Friday, April 18, 2014

Francoise Gamma - Videogramo

Created with retired software, Francoise Gamma's animated GIFs have become a mystery and a legend on the world wide web. Videogramo, 8 Bit People is a website filled with animated imagery that contorts into a never-ceasing rhythmic dance.

Dismembered figures and figures in sexual poses explode with color, and sometimes reach out for amorphous lucid objects twisting is space. These images will surely multiply and live out an immortal life on the web.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

James Turrell - Light and Color

James Turrell believes that human beings are all heliotropic. Heliotropism is the phenomena where plants grow in the direction of light. Turrell claims that like plants, we must feed on light. By walking into one of his light sculpted environments it would be difficult to disagree. His light spaces are hypnotic and mesmerizing, and seem to pacify the soul.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Theo Jansen - Strandbeest

What is a Strandbeest? They are a new lifeform created by artist Theo Jansen. Take a look:

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Chunky Move & Reuban Margolin - Connected - 2011

Just when you though I was done with Chunky Move. But, now you'll see how this all connects as I move from modern dance into kinetic sculptures.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Reuban Margolin - Kinetic Sculptures

Using found objects and a lot of string, Reuben Margolin creates singular techno-kinetic wave sculptures. Here's a video featuring Margolin describing his process in his own words:

Friday, April 11, 2014

Chunky Move - Mortal Engine 2008

A rare feat in dance performance: the technology becomes more artistically important than the dancers. Mortal Engine was a ground breaking, earth shaking, game changing performance in modern dance; largely in part to the most sophisticated show control system ever deployed at the time, and the beautifully rendered scenes and choreography that made use of technology in a completely new way. Mortal Engine alters the soul.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Grupo Corpo - O Corpo - 2000

O Corpo is a Piece presented in 2000. Grupo Corpo is a contemporary Brazilian dance company founded in 1975. They continue to tour internationally today. The music scores are written specifically for each piece and can be downloaded from their website:

Watch O Corpo below and then read the the rest of the piece to learn more.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Chunky Move - An Act of Now

The global obsession with a zombie apocalypse has now entered fine art and modern dance. Chunky Move, an Australian modern dance company took home the Age Critics award for best new major work from the 2012 Melbourne Theatre Festival for Act of Now. With aggressive and apocalyptic themes, Act of Now was a high-risk performance. Watch the trailer and then read more about Chunky Move and Act of Now below.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Tom Greene (1955-1990)

Untitled, Tom Greene
Untitled, Tom Greene
The works photographed here are on display in the 2014 Whitney Biennial - on view now through May 25. The series presented features more than a dozen of these untitled - mixed-media works. Their depth and effect is remarkable - that is why I am remarking about them in this blog! Of the many artworks featured in the 2014 Biennial, few called out to me. Tom Greene is a relatively unknown artist; but this exhibit was the one that impressed me the most. 


Saturday, April 5, 2014

William Morris - Wallpaper Design

William Morris - Textiles & Wallpapers - Metropolitan Museum - On view now though July 20th 2014

Brother Rabbit - William Morris - 1882
Brother Rabbit - William Morris - 1882
William Morris's response to the industrial revolution, with its mass produced household items, was so prolific that it became an art movement - coined The Arts and Crafts Movement. Morris and his peers feared an impoverishment of craft and perceived machine made goods as lacking in quality. He and his peers returned the careful hand of the craftsman to the production of household goods and decorative arts. Textiles and wallpapers were among these. 

Incidentally, his wall papers were mass produced; but in limited editions. This concept, that an artist creates an item which can be mass produced eventually evolved into the discipline of Industrial Design. And, industrial design has filled our homes with stuff - stuff that was designed for us to desire; things like ipods and swifters. Industrial designers not only design the stuff, but they design desire for the stuff; often the marketing campaign is created before the item that is being marketed.

