kottke.org posts about exhibitions

David Hockney's iPad drawings on display in ParisNov 23 2010

The Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent Foundation in Paris is currently displaying an exhibition of David Hockney's iPhone and iPad drawings. The exhibition is on display through Jan 30, 2011.

Hockney iPad

Hockney uses the Brushes app to create his digital paintings and even has his suits made with a pocket just for the iPad:

He picks up his iPad and slips it into his jacket pocket. All his suits have been made with a deep inside pocket so that he can put a sketchbook in it: now the iPad fits there just as snugly. Even his tux has the pocket, he tells me.

Sunflower SeedsOct 15 2010

The newest exhibition in The Tate Modern's cavernous Turbine Room is Ai Weiwei's Sunflower Seeds:

Sunflower Seeds

The room is filled with millions of handcrafted ceramic sunflower seeds:

Each seed has been individually sculpted and painted by specialists working in small-scale workshops in the Chinese city of Jingdezhen. Far from being industrially produced, they are the effort of hundreds of skilled hands. Poured into the interior of the Turbine Hall's vast industrial space, the 100 million seeds form a seemingly infinite landscape.

Porcelain is almost synonymous with China and, to make this work, Ai Weiwei has manipulated traditional methods of crafting what has historically been one of China's most prized exports. Sunflower Seeds invites us to look more closely at the 'Made in China' phenomenon and the geo-politics of cultural and economic exchange today.

For the first couple of days, people could walk around on the tiny sculptures (as you can see on Flickr), but health concerns prompted the museum to put a stop to that. Still pretty cool, but this remains my favorite Turbine Hall exhibition. (via hilobrow)

The films from Infinite Jest made realJan 29 2010

Someone sent this to me ages ago and I forgot to post it but luckily I ran across it again this morning: A Failed Entertainment is a show at The LeRoy Neiman Gallery featuring the films of James Incandenza...you know, the ones from the 8-page footnote in Infinite Jest.

Included as a footnote in Wallace's novel is the Complete filmography of James O. Incandenza, a detailed list of over 70 industrial, documentary, conceptual, advertorial, technical, parodic, dramatic non-commercial, and non-dramatic commercial works. The LeRoy Neiman Gallery has commissioned artists and filmmakers to re-create seminal works from Incandenza's filmography.

No word on whether any of the filmmakers made JOI's Infinite Jest...I guess we'll find out if anyone emerges from the opening reception tonight.

Global Street FoodJun 16 2009

Global Street Food is an exhibition the various contraptions people use to make and sell food on the street.

Street Food Cart

"Global Street Food" is dedicated to the fascination with improvised kitchens in public places. Urban fast food stations navigating the contrast between pragmatic dilettantism and complexity in the smallest of spaces. Mike Meiré will be presenting several objects and street kitchens from different parts of the world in the Buckmneister Fuller Dome. An exhibition depicting the sculptural quality of authentic objects and their cultural identity

(via today and tomorrow)

Underground projects in NYCMay 26 2009

The New York Transit Museum has developed an extensive online version of their The Future Beneath Us exhibit, featuring eight NYC-area underground projects that are currently under development. The exhibit is on display in two Midtown locations until July 5. (thx, michael)

A history of printingJan 26 2009

The Printed Picture is an exhibition of physical specimens made using all the different ways that type and image can be printed on paper, metal, glass, etc, with a special emphasis on dozens of photography techniques, from albumen prints to dagguereotypes to color photography. On view at MoMA until June 1.

Spend the night at the Guggenheim in NYCOct 30 2008

Thanks to artist Carsten Holler, you can spend a night in the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan.

Revolving Hotel Room is an art installation comprising three outfitted, superimposed turning glass discs mounted onto a fourth disc that all turn harmoniously at a very slow speed. During the day the hotel room will be on view as part of the Guggenheim's theanyspacewhatever exhibition, which runs from October 24, 2008-January 7, 2009. At night, the art installation becomes an operative hotel room outfitted with luxury amenities.

The view from the rotating bed.

Holler was previously responsible for the seriously fun-looking slides in the Tate Modern's Turbine Hall a couple of years back.

