2011年8月28日 星期日

Unit One (act. 1933–1935)

Unit One (act. 1933–1935) was a gathering of artists, sculptors, and architects formed on the initiative of the painter Paul Nash, who announced the group's formation in a letter to The Times published on 12 June 1933. The members were seven painters—John Armstrong, John Bigge (1892–1973), Edward Burra, Frances Hodgkins, Paul Nash, Ben Nicholson, and Edward Wadsworth—two sculptors, Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, and two architects, Wells Coates and Colin Lucas (1906–1988). The painter Tristram Hillier replaced Hodgkins who dropped out almost at once. For Nash the new group ‘may be said to stand for the expression of a truly contemporary spirit, for that thing which is recognized as peculiarly of to-day in painting, sculpture, architecture’. Its principal purpose was to promote design and experimentation over the British preference for nature in art, for which Nash predicted ‘a new revival’.
Against this are opposed a few artists anxious to go forward from the point they have reached instead of turning with the tide … The formation of Unit One is a method of concentrating certain individual forces: a hard defence, a compact wall against the tide, behind which development can proceed and experiment continue.
In addition to the group there was a book entitled Unit One. Subtitled ‘the modern movement in English painting, sculpture, and architecture’, it was introduced by the poet and art critic Herbert Read, and comprised short contributions by all but one of the participants alongside reproductions of their work (that for Edward Burra was supplied by Douglas Cooper). The book was published in April 1934 by Cassell (whose chairman, Desmond Flower, was a friend of Nash) to coincide with the Unit One exhibition held that month at the Mayor Gallery, Cork Street, London. After London, the show toured to local authority art galleries in Liverpool, Manchester, Hanley, Derby, Swansea, and Belfast, where it closed in April 1935. This proved to be the sum of the group's activity, though it was not formally disbanded. Though short-lived, Unit One was very influential in establishing modernist art and architecture in Britain, and led directly to further initiatives that established London for a brief period in the 1930s as the leading European centre for modernist, especially abstract, art.

In his letter to The Times Nash stressed that the group's participants were artists with established reputations who worked as individuals rather than subscribers to a fixed programme: ‘the peculiar distinction of Unit One is that it is not composed of, let us say, three individuals and eight imitators, but of 11 imitators’. None the less Nash did identify ‘a quality of mind, of spirit, perhaps, which united the work of these artists’, and which he described as ‘truly contemporary’. It was Nash's belief that ‘English art has always suffered from one crippling weakness—the lack of structural purpose. With few exceptions our artists have painted “by the light of nature”.’ Nature, he added, ‘we need not deny. But art, we are inclined to feel should control’ (The Times, 12 June 1934).

Unit One marked the first appreciation, since the end of the First World War, of the need for a distinctively modern art that was not just reserved to abstraction. Thus the group's strong attachment to non-figuration, Nash's ‘structural purpose’, was also compatible with the new imaginative or metaphysical strain which marked the first tentative British address to surrealism. In their own ways several of the painters in the group reflected this position in their work. Nash himself—as well as Armstrong, Bigge, and Hillier—leaned towards an emergent surrealism, while Nicholson and Wadsworth, by contrast, produced completely non-figurative works. Burra was a protégé of Nash who played little personal role in the group, and his work, though familiar with aspects of surrealism, was closer to illustration and hard to classify in terms of the modern movement. Frances Hodgkins was considerably older than the group's other founding members, and was a painter of poetic landscapes and still lifes. Though aware of the modern movement, and respected by artists more experimental than herself, she may have dropped out because she regarded Unit One's agenda as too radical. The group's two sculptors tended both towards the organic and the abstract, a position Moore upheld throughout the 1930s, while Hepworth was shortly to shift to complete abstraction.

Introducing the group's book, Herbert Read declared that ‘the formation of Unit One appears to me to have more importance than any event that has happened in the history of English art for many years’. Read took a practical view of the artists' situation in which the economic depression had severely reduced the already modest income that most achieved from sales of their work. The need for collective activity in the face of dire economic conditions was stressed by Nash's friend, the critic Anthony Bertram (1897–1978), who lectured on Unit One when its exhibition went on tour. The group's formation was, therefore, a marketing strategy as well as an attempt to establish ‘difficult’ art with the British public.

The wider context for the creation of Unit One was a growing recognition—based on exhibitions from the late 1920s, notably at London's Leicester Galleries, Arthur Tooth & Sons, and the Lefevre Gallery—of significant artistic innovations and the establishment of British ties with Parisian art circles. Nash was roused to action by ‘Recent developments in British painting’, a show at Tooth & Sons in October 1931 in which (from the future group) he, along with Armstrong, Bigge, Burra, and Wadsworth, were represented. A more immediate spur was the reopening in spring 1933 of the Mayor Gallery with a major show of British and continental avant-garde art, ‘Recent paintings by English, French and German artists’. Timed to coincide with the publication of Herbert Read's polemical Art Now, the exhibition was the most ambitious assembly of international modern art in London since Roger Fry's Second Post-impressionist Exhibition in 1912. The Mayor Gallery was also the venue for the planning meetings that led to the formation of Unit One, with the young art historian Douglas Cooper, who worked at the gallery, acting as its secretary.

