Celi Lee calls herself a “Plutoner on Earth”.
Celi Lee calls herself a “Plutoner on Earth”.
Finding its forms in a combination of drawing, object-making and installation, the work of artist Maggie Haas investigates the lives of unfinished and discarded objects, with a particular interest in construction materials. She was recently awarded a residency at The Lab, in San Francisco, CA—where she has been working primarily with materials she has found at the space. Working with what she is given, Haas uses her transformational powers to great effect: expanding upon everyday materials with her acute sense of color and composition.
Since beginning her residency, Haas has been creating work both from and in the gallery, she has created a series of ever-shifting structures. Using the gallery as both a medium and a platform to create, Haas has used her most recent body of work to explore flux, transition and our relationship to the idea of impermanence. Hovering between blueprint-style drawing and abstraction, her drawings of imagined structures and patterns explore the materiality of paper and ink—while her propped-up structures and object-based art elegantly underline the thesis that everything is in flux, everything can be moved, shifted, collapsed and/or carried away.
Estonian artist Eiko Ojala expertly creates illustrations using paper. His complex collage pieces are at the same time simple in execution. His background as an illustrator is clear in each of these pieces. Ojala is able to communicate a considerable story with minimal imagery and medium. Whether a series of trees interacting through different seasons, or portraits, Ojala weaves interesting narratives using simple poignant scenes.
Walking past the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York City, you might catch a glimpse of a bright pink, floor-to-ceiling, perforated, amoeba-like shape. Don’t be alarmed. “Situation Room”, a collaborative project, is a self-supported interactive structure by architect Marc Fornes / TheVeryMany paired with Oslo-based artist Jana Winderen’s engineered sounds. Visitors are invited to move within the installation, triggering the responsive sound. The passageways, apertures and tunnels are composed of 2000 parts designed by Fornes and fabricated by bengal.fierro. Patterns punched in the structure create patterns of shadow and light in the darkened room. Access to additional storefront projects is available through provided tablets.
“Reflecting on the contemporary conditions emerging between the digital and the physical realms, the collaboration of Winderen and Fornes collapses sound, light and form in an object with intrinsic sensorial behaviors, inviting visitors to question the properties of matter and the built environment surrounding us.”(Source)
This site-specific work is immersive, enveloping visitors in a multi-sensory experience that enhances the tie between physical space and sound. The idea that human presence affects built environments is made clear by the integration of responsive audio. Winderen’s website explains, “She is concerned with finding and revealing sounds from hidden sources, both inaudible for the human senses and sounds from places and creatures difficult to access.”
“The installation is a vibrating sound experiment that aims to transform the architecture into animated sensible form. Conceived as a sound object that absorbs and contrasts the site specificity of the Storefront Gallery with abstract, spatial, formal and acoustic variations and compositions, Situation NY raises questions about context, sensorial readings, estrangement and the uncanny tangentially resonating with contemporary debates around the ontology of objects.” (Source)
Chad Kouri always dreamed of being a designer, and he took the first major step towards making that dream a reality with a freelance gig at the age of sixteen. Ten years later, he has become what some refer to as a cultural engineer. A founding member of the Chicago-based art and design incubator, The Post Family, previous Art Director of Proximity Magazine and recognition as one of Chicago’s Newcity Breakout Artists of 2010 are only a few of his numerous accomplishments. Kouri has been involved with more than thirty different projects over the last two years, and shows no signs of slowing down. For many, there is still a huge chasm between the worlds of design and fine arts, but this distinction is of no interest to Chad Kouri. Un-phased, he continues to breakdown the walls attempting to separate the two industries. A recent collaboration with artists Stephen Eichhorn and Cody Hudson at the Patty and Rusty Rueff Gallery marks his first foray into exhibiting at an institutional level, but with an upcoming solo show at the Rochester Museum of Fine Art slated for the winter of 2012 it will obviously not be his last. Kouri describes his practice as having, “equal interests in conceptual art, consumer culture, typography, design, jazz and the gray areas between these fields, my body of work is more a collection of various ongoing projects, thoughts and experiments tied together by a strong sense of composition, concise documentation and an overall vibe of optimism than a seamless display of a style or genre.” I am excited to watch this process evolve, and I wish him good luck for the future – but somehow I don’t think he’ll need it.
I am by no means a typography or design buff. I have heard at length discussions on Helvetica and whatnot- don’t ask me, I definitely used Comic Sans back in highschool to make my Pug Fans of the World website. Lol. Maybe I wasn’t that bad. Anyways, while perusing one of my favorite websites, FairSpot (an amazing directory for new creative talent) I came across Craig Ward. I really liked some of his takes on typography- like above, a weird silly string metal record looking layout that seems to vibrate. More creative solutions below.
What looks to be collages are actually gouache paintings by Oakland, CA based Kelly Allen. By combining graphic and natural imagery she forms explosive new forms. Animals, insects, plants, fruits, molecular structures, and colorful geometric elements are assembled into vibrant microcosms. In her own words the works are “…symbiotic accumulations inspired by the systems within nature, and the human experience of recognizing beauty and inventing meaning.”
Swiss artist Tenko‘s work seems to represent a twisting, flawed humanity that we try to forget. Looking at his work I’m very conscious of the fact that my supposedly higher thoughts and feelings all rely on a system of organs, pumps, and fluids to exist and no amount of perfume is going hide the fact that we are simply beasts of flesh and bone. Maybe it’s all those perfectly modeled legs or even the grotesque facial expressions but I feel like I’m definitely gonna have to exfoliate tonight.