Book design competition resultsOct 07 2008

The AIGA has posted their 50 Books/50 Covers selections from 2007. It's worth fighting through the stupid Flash interface to check out these covers (click "View the 365:AIGA Year in..." and then on "Book design"). The covers are on display in NYC until 11/26/2008. (via book design review)

Photos of earth from aboveOct 06 2008

The Big Picture has a selection of photographs from Yann Arthus-Bertrand, who is the answer to the question "hey, who takes those amazing aerial photos of all these different places on earth?" Many more images are available on Arthus-Bertrand's web site and in his many books.

Some of these photos are coming to NYC in May 2009 in an exhibition in Battery Park City.

Stem cell coat killedMay 15 2008

A tiny coat built out of living mouse stem cells that was a part of the Design and the Elastic Mind show at MoMA was killed because it was growing too fast.

Paola Antonelli, a senior curator at the museum, had to kill the coat. "It was growing too much," she said in an interview from a conference in Belgrade. The cells were multiplying so fast that the incubator was beginning to clog. Also, a sleeve was falling off. So after checking with the coat's creators, a group known as SymbioticA, at the School of Anatomy & Human Biology at the University of Western Australia in Perth, she had the nutrients to the cells stopped.

Design and the Elastic MindFeb 25 2008

On view at MoMA through May 12, 2008: Design and the Elastic Mind.

In the past few decades, individuals have experienced dramatic changes in some of the most established dimensions of human life: time, space, matter, and individuality. Working across several time zones, traveling with relative ease between satellite maps and nanoscale images, gleefully drowning in information, acting fast in order to preserve some slow downtime, people cope daily with dozens of changes in scale. Minds adapt and acquire enough elasticity to be able to synthesize such abundance. One of design's most fundamental tasks is to stand between revolutions and life, and to help people deal with change.

I was surprised at how many of the show's ideas and objects I'd seen or even featured on kottke.org already. But getting there first isn't the point. The show was super-crowded and I didn't have a lot of time to look around, but here are a couple of things that caught my eye.

Michiko Nitta's Animal Messaging System (AMS), part of a larger project she did called Extreme Green Guerillas. The basic idea of the AMS is to use the radio ID tags worn by migratory animals to send messages from place to place. Nice map.

Molecubes are self-replicating repairing robots. Video here.

And I've been looking for Brendan Dawes' Cinema Redux project for several months now...most recently I wanted to include his work in my time merge media post.

Using eight of my favourite films from eight of my most admired directors including Sidney Lumet, Francis Ford Coppola and John Boorman, each film is processed through a Java program written with the processing environment. This small piece of software samples a movie every second and generates an 8 x 6 pixel image of the frame at that moment in time. It does this for the entire film, with each row representing one minute of film time.

For more, check out the online exhibition (designed by Yugo Nakamura and THA Ltd, the folks behind FFFFOUND!). Thanks (and congratulations!) to Stamen for hosting a tour of the exhibition.

The Adam Baumgold Gallery is currently showingFeb 13 2008

The Adam Baumgold Gallery is currently showing a series of drawing by Chris Ware, Drawings for New York Periodicals. His series that ran in the NY Times and his Thanksgiving New Yorker covers are included. Feb 1 - Mar 15, 2008. (thx, evan)

This summer's big public art project inJan 21 2008

This summer's big public art project in NYC: 4 large waterfalls falling into the East River and New York Harbor, including one falling from the Brooklyn Bridge. Olafur Eliasson is the responsible party...he's done a couple previous waterfall pieces.

Update: Eliasson's work will also be on display at MoMA and P.S. 1 this summer, April 20 through June 30, 2008. (thx, praveen)

Stuff I want to see in NYC soonNov 29 2007

I'm writing these down in the hope that doing so will motivate me to actually get out of the apartment to check these out.

- Paula Scher: Recent Paintings at Maya Stendal. Through January 26, 2008.

- Gustav Klimt: The Ronald S. Lauder and Serge Sabarsky Collections at Neue Galerie. Through June 30, 2008.

- Edward Burtynsky: Quarries at Charles Cowles. Though December 1, 2007.

- This Is War! Robert Capa at Work at ICP. Through January 6, 2008.

- Georges Seurat: The Drawings at MoMA. Through January 7, 2008.

Did I miss anything? (Besides Jill Greenberg's bear photos at Clampart?)

