A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week brought a bounty of our favorite things: oxidized metal, iridescent leather, lenticulars, mini-sized fruit and furniture, and a special appearance by a Bucky Fuller–inspired Jell-O mold.
Ask anyone what kind of houseplant you ought to get if you’re cursed with a black thumb, and you’re nearly always regaled with tales of the wonderful, unkillable qualities of cacti and succulents. But frankly, we’ve had bad luck with more than a few of that breed. Été Studios, a new product-design studio based in Seoul, Korea, is here to help. Their first line of products consists of a series of vases and pots specially designed to make growing cacti and succulents easier. Larger vessels are made from copper, a material known for its antimicrobial properties that inhibit bacterial growth, and smaller, hydroponic vases are made from two parts: “A plant is placed on top of the holder, and its root system passes through the copper pipe and into the vessel. Cactus and succulents thrive in a condition in which the plant is kept dry except for its root system. This vase — while allowing the root system to be in contact with water, which only needs to be changed once a week — keeps the rest of the plants dry.” The fact that they’re beautiful to boot is icing on the cake.
On this site, we don’t tend to feature exhibitions once they’ve already closed, but this one retains one of the most incredible visual archives we’ve seen to date, a record of objects that were as beautifully displayed as they were constructed. Ben Peterson’s “Nebraska,” which was on view at San Francisco’s Ratio 3 gallery from January 17 to February 28, featured a series of architectural ceramic sculptures by the Oakland-based artist, painted in different, natural hues to erase traces of their clay past and to resemble something more like weathered and patinated concrete. Almost Brutalist in form, the sculptures were installed on site-specific pastel plinths, an extreme juxtaposition that somehow seemed just right.
Part of the joy we take in creating content for Sight Unseen every day is the delight we get from telling the stories behind the makers and the images we publish. But what happens when there is literally no story to be found? That’s exactly the position we found ourselves in the other day when we stumbled across these images on Pinterest (and a situation that arises all too frequently when using unattributed mediums like Tumblr.) These assemblages — graphic totems and mixed material sculpture thingys that hit all the right trend cues — are published on a Tumblr called Forma Anticum, and seem to be created by a design studio using that moniker as well. But Google that combination of words, and all that comes up are references to the Tumblr itself; no Instagram handle exists under that name either. So, for now, enjoy the images…. But if you’re the creator of them, maybe drop us a line?
The precision-machined brass bars lining the base of Mimi Jung and Brian Hurewitz’s Pepto-pink sofa? They’re a doggie jail. At least they were, conceptually speaking, intended to be; the couple lives with three dogs in Los Angeles’s Mt. Washington neighborhood, and Truffle, the most diminutive of the bunch, necessitated the arrangement. “If you give her six inches of space underneath anything, she’ll steal things from around the house and drag them in there,” says Jung. “I wanted to make a couch that had prison bars for her, so she couldn’t get in.” Granted Jung started out sketching metal poles and wound up creating a system of stunning, diagonally canted fins that subtly shift in appearance depending on one’s vantage point, but the sofa overall was — like much of Brook & Lyn’s work — designed to serve very specific, very personal needs. Since they moved from Brooklyn to L.A. a year and a half ago, Jung and Hurewitz have been populating the studio’s portfolio with pieces they’ve created for themselves, and their new home.
A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week was all about designers doing mesmerizing things with very simple shapes: from Nendo’s new color-gradient cube tables to a series of interactive geometric projections to the London grad who’s pushing the boundaries of jewelry with his mixed-material compositions (pictured).
Artist Lauren Clay has a background in painting and printmaking, but her work is hardly confined to the two-dimensional plane. Her body of work began as a series of large paintings on paper. But as she progressed, she became more and more interested in the inherent tendencies of paper to curl away from the wall, and she began to explore the third dimension, bridging the gap between painting and sculpture. We can see this in her delicate cut-out grids on marbled acrylic paper, which naturally curl away from the wall, creating a presence in the viewer’s space and a dialogue between paper and wall, paper and viewer, and 2D vs. 3D.
MSDS — the small, Toronto-based studio of Jonathan Sabine and Jessica Nakanishi, who have been working together since 2011 — is a perfect blend of its founders Scandinavian and Japanese sensibilities: aesthetics outlined by minimal, well-considered forms and explorations into tactile, human materials. The duo have been on our radar since spotting (and still very much coveting!) their Pleated Series of terracotta planters and vases, which they designed for the launch of Umbra Shift at ICFF last May. So nothing could’ve tamed our delight when we came across the duo’s solo stand in and amongst the Nordic brands at the Stockholm Furniture Fair last month.