Saturday, 19 August 2017

Pierre Paulin: Butterflies Through Other Eyes #34


I recently featured a design classic - BKF's Butterfly Chair (here). The influence of the butterfly in modern design can also be seen in this product - another Butterfly Chair, this time by French furniture/interior designer Pierre Paulin (1927-2009). The chair takes its name from the butterfly-shaped tubular metal framework which supports the leather slings which make up the seat and backrest. The Butterfly Chair was created by Paulin as part of his collaborations with design company Artifort during the 1960s - 70s. The design is possibly a homage to the earlier, but similar iconic BKF/ Hardoy 1938 Butterfly Chair design, which also features a leather sling over a metal framework. Paulin's other chair designs were made using foam and a metal frame covered with stretch materials which were considered both modern and unique and are still highly collectable today. Other famous chair designs by Paulin sought out for their clear lines and body-hugging shapes include the Orange Slice, Ribbon, and Tongue chairs.









Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Summer Show: Cambridge Contemporary Art


Installation shot of a little corner of Cambridge Contemporary Art featuring four of my pieces from left to right - Butterfly Waltz, Gloriole (gold leaf), Mandarin Collar (copper leaf), and Bathing Beauty (copper leaf), in their current Summer Show which continues to 3rd September. 


The Summer Show
until 3rd September
Cambridge Contemporary Art
6 Trinity Street
Cambridge
01223 324222
http://www.cambridgegallery.co.uk/contact/

Monday, 14 August 2017

Friday, 11 August 2017

Dulwich Pavilion



Across town meanwhile at Dulwich Picture Gallery celebrations were in order, as it is 200 years since this gallery first opened its doors to the public. Part of the celebrations involved the commissioning of their very own inaugural pavilion. A competition was held to design the pavilion, and the winners were architects IF_DO, with their After Image pavilion. It is an interesting airy structure of wooden struts forming the roof, draped with a wire mesh curtain, and large mirrored panels reflecting the abundant light, and the lush, tranquil greenery of the surrounding gardens, anchored on a wooden slate base. I particularly liked the seating. The utilitarian school-like chairs whose metalwork was coloured in both vibrant, and cool pastel shades. Future designs could well rival those at the Serpentine Gallery.














IF_DO - After Image Pavilion
until 8th October
Dulwich Picture Gallery
Gallery Road
London
SE 21

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Serpentine Pavilion

 
I really enjoyed seeing this years' Serpentine Pavilion structure by Diébédo Francis Kéré. It is the 17th of the Serpentine Gallery pavilion commissions, and was inspired by the tree that serves as a central meeting point of life in Kéré's hometown of Gando, Burkino Faso. The pavilion is a lovely design, and perfectly reflects its inspiration - a tree, with its protective canopy, providing shelter from both sun and rain, whilst allowing cooling breezes to circulate. It also reflects the many real trees that surround the structure in its temporary Kensington Gardens home. The structure is made with a metal framework at its core, and a roof of wooden slats that fan out saucer-like. Deep blue wooden triangular ziggurats provide a decorative patterned wall to enclose the structure.

Diébédo Francis Kéré




















Serpentine Pavilion 2017
until 8th October
Serpentine Gallery
Kensington Gardens
London
W2

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Rabble


This is Rabble, another piece created with copper leaf, and stitched copper thread. It measures 50cm x 50cm, and comes in a painted ash frame. Rabble is currently on show and available from the Summer Show at Cambridge Contemporary Art.






The Summer Show
until 3rd September
Cambridge Contemporary Art
6 Trinity Street
Cambridge
01223 324222
http://www.cambridgegallery.co.uk/contact/


Friday, 28 July 2017

Grayson Perry: The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever!


This is the first object I encountered on entering this exhibition. This charming tin-ware church-like building inhabited by two figures is very much like Mexican tin-ware/folk/votive objects based on biblical Adam and Eve figures - though in this case the first couple are replaced by figures of Perry himself, and wife Philippa. Once in the main exhibition you are confronted with a large print of a naked Perry in a pose reminiscent of Manet's Olympia.



The pots in the exhibition are as is usual for Perry, very well crafted, and are densely layered and textured with imagery referencing Perry and his transvestite alter-ego Claire. Other imagery is based on latter day politics/politicians and the extraordinary twists and turns of which continues to dominate the headlines worldwide currently. The pots also feature Perry's observations on social constructs such as class and gender.












The tapestries are typically bold, taking their inspiration from the history of traditional workers union banners, and low popular art forms such as wrestling. The Gay Black Cats tapestry also references Asafo Fante flags in its use of flat bold colours and stylised Union Jack in the top corner. There were other African influences in the appropriation of sculptural fetish figures, and Nigerian Benin-style bronzes.




I didn't go to Grayson Perry's 2011 show at the British Museum, so this exhibition was a good opportunity to see first-hand the eccentric motorbike that Perry travelled to Bavaria on, which contains a shrine to Alan Measles - his childhood teddy bear. The other bicycle in the exhibition below is equally eccentric in design though not as flamboyant.






I really liked this piece which again adopted religious imagery, and was like those roadside shrines encountered in Europe and South America. It contained the puppet-like devotional figures of Perry and Philippa and other memento-mori/religious objects. I loved the graphic shapes of the faux-naive folk imagery, and the rusted, punched-metal figures and shapes adorning the front and back of the 'shrine'.





Skateboard art venerating Kate Middleton as a Goddess, was similar to the Art Nouveau graphics of Alphonse Mucha. Long-pig is a ceramic piggy-bank at the entrance/exit to the show in which you are encouraged to deposit donations based on your status or sympathies, was designed to encourage donations to fund the Serpentine Gallery.



As I left the gallery a crowd had built, and were forced to queue before being allowed to enter. Proof of Grayson Perry's ever burgeoning popularity. This show may yet go on to be the Serpentine's if not the most popular art exhibition ever. When you leave the exhibition be sure to go around the building to see these balloons flying from the parapet, which bear more than a passing resemblance to Perry's beloved teddy Alan Measles.







Grayson Perry: The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever!
until 10th September
Serpentine Gallery
Kensington Gardens
London
W2