Friday, August 30, 2019

Masonry Sea


Kostis Velonis, Masonry Sea, 2019 
81 x 12 x 19, 5 cm

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Assembly of a Tenement (polykatoikia)

Kostis Velonis, Assembly of a Tenement (polykatoikia), 2019
Concrete, wood
184.2 x 132.1 x 204.5 cm
21 June -6 October 
Organised  by Cranbrook Art Museum and fabricated in Detroit by Eli Gold. Developed with Leda Lycourioti and curated by Laura Mott 

Miren el tamaño de este mango

Wilfredo Prieto, Miren el tamaño de este mango (Look at the size of this mango), 2011 (Kurimanzutto)
Wilfredo takes part in the group show Landlord Colors: On Art, Economy, and Materiality”, Cranbrook Art Museum, Michigan

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Where Is the Surplus? Where Is the Poetry?

Sorkin at the Bauhaus

The extent to which collective design processes have a democratic character has not yet been answered.

The three Bauhaus directors reach out to the present: Michael Sorkin, one of today’s most distinguished architects and architecture journalists, is their guest. They want to know what people think of Bauhausian ideas 100 years after the foundation of their school. Michael is happy to answer their questions.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe: “Modern buildings of our time are so huge that one must group them. Often the space between these buildings is as important as the buildings themselves.”

Continuing to drill down on your pastoralism, Mies, you are now talking about a particular modernist manner of disposing of large objects in a determinative void. But that fantasy of towers in the park (your version or Corb’s) got tire- some long ago. Not simply have other ideas come up (or been retrieved) about composing the architectural ensemble but also about the inhabition of that space in between, which you see mainly as setting. In truth, you were not a particularly great urbanist. Only when the city building was a set piece and an exception to its context – most immortally the sublime Seagram’s – you made jewels. But the generalization became a nightmare.

Walter Gropius: “A modern, harmonic, and lively architecture is the visible sign of authentic democracy.”

For those of us who were formed in the 1960s and think of ourselves as being political, the conundrum of the limits of collective design’s ability to produce good results—and good results that somehow embody a vision of the democracy that aris- es from the process of collaboration – is still very much an open question. Architecture expresses values, always. It can’t help it since it’s the home of human activities, which are never neutral. The difficulty comes when it tries to be too precise – too prescriptive – about the relationship of architectural forms and human behaviours, because it can so easily cross the line into the territory of coercion and oppression.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Asger Jorn and the International Movement for an Imaginist Bauhaus

From Social Democratic Experiment to Postwar Avant-Gardism

Asger Jorn, The Tunisian, 1948 

The project bauhaus imaginista, which takes the cosmopolitan Bauhaus as its point of departure in order to question the school’s legacy from a trans-historical and transnational perspective on the occasion of the centenary of its founding, would be negligent if it did not address the artist group referenced by its title, the Mouvement Internationale pour un Bauhaus Imaginiste (International Movement for an Imaginist Bauhaus, or IMIB), founded in 1953 by Danish artist Asger Jorn together with a handful of French and Italian colleagues. Many of the theoretical and artistic positions advocated by the IMIB were developed dialectically in response both to the historical Bauhaus and the reconstitution of a Bauhaus-inspired pedagogical program at the Hochschule für Gestaltung (HfG) in Ulm, the school developed by Bauhaus Dessau alumni Max Bill and sanctioned by American authorities as a project to renovate postwar Germany’s Nazi past. The legacy of the IMIB and the HfG are both central to the history of how Bauhaus ideas were refashioned in Europe after the Second World War, serving, alternately, as the ideological basis for one of the last manifestations of emancipatory European avant-garde ideas and the manifestation of interwar Functionalist design concepts, now aligned with capital markets and internationalist state power.


Have No Fear of Modernism!

 Have No Fear of Modernism! 

Mikulas Galanda,  Still Life with a Glass, 1929-30
The Slovak Design Museum ideologically follows on from the ceased-to-exist Arts and Crafts Museum established parallel with the School of Arts and Crafts, the Museum recognises it as its predecessor. The School set the foundations of the modern Slovak design, that is why we are trying to reconstruct its history from the fragments of preserved artefacts and, as much as possible, bringing them closer to the present from the visual and documentary point of view.