Wallpaper designed by William Morris has a distinct design aesthetic that is of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Natural figures such as small animals and flowers are flattened and represented with simpler geometries so that the silhouette is favored.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Carl and Olga Milles - Millesgården (1908-1955)

Millesgården Sculpture Park - Stockholm, Sweeden

Carl Milles, Icarus at Millesgarden
Carl and Olga Milles together designed and constructed Millesgarden, a sculpture garden on the property of their home in Stockholm. Carl Milles was a classically trained sculptor, learning the trade as an apprentice in Aguste Rodin's studio in Paris. 

The Millesgarden was meant to be a place for him to display his sculptures. But, the garden itself is a craftwork. Each stone was individually laid by him and his family. And, as the garden grew in size and scope it became an environment; itself a work of art. In the Millesgarden is a small stone chapel where Carl and Olga are buried. 


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Andy Goldsworthy - Storm King Wall (1998)

Storm King Sculpture Park, Hudson Valley, New York

Storm King Wall, Andy Goldsworthy (1998)
Storm King Wall, Andy Goldsworthy (1998)
Andy Goldsworthy is among the most admired artists of our time. What artist has not stacked stones on a beach? Goldsworthy is the king of this. 

Noted for his stone arches and constructions, he has installed one of his largest works at Storm King Arts Center in New York. Goldsworthy is considered an environmental artist. His works are made of materials at hand and native to their site. The Storm King Wall meanders through a grove of trees, passes beneath a pond, and extends across a plain. The line of the wall responds to its surroundings, curving amongst the trees, gathering height amongst mature trees, diving beneath the pond, and straightening across the flat plain. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Maya Lin - Wave Field

Storm King Sculpture Park - New Windsor, NY

Wave Field - Maya Lin - Storm King - 2008
Wave Field - Maya Lin - Storm King - 2008
Storm King is a sculpture park in the Hudson Valley near NYC. It's pastoral landscape is the perfect setting for one of Maya Lin's Wave Fields. These giant earthworks represent a tempest at rest ... or a frozen moment in our ever ebbing and flowing world. The Storm King Wave Field is also an elemental design; a discussion of earth, wind, water, and heat. Walking between them encourages introspection; a realization of the mass of water and the heaving power of waves. Walking along their crest, one has the sense of freedom, of flight, control, and balance. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe - German Pavilion, Barcelona Exhibition 1929

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe - German Pavilion Barcelona - 1929
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe - German Pavilion Barcelona - 1929  
Take a look at the photo here of Mies van der Rohe's German Pavilion ... Looks like a house in LA built in 2014 - doesn't it? But, 1929? Think about model-T's, trains and trolley cars, people that still lived in their ancestral log cabins, broadcast radio and phonographs  as high tech, women dressed in full length skirts, government buildings dressed in Romantic colonnades ... think about all that and then look again at this. The German Pavilion at Barcelona was a revolution in design. So, how does someone who has never seen something like this invent it from thin air? I try to answer that question in the academic paper below. But, for those who aren't up for 15 pages of academic term-papery, I'll give a brief description of The Pavilion in the post here.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Wassily Kandisnky - Composition-X

Wassily Kandinsky - Composition-X - 1939  
What is Composition-X? Well, after trying to find a name for this site on Blogger and having 93 rejected, I came to this one. To me it means Composition-(fill in the blank), as X often means. X is undetermined. In algebraic equations it stands in for a quantity as a variable. So, for me the X in this blog title is just that. Composition-X, the weblog, features a different composition each day.

Composition-X, the painting, is Wassily Kandinsky's  Composition-X (10), which is preceded by Composition-IX (9). Does Kandinsky's Composition-X remind you of New Year's Eve party favors? Does it stimulate an upbeat, improvisational jazz feeling? Let's discuss this painting in the post dedicated to our namesake below.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Coming Soon - Composition-X

A new blog featuring a daily dose of art and design history and current directions in art and design is coming soon. Composition-X will officially launch on April 1st, 2014. And, If all goes well, it will deliver one post each day to your blog feed or email. This will be a way for you to be exposed to art, evolve your knowledge of art history, and to review what you already know about art and design.