Twelve twigs” (2012), construction with found twigs, 22 x 22 x 3 inches. All images © Chris Kenny

By gathering and piecing together small twigs, London-born Chris Kenny crafts collections of dancing figures, abstract portraits, and even a small baby. As Kottke explains, the artist’s sparse creations rely heavily on the human desire to see objects or patterns in inanimate objects, a term called pareidolia. Kenny shares many of his constructions on twigsaints, an Instagram account he dedicates to likening singular twig figures to saints, like St. Vincent and St. Agnes. Keep up with all of the artist’s wood assemblages on his main Instagram and purchase one of his minimal pieces for your collection on his site.

“St. Desideratus, detail from Menologion” (2017), construction with found twigs

“Twig Drawing (Man of Sorrows)” (2017), construction with found twigs, 24 x 24 x 3 inches

“Noli Me Tangere (After Veronese)” (2016), construction with found twigs, 27 x 27 x 3 inches

“St. Barnabas, detail from Menologion” (2017), construction with found twigs

“The Great Morning (Twig drawing after Philipp Otto Runge)” (2018), construction with found twigs, 18 x 26 x 3 inches

“Twig Drawing” (2012), construction with found twigs, 22 x 22 x 3 inches

 

 



Art

Giant Ribbons of Wood Form Twisting Root Structures in Expansive Installation

January 8, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Wade Kavanaugh and Stephen B. Nugyen, shared with permission

For their recent installation “Study in Pattern,” artists Wade Kavanaugh and Stephen B. Nguyen (previously) expanded on the idea of constructing an enormous tree comprised of long wood strips in studio. The result is an arboreal project that occupies almost an entire room with outstretched portions extending up to the ceiling and toward each corner of the space. Visitors to the exhibition were able to peer up through the spiraling trunk of the tree and walk beneath the wide-reaching roots.

The experimental project was developed for the Islamic Arts Festival in Sharjah, a United Arab Emirates city that is part of the Dubai-Sharjah-Ajman metropolitan area. To engage the traditions of Islamic art, Kavanaugh and Nguyen told Colossal they incorporated Arabesque elements into “Study in Pattern.”

This work draws from the architectural cues of the site: the repetition of arches, overlapping linear patterns, and the viewer’s attention is focused as they pass through the interior of a dome, but the finished work ultimately took on the feel a gesture drawing, veering away from regularity of pattern and toward entropic wildness.

The artists say they are testing this installation as a small version before producing the complete project in Seattle. More about the duo’s massive nature-based works can be found on their site.

 

 



Design

A Set of Six Uniquely Textured Toys Engages Children in Processing Their Emotions

November 20, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

A set of six figurines made from wood and silicone are designed to help children process difficult memories and emotions. Created Israeli designer Yaara Nusboim, the “Alma” dolls correlate to different feelings: fear, pain, emptiness, love, anger and safety. The unique textures and colors of fuschia spikes, turquoise shards, and pink petals prompt children to engage with the dolls in different ways.

Nusboim envisions the dolls being used as part of play therapy, wherein a therapist can observe their young patient’s behaviors and choices with the toys to help unpack underlying psychological or emotional concerns. “Playing with a toy provides a safe psychological distance from the child’s private problems and allows them to experience thoughts and emotions in a way that’s suitable for their development,” the designer explained to Dezeen.

Take a peek into the design process in the video below, and explore more of Nusboim’s socially conscious designs on her website. (via Dezeen)

 

 



Craft

Unique Knots From Dozens of Different Trees are Showcased in a Hand-Built Geodesic Sphere

November 15, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Keith Williams (previously) has a knack for wowing viewers with his time-lapse woodworking videos. One of Williams’ recent projects entailed using offcuts that contain knots. In his hands, the geodesic dome becomes a multi-faceted showcase for the unique patterns, colors, and textures formed by these organic irregularities.

“In the 27 years of my woodworking business, I have never thrown away a knot,” Williams tells Colossal. “Many people see knots as a defect, but to me knots are the visual representation of a trees struggle to thrive. Not all little limbs become big branches, but their combined efforts on behalf of the tree as a whole should be celebrated.”

Step inside Williams’ Oddball Gallery workshop and see more in-progress projects on his YouTube channel.

 

 

 



Design

Islands of Wood Float Amidst Sea of Glass in New ‘Archipelago’ Furniture by Greg Klassen

November 13, 2019

Christopher Jobson

We’ve long marveled at the masterful craftsmanship on display in furniture maker Greg Klassen’s wood and glass creations. The artist’s name has become synonymous with the elegant aesthetic of merged wood and glass that originates from his Pacific Northwest studio, one piece at a time. Since first launching his river table series back in 2014, Klassen has produced nearly 250 tables, desks, and art objects, refusing to grow beyond his one-man studio despite a waiting list that once extended to nearly two years. Lately he’s focused on creating larger bodies of watery glass and the irregular shapes of islands as evidenced in this new archipelago series. He shares with Colossal:

My new Archipelago Series is inspired by islands seen from above. I’ve discovered a growing fascination with the point that the water meets the land and my archipelago pieces really let me highlight this point of inspiration. Whenever I’ve been lucky enough to fly over Seattle’s Puget Sound or the Hawaiian islands, I’m that 38 year-old kid in the window seat, with his face pressed up against the plexiglass looking down with wonder at the islands below. We are so fortunate to live in a time where we get to see our earth from above! Whether it be from a plane, or images capture by a drone, we get to see our earth with a fresh set of eyes.

Five percent of Klassen’s sales are currently being diverted to Charity: Water where he’s is helping to fund a new well for a community that cannot afford one. Several of his pieces most recently appeared at SOFA Chicago, and you can see much more of his recent work on his website, as well as Instagram and Facebook.