A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week, it’s almost time to start gifting! We’ve got high and low lights, artist-edition shoes, affordable trays by one of our favorite designers, and a pop-up shop filled with a collector’s curiosities.
One look at Ida Ekblad’s studio and you might wonder how the Norwegian artist manages to do any work in this beautiful seaside spot near Oslo. We’d worry about getting distracted, or worse, growing complacent. But it hasn’t taken the edge off of Ekblad’s output. If anything, having such a large, light-filled space has allowed her to “experiment on a huge scale” with her process and materials. It’s only added to the tension in her quasi-abstract paintings, which are both dreamy and dynamic, combining depths of color and fluid shapes with a kind of graphic clarity and confidence.
On a visit a few weeks ago to Design Week Portland, we spied these cute Intertidal Deployment Objects by Trygve Faste and Jessica Swanson, a married couple who are also both instructors in the University of Oregon’s Product Design program. Faste teaches design drawing and makes vibrant 3D paintings, while Swanson specializes in ceramics and sculpture, and for this work, the two combined their skills to create a series of ceramic pots and sculptures influenced by buoys. “The Intertidal Deployment Objects arose out of our interest in working with ceramic forms that would interact with and relate to the marine environment,” says Faste. “We developed our forms to reference maritime objects like navigation buoys, floats, knots, jugs, bottles and industrial nautical equipment.”
Sometimes you have to laugh at your own predictability. It was love at first sight when I first saw these images of Los Angeles photographer Marten Elder’s work in the fantastic new issue of 01 Magazine (which also features SU faves like Oeuffice and Doug Johnston). But when I began to read the article, it became immediately clear to me why: Elder studied at Bard College, where his senior project advisor was Stephen Shore, another visual fascination of mine. But while Elder’s older work is more like Shore’s in its exquisitely faithful representation of a banal reality, his newer work represents a more color-saturated view of those equally ordinary vistas (a concrete street corner, a stack of scaffolding.) The accompanying interview is great, so we’re excerpted part of it, as well as our favorite images, here. Go to 01’s current issue for the full article, then visit Elder’s website for even more images.
When we first launched Sight Unseen — on this very day back in 2009 — we intended it to be an online magazine in which we would publish, a couple of times per week, long, meticulously reported stories about the lives, processes, and inspirations behind our favorite design and art objects. We still do just that, five years later. But we’re proud to say that we’ve also done so much more: We’ve become a place for creatives to scout new talents on a daily basis, we’ve become a linchpin for the blossoming American design scene, we’ve opened an online shop, we’ve published a book, and we’ve founded one of New York design week’s biggest offsite events. This year, we have plans to curate multiple pop-ups, to launch a long-overdue redesign of our site, to start a major retail collaboration with a visionary company, and to make our OFFSITE show even bigger and better. But perhaps the greatest joy of our 5-year tenure has been the amazing and fruitful relationships we’ve formed with our peers — all of the people who create, love, photograph, and write about design every day right along with us. These people clearly feel the same about us, seeing as when we invited them to help us celebrate by making us a birthday card, we were overwhelmed by not only the quantity of responses but also by the thoughtfulness that went into each piece. Check out some of the wonderful people who responded after the jump!
“#NannyArt is a series that has been ongoing for about 4 months now, consisting of 50+ 5×7-inch canvas boards incorporating collage, painting, patterns, and household supplies. The end of this series will consist of 100 of the 5×7-inch canvas boards as well as a few large-scale paintings done in the same manner. The term #NannyArt came from the culture and lifestyle that I became accustomed to after making the move to Panama back in May. In Panama, the term “Nanny” is thrown around a lot because everyone has one. To have someone who comes to your home or apartment once or twice a week, some are even live-in, is more than common in Panama. There’s even an extra bedroom and bathroom in every home and apartment for live-in nannies. Over time while painting at my studio I began to take notice of some of the cleaning supplies my “nanny,” Lucre, was using on a day-to-day basis. The colors, patterns, and textures of the supplies began to catch my eye and greatly intrigued me. With the sudden idea of buying art supplies not at the art store but in the cleaning aisles of grocery stores or mini-marts #NannyArt began to take form.”
A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week, old meets new with the resurgence of Op-Art and a 1950s desk lamp, a(nother) Franz West show, and of course, the usual smattering of new work by young talents, including the latest collection from Brooklyn weaving duo New Friends (above).
A short post before the weekend that doubles as a public service announcement: If you’re in New York this weekend, you must check out a new exhibition at Patrick Parrish Gallery (formerly Mondo Cane) by one of our favorite rising stars in the ceramics scene, Cody Hoyt. Once upon a time, the Brooklyn-based artist, who has a BFA in printmaking, was known primarily as an illustrator and painter; two years ago he made the switch to ceramics, but in his new medium, he retains hints of his former aesthetic. Hoyt’s angular vessels, which are built by hand using traditional slab construction, play with almost origami-like forms. And while he had previously been making small planters better suited to tiny succulents, the new show, entitled Heavy Vessel, enabled him to go big. (Some of the new pieces are nearly two feet tall). “I had been searching for a way to alter my process to enable me to work at a larger scale,” Hoyt explains, “and for this show, I figured out a new way to go about building my work and also firing it differently. I’ve also experimented more with surface for this show. It sounds odd since my pieces have always had extreme surfaces, but I’ve been experimenting with patterned inlay with controlled lines as opposed to the more incidental chaotic marbled effects. The result is still chaotic but the intent is there.” On view until December 6.