Like Read's Art Now, the group's book, Unit One, was uncompromisingly modern in its design as well as its content. Both works registered a determination to promote new art in London based on the tenets of international modernism and to avoid accusations of ‘Englishness’. Read's Art and Industry, also published in 1934, was influenced in both content and design by the Bauhaus, the design of whose publications also left its mark on Unit One. One purpose of the latter book was to promote experimental British art in Paris, where Nicholson was the only Unit One member to have had a major exhibition (with Christopher Wood at the Georges Bernheim Gallery in 1930) and where he and Hepworth were associated with the non-figurative artists who, in 1931, formed the group Abstraction-Création. Of the future Unit One members Wadsworth was the first to be elected to Abstraction-Création, in 1932, with Nicholson and Hepworth becoming members in the following year.

By the early 1930s modernist architecture, as well as painting and sculpture, was gaining a following in England. The British Broadcasting Corporation, with its new building in Portland Place in central London, was an important client, promoter, and employer of Wells Coates and other modernist designers. Coates and his fellow Unit One exhibitor Colin Lucas also received commissions for residential buildings and while the white-painted, flat-roofed, iron-windowed house was never widely popular with the British public, there was now at least a growing recognition of modernism's potential as a building form. Unit One included illustrations of one of Coates's best-known commissions, the Lawn Road Flats in Hampstead, London (also known as the Isokon building), close to where Hepworth, Nicholson, and Moore lived in Parkhill Road. In architectural circles, the near equivalent of the Paris-based Abstraction-Création organization was CIAM (Congrès Internationaux d'Architecture Moderne). Through the architectural writer Philip Morton Shand, Coates was approached by members of CIAM to set up a British branch; this led to the formation of the MARS (Modern Architecture Research) group, which was announced in the Architects' Journal in May 1933, a month before Nash's Unit One letter to The Times. Interdisciplinarity was of central importance to the latter project. Significantly, Nash's first approach in the formation of Unit One had been to Henry Moore, to link painting with sculpture and to acknowledge the importance of Moore's pivotal exhibition at the Leicester Galleries in 1932. His second approach had been to Coates, again to link the disciplines of modern painting and architecture, not least because he recognized the new architecture's growing prestige.

Unit One's success in its aim of improving and extending awareness of the modern movement owed much to the efforts of its members. Nash wrote an article for the BBC journal The Listener (5 July 1933)—then arguably the most important vehicle for educated middle-class values in Britain—in which he cast the group as an attempt to capitalize on a contemporary ‘desire to find again some adventure in art’ (p. 14). In October of that year Herbert Read drew attention to the group's modernism in an issue of the Architectural Review which, with its coverage of the fine and applied arts as well as architecture, had a unique position among publications concerned with British visual culture. Read was uncompromising in his belief that British art needed a new institutional framework, arguing that ‘existing academies in all the arts are disastrously out of touch with the spirit of the age, and the breach is widening. I do not see how it can possibly be made good: the principles involved on both sides are irreconcilable’ (p. 128). These articles were preliminaries to Unit One's own exhibition and drew large crowds to it. According to the Yorkshire Post (28 June 1934), ‘extraordinary interest is being taken in London in the foundation and fortunes of Unit One’ and even the New York Times reported briefly on the group on 19 August. The exhibition was widely reviewed and, in London in particular, there was interest and sympathy, as well as some opposition. A notable critic was Henry Tonks, Nash and Nicholson's former teacher at the Slade School of Fine Art, who voiced the traditionalist position of ‘inspiration from nature alone’ as championed by the now nearly defunct New English Art Club. In the regions the touring exhibition was widely noticed, with local papers covering the arrival of Unit One as a news event if not always with critical reviews. Inevitably there were sneers and incomprehension in some quarters. The group—for which Nash had initially suggested the more anodyne title the English Contemporary Group—was castigated in The Scotsman, for example, as ‘a small but very aggressive body under the captaincy of Paul Nash named “Unit One”, a title with a Soviet-like flavour savouring of mass production, the collective man and the like’.

Though short-lived, Unit One shifted the balance of British art during the 1930s in favour of abstraction. In 1933 Paul Nash, slightly older than most of the other members, and with a reputation based firmly on his drawings and paintings of the western front during the First World War, could claim to be the leading figure in British experimental art. By the time of Unit One's exhibition Ben Nicholson, now making entirely non-figurative reliefs, had grown in confidence, ambition, and standing, and in 1935 moved to convert the Seven & Five Society (founded in 1919, and of which he had been for some time a prime mover), into an entirely non-figurative exhibiting group, renamed the Seven & Five Abstract Group. Henry Moore was likewise growing in assurance and prestige, while Nash never quite achieved the international stature of his fellow Unit members. Nash himself had also changed tack, developing new interests in field archaeology, Druid myths, and the legendary power of standing stones, which began with his discovery of Avebury in summer 1933, and which soon led him towards an individual form of surrealism.

