9 + 1 Ways of Being Political
Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53 Street
Through March 25, 2013
In the early part of the last century, political engagement and social uplift were central goals of modern architecture and design. By midcentury those ideals were largely lost, as modern architecture became associated with the very power structures avant-gardists had long critiqued. A new exhibition at MoMA, 9 + 1 Ways of Being Political, drawn from the Museum’s current collection, examines the neo-avant-garde of the 1960s and 1970s (such as Jason Crum’s Project for a Painted Wall, 1969, above), which sought to revive progressive practice, as well as contemporary examples that continue that project today.
Naoya Hatakeyoma: Natural Stories
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
151 Third Street
Through November 4
Naoya Hatakeyoma’s award winning photography contrasts the reciprocal impact of human industries on the natural world and that of natural forces on human activities. His photographs, ranging in topic from German coalmines to the underground Tokyo sewer systems, chronicle manmade industrial formations from their time of creation to their degeneration and ultimate decay, all captured in a seemingly objective yet sublime manner. Through this impartial method, devoid of speculation and sentiment, Hatakeyoma’s images garner the greatest impression on the viewer. Hatakeyoma was born in Rikuzentakata in Iwate Prefecture in 1958. His latest work, Rikuzentakata illustrates the devastation caused by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in his birthplace. In the first ever solo U.S museum exhibition, curated by Lisa J. Sutcliffe, SFMOMA showcases more than 100 photographs and 2 video installations spanning Hatakeyoma’s entire career.
Andrea Zittel: Fluid Panel State
Andrea Rosen Gallery
524 West 24 Street
Through October 27
Andrea Zittel’s tenth solo show, Fluid Panel State, at the Andrea Rosen Gallery, her expands on her previous ideas that our culture is fixated on assigning order to a chaotic world by defining the personal and social significance of objects and by creating a distinction between everyday objects and art. Zittel demonstrates through a panel, a nebulous form, how an object can exceed functional properties, such as shelter or clothing, to convert into an art object, such as a tapestry or a painting. The gallery is compiled mostly of handmade textiles, designed by Zittel, but also includes large enamel paintings, smaller framed paintings on paper, and a large carpet placed in the center of the installation. A PowerPoint presentation further discusses the properties of the fluid panel state expanding on the importance positioning has in attributing meaning to a flat panel. Ultimately the exhibit leaves viewers to decide if they are experiencing art or object.
Layer: A Loose Horizon
Pasadena Museum of California Art
490 East Union Street
Through October 14, 2012
While digital design and fabrication continue to transform architecture, architect/artists Lisa Little and Emily White have decided to challenge these trends. Although digital forms expand the horizons of design and create intricate patterns, these designs often boils down to mere eye candy. This idea sparked White and Little, the founders of the Los Angeles-based architecture practice Layer, to take the computational approach of digitized aesthetics combined with a perceptual method to create both a physically and intellectually engaging space. The result of this can be seen at their exhibit Layer: A Loose Horizon. Beginning on the exterior of the museums facade, visitors see a web-like structure that toys with depth and proportion while also bridging the exterior and interior space of the museums lobby. Upon entering, guests experience a continuous interaction with the exhibit and become enveloped by the surrounding shapes. To understand the artists’ process, sketches and early digital iterations of the project are also be on view.
From Farm to City: Staten Island 1616–2012
Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Avenue
Through January 21, 2013
From Farm to City: Staten Island 1616–2012 explores the history, evolution, and future of New York’s often overlooked fifth borough. The island has served as the city’s breadbasket, a pastoral escape for the city’s elite, an industrial center, an international port, and a toehold for new immigrant communities. Divided into four sections—Farms, Pleasure Grounds, Suburbs, and City—the exhibition examines the major forces that have shaped land use on the island, including the development of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. The exhibition includes historic photographs, maps, and other ephemera and objects, as well as an online mapping component tracing the chronology of major developments on the island.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
151 Third Street, San Francisco, CA
Through January 6, 2013
Blurring the distinction between conceptual art and theoretical architecture, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art investigates the conception and experience of space by using the notion of “field” as a reference. Curator Joseph Becker describes the pieces in the exhibition as “spatial experiments,” united by the use of architectural devices to describe a spatial condition. The term “field conditions” derives from the 1996 essay by architect Stan Allen in which he describes a shift from traditional architectural form toward an understanding of systems and networks, a “field” being described by the interconnections of discrete points that constitute the whole. Many works in the exhibition deploy a process of serializing and accumulating, describing spatial qualities through deformation (such as Conflict Space 3, 2006, by Lebbeus Woods, above).