In the year 2013, the book by Iva Mojžišová, Škola moderného videnia [The School of Modern Vision] was published. Its author crowned her efforts in researching the Bratislava School which she had started in the sixties. It was the primary field of her research in history and a life-long pursuit. During the Normalisation Period, her primary concern was to keep in memory the effort which connected with the School and the modernisation of Slovakia. Direct contemporaries of the School are no longer with us, and their children – as long as they live – are mostly of advanced age. Iva Mojžišová also died several months after the book release.
Organiser: Slovenské centrum dizajnu – Slovenské múzeum dizajnuExhibition concept: Simona Bérešová, Klára Prešnajderová, Maroš Schmidt
Expert guarantor: Ľubomír Longauer
Curators: Katarína Bajcurová, Simona Bérešová, Vladimíra Büngerová, Viera Kleinová, Ľubomír Longauer, Klára Prešnajderová, Sonia de Puineuf, Maroš Schmidt, Zuzana Šidlíková
Realisation of artefacts according to period documentation
Creater Studio (Ján Jánoš, Rita Koszorús, Filip Horník); Studio of Fiber Art and Textile Restoration at the AFAD in Bratislava (Lenka Hyšková, Naďa Matušková, Dominika Kostolníková); Maroš Schmidt, Kodreta Myjava, Peter Juriga, Rudolf Tanglmajer; Mária Štraneková; Faculty of Architecture at STU (Natália Marková, Dominika Mikátová, Andrea Rovňáková, Pavol Vojtek, concept: Henrieta Moravčíková); Tomáš Vlček, Dušan Kranjc, Martin Novák
Works by courtesy of institutions’ collections
Slovak National Gallery, Slovak National Museum in Martin, Museum of Janko Kráľ, Tekovské Museum in Levice, Šariš Gallery in Prešov, Bratislava City Museum, SNM – Museum of History, East Slovak Museum, University Library, Slovak Film Institute, State Archive in Bratislava, Museum of Decorative Arts In Prague, National Museum Prague, Moravian Gallery in Brno, Moravian Library, Moravian Museum, National Library of the Czech Republic, National Technical Museum in Prague, Museum of the City of Brno, Getty Research Institute Los Angeles, Literaturhaus Wien, MAK - Museum für angewandte Kunst / Gegenwartskunst Wien, Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg, and Slovak Design Museum.
 Works by courtesy of private collectionsMiloslava Rupešová, Slavomír Brezina, Eva Knoteková, Zuzana Bahnová,Svetlana Valigurská, Judita Csáderová, Čeněk Jirásko, Petr Hora Hořejš,rodina Trösterová, Katarína Hubová, Ľubomír Longauer, Klára Prešnajderová, Simona Bérešová, Klement Šilinger, Ján Šilinger
90th Anniversary of the Establishment of the School of Arts and Crafts in Bratislava
14th December 2018 – 29th September 2019
Bratislava Castle, SNM – Museum of History
The Exhibition commemorates the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Czechoslovak Republic and the 100th jubilee of the formation of Bauhaus in Weimar.

Still Undead: Popular Culture in Britain Beyond the Bauhaus

Still Undead: Popular Culture in Britain Beyond the Bauhaus

 Kurt Schwerdtfeger, Reflektorische Frablichtspiele, 1922 light performance. Courtesy of MicroscopeGallery and Kurt Schwerdtfeger Estate, 2016

Still Undead explores how Bauhaus ideas and teaching lived on in Britain, via pop culture and art schools. This exhibition coincides with the centenary of the pioneering art and design school’s founding in Weimar. Spanning the 1920s to the 90s, and including works by some 50 artists, designers and musicians, Still Undead narrates the eclectic and fragmented ways that the Bauhaus’s legacy has been transmitted and transformed. It is structured around six loosely chronological groupings, which move from the Bauhaus to British art schools, from the high street to the nightclub and beyond.
Still Undead departs from experiments in light and sound created by Bauhaus students and teachers. Combining music, costume and performance, these works were key to the school’s lively culture of parties and festivals. After the Nazis came to power in 1933, and the Bauhaus closed, a number of its masters and students came to Britain. A lack of work pushed them towards a variety of projects, making everything from sci-fi special effects and documentary photography to shop-window displays.
After World War II, Bauhaus methods reshaped British art schools through a new approach to artistic training known as Basic Design. This emphasised intuition and experimentation, colour and material. At the beginning of the 1960s, a young generation began to reimagine the aims of the Bauhaus for an era of consumerism and commercial design.
In the 1970s and 80s, youth culture – by way of art-school bands, DIY publishing and club nights – looked back to early 20th-century avant-gardes for inspiration. This section of the exhibition is a collage of performance, music and graphic design, which invokes the spirit of Bauhaus parties and theatre. The exhibition title, Still Undead, is borrowed from a 1982 song by the British band Bauhaus, suggesting that these spirits linger on, neither dead nor alive.

