NYC / R & COMPANY / ROGAN GREGORY

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R & Company’s exhibition of Rogan Gregory is his largest showing of his work to date. Known Unknown is his second solo exhibit with the gallery. It features stunning unique sculptural works that are interpretive, suggestive and open to discussion as to what they are inspired by: biomorphic shapes, fertility figures, perhaps large dinosaur or alien bone fragments? 

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Sculpted from stone, wood and bronze and incorporating beach sand and rocks, Rogan Gregory works organically. He often works by hand in his studio in the tradition of the old masters. The works appear to cross lines between nature, the unknown universe and science fiction. They are surreal, yet powerful and poetic. Many of the sculptures have round glowing orbs inside, when you touch the sculpture in a certain way, you can turn them on, off or they just may brighten to your touch. These are pieces that should be seen in person to be fully appreciated, and when you do, these pieces will draw you into a much deeper exploration.

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NYC / WENDELL CASTLE / FRIEDMAN BENDA

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In January 2018, we lost Wendell Castle, a legendary American furniture designer who is described as the father of the art furniture movement. He was zealously driven as a sculptor, designer and educator for more than four decades. Today, his legend lives on in modern furniture as a major art form. He was in the middle of preparing a new body of work at the age of 85 and was creative and hardworking till the end. Wendell reimagined furniture at every level and his works are sculptural, organic and biomorphic with no straight lines and embrace nature.

I had the absolute pleasure of viewing Wendell Castle’s last exhibition at the Friedman Benda in 2017. Entitled Embracing Upheaval, it displayed major works created in wood and bronze. Many of the sculptural forms were designed for seating. Organic and suggestive of natural tree trunks, most of the stunning works are large scale with wonderful curves and substantial presence.

To deliver his vision of furniture to a wider audience, in 1998 Wendell founded The Wendell Castle Collection. Handcrafted in the original workshop, each work is crafted by world class craftsmen and women and follow the artistic and high quality standards that he set. 

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NYC / COLLECTIVE DESIGN FAIR

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Founded by Steven Learner, and now in it’s 6th year iteration, the Collective Design Fair has moved up to March to coincide with the Armory Show. Both design shows are held on the west side of Manhattan. Collective is an absolute joy to attend. It’s not too big or too crowded, instead it is focused, creative and highly inspirational. What I enjoy most about this fair is it allows you to view the artists works and in many cases speak to the artists directly about their inspiration and process of their creations. For the 2018 fair, the theme was about the design process and study of objects. Another wonderful improvement was that the show was moved to a larger space on the top floor of Skylight Clarkson North which was brighter with large windows and natural light.

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Collective is a high end contemporary design fair with global curated works from both emerging and established galleries. Some notable favorites included a large dynamic vibrant blue chair sculpture by Jamie Bush, circular sculptural lighting designed with crystals by Christopher Boots (he was wonderful to meet) and a fabulous Harry Bertoia bush sculpture presented by Lost City Arts. The outstanding textures and blends of colors of the ceramics at the Mindy Solomon Gallery were inspired. I kept returning to the Chahan Gallery exhibit as I enjoyed literally every piece of furniture and decorative work on their well curated display. I look forward to visiting the gallery in person the next time I am in Paris.

It was inspiring speaking with artist Peter Lane about his stunning ceramic wall panel installation. I look forward to collaborating with him some day soon for a custom client commission. Ceramic artist Ahryun Lee took the time to tell me about her inspiration of the tastes and flavors she enjoyed as a child that led to her colorful sculptures. This show is an annual must visit!

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NY BOTANICAL GARDEN / DALE CHIHULY

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Everyone who lives near or is visiting NYC should plan a trip to the NY Botanical Garden before the end of October. You will be greatly inspired and rewarded if you do.

In his first exhibition returning to New York in over 10 years, Seattle-based glass artist Dale Chihuly stuns with breathtaking glass art installations within the expansive and beautiful setting of the New York Botanical Garden. The visual interplay of the glass art and the plant life is awe-inspiring and emphasizes that the artist’s forms are inspired by nature.

Chihuly is an international master of glass as a fine art. His work is included in more than 200 museum collections worldwide and has received many awards and recognition, including twelve honorary doctorates and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. Aside from Chihuly’s long-term exhibition in Seattle (also a must visit if you are there), his exceptional work has had exhibited all over the world – including: Paris, Venice, Jerusalem, London, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Montreal and ten beautiful gardens around the United States.

In the current outstanding exhibit, there are more than 20 glass installations as well as a display of drawings. ”CHIHULY” is on view at the New York Botanical Garden from April 22nd – October 29th. Special dates are allocated for night displays where the installations will be illuminated at night. 

NYC / R & COMPANY / THE HAAS BROTHERS

Sexy, fun, snarky, creative, whimsical. Those are words I would use to describe the Haas Brother’s current collection, titled “King Dong Come” on display at a recent exhibition at R & Company, in Tribeca, NYC.

 

The Haas Brothers, (who are twins) – Nikolai and Simon grew up in Austin, Texas surrounded by a full family of artists. Their mother is an opera singer, their father a sculptor (who also taught them music, writing, singing and painting) and their brother who is an actor. In their early teens they studied stone carving under their father mastering the craft before leaving home. In 2003 the twins split to pursue different artistic pursuits. Simon enrolled at RISD studying painting, while Nikolai toured as a musician. The two reconvened in 2007 in LA to tour with a band, then founded The Haas Brothers when approached by architects to collaborate on a friend’s project. The brothers collected early praise on their exceptional craftsmanship. They have evolved from collaboration to taking off solo with their own creativity with highly successful works.