In the past few weeks, I've seenNov 29 2007

In the past few weeks, I've seen several people mention the 50 Years of Helvetica exhibit at the MoMA along with some variation of "Woo! I might need to take a trip to New York to go see this!" You should know that this exhibit takes up just a small corner of the Architecture and Design Gallery on the 3rd floor...it's essentially a case and a handful of posters and other specimens. If you're in the museum already, definitely check it out, but you'll be disappointed if you make a special expensive trip just to see the Helvetica stuff.

I can't see how on earth JulieNov 15 2007

I can't see how on earth Julie Jackson's Subversive Cross Stitch didn't make it into the Museum of Arts & Design show on Extreme Embroidery. Maybe it's too straightforward but still...

A pair of Lego skyscrapers (made from 250,000Oct 24 2007

A pair of Lego skyscrapers (made from 250,000 pieces and inhabited by 1000 Lego people) are on display at the Storefront for Art and Architecture in NYC through November 24. Dennis Crowley's got some pictures and a short movie. Details include a wee Banksy piece on the side of the building and tiny iPod ads. Here's a timelapse video of the construction. (thx, dens)

Peeping on voyeurs in the parkSep 25 2007

In the 1970s, Japanese photograhper Kohei Yoshiyuki stumbled upon a couple in a park engaged in sexual activity in the darkness and, somewhat more curiously, two men creeping towards the couple, watching them. Over many months, he followed these voyeurs in the park, befriended them, and outfitted his camera with an infrared flash so as to blend into the crowded darkness. The result is a fantastic series of photos called The Park. As you can see in the photo below, Yoshiyuki even caught some of the peeping toms touching their "visual prey".

Kohei Yoshiyuki

Yoshiyuki's photographs explore the boundaries of privacy, an increasingly rare commodity. Ironically, we may reluctantly accommodate ourselves to being watched at the A.T.M., the airport, in stores, but our appetite for observing people in extremely personal circumstances doesn't seem to wane.

The NY Times has an audio slideshow of some images from The Park, which is on display at the Yossi Milo gallery in NYC until October 20 (more photos). A book of Yoshiyuki's photography is available at Amazon.

The Times article mentions several photographers whose work is similar to Yoshiyuki's. Merry Alpern took photographs through a window of prostitutes plying their trade with Wall Street businessmen. Weegee used an infrared flash to capture kissing couples at the movie theater (although it seems that particular shot was staged) and on the beach at Coney Island (last photo here). Walker Evans photographed people on the subway without their knowledge.

Eugene de Salignac was the official photographerSep 21 2007

Eugene de Salignac was the official photographer for the NYC Department of Bridges from 1906 to 1934. His collection of photographs was recently uncovered and, as it turns out, de Salignac was a great photographer and his photographs charted the progress of New York growing into a big city. The New Yorker has a slideshow of some of his photos and there's an exhibit of his work at the Museum of the City of New York until Oct 28. (thx, stacy)

Opening Friday, June 22 at jen bekman galleryJun 14 2007

Opening Friday, June 22 at jen bekman gallery in NYC: A New American Portrait, "a group exhibition of photographs featuring artists at the vanguard of contemporary portraiture in America". Curated by Jen Bekman and Joerg Colberg, one of my favorite bloggers on the topic of photography.

Celluloid Skyline exhibit at Grand CentralMay 23 2007

Let's say you're interested in movies and New York City. Then you could do worse than check out the Celluloid Skyline exhibit being displayed in Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central from May 25 through June 22. The exhibit is based on the book of the same name by James Sanders, an exploration of how New York is portrayed in film. The exhibit includes "scenic backing" paintings made for movie sets in the 40s & 50s, film footage of films set in NYC, production stills and location shots, and other artifacts of NYC's intersection with film. Sanders was kind enough to send me a photo of one of the scenic backing paintings:

Celluloid Skyline

I left the tool chest in the foreground for scale...the paintings are three stories tall! I'm always down for a trip up to Grand Central so I'll definitely be checking this out.

Exhibit on Helvetica (the font, not theApr 05 2007

Exhibit on Helvetica (the font, not the film) opens tomorow at the MoMA and will be available for a good long time (until March 31, 2008). "Widely considered the official typeface of the twentieth century, Helvetica communicates with simple, well-proportioned letterforms that convey an aesthetic clarity that is at once universal, neutral, and undeniably modern."

