In honor of Brian Eno’s recent exhibition “77 Million Paintings,” the uber-artist recently gave an “illustrated talk” at Cooper Union on the evolution of his work. Among the many nuggets of wisdom dispensed that evening, Eno shared this lovely explanation of his recent work:
“I came up with the idea of not finishing the work of art, but rather to start one allow for life to finish the piece…. Classical art is very much an architectural model. The artist has an idea––Beethoven has the symphony playing in his head––it is all there and all he’s gotta do is write it down. The artwork exists and it is the artist’s job to materialize it. I didn’t think that was such a great idea. What I like is the idea of making something that will grow into something. Like a garden. A gardener doesn’t specify, a gardener puts the seeds in and hopes…. In a sense the gardener looses control of the creation. So the gardener starts something off and steps away to watch it grow…. This idea developed into what I call generative art.”
Brian Eno’s exhibition, “77 Million Paitings”––“A constantly evolving sound and image-scape”––is on view through June 2nd as part of the Red Bull Music Academy. See them grow for yourself at 145 W 32nd St, New York, NY 10001. Suggested donation: $5.
Elizabeth Peyton’s “Leonardo, February 2013”
Amid the fanfare, pomp, circumstance and jazz hands of the recent adaptation of “The Great Gatsby,” the film’s leading man hosted a charity auction last night in conjunction with the art house magnate Christie’s. “The 11th Hour Charity Auction,” supported by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, featured 33 donated works of art (many of them tiger-themed) which in total garnered an unprecedented $38.5 million dollars for wildlife conservation efforts. Encouraged by DiCaprio to “bid as if the fate of the planet depends on us,” works from artists Elizabeth Peyton, Robert Longo, Mark Grotjahn, Richard Prince and others were all generously purchased in support of the environmental effort. As DiCaprio noted: “Nature is abundant and it is resilient, but we have to take action now to protect our planet before it’s too late.” Looks like Gatsby’s green light may have inspired more than just romance.
For details on the auction, visit here.
Maria Loboda, Smoking Room in a private Palais in Brussels, as seen from entrance, 1905 (2013) Commissioned and produced by Frieze Projects New York 2013 Frieze New York 2013 Photograph by John Berens Courtesy John Berens/ Frieze
We’ve long been fans of the brainy, beautiful work of Polish-born, Berlin and London-based artist Maria Loboda (b. 1979), and the way plants dominate her world with both unsettling wildness and teasing formality. For example, in her 2012 sculpture This Work Is Dedicated to an Emperor, Loboda installed 20 cypress trees in the Baroque-era Karlsaue Park in Kassel, Germany. The stands of trees, in bright orange pots, were marched weekly through the park grounds, assuming mysterious arrangements inspired by Roman military strategy and Macbeth’s moving forest.
As Loboda recently told Wilder, “Nature is a very graceful artistic material to work with, because the form is already beautiful and you can take it and transform it into something a bit more disturbing or awakening. You can’t change the form. You can only play with the content.” Loboda’s art is less cultivated than the long-haul contraptions found in the common museum “sculpture garden:” “I like it when outdoor artworks clearly belong outdoors.” We couldn’t wait to check out her newest work, coinciding with the fitful return of spring to northern, urban climes. It’s one of five commissioned Frieze Projects taking over New York’s Randall’s Island from May 10 to 13 during the Frieze Art Fair.
For her installation, Loboda created a garden replica of an early-twentieth-century Wiener Werkstätte color plate image, Smoking Room in a Private Palais in Brussels, within the island’s green geography. Working with local gardeners and florists (Otto Keil of Long Island’s N & O Horticultural Products, nearly a century in the business), Loboda meticulously chose plants based on their seasonal availability and suitability and, of course, their colors. In translating a flat interior image to a living arrangement, Loboda consulted landscape architect friends and historical sources; see below for more on the fascinating development of color-coded gardening. Her smoking garden mixes indoors and out, sight and scent (via a perfume abstraction of tobacco made with the Fragrance Foundation and Swiss company Firmenich), and is more intimate yet less domesticated than, say, Jeff Koons’s wonderful giant topiary Puppy.
“As it’s still early in the year, some of the plants didn’t reach the size I wanted or the color wasn’t exactly right, but it was very exciting to go through all the possible shades and hues,” Loboda says. Viewers will find specimens of Ajuga, Agapanthus, Azalea, Zantedeschia and Coleus Dark Star, in the white, dark blue and black palette of Loboda’s original image. Actual dirt labor on the site began a couple weeks ago: laying out the garden, preparing the turf, planting and so forth, with the help and guidance of the Randall’s Island crew, who will tend to the installation during the Fair’s long weekend. “The best part was working directly with the flowers,” Loboda says, and since her lovely, strange garden won’t remain after Frieze leaves town (go see it now!), she says, “I hope we can donate the flowers to a nice place.”