Still Undead includes works by some 40 artists, designers and musicians, including: Gertrud Arndt, Roy Ascott, Bauhaus (Band), Robyn Beeche, Otti Berger, Leigh Bowery, Marcel Breuer, Robert Brownjohn, Laurie-Rae Chamberlain, Edmund Collein, Susan Collier and Sarah Campbell, Terence Conran, Rita Donagh, Terence Donovan, Ueli Frey, Maxwell Fry, Walter Gropius, Rene Halkett and David Jay, Richard Hamilton, Florence Henri, George Hinchcliffe and Ian Wood, Ludwig Hirschfeld Mack, Tom Hudson, Ben Kelly, Kraftwerk, Kurt Kranz, Margaret Leischner, Liliane Lijn, T. Lux Feininger, Al MacDonald, John Maybury, Lucia Moholy, László Moholy-Nagy, Victor Pasmore, Mary Quant, Herbert Read, Vidal Sassoon, Peter Saville, Oskar Schlemmer, Kurt Schwerdtfeger, Soft Cell, Frank Tovey (Fad Gadget), Edith Tudor-Hart, Stephen Willats.
Marion von Osten, Grant Watson and Sam Thorne
Olivia Aherne, Gavin Butt, Cédric Fauq, Christian Hiller and Mariana Meneses

Still Undead has been developed in partnership with “Bauhaus Imaginista”, a major international collaboration led by Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; Bauhaus Kooperation (Weimar, Dessau, Berlin); and the Goethe-Institut.
21 Sep 2019 – 12 Jan 2020

The Building Game Remains Still, yet Still It Sails

Kostis Velonis, The Building Game Remains Still, yet Still It Sails, 2019
700 x 110 x 138 cm
Acrylic, plywood 

24      August – 3 November  “Crossing Lines”, cur. by Christian Oxenius, Jan Tichy Kunsthalle Osnabrück, Osnabrück

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Crossing Lines

László Moholy-Nagy, Right Hand in Green, May 20th 1926
Courtesy of Hattula Moholy-Nagy

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Bauhaus School in Weimar Kunsthalle Osnabrück will present Crossing Lines, an exhibition developed by artist and educator Jan Tichy and curator Christian Oxenius.

The concept for the exhibition, opening August 24th, takes its initial inspiration from an unusual find in 
LászlóMoholy-Nagy’s estate: a series of life-size print of his hand, as well as of other „Bauhäusler“, taken in May 1926 by the great Hungarian artist and leading figure of the Bauhaus. While probably the result of Moholy-Nagy’s interest in palmistry and spiritual practices, not at all uncommon within the Bauhaus, we cannot be certain about the precise reason that lead a group of thirteen individuals (among which Kandisky, Brauer, Brandt and Moholy-Nagy himself) to produce these documents never exhibited before collectively. The handprints in this context contain a future prediction, told at a time in which modernism, as product of the Positivism of the 19th century, was both at its peak and yet was already showing signs of the fundamental flaws that led to its crisis, visible to this day. Their aura of mystery and mysticism, as well as the sense of community they express, makes the setting of the Kunsthalle Osnabrück, as former monastery, an ideal space in which to unfold a series of questions present in the many histories of the Bauhaus but too often missing from its public image.
These documents served as inspiring elements for a dialogue between Tichy and Oxenius leading to a selection of contemporary artists that with their practice and through the narratives they develop crossed the lines separating the complexity of the Bauhaus as a place for “experimentation (line of the introduction)” with its common narrative as a site of production of rationalist modernism. The contribution of Heba Y. Amin, Jakob Gautel, Olaf Holzapfel, Reuven Israel, Kostis Velonis and Tichy himself although developed independently entail a form of collective thinking and action, reflected in the spatial arrangements taken in the Kunsthalle and in the conceptual underpinning of the works.
The title Crossing Linessuggests this interplay between positions and narratives in the works presented in Osnabrück but serves also as an opening to the collaboration with the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Chicago. The renown Chicago based institution, founded by Moholy-Nagy in 1937, will see a parallel exhibition to Crossing Linesheld in the Carr Chapel designed by "Bauhäusler" Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in the United States, and opening in September as an extension and expansion of the dialogue with the hand-prints as well as a publication, the first occasion in which these objects are extensively discussed in literature.
The works on display will include both previously exhibited artworks as well as new productions designed specifically for the occasion.

