Tag Archives: Art

  1. 02.26.15
    Studio Visit
    Cave Collective, Artists

    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.

  2. 02.25.15
    Excerpt: Exhibition
    Barbara Kasten at the ICA Philadelphia

    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.

  3. 02.24.15
    Eye Candy
    Alex Ebstein, artist

    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.

  4. 02.21.15
    Saturday Selects
    Week of February 16, 2015

    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.

  5. 02.16.15
    Eye Candy
    Valentin Dommanget, Artist

    Like most visually inclined folks his age, 25-year-old French artist Valentin Dommanget — who studied fashion as an undergrad before receiving his MFA at Central Saint Martins last spring — grew up with a steady diet of internet art. Having internalized a certain digital aesthetic that embraces all things geological and hypercolor, natural yet unnatural, he created a series of paintings that take those virtual influences and represent them through actual real-world handicraft, pairing paint-marbled canvases with torqued stretchers that mimic some kind of Photoshop rotation effect. Pictured above and below are selections from that series, plus other pieces that apply the same techniques to concrete tables, paper books, framed canvases, and crooked canvases that appear balanced atop geometric plywood cutouts.

  6. 02.14.15
    Saturday Selects
    Week of February 9, 2015

    A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week, the humble accent table takes on many forms: an iridescent I-beam, a rug-wrapped hexagon, and a charred-wood square with a hairy interior void.

  7. 02.13.15
    From the Archives
    Andrew O. Hughes on DeWain Valentine

    Our first-ever From the Archives post, which looked back at William Sklaroff’s mid-century desk accessory set Radius One, dates back to November 10, 2009 — the very first day of Sight Unseen’s existence. But after that, the column pretty much petered out, partly because we didn’t have the time to research it properly and partly because, with millions upon millions of wonderful old things to potentially highlight, how could we ever choose just one? We’ve officially solved that problem today with the launch of our new and improved From the Archives series, in which designers and artists will do all the work for us: Each edition will invite a talent we admire to give a little history lesson on someone from the past who’s had a strong impact on their work. Our first subject is Brooklyn glassmaker Andrew O. Hughes, speaking about the California Light and Space sculptor DeWain Valentine (no holiday-themed pun intended).

  8. 02.07.15
    Saturday Selects
    Week of February 2, 2015

    A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: two groundbreakingly gorgeous ways to hang your clothes, two making-of videos featuring Misha Kahn and Rafael de Cardenas, and two of the hottest Mexican talents to come out of the Zona Maco art show.

  9. 01.31.15
    Saturday Selects
    Week of January 26, 2015

    A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: Sorting the best of the rest from January’s design fairs, getting a crash course in great product photography, and hailing the almighty power of pink (not to mention colored gradients, as seen in Bryce Wilner’s puzzle — yes that’s a puzzle — above).

  10. 01.29.15
    Eye Candy
    Elizabeth Atterbury, Artist

    While the Maine-based artist Elizabeth Atterbury has done amazing things with just simple shapes cut into paper and steel, lately she’s been getting a wee bit more ambitious — building a 3-by-4-foot sandbox in her studio and photographing compositions she’s raked into it, or using a bandsaw to carve grill bricks into arcs and zigzags then documenting the crumbly results. Aside from photography — which she studied in school — she also exhibits sculptures in clay and painted wood. You can see them in person now through May 10 at Colby College Art Museum in Waterville, Maine, or pick up a copy of Atterbury’s 2013 book with Bodega gallery, “In the Middle, an Oasis.”

  11. 01.27.15
    Eye Candy
    Louise Zhang, artist

    Sydney-based artist Louise Zhang’s work is concerned not with the familiar straight lines of geometry, but with the lack of any distinct form. More simply, she works with blobs. Her attraction to the formless began with a childhood fascination with slime and goo. Building off the allure of all-things-goopy, her paintings and sculptures — made from materials ranging from acrylic, oil, enamel, resin, expanding polyurethane, gap filler, and silicone — explore the infinite transformations a shapeless form can possess. Add to this an intense candy-coated color palette and you’ve got a body of work that’s both unquestionably attractive and charmingly grotesque.