The Shapes Project by Allen McCollum. "I'veNov 29 2006

The Shapes Project by Allen McCollum. "I've designed a new system to produce unique two-dimensional 'shapes.' This system allows me to make enough unique shapes for every person on the planet to have one of their own. It also allows me to keep track of the shapes, so as to insure that no two will ever be alike." Part of McCollum's project is on display at the Friedrich Petzel Gallery in NYC. (thx, scott)

The National Design Triennial 2006 is on viewNov 27 2006

The National Design Triennial 2006 is on view at the Cooper Hewitt museum in NYC from Dec 8 - July 29.

Chris Spurgeon reports on an "astonishing artSep 29 2006

Chris Spurgeon reports on an "astonishing art installation" going on right now in London called Bridge by Michael Cross. It's a flooded church with carefully placed stones that let you walk on water across the room.

Exhibition at the Science, Industry and BusinessJul 25 2006

Exhibition at the Science, Industry and Business Library in NYC: Places & Spaces, Mapping Science (thru Aug 31). An online exhibition is also available or browse all the maps.

A copy of the Declaration of IndependenceJul 07 2006

A copy of the Declaration of Independence handwritten by Thomas Jefferson is on display until Aug 5 at the NYPL. (via z)

Yale's MFA Graphic Design show is thisMay 18 2006

Yale's MFA Graphic Design show is this weekend in New Haven from May 17 to May 24, opening on May 20th. (thx, rebecca)

Whitney Biennial 2006, through May 28 in NYC. NYMar 05 2006

Whitney Biennial 2006, through May 28 in NYC. NY Times review. Momus describes his first day as a performance artist at the Biennial.

Alternative photography (pinhole cameras, daguerreotypes, gum bichromateFeb 02 2006

Alternative photography (pinhole cameras, daguerreotypes, gum bichromate prints) is making a small comeback in the midst of the digital photography revolution. Here's some of Adam Lubroth's work and an exhibition in Austin, TX of "historical photographic approaches in the digital age".

Edward Burtynsky at the Brooklyn Museum of ArtJan 09 2006

I can't remember where I first ran across Edward Burtynsky's photography, but I've been developing into a full-fledged fan of work over the past few months. From a Washington Post article on Burtynsky:

Burtynsky calls his images "a second look at the scale of what we call progress," and hopes that at minimum, the images acquaint viewers with the ramifications -- he avoids the word price -- of our lifestyle. But what if viewers just see, you know, some dudes and a ship?

"Another photographer might focus on the loss of life or pollution," acknowledges Kennel of the National Gallery. "He uses beauty as a way to draw attention to something. It's a very particular strategy."

The Brooklyn Museum of Art is displaying an exhibition of Burtynsky's photos until January 15. Well worth the effort to try and check it out. The scale of modernity, particularly in his recent photos of China, is astounding. In Three Gorges Dam Project, Dam #4, this huge dam seems to stretch on forever and you don't know whether to goggle in wonder or shrink in horror from looking at it.

John Lasseter at MoMADec 21 2005

MoMA just opened their show about Pixar last week and on Friday, we went to a presentation by John Lasseter, head creative guy at the company. Interesting talk, although I'd heard some of it in various places before, most notably in this interview with him on WNYC. Two quick highlights:

  • Lasseter showed colorscripts from Pixar's films (which can be viewed in the exhibition). A colorscript is a storyboarding technique that Pixar developed to "visually describe the emotional content of an entire story through color and lighting". They are compact enough that the entire story fits on a single sheet and if you're familar enough with the films, you can follow along with the story pretty well. But mostly it's just for illustrating the mood of the film. Very cool technique (that could certainly be adopted for web design and branding projects).
  • Near the end of the talk he showed a 2-3 minute clip of Cars, prefacing it with an announcement that it had never before been shown outside of Pixar.[1] Some of the CGI wasn't completely finished, but it was certainly enough to get the gist. When the first preview trailer for Cars was released, I was skeptical; it just didn't look like it was going to be that good. Based on the clip Lasseter showed and some of his other comments, I'm happy to report that I was wrong to be so skeptical and am very much looking forward to its release in 2006.

