Jaume Plensa lands four new heads in Chicago’s Millennium Park

Art, City Terrain, Midwest, On View
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
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Jaume Plensa's new work "Look Into My Dreams, Awilda," greets visitors to Chicago's Millennium Park. (City of Chicago / Patrick Pyszka)

Jaume Plensa’s new work Look Into My Dreams, Awilda, greets visitors to Chicago’s Millennium Park. (City of Chicago / Patrick Pyszka)

Barcelona-based artist Jaume Plensa said the first thing he does after checking into his hotel during stays in Chicago is drop by Crown Fountain, the digital waterwork that features human faces spitting water, just to make sure his popular downtown installation really exists.

“Sometimes I think it was just a beautiful dream I had 10 years ago,” Plensa said at a press conference Tuesday. Millennium Park, which turns ten years old in 2014, counts Plensa’s whimsical fountains among its more popular installations. A new piece of his, on loan from the artist through the end of 2015, attempts to build on that momentum.

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Pictorial> Kara Walker Creates a Sugar Sphinx for Domino Sugar factory

The Sphinx. (Henry Melcher / AN)

The Sphinx. (Henry Melcher / AN)

Before the old Domino Sugar factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is razed to make way for the massive SHoP-designed mixed-use complex, it has been transformed into a gallery for famed artist, Kara Walker. Inside the 30,000-square-foot space, which stills smells of molasses, she has created a 75-foot-long, 35-foot-high, sugar-coated sphinx (on view through July 6th). The work, which was created in collaboration with Creative Time, is called A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby, and according to Walker’s artist statement, it is “an Homage to the unpaid and overworked Artisans who have refined our Sweet tastes from the cane fields to the Kitchens of the New World.”

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Dramatic New Sculpture for Boise City Hall Hopes to Activate The City’s Civic Heart

Art, City Terrain, West
Monday, May 5, 2014
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(CTY Studio)

(CTY Studio)

Boise, Idaho–based architects CTY Studio and design company Ecosystems Sciences have won an RFP to design a new public sculpture for Boise’s soon-to-be-renovated City Hall Plaza. Both the sculpture and the plaza are expected to be completed by fall 2015. The $200,000 sculpture, called Terrain, Civics, Ecology, will be made up of nine 20-foot-tall steel panels, arranged in a circle to create an enclosure that pedestrians can walk through.

More after the jump.

On View> “Apex: Tip Toland” at the Portland Art Museum

Art, On View, West
Thursday, April 10, 2014
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04-portland-tip-toland-archpaper

Apex: Tip Toland
Portland Art Museum
1219 SW Park Avenue
Portland, Oregon
Through May 11

Washington-based artist Tip Toland creates larger than life figures with painfully accurate details that highlight her subjects’ imperfections: wrinkles, sunspots, and other blemishes. Toland’s work has always dealt with figurative subject matter, though her approach has ranged from the surreal to the super-real. This exhibition focuses on the plight of albino children in Africa, many of whom face a never-ending nightmare of bigoted, superstitious persecution at the hand of the communities into which they are born. Deeply rooted in psychology, Toland’s carefully crafted portraits seek to disturb viewers, teasing out their deepest human sympathies only to clobber them with the cudgel of political subtext. The artist has said that her work “softens our hearts to what we are afraid of.” Unflinching in the face of terrible realities, it is certainly provocative.

New Installation at JFK’s Terminal 4 Floats Weightlessly in Air

Art, East
Thursday, March 13, 2014
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"Outside Time" at JFK. (Courtesy Dimitar Lukanov Studio)

Outside Time at JFK. (Courtesy Dimitar Lukanov Studio)

An impressive new installation at JFK’s Terminal 4 should make air travel slightly less frustrating, or at least more interesting, for passengers. In late February, Bulgarian-born artist Dimitar Lukanov unveiled Outside Time, a soaring sculpture made of steel and aluminum tubes. Despite weighing-in at 4,600 pounds, the piece manages to appear weightless as it elegantly drifts upwards like a densely-packed school of fish.

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On View> MoMA Presents “Isa Genzken: Retrospective” Through March 10

Art, On View
Monday, March 3, 2014
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Disco Soon (Ground Zero), 2008. (Courtesy MoMA)

Disco Soon (Ground Zero), 2008. (Courtesy MoMA)

Isa Genzken: Retrospective
Museum of Modern Art
New York
Through March 10, 2014

In the home stretch before it closes on March 10, Isa Genzken: Retrospective at MoMA shows a sculptor whose work is infused with architecture from her sleek early works of lacquered wood in the engineered Hyperbolos and Ellipsoids series to rougher experiments in plaster, concrete, and steel which resemble architectural maquettes on pedestals including Bank (1985), Rosa Zimmer (Pink Room) (1987), Galerie (1987), Kleiner Pavilion (1989), and Fenster (Window) (1990).