  12. 01.14.15
    Sighted
    Ron Nagle, Ceramicist

    One of the best things about ceramics’ recent ascent in the art world is that a brighter light has been shone on designers who were practicing in the medium long before “urban claymaking” was ever a thing. The latest artist to experience a massive upswing in attention is Ron Nagle, the San Francisco–based postwar ceramicist who, in his 70s, still adds to his already massive body of work at an amazing clip. Shown at the last art Biennale in Venice, Nagle is currently the subject of both an exhibition at the San Diego Museum of Art and a lovely feature in the new issue of PIN-UP Magazine, who writes of Nagle’s process: “Each [piece] boasts the presence of a monument covered in variations of fine stucco textures sprayed with layers of pastel, blush fields often overtaken by thick glazed pools and electric pinstripes. The pieces begin as collections of hand sculpted elements, and are slip cast, carved and fitted to each other, gaining their deep beds of color from multiple firings that are finished with chinapaint. The forms have shifted in theme through his career: from lean green tendrils hailing from ikebana to diorama scenes housing pulsing red cubes.” We’re particularly fond of a recurring trope in Nagle’s work that resembles glassy spears of asparagus, so we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite examples here.

  13. 01.10.15
    Saturday Selects
    Week of January 5, 2015

    A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: chairs knit from sweaters, furniture made from kitchen flooring, and a sculpture fabricated by a robot and installed by a crane.

  14. 01.08.15
    Eye Candy
    Esther Stewart, visual artist

    Even though we often talk about how globalization and the internet have vastly accelerated the velocity of cool, there sometimes seems to be a lag when it comes to scouting talents from Down Under. Case in point: Are we the last to know about Melbourne-based Esther Stewart’s incredible geometric paintings and angular sculptures? (And, aside, do Aussies pooh-pooh the use of Down Under the way San Franciscans abhor the term San Fran?) We found Stewart’s work on the Instagram of Aussie expat Maryanne Moodie, and it’s pretty much everything we’re interested in right now — intersecting planes, overlapping geometrics, and the use of color and texture to create an illusion of depth. Stewart has shown a handful of times with Australian galleries, but she also recently graduated with a Master’s degree in Cultural and Arts Management, which makes us hopeful she’ll figure out pretty fast how to get her work shown a little closer to our home turf.

  15. 12.22.14
    Up and Coming
    Mathieu Julien and Jin Angdoo of Amateurs

    For all its perks — freedom, travel, never having to take off your pajamas — the freelance life has one perpetual drawback: the panic that starts to creep in whenever you’re between jobs. Add that to the sense of creative fulfillment that every designer and artist craves, and it’s no wonder so many of them start their own projects on the side. For the Paris-based couple Mathieu Julien and Jin Angdoo, whenever they don’t have work as a freelance illustrator (Julien) and a film and animation director (Angdoo), they dream up new projects to release under the extra-wide umbrella of their shared endeavor, Amateurs; launched in June, the website comprises projects that are experimental, hand-crafted, and fall somewhere between art and design, like painted tea towels and flags, embroidered sweaters and blankets, plus actual paintings as well. We checked in with the duo to find out more about the collaboration.

  16. 12.20.14
    Saturday Selects
    Week of December 15, 2014

    A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: new jewelry based on Superstudio sketches from the ’70s, a new BDDW housewares line based in the middle of nowhere, and a tropical photoshoot by Studiopepe that basically makes us want to jump on a plane immediately and fly south.

  17. 12.17.14
    Up and Coming
    Los Angeles art director Sarah Kissell, aka Pure Magenta

    It can be easy to become immune to the Postmodern references and patterns currently littering the digital ether, but there’s something different about Sarah Kissell, the Los Angeles–based designer behind the graphically-fitting guise Pure Magenta. As she describes it, it’s the simultaneous practice of excess and restraint — especially while exploring questionable taste — that Kissell values the most. “Riding the line between the two is when things become interesting to me,” she says. “It also widens the opportunity to succeed or fail, which is a healthy place to be a young designer.” And healthy is exactly where the designer is right now, dividing her time as senior art director for the terminally trendy fashion retailer Nasty Gal, as well as developing Pure Magenta’s graphic identity and soon-to-launch jewelry line.