 

In these works, they explore an aesthetic related to nature, sexuality, sci-fi, psychedelia and color theory. Materials ingeniously combine fur, brass, bronze, porcelain to technical resins and creative colorization that changes in different lighting.

 

Always a fun treat to see their work in person, images cannot due justice capturing the essence of these works.

MIAMI / SHOW / ART BASEL

Held conveniently in early December in sunny Miami, leading galleries globally from North America, Europe, Latin America,  Asia and Africa display significant works frommodern and contemporary masters. More specifically, Twentieth and Twenty First century collectible design. Also Included is also representation of current rising artists and spin off smaller shows around the city.

 

This is a large show exhibit (with 269 galleries) showcasing painting, sculptures, photography, film and custom installations of the highest caliber. There are informative talks, fun concerts and performances, events and parties to enjoy all over Miami during the show. A true cultural experience. If you can’t make Miami in December, Art Basel is also hosted in Hong Kong in March and Basel (the original) in June.

 

NEW YORK / SHOW / THE SALON ART & DESIGN

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The Salon Art & Design show, held annually in Manhattan at the historic and lovely Park Avenue Armory is an exceptional display of 55 of the world’s most influential galleries. The focus is on exhibiting vintage, modern and contemporary art and design. This is one of my favorite must-attend shows due to the optimal (non-overwhelming) size and tight editing of the “best of the best”. Highlights include ever popular Mid Century Modern as well as a bit of Art Deco represented from America, France, Italy and Scandinavia – combined along with newer works of current day designers.

 

Speaking of the best, my stand out favorite Galleries tend to be fairly consistent and include: Sarah Myerscough Gallery, R & Company, David Gill Gallery, and Todd Merrill Studio.

 

Aside from being blown away by the craftsmanship and artistry on display at Sarah Myerscough, I was really happy to see Axel Vervoordt’s gorgeous pieces on display in his booth. Special finds overall included a petite Henry Moore sculpture as well as some stunning organic furniture pieces from master woodworker George Nakashima. Additionally there was an exceptional acrylic table on display designed by the late Zaha Hadid that visually captured the movement of pouring water. One of the exquisite handmade works at Sarah Myerscough Gallery is a table that recreates the depths and geological cross-sections of the ocean floor - it’s absolutely mesmerizing.

NYC / GALLERY EXHIBIT / GAGOSIAN GALLERY / TAKASHI MURAKAMI

In late 2014, I was fortunate to attend Gagosian New York's outstandingly curated solo exhibit of Takashi Murakami's work including huge sculptural works as well as very colorful and inspiring artwork. Titled "In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow", the collection explored a response to natural disasters such as major earthquakes in Japan.

Takashi Murakami was born in 1962 in Tokyo, Japan and is an internationally renowned contemporary Japanese artist. He holds a BFA, MFA and PhD from the Tokyo University of the Arts. Additionally, he is recognized as a curator, a cultural entrepreneur and a critical observer of Japanese society.

His sculpture and paintings blur the lines between high and low arts and ancient/modern. Referring to his work as "superflat" - (this is now adopted as a descriptor of his artistic style as well as artists influenced by this style). His art descriptively covers a vast range including fun, cute, satirical and psychedelic. He further blurs traditional lines between art and commercial branding through collaborations with fashion houses and music icons. 

Takshi Murakami is referred to as "the Warhol of Japan" for his highly collectable pop art style incorporating popular culture and anime styles. He currently resides and works in Tokyo. If you have a chance to experience his creativity in person, I highly recommend it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LONDON / GALLERY EXHIBIT / GAGOSIAN GALLERY / FRANK GEHRY FISH LAMPS

The fish is a perfect form.

Frank Gehry

When I was visiting London I made a point of visiting the Gagoisian Gallery to take in Architect Frank Gehry's unbelievably stunning fish lamps. Images pale in comparison to experiencing these dynamic pieces in person.

Frank Gehry first created his fish lamps between 1984 and 1986 using a new material at the time, plastic laminate ColorCore. During making a commission for Formica, he accidentally shattered a piece. He was inspired that the broken shards looked like fish scales. He glued the shards to wire frames and a whimsical idea was born. 

They are more recently oversized and lit warmly from within. On exhibit they are in groups and singular forms, horizontal, vertical and displayed mounted in various ways with and without wood. 

The fish lamps are a gorgeous example of form and function. Since the creation of the first lamp, Gehry’s Fish Lamps have been exhibited in London, Paris, Hong Kong, and now Rome. Frank Gehry lives and works in Los Angeles.

The fish lamps are on exhibit in September of 2016 at The Gagosian Gallery in Rome. 

 

 

 

 

SEATTLE / MUSEUM / CHIHULY GARDEN AND GLASS / DALE CHIHULY

The Chihuly Garden and Glass is an awe-inspiring must see exhibit located at Seattle Center showcasing the studio glass of the amazingly talented master glass artist, Dale Chihuly.

Born in 1941 in Tacoma, Washington, Dale Chihuly was introduced to glass while studying interior design at the University of Washington. After graduating in 1965, he enrolled at the University of Wisconsin in what was the first glass program in the country. Later, he continued his studies at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where he further established the glass program and taught for over a decade.

In 1968, after receiving a Fulbright Fellowship, he went to work at the Venini glass factory in Venice. While there he observed the "team approach" to blowing glass, which he adopted and is essential to the way he creates today. In 1971, Chihuly co-founded The Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State. With this international glass center, Chihuly has become a leader in the development of glass as a fine art.

His work is included in more than 200 museum collections worldwide and he is the recipient of many awards, including twelve honorary doctorates and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Chihuly Garden and Glass, a long-term exhibition, opened at Seattle Center in 2012 and is guaranteed to inspire.