Scot Heywood

A Master of Perceptual Motion, Inspired by Mondrian

In his bold-colored and paneled paintings, textured by a variety of brushstrokes, Los Angeles artist Scot Heywood finds ways to generate perceptual movement and subtle energy. His exhibition of recent paintings, called “Scot Heywood: Shift ǀ Stack ǀ Sunyata,” are on view through the end of February at Peter Blake Gallery in Laguna Beach, conjuring parallels to the geometric styles of Piet Mondrian.
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commune west elm collaboration

Commune’s New West Elm Collection is a Study in California Cool

The American Trade Hotel in Panama, the Ace in Palm Springs, Heath Ceramics in San Francisco — for more than a decade, Commune has been the design firm behind these kinds of universally loved — and mega-Instagrammed — interiors. Slightly more under-the-radar are the Los Angeles studio's frequent furniture and object collaborations, which over the years have included everything from concrete tiles and rust-colored sofas to room fragrances and fireplace tools. But their latest collaboration brings Commune's distinct brand of California cool to the masses.
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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).
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In between detailed recommendations for various anti-psychotics, a favorite professor once told me about a legendary ceramic bowl that had been made in a single motion. Basically, someone held a lump of clay in one hand and then punched it. That’s it. I’ve thought about that bowl a lot in the intervening years — the effort and refusal. I find myself being drawn repeatedly to echoes of that idea, including this work by Los Angeles-based potter Andrew Kazakes, who makes the same deceptively simple forms over and over again. They’re inspired by “waves crashing against the shore,” using glazes that respond to the vagaries of heat.

The I’m Revolting Ceramics Shop

Ceramicists know how to deal with heartbreak — these are artists, after all, who make something they love and then willingly throw it into a fire. So while the I’m Revolting Ceramics Shop that I've curated for Sight Unseen OFFSITE — opening at noon this Friday at 200 Lafayette in Soho — is in many ways a survey of talented young people working today in clay, it’s also a small tribute to the beauty in unpredictability and letting go. Unlike painting or weaving or most other mediums, potters don’t get to see the thing complete in front of them as they work. They shape a piece of clay with their hands and then give it over to the heat of the universe. And though this sounds totally cheeseball, that might be why I love it so much — that every piece carries in it some accident. The range of work in the I’m Revolting Ceramics Shop is a reminder of this possibility in imperfection: our perpetual struggle to take the same stuff there has ever been – mud and fire, failure and ambition – and create of it something distinctly personal.
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Book/Shop on Remodelista

Like so many amazing creative people and endeavors these days, we were first introduced to Erik Haywood's Book/Shop project through Instagram, where we fell for his beautiful plywood book stand, and where his fans include SU besties Wary Meyers and Mondo Blogo. So we were excited to see gorgeous pictures of his brick and mortar store in California pop up on Remodelista yesterday, following an interview they did with him back in January which we somehow missed. In the new post, Haywood explains his M.O.: "We are not a bookstore, that's not really what we're doing. We're here to encourage people to go to bookstores, visit libraries, and live with books. Now, with the internet, what's the point of going to a bookstore when you have a specific title in mind?" As Remodelista's Alexa Holz points out in the piece, Book/Shop's selection of vintage and rare books is meant "to expose you to something you didn't actually have in mind," she writes.
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Objects USA on YHBHS

Sighted on the interiors and art blog You Have Been Here Sometime, a chat with the three collectors behind Objects USA, an L.A.-based online and pop-up gallery dedicated to mid-century California design and crafts (and San Diego in particular). Ron Kerner, Steve Aldana, and Dave Hampton banded together to start Objects USA in 2005, after discovering they were all pretty much after the same stuff, and they've since expanded their repertoire to include hosting bi-annual "Mod Swap" trading events for other collectors. But though they were fortunate enough to find each other, they're aware that not everyone shares their taste: "Most people have gotten used to basic mid-century modern, and that's certainly where we all started," they write in the interview. "But for someone with visions of Pierre Koenig-style antiseptic interiors dancing in their head, our crazy hippie-modern fiber-art and funk movement meltdowns can seem unsettling." We think you'll like it just fine, which is why we’ve excerpted part of the interview here, where each partner tells the story behind his favorite object from his own collection, like these hand-carved wooden speakers from 1972.
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