At last year’s Milan Furniture Fair, we had an extremely rare — but kind of major — fangirl moment. It wasn’t in response to some big-name Bouroullec-type designer with an installation around town or even Anna Della Russo, who you sometimes see flitting from party to party. It was a Swedish interior architect and photographer named Tekla Evelina Severin — better known on Instagram as Teklan — who we met on a lazy afternoon while exploring Venture Lambrate. Severin has hands down one of the most beautiful Instagrams around, so we were insanely excited to meet her, and even happier when this beauty of a story popped up on Urban Outfitters’ blog earlier this month. On the occasion of Valentine’s Day, Urban asked Severin to provide them with a series of pink photos that said something about the way she sees the world; of her addictive feed, she says, it’s “65 percent impromptu and 35 percent planned. Often it’s just things I notice as I pass them or when I’m traveling. Or sometimes it’s a place I’ve seen and not been able to get over.” Read on for a selection of our favorite images from the story, then click through for even more photos and an interview with the designer. (And if you don’t, follow her on Instagram already, will ya?!)
We discovered Cave Collective by way of their jewelry, which we spotted at the boutique No. 6 in New York, this past October. In late November, we shot founders Cat Lauigan and Alex Wolkowicz in their Greenpoint workspace. Then, by the end of January, we found out that they’d dismantled most of the studio and jewelry line, that Lauigan had relocated to California, and that both artists were focusing on their individual practices until they figured out what to do next. And yet by that point, we knew enough about Cave Collective to take the news in stride — ever since Lauigan and Wolkowicz began their collaboration in 2010, it’s been an endlessly shape-shifting and exploratory project, one that’s seen them living thousands of miles apart for nearly as long as they’ve lived in the same city.
If Barbara Kasten’s colorful, angular compositions look as though they could have been arranged just last week by some prop stylist in Los Angeles — well, consider that a testament to Kasten’s massive, if massively underappreciated, influence. The Chicago-based artist and photographer is currently the subject of a long overdue solo exhibition at Philadelphia’s Institute of Contemporary Art; Stages spans five decades of work, from fiber sculptures to cyanotype prints to set design to a brand-new, site-specific installation that plays beautifully with the ICA’s interior architecture. For us, though, the exhibition’s highlight is the 1980s-era Constructs series, for which Kasten photographed theatrical assemblages incorporating elements such as metal, wire, mesh, mirrors — not to mention life-sized squiggles, cones, triangles, and columns made from plaster or wood. Constructs blurred the line between object and image and set the stage for nearly every photo shoot you see on blogs like this one today. Kasten was influenced by the Bauhaus, California Light and Space, and Postmodernism, and the program for her exhibition includes a conversation between Peter Shire and Martino Gamper. Considering the previous sentence includes five of our favorite things, you’ll know where to find us come March 25: on the next train to Philly.
Balance balls, dumbbells, pool noodles — is the recent incorporation of exercise equipment into the visual arts part and parcel with normcore or is it something more? The latest adherent to the trend is Baltimore-based artist Alex Ebstein, who works with a variety of materials — most notably yoga mats — but in Ebstein’s hands, those basic materials become less trendy and more textural. Her brightly colored canvases resemble something Matisse may have constructed had his cut-out phase occurred during the Memphis movement. Bold and graphic from afar, the works are delightfully tactile upon closer inspection. Her use of slightly irregular grids and geometric constructions is contrasted with the addition of ambiguous organic shapes cut from yoga mats that are then inlayed or applied to her compositions. If you are in the Baltimore area, you can see her MFA show at Towson University’s Holtzman Art Gallery until May 9th.
There was a time, not so long ago, when visitors to New York wouldn’t dream of staying anywhere but Manhattan — that all changed, of course, as soon as Brooklyn became an international brand with Williamsburg as its capital, spawning hotels like the Wythe and the Mccarren. Airbnb’s rise has also inspired adventurous travelers to fan out to all sorts of peripheral neighborhoods in big cities around the world. And so it’s inevitable that a place like Los Feliz, an epicenter of Los Angeles’s east-side hipster scene, recently joined the hospitality game, with the opening of the five-room Hotel Covell. Sitting above a popular wine bar of the same name, it pairs a few familiar boutique hotel tropes (thrift-store art, vintage record players) with amazing furnishings by some of our favorite local designers, including Eric Trine, Brendan Ravenhill, and Atelier de Troupe.
A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: two new designs by American Design Hot List alums, a solo show by a master of Mono-ha, and various accoutrements for the chicest breakfast table ever, including marble egg cups and this epic speckled pitcher by BTW Ceramics.
Looking for some visual inspiration this weekend? If you’re a buyer, a distributor, or a member of the press, head on over to Capsule New York’s new home at Pier 94, where Sight Unseen is happy to be participating this year! After years of simply attending the fashion trade show to peep new collections from friends like Ilana Kohn or Ellen van Dusen — and to scout talents from the extremely well-curated mix — we’ve finally partnered with the newly combined ready-to-wear and accessories show, where we’ll be curating a small section of home and accessories brands. There will be ceramic French presses and copper lights from Yield Design, block-printed throws and pretty things by Caroline Z. Hurley, a new line of lower-priced mugs from Ian Anderson of Aandersson Design, geometric jewelry and tabletop goods by Sarah Loertscher, colorful candlesticks and mirrors by Good Thing, and so much more (which we’re giving you a sneak peek of below). It’s all happening at Pier 94, 711 12th Ave, from Sunday, February 22–Tuesday, February 24 14, starting at 9:30AM each day. Hope to see you there!
If you’d happened to wander into L.A.’s Barnsdall Art Park in the middle of the night last Friday, you might have assumed there were concert tickets, or some newfangled iPhone model, about to go on sale the next morning: even into the wee hours, a line of people three hours long snaked all around the property. Amazingly enough, though, the massive crowd had turned out not to buy something but to experience the re-opening of Frank Lloyd Wright’s landmark 1921 Hollyhock House, which we overheard certain over-caffeinated line-goers describe as “super hyped.” Built in 1921 in the so-called California Romanza style, the theater and home turned museum had been closed to the public for more than three years for restoration, and the city was celebrating the unveiling of its face-lift by giving the public continuous free access for 24 hours. We figured the best way to mark the occasion was to send a photographer to shoot the house after dark, a task we entrusted to the up-and-coming L.A. photographer Gaea Woods.