Alma Buscher : “Ship” Building Toy

Alma Buscher 
“Ship” Building Toy, 1923 
 Text by Christine Meuring

Crossing Lines

Anlässlich des 100-jährigen Bauhaus-Jubiläums präsentiert die Kunsthalle Osnabrück die Ausstellung Crossing Lines, deren Konzept auf einem Fund in László Moholy-Nagys künstlerischem Nachlass basiert: einem analogen Abdruck seiner Hand von 1926. Der ungarische Künstler, eine führende Figur des Bauhauses, interessierte sich für Handlinien- und Zukunftsdeutungen und für die Theosophie. Letztere verbindet, aus der historischen Distanz betrachtet, nur vordergründig rationale und spirituelle Elemente der Menschheit, instrumentalisiert tatsächlich aber die Rationalität, um eine nur scheinbar auf ein gerechtes Gesellschaftsmodell abzielende Weltordnung zu legitimieren. Es lässt sich also in gewisser Weise aus Moholy-Nagys Handlinien jene Zukunft ablesen, die als „Moderne“ in den 1920ern bereits die fundamentalen Fehlentwicklungen zu Tage treten ließ. 

Crossing Lines öffnet einen kuratorischen Reflexionsraum, der die Institution Bauhaus als ein Beispiel betrachtet, an dem sich die Idee der Moderne manifestierte. Dazu sind sechs zeitgenössische Künstlerinnen und Künstler eingeladen, die Rolle des Rationalismus gegenüber einer unbestreitbaren Präsenz spiritueller Elemente in der menschlichen Natur zu untersuchen und dabei unserem Bedürfnis, lebensweltlichen Zeichen weiterführende Bedeutungen beizumessen, nachgehen. Die ausgestellten Werke umfassen sowohl bereits ausgestellte Arbeiten als auch eigens für die Ausstellung geschaffene Neuproduktionen. 
Ausstellung mit den Handabdrücken des Bauhaus Künstlers László Moholy-Nagy und künstlerischen Arbeiten von Heba Y. Amin, Jakob Gautel, Olaf Holzapfel, Reuven Israel, Kostis Velonis und Jan Tichy

Die Ausstellung ist zu sehen bis zum 3. November

Monday, August 5, 2019

Being messy on the inside keeps metamaterials from folding under stress

Human-made metamaterials with messy internal designs may be more resistant to damage than those with neatly patterned structures.
Metamaterial lattices, usually composed of struts that form identical, repeating “unit cells,” can exhibit properties that normal solids don’t (SN: 1/19/19, p. 5). But under heavy loads, overstressed struts can collapse, and that breakage quickly splinters through the whole grid, causing it to crumble.
Materials scientist Minh-Son Pham of Imperial College London and colleagues realized that this kind of collapse is similar to the way metallic crystals with atoms arranged in identical unit cells deform under heavy loads. In these materials, defects in the crystal can travel freely through its atomic lattice like dominoes falling in a row, weakening the crystal (SN: 9/11/10, p. 22).
To create more resilient metamaterials, Pham and colleagues drew inspiration from the irregular atomic arrangements inside crystalline metals. In these materials, described in the Jan. 17 Nature, different regions contain unit cells with different orientations, sizes or types of crystals. The boundaries between these regions serve as roadblocks to stop defects from moving. Metamaterial lattices patterned after these atomic setups could make more reliable components for cars and airplanes, Pham says.
Pham’s team 3-D printed lattices with unit cells arranged either in perfect order, as in conventional metamaterials, or in motley groups of different atomic structures. When the researchers squeezed lattices between metal plates, the mixed lattices proved sturdier than those with regular unit cell arrangements.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Diamond Follow

Gordon Newton, Diamond Follow (1975). Courtesy of Cranbrook Art Museum