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Art

Preserved Grasses and Twigs Radiate Outward in Delicately Embroidered Sculptures by Artist Kazuhito Takadoi

June 9, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Kazuhito Takadoi, shared with permission

Artist Kazuhito Takadoi (previously) tames the unruly grasses, leaves, and twigs grown in his garden by weaving the individual strands into exquisite radial sculptures. Stitched into paper or bound to wooden discs made of cedar of Lebanon, oak, elm, or walnut, the abstract forms hover between two and three dimensions and utilize traditional Japanese bookbinding techniques to secure the threads. Each artwork, whether an intricately overlapping mass or pair of circular sculptures, is an act of preservation and a study of inevitable transformation: although the materials won’t decompose entirely, subtle shifts in color and texture occur as they age. “As the light changes or the point of view is moved, so the shadows will create a new perspective,” the artist says.

Born in Nagoya, Japan, Takadoi is currently based in the U.K. His meticulously woven works will be on view from June 22 to 29 at Artefact in Chelsea Harbor, and you can find a larger collection of his pieces on Artsy and jaggedart.

 

 

 



Art Photography

Nine Massive Waves of Deadwood Surge Across a Forest Floor Near Hamburg

June 8, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Jörg Gläscher, shared with permission

As the fear of a second wave of COVID-19 swept through Germany in the fall of 2020, photographer and artist Jörg Gläscher decided to channel his own worry into a project that felt similarly vast and domineering. “I was working (with the idea of) the pure power of nature, the all-destroying force, which brings one of the richest countries in the world to a completely still stand,” he tells Colossal. “A wave is a periodic oscillation or a unique disturbance the state of a system.”

Between November 2020 and March 2021, Gläscher spent his days in a secluded location near Hamburg, where he gathered deadwood and constructed nine massive crests—the largest of which spans four meters high and nine meters wide—that overwhelm the forest floor in undulating layers of branches and twigs. Each iteration, which he photographed and then promptly destroyed in order to reuse the materials, overwhelms the existing landscape with pools of the formerly thriving matter.

Gläscher’s installations are part of a larger diaristic project he began at the beginning of the pandemic. Since then, he published a few magazines to present the works that range from photography to sculpture in one place, which you purchase along with prints in his shop. Find more of his multi-media projects on his site and Instagram. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

 

 



Art

Five Towering Figures by Artist Daniel Popper Loom Over The Morton Arboretum

May 27, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Sentient,” 18 feet. All images © The Morton Arboretum, shared with permission

Spread across the 1,700 acres at The Morton Arboretum just outside of Chicago are five enormous figures by Cape Town-based artist Daniel Popper (previously). Constructed of wood, glass-reinforced concrete, fiberglass, and steel, the looming sculptures stand out against the verdant landscape and pay homage to nature’s endurance and diversity, particularly the 220,000 individual specimens growing on the grounds. Human+Nature is Popper’s largest exhibition to date.

The female figures, four of which are shown here, vary in pose, material, and overall aesthetic. “Hallow,” which stands at the arboretum’s entrance, is a poetic sculpture evocative of the fern-canopied installation the artist unveiled late last year in Fort Lauderdale. “Sentient,” on the other hand, surrounds a central bust with a surreal assemblage of facial features depicted on angled hunks of wood. Each is constructed at a monumental scale, standing up to 26 feet tall and weighing multiple metric tons.

Human+Nature opens May 28 at the arboretum and will remain on display for at least one year. Find more of Popper’s massive artworks in addition to glimpses into his process on Instagram.

 

“Hallow,” 26 feet

“UMI,” 20.5 feet

“Sentient,” 18 feet

“Sentient,” 18 feet

“Heartwood,” 15.5 feet

“Heartwood,” 15.5 feet

“UMI,” 20.5 feet

 

 



Art

Capricious Characters Express Emotional Ambivalence in Yoshitoshi Kanemaki's Glitched Sculptures

May 19, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Fleeting Moment Caprice.” All images @ Yoshitoshi Kanemaki, courtesy of FUMA Contemporary Tokyo, shared with permission

Japanese artist Yoshitoshi Kanemaki (previously) carves fickle, ambivalent, and even contradictory sentiments in his figurative sculptures that embody a range of emotions. The wooden characters are surreal in form with multiple limbs, duplicate features, and recurring faces that wind entirely around their bodies. Whether conveyed through kaleidoscopic or blurred techniques, each portrait “expresses the dignity of life as a human being, the hate and harassment that people experience, and the importance of environmental awareness,” the artist says, explaining:

It’s the hesitation, contradiction, two-sidedness, or multi-sidedness, double standard. These are the problems that all people have, and I express them as sculptures under the concept of “ambivalence.” I want to portrait a modern person, who visualizes the “ambivalent” state that everyone has.

Kanemaki is based in Nagareyama City and is currently altering one of his older works titled “Memento Mori” to deepen its sentiments and add more complexity. Explore an archive of his glitched figures at Fuma Contemporary Tokyo.

 

“Singing in Rounds Geometry”

“All Day Believing”

“Singing in Rounds Geometry”

“Swing Caprice”

“Swing Caprice”

“Repetition Geometry”

 

 



Art

Nimble Pugs and Other Cheery Canines Are Chiseled into Stocky Wooden Sculptures by Misato Sano

May 17, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Misato Sano, shared with permission

Studies show that people are inclined to adopt canine companions that resemble themselves or family members, a psychological impulse that Misato Sano (previously) flips on its head. Rather than carve a pack of doggy doubles, the artist creates textured wooden sculptures of curly-haired poodles and acrobatic pugs imbued with different aspects of her own personality. Encompassing multiple breeds, expressions, and physical traits, each work is a self-portrait. She explains to Colossal:

For me, using the form of dogs is the most appropriate, highest-resolution method to materialize what I think of my inner self. Materializing myself in various states is about having an honest, direct dialogue with myself. In facing myself, I would like to be passionate, free, and loving, like a dog. My works are also about myself looking at myself. In that sense, I might have been making an existence that is sometimes beside myself, a little distance in other times, watching over myself.

Sano is based in the Tohoku region of the Miyagi prefecture and spends her summers creating the lively creatures with fur chiseled in visible gouges. As the weather turns cold, she shifts her practice to embroidery and conveys the adorable faces in plush tufts of thread.

You can see Sano’s carved characters as part of a group exhibition running August 14 to 29 at Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra, California. Otherwise, check out her Instagram for glimpses into her process and to see some of the real-life pups that inspire her works.

 

 

 



Art Design

Delightful Characters Spring to Life in Hand-Cranked Wooden Automata by Kazuaki Harada

May 12, 2021

Grace Ebert

Japanese woodworker Kazuaki Harada (previously) has spent the last few years designing these playful automata that activate with a simple hand-crank. Watch miners work in tandem, a figure cackle with unparalleled enthusiasm, and the devil aggressively play the fiddle, and make sure to turn your volume up, too—Harada often pairs an audio component with the mechanical movements for an additional dose of whimsy. For more of his quirky designs, which include many of the character-based works shown here in addition to more elaborate, abstract pieces, check out his Instagram and YouTube.