The Formation of the Japanese Print Collection at the Art Institute:
Frank Lloyd Wright and the Prairie School
The Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue
Through November 4
Frank Lloyd Wright visited Japan for the first time in 1905, inspired by the country’s pavilion at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. He lived in the country while working on Tokyo’s Imperial Hotel, soaking in Japanese art and culture. It had a lasting impact on his own work, especially the development of the Prairie Style as well as his renderings and presentation drawings. During his time in Japan, Wright became a pioneering collector of Japanese prints, and often supported himself as an art dealer. Clarence Buckingham purchased numerous prints from Wright in 1911 (including Utagawa Hiroshige’s Sparrows and Camillia in Snow from 1831, above), which became the foundation of the Art Institute’s print collection. This exhibition is composed of prints purchased by Wright, photos of an exhibition of his collection he staged in 1908 at the Art Institute, and drawings from Wright’s studio.
|Chris Payne: One Steinway Place|
|Bonni Benrubi Gallery
41 East 57th Street
Through September 29
South Street Seaport Museum
One Steinway Place, the address of the venerable Steinway & Sons piano factory in Astoria, Queens, is also the title of photographer Chris Payne‘s latest show at the Bonni Benrubi Gallery in midtown Manhattan. The series of large-format photographs are the result of his days and weeks spent in the factory, to which Steinway gave him full access. Payne captures the unexpected and striking forms, patterns, and textures that emerge when he turns his lens to pianos-in-the making. “A piano is something we all think of and love as a whole, but like anything complex, it is really just a kit of parts, built up gradually out of raw, messy materials. And yet, the deeper I look into its construction, the more I revere it as one of the supreme accomplishments of the human hand and imagination,” said Payne.
On September 13 at the South Street Seaport Museum, Payne will speak about his Steinway project as well as his photographic series about North Brother Island. The lecture (6:30-8pm) is hosted by Open House New York. For information and tickets, click HERE.
Grete Marks: When Modern Was Degenerate
Milwaukee Art Museum
700 North Art Museum Drive Milwaukee, WI
Through January 1
Grete Marks was born in Cologne in 1899 to an artistic Jewish family, and she enrolled in the ceramics program at the Bauhaus School in 1920. In 1923 she left the school to marry a young industrialist with whom she founded the Haël Factory for Artistic Ceramics to produce her designs. These works are composed of simple geometric shapes, glazed with striking colors and patterns in the style of Soviet Constructivist painters and showcasing the Bauhaus ideal of uniting industrial mass-production with Modernist aesthetics. Marks’ legacy as a potter was cut short by the Nazi party when in 1935 they declared her artwork “degenerate,” and her avant-garde pottery career ended with the onset of World War II. This will be the first American exhibition to explore Marks’ work and the circumstances that have prevented her name from entering the list of Bauhaus greats.
California’s Designing Women
The Autry in Griffith Park
4700 Western Heritage Way
Through January 6, 2013
It was uncommon for women to practice industrial design throughout late 19th and early 20th centuries. However, California’s newness and frequent population growth provided various opportunities for women to get involved with the creation and production of design. Autry National Center’s California’s Designing Women, 1896–1986 with works from over fifty women designers from California celebrates female designers who made major contributions to Californian and American design. The exhibition displays approximately 240 examples of textiles, ceramics, furniture, lighting, tapestries, jewelry, clothing, and graphics all inspired by California’s amalgam of society which include Indigenous American, Chinese, Japanese, Anglo, and Mexican cultures. Upholding California’s reputation for unlimited creativity, the displayed work includes materials such as wood, abalone, glass cotton, steel, silver, acetate, acrylic, and fiberglass, spanning a century of design movements from arts and crafts to art deco to mid-century modern and beyond.
Century of the Child
Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53rd Street
Through November 5
Is design for grown ups? Hardly. While a child’s own designs might be limited to block towers or crayon masterpieces, design touches nearly every part of early life. Children use toys, wear clothing, play in playgrounds, use furniture, and sit in classrooms, all of which are created specifically for them. Opening at the Museum of Modern Art, Century of the Child: Growing by Design, 1900–2000 surveys the material world constructed for the child over the 20th Century. Visions of children and how design has followed or shaped their perceptions over the past century are considered in the exhibition. Take Frederich Froebel, whose famous toys (a gift box edition, pictured below) were favorites of Frank Lloyd Wright as a child. Froebel designed his blocks to be given in a sequence, educating children as they learned and matured over time. The exhibition identifies and merges the many facets of design that consider children, presenting these products together and revealing the ideas and ambitions of the designers who created them.