  18. 12.16.14
    Up and Coming
    Matthew Philip Williams, furniture designer

    The first work we ever knew from Portland, Oregon–based furniture designer Matthew Philip Williams was a collection he calls The Step-Family. The pieces, which were designed individually but at the same time, include a pinchpot mug in Yves Klein blue, a laminate and maple bench, and a steel and Douglas fir coat rack. The items are so aggressively functional — and make use of such logical and simple material choices — that you would never guess that Williams’s first inclination was to be a fine artist. After graduating from a material studies program in Richmond, Virginia, Williams headed to Portland to get an MFA in applied craft and design. “I had this vision of being in galleries, but I soon realized I was more mentally suited for functional stuff,” he says. “At the same time, I try to keep my hands and my head in both worlds, thinking about art and furniture and doing what seems right for each project.”

  19. 12.13.14
    Saturday Selects
    Week of December 8, 2014

    A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: three new jewelry lines we’re coveting, our top must-have from the shop at the newly reopened Cooper Hewitt museum (above), and are speckles the new squiggles? You be the judge.

  20. 12.12.14
    Excerpt: Exhibition
    Adi Goodrich at The Standard, Hollywood

    In her day-to-day job as a set designer, Adi Goodrich constructs elaborate environments with her crew on set or in the studio, but the rest of world experiences her work only through photographs. As of last night, however, you can view the Los Angeles designer’s work IRL in an installation on view until the end of December at The […]

  21. 12.09.14
    What We Saw
    At Art Basel and Design Miami 2014

    Glancing out the window on this cold, grey, rainy day in New York City, it’s hard to believe that just last week we were frolicking in the sunshine in Miami, immersing ourselves in art and design and running into friends like Su Wu and Brent Dzekciorius on the street while flitting between parties and champagne brunches. While the primary purpose of our time there was to launch a new collaboration with Print All Over Me for the shop at the Standard (read all about that here), we managed to squeeze a million other activities into our four-day trip, from a visit to the impeccably curated Untitled art fair to a bizarre slide lecture and fashion show by Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe to a 3AM performance by rapper Rae Sremmurd at a local nightclub that left our ears ringing for three days straight. While you won’t find that particular dalliance documented here, we did take plenty of photographs of art and design; some of our favorites are posted after the jump.

  22. 11.25.14
    Eye Candy
    Ann Veronica Janssens, Artist

    Lately it feels like whenever we’ve seen a piece at an art fair that we love, it’s turned out to be the work of one of a very small group of our favorite artists (Alicja Kwade, Thea Djordjaze, Jonas Wood, David Korty, etc) whose work seems to pops up again and again in such contexts. One of the most frequent is Ann Veronica Janssens, a British-born, Brussels-based artist whose practice is based around finding ways to visualize light and other ephemeral forces while balancing them against the more tangible qualities of architecture. Janssens has been around for awhile — she represented Britain at the 1999 Venice Biennale — but we’re particularly fond of her most recent body of work, which is more object-based than light-based. See a selection of it after the jump.

  23. 11.17.14
    Eye Candy
    Meredith Turnbull, artist

    A few Saturdays ago, we featured Australian artist Meredith Turnbull’s incredible, powder-coated brass jewelry, but today we wanted to turn your attention to her equally terrific art practice. Navigating her website, we became intrigued by images of totemic metallic structures that were nevertheless labeled as photography. We asked Turnbull herself to clarify: “My practice as an artist has really been shaped by my training: first studying photography, then doing a degree in Art History, then later a degree in Fine Art specializing in gold and silversmithing. This affected the way I work and made me very interested in ideas in and around discipline, functionality, art and design history, and of course context! I’m preoccupied with theories and ideas about purposeful objects and their relationship to people as well as new contexts for those ideas. So I make objects across a variety of scales. Sometimes I photograph these but only exhibit the photograph; sometimes I show small objects alongside larger installation work. I’m always trying to work with scale and the context in which I’m exhibiting.”

  24. 11.10.14
    Eye Candy
    #Nannyart by Brandon E. Cannon

    “#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.”

  25. 11.08.14
    Saturday Selects
    Week of November 3, 2014

    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).

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