Continue reading after the jump.

On View> Erica Stoller & Melissa Murray Walk The Line With New Brooklyn Exhibition

Art, Design, East, On View
Friday, February 21, 2014
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Beneath the furthest known stack, 2013. (Courtesy A.I.R. Gallery)

Beneath the furthest known stack, 2013. (Courtesy A.I.R. Gallery)

Traverse
A.I.R. Gallery
Brooklyn, New York
Through March 2, 2014

Traverse is an exhibition of new works by Melissa Murray and Erica Stoller at A.I.R Gallery in Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood. Murray’s work focuses on pausing her daily life to examine personalized images that are swiftly tucked away in her subconscious. Stoller makes wall related sculptures that relate to the plane of the wall and garners meaning from the surrounding area.

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“Sculpture City” Invites Dialogue On Public Art in St. Louis

Midwest
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
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St. Louis' Gateway Arch under construction. (Courtesy Missouri State Archives)

St. Louis’ Gateway Arch under construction. (Courtesy Missouri State Archives)

It’s open season for public art in St. Louis, according to the groups behind Sculpture City St. Louis 2014—an ongoing festival “intended to draw attention to the rich presence sculpture has in the visual landscape of our region.” The programming leads up to and continues after an April conference.

Art exhibitions throughout the year aim to continue the conversation. For instance, Art of Its Own Making, a show at the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts that features sculpture, installation, film, and performance works through August 20.

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On View> Metropolitan Museum Presents “Ken Price: A Retrospective” Through September 22

East, Newsletter
Friday, August 23, 2013
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Pastel (1995)

Ken Price’s colorful, sensual ceramic sculptures have always posed the question as to whether they are art or craft. But the blur may also include the architectonic. His signature forms—cups and eggs—set up a tension between exterior and interior. New York Times art critic Roberta Smith has written: “Their forms oscillated between the biomorphic and the geometric, the geological and the architectural.”

Price’s friend, Frank Gehry, designed the installation of the exhibition, Ken Price Sculpture: A Retrospective, currently on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through September 22. He lives with Price’s ceramics, his first purchase being a cup festooned with snails. Gehry wrote of Price’s work, “They were like buildings.” He cited a cup with a twisted piece at the top, and sees the similarity to his California Aerospace Museum, 1982-84, featuring an airplane jutting out of the structure. “I think the similarity of form was totally unconscious. Now I think a lot of architects must have been looking at those cups…the relationships are amazing.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Frank Gehry’s Ice Blocks Chilling Out Inside Chicago’s Inland Steel Building

Midwest, Newsletter
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
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Frank Gehry's new sculpture in the Inland Steel Building lobby. (Lynn Becker)

Frank Gehry’s new sculpture in the Inland Steel Building lobby. (Lynn Becker)

Follow the Architecture Chicago Plus blog as Lynn Becker raises an eyebrow at the new sculpture that quietly popped up in the lobby of downtown Chicago’s celebrated Inland Steel Building.

The 1957 SOM icon seems to have acquired a consortium of ice hunks, courtesy Frank Gehry. Ostensibly a formal counterpoint to the elegant energy of Richard Lippold’s Radiant I, the original lobby art, Gehry’s glass agglomeration (fabricated by the John Lewis Glass Studio of Oakland, California) frames Radiant I and responds to its angularity with carved blobs. It’s admittedly atypical in the setting of the modernist masterpiece, but doesn’t overpower the space or the original artwork.

On View> Manhattan’s David Zwirner Gallery Explores Richard Serra’s Early Work

East
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
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(Courtesy David Zwirner)

(Courtesy David Zwirner)

Richard Serra: Early Work
David Zwirner Gallery
537 West 20th Street
New York, NY
Through June 15

David Zwirner presents an exposition of early work by artist Richard Serra. The works on display, dating from 1966 to 1971 and compiled from museum and private collections, represent Serra’s earliest innovative, process-oriented experiments that employ nontraditional materials. He uses vulcanized rubber, neon, and lead to emphasize weight in relationship to the nature of materials. The exhibition, on view through June 15 at David Zwirner, examines the innovative methods and ideas that so decisively place Serra in the history of Twentieth-Century art.

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Reviving Chicago’s 1893 Glory with Seven Ferris-ish Wheels

Midwest, Newsletter
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
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Wheels of Chicago. (Courtesy Hapsitus)

Wheels of Chicago. (Courtesy Hapsitus)

Chicago’s 1893 Ferris Wheel—the world’s first—inspired visitors at the World’s Columbian Exposition and helped establish the burgeoning city’s reputation for big dreams and hard work. Although it’s unlikely to have quite the same impact as its historical touchstone, a new proposal for seven wheels in Navy Pier’s Gateway Park could rekindle a semblance of that awe in modern day passersby.

Continue reading after the jump.

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