At 15 minutes long, the Q&A session at the end of his talk was too short. The MoMA audience is sufficiently interesting and Lasseter was so quick on his feet and willing to share his views that 30 to 40 minutes of Q&A would have been great.

[1] For you Pixar completists and AICN folks out there, the clip showed Lightning McQueen leaving a race track on the back of a flat-bed truck, bound for a big race in California. As the truck drives across the US, you see the criss-crossing expressways of the city stretch out into the long straight freeways of the American west, the roads literally cutting into the beautiful scenery. A cover of Tom Cochran's Life is a Highway plays as the truck drives. The world of the movie features only cars, no humans...the cars are driving themselves.

Just Van Gogh!Dec 20 2005

A quick note about the Van Gogh show at the Met that's closing at the end of the month: if you're in NYC, go see it. Admittedly, I'm a fan of Van Gogh, but I thought this was one of the best museum exhibitions I've ever seen. The exhibition features drawings (as well as a few paintings) from his short 10-year career as an artist, and you can really see how much he progressed during that time and how much his drawings and paintings were related. I can't wait to go back over to the MoMA and look at Starry Night and The Postman and view them not as paintings, but more as drawings done with paint.

Audio interview with John Lasseter (basically creativeDec 15 2005

Audio interview with John Lasseter (basically creative director at Pixar) and Ron Magliozzi, who helped curate the just-opened show at MoMA on 20 years of Pixar.

Safe: Design Takes On RiskDec 13 2005

At the risk (ha!) of missing it, I waited until this late in the game to check out Safe: Design Takes On Risk at the MoMA. Great show. Two of my favorite items:

  • Safe Bedside Table by James McAdam. If the need should arise in the middle of the night, the top of the table separates from the leg and can be worn on the arm as a shield while you use the leg to beat the crap out of a surprised burglar.
  • Suited for Subversion by Ralph Borland. Don this highly visable suit before heading out for a day of protesting. It's padded to protect against police brutality, an optional wireless camera acts as a witness to the day's events, and a speaker amplifies the wearer's heatbeat, letting those around him know that's he's scared, anxious, exhilarated, or simply human.

For you armchair museum goers, what looks to be the entire exhibition is available online.

Also, the MoMA around holiday time, not so crowded. (Well, relatively so. There were still a fair number of people there, just not so many as in the Build-A-Bear store on 5th Avenue.)

The Burtynsky exhibition at the Brooklyn MuseumDec 12 2005

The Burtynsky exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum of Art sounds good. I hope to get over there before it closes on January 15. Here's his site with lots of photographs. "He often will shoot an image on three or four different brands of film, then print each image on three or four different brands of paper...then chooses the combination that produces the richest and most vivid look."

There's a Charles Darwin exhibition at theDec 01 2005

There's a Charles Darwin exhibition at the Natural History Museum in NYC through May 2006. A tidbit not reported in the US press: the exhibition failed to attract corporate sponsorship because "American companies are anxious not to take sides in the heated debate between scientists and fundamentalist Christians over the theory of evolution". Pussies.

Update: This letter sent into TMN throws some doubt on the whole lack of corporate sponsorship angle. (thx, chris)

Works by Chip Kidd (from Chip Kidd:Nov 28 2005

Works by Chip Kidd (from Chip Kidd: Book One) will be on exhibition at Cooper Union through Feb 4, 2006.

Chanel and Karl LagerfeldAug 02 2005

The Chanel exhibition at the Met showcases the fashion designs of Coco Chanel as well as the more recent fashions of Karl Lagerfeld's design. The exhibition attempts to draw parallels between the older Chanel fashions and Lagerfeld's newer work (words like "interpretation" and "reinvention" sprinkled the exhibition walls), but I had a hard time seeing Coco's influence in much of his work. Seems more like Lagerfeld is out on his own, which is in keeping with his thoughts in this 2001 interview with Paper magazine. Initially he says he hates "nothing more than people who only look in one direction, which means only in their direction" but then that he finds it hard to collaborate with others (except with himself). Then:

When I do my own things, I'm not really too interested in other people telling me what to do.

Lagerfeld is a fascinating figure and may have captured the cultural zeitgeist of the 80s and 90s in Chanel's fashions, but I don't know if I buy any of this reinvention business. If you'd like the check out the exhibit for yourself, you'd better hurry...it's only on for a few more days.

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