Maria Loboda’s Inspiration and Further Reading:
Loboda’s work makes you seek out meanings and roots. Here are some Wilder-friendly directions her project took us:
1. For Frieze, Loboda looked at groundbreaking texts of color codification, including American ornithologist Robert Ridgway’s 1912 Color Standards and Color Nomenclature (still in use by birders) and the French Chrysanthemum Society’s 1905 Répertoire de Couleurs.
2. Related to this development, color-coded gardening and the use of color in planting to achieve optical effects was popularized by influential English horticulturalist Gertrude Jekyll, whose work Loboda also read. Home gardeners suddenly became keen to re-create precise landscapes by ordering exact hues of flowers from catalogs.
3. It’s fitting that Loboda’s living artwork, based on a Wiener Werkstätte smoking room–that obsolete interior form–will be dismantled after Frieze. Her floral glories are gathered for a brief, four-day season: “I have always been very impressed by the Werkstätte’s intransigence in material choices and the fact that they went bankrupt partly due to this very quality.”
4. In addition to her cypress tree chess game, botany has reared its troubling head in past Loboda works like Ah, Wilderness (2010) (sculpture that imagines what happens when branches of “monocultural” trees such as white pine, cedar, walnut, and birch meet) and A Guide to Insults and Misanthropy (2006), once volatile, now neutered bouquets bringing together the worst invectives of Victorian flower language.
See Maria Loboda’s Smoking Garden this weekend at Frieze Art Fair today through Monday. Friday, May 10: 11am–7pm; Saturday, May 11: 11am–7pm; Sunday, May 12 : 11am–7pm; Monday, May 13: 11am–6pm
Text by Phyllis Fong
The Textile Arts Center is hosting a benefit, “Night of Color”, to support their Sewing Seeds project, which provides accessible and inspired information on natural dyes to kids and adults. The evening is a celebration of its the program’s new Garden Residency program. It’s a full celebration of Art, Color and Natural Dyes through interactive installations, visuals and performances.
When: Friday, April 26th, from 7PM-12AM
How much: $20 - includes lots of drinks + 1 raffle entry.
Where: TAC in Manhattan – 26 West 8th Street
So here’s the real stunner… Study NY x Cat Lauigan of Cave Collective created an interactive performance exhibiting their limited edition run of garment and accessory sets specially produced for the event. In keeping with the theme of natural dyes, the fiber necklaces will contain frozen natural dye-filled gems emulating beads or crystal pendants worn by selected participants. The frozen crystal pendants will melt and stain the garments and fiber necklaces creating patterns unique to the individual wearing the pieces.
Yeah. Go ahead and read that again, because it’s kinda mind blowing. They’ll aslo be a raffle of 7 one-of-a-kind silk scarves, kindly designed and naturally dyed by Sewing Seed’s supporters and amazing designers — Audrey Louise Reynolds, Adrienne Anthonson (STATE), Erin Considine, Ilana Kohn, SHABD, Tara St James (Study NY) and Titania Inglis.
Plus there’s gonna be grappa and snacks so how can you resist?
Ever since reading this article about the transformational power of spices, I’ve been on a hunt for a new mortar and pestle (mine currently holds loose change). My search quickly led me to the ceramic wares of product designer, Chifen Cheng. Cheng’s small design studio, Designlump, offers ergonomic kitchen products such as cups, plates and, of course, the mortar and pestle (which includes a thumb dent on the pestle for ease while grinding). With a background in industrial design, Cheng is an artisan who values both utility and charm when handcrafting her tools. She told Food & Wine: “Once you touch clay, it’s hard to stop.” I’ll take her cue. Off to grind some spices!
Jauntily named and skillfully curated, Cabin-Time is a roaming artist residency that takes place twice a year in grand and remote locations. Issue Press is a small independent publishing house focused on artist editions and other visually pleasing print pieces. Together, they have documented the work of Carson Davis Brown,Sarah Burwash, Kristen Degree, Todd Freeman, Ryan Greaves, Ali Reid, Geoffrey Holstad, Mary Rothlisberger, Zach See, Nick Stockton, Martyna Szczensa in one perfect bound stunner, named after Wilderness State Park in Michigan where they resided.
Here is where you can buy Wilderness, along with other Issue Press titles. (Don’t miss previous Cabin-Time collections.) And here is where you can learn more about stealing away into the wild unknown to make art with a few of your new best friends.
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