Tristram Lansdowne’s watercolors are investigations of landscape and architecture in relation to ideas of permanence and function. Geological and botanical frames of reference add temporal concerns to Lansdowne’s exploration of the metaphorical power of ruins.
The watercolours present richly described scenes in which various tropes of landscape and architecture have been assembled to create conflicted systems, developed according to a logic dominated more by historical glitch than any autonomous idea of form and function. Both enchanting natural phenomenon and deluding vision, the mirage serves, here, as false refuge but also as an opportunity for divination, for time travel. Vestiges of architectural modernism appear, but only as specimens in a larger natural history that includes 17th century geological theories and Romantic totems. This is a world comprised of art historical flotsam, predicated on faulty idealism and mistaken identity, where everything is an invasive species.
Dutch artist Ronald van der Meijs’ “Play it one more time for me La Ville Fumée” is a sound-art installation that works on hand made cigars and refers to the history of Eindhoven city, when it was one of the largest cigar-producing cities of Europe. At that time the city was also called ‘La Ville Fumée’. The installation is in many ways about nature versus culture. The technique used here has an almost machine like character, that is controlled and monitored by a natural and traditional item: the hand made cigar. Because each cigar has its own strength by the natural and traditional way of making, they all have their own fire rate. It is precisely this fact that the installation is not working in a predictable way but rather relates to a more or less natural rhythm. The installation has 4 tuners each control a recorder by means of pistons containing the hand-rolled cigars. There are 4 different recorders: a bass flute, alto, tenor, and a soprano. The pistons with the cigars and the recorders are both controlled by 2 abstract lungs. This sound-art burning cigar installation can be seen as a tribute to the former tobacco industry of Eindhoven city and its thousands of workers and craftsmen. The sound composition is a requiem for the former cigar production industry of Eindhoven. (via)
In reviewing Hilary Brace’s drawings, the New York Times said, “once in a while you come across an art of such refined technique that it seems the product of sorcery more than human craft…” Starting with the smooth surface of polyester film darkened with charcoal, Brace works in a reductive manner by removing charcoal with erasers and other hand made tools. Despite the photographic veracity of her technique, Brace composes her images without premeditation, through an explorative process that allows them to unfold in unanticipated directions. Her subjects are based upon clouds, water, mist and mountains, but she takes these forms to sublime and unimaginable new heights. As Christopher Knight remarked in the Los Angeles Times, her work is “like a Vija Celmins drawing made Baroque, [it] conjures ephemeral poetics of light and space.” For all their vastness and grandeur, Brace’s drawings are relatively small and intimate. As Leah Ollman observed in Art in America, these drawings “put those two realms – the private and the cosmic – within reach of each other.” (via)
We’re absolutely loving these clever and graphic billboard alterations by Parisian street artist OX. Not only do they cover up the ugly advertising that we are bombarded with on a daily basis but they also interact with their surroundings in witty visual plays that construct and deconstruct space, depth and optical illusion. (via)
Beautiful/Decay has partnered with premiere website building platform Made With Color to bring you some of the most exciting contemporary artists working today. Made With Color allows you to create a website that is professional and easy to use with just a few clicks and no coding. This week we bring you the beautifully grotesque paintings of Christian Rex van Minnen whose clean and sleek website was built using the Madewithcolor.com platform. See Minnen’s solo show entitled “Welsh Rats” at Robischon Gallery in Denver Colorado running through May 4th 2013.
“Welsh Rats” is a complexly layered presentation of new and recent paintings by emerging, New York-based artist Christian Rex van Minnen.Extolling his lavishly ornamented personal vocabulary of subtle and outrageous grotesqueries, van Minnen’s unsettling and disfigured, yet comical portraits hang alongside still life paintings of twisted tulips and hyper-real glistening entrails. Equally tangential, the exhibition title of “Welsh Rats,” is the Anglicization of the German word ‘Weltschmerz’ a reference by John Steinbeck in “East of Eden” meaning “world pain.” This sincere yet somewhat naive American (mis)interpretation of weighty European concepts of the past, reflects the confusion of language and history which is crucial to van Minnen’s artistic stance. This extends not just to the artist’s perception of European culture and painting but, also to how Native American and other ancient histories are also assimilated through art. Likened to a modern Archimboldo, van Minnen states, “I find myself either suppressing or indulging of my own desire to associate personal narrative to the raw visual information inherent in the material and process. Construction, destruction and reconstruction are symbiotic elements in the creative process allowing the image to fluctuate between abstraction and representation, truth and illusion, personal and archetypal.”
Russian physician turned turned artist Leonid Tishkov’s latest project consists of a portable crescent moon photographed in nostalgic and sentimental scenes all over the world. Creating images in china, new zealand, taiwan, the arctic, France and beyond, Tishkov’s global ongoing project tells the story of ” a man who met the moon and stayed with her forever.” (via)
The works of emerging Serbian artist Milan Hrnjazović are a swirling and melting mix of body parts and abstraction. Hrnjazović’s figures morph and meld into one another in a psychedelic surreal orgy that at first looks photoshopped but in fact is painstakingly painted in oil revealing the sensual nature of love and lust through the ancient (and equally sensual) medium of painting.
Holland based Eric van Straaten is one of the most technical and talented 3-D sculptors in the world. According to trendwatchers, 3D-printing is the next big thing: in the near future, every household will own a printer that is capable of printing digital three-dimensional objects into a physical object. In the process that is best known under the name ‘Additive Manufacturing’, a 3D-printer builds up a model layer by layer by selectively hardening liquid or powder.
If this powder is a plaster-like material, a model can be directly printed in full color. The 3D-printing of delicate and colored models is far from being just pushing a button, but requires great technical skills. Therefore only a few specialize in this technique and there is no artist who pushes the boundaries of colorized 3D-prints as far as Eric van Straaten.
There is no technique that is capable of achieving such a great degree of hyper(sur)realism as 3D-modeling. At the same time, 3D printing is the only technique with which virtual models can be made actually physically touchable. Physical expressiveness in form and content is the biggest strength of the work of Eric van Straaten: while the sculptures remain to have a certain digital feel to them, the pieces contain a weirdly eroticized corporeality. Balancing on the edge of kitsch, the marzipan-like quality of the material resonates beautifully with the apparent innocence of the scenery. -Prof. Dr. Arnold Ratsberger