Without the continuing support of Ben Nicholson, who by 1934 had emerged as Britain's leading non-figurative painter, part of the justification for Unit One disappeared. In an attempt to regenerate the group early in 1935, Nash, with the support of Coates, highlighted Unit One's design work with the practical aim of helping to generate income. Nash and Coates contacted the American-born poster designer Edward McKnight Kauffer (1890–1954) and the emigré Hungarian artist and designer László Moholy-Nagy (1895–1946), who had recently arrived in England following the closure of the German Bauhaus School by the Nazi authorities. However, it proved impossible to reach agreement on a revived membership. Even so, Unit One can be seen as the progenitor and, to some extent, the model for later displays of avant-garde contemporary art, in particular the two oppositional London shows of 1936—Nicolete Gray's Abstract and Concrete, the capital's first international exhibition of non-figuration, and the International Surrealist Exhibition. Herbert Read's book Unit One, with its adventurous design and graphics, was followed by Myfanwy Piper's journal Axis (1935–7) and by the 1937 manifesto of abstract painting, sculpture, and architecture Circle, of which Nicholson was one of the editors. As a group, book, and exhibition Unit One therefore gained and retains a special place at the head of one of the most adventurous periods of twentieth-century British art and architecture.

Andrew Causey

Sources

H. Read, ed., Unit One: the modern movement in English architecture, painting and sculpture (1934) · C. Harrison, introduction, Unit One (1978) [exh. cat., City Museum and Art Gallery, Portsmouth, 20 May – 9 July 1978] · M. Glazebrook, introduction, Unit One: spirit of the 30's (1984) [exh. cat., Mayor Gallery, April 1984 ] · Paul Nash papers, V&A NAL

2011年8月27日 星期六

倫敦設計展 垃圾桶、路燈活起來

倫敦設計展 垃圾桶、路燈活起來

  • 2011-08-27
  • 中國時報
  • 【林欣誼、實習記者柯喬齡/台北報導】
  英倫風  ▲台北市立美術館26日舉行「倫敦超當代設計展」記者會,希望讓大家體驗倫敦的多元性及新舊交融的風格。(趙雙傑攝)

  英倫風  ▲台北市立美術館26日舉行「倫敦超當代設計展」記者會,希望讓大家體驗倫敦的多元性及新舊交融的風格。(趙雙傑攝)

 垃圾桶、路燈、汽車、電話亭等都是城市裡的尋常風景,但一群來自倫敦的知名設計師,卻能在這些平凡物件上施加魔法,打破框限,創造出讓人驚嘆的作品。台北市立美術館現正舉辦倫敦設計博物館策劃的「倫敦超當代設計展」,邀請時尚設計師保羅.史密斯(Paul Smith)、名建築師薩哈.哈帝(Zaha Hadid)等十五位當代英倫設計名家,打造屬於倫敦的創意風景。

 如保羅.史密斯以幽默顛覆日常,將他最厭惡的垃圾與最喜愛的兔子結合,設計出互動式兔子垃圾桶;沒有五官的灰色大兔站立手持垃圾袋,每當有人丟進垃圾,牠的耳朵就會閃閃發亮,令人莞爾。目前這款垃圾桶設置在倫敦柯芬花園與荷蘭公園。

 紅色鑄鐵電話亭為倫敦的經典象徵,但這些老舊電話亭已被手機時代淘汰,因此無印良品歐洲創意總監「工業設施設計工作室」(Industrial Facility),將電話亭改造為郵遞服務的小郵站,採太陽能板供電,使用者還可在亭內與郵局人員視訊對話。

 展場最吸睛的是一部超過六十年歷史的賓利汽車,湯姆.迪克(Tom Dixon)拆解這台經典車款,換上從另一輛牛奶配送車中取出的低污染汽車零件,呼應環保節能的潮流。

 此外,湯瑪士.海澤維克(Thomas Heatherwick)設計的樹枝狀路燈,把呆板的路燈變成張牙舞爪的藝術裝置;薩哈.哈帝以影片《倫敦市願景》向觀眾提問:在城市中應該如何生活,並以電腦模擬倫敦市容如何因不同決策而改觀。

 融合古典與前衛的設計重鎮倫敦,是工業革命的火車頭,也是普普文化、迷幻藥和龐克的發源地,兼具美學傳統及爆發力的次文化能量。因此,除 了十四件以城市為題的創作,另還藉由一千五百多幅影像與物件,展示一九六○年至今英國社會與設計發展,如一九六○年代瑪莉.官(Mary Quant)的時裝設計、搖滾樂與迷幻風潮,八○年代柴契爾夫人上台與罷工議題,到九○年代倫敦市容改頭換面等。

 倫敦設計博物館館長迪耶.薩德奇(Deyan Sudjic)表示,以「設計」為主題的展覽可以在台北的美術館展出,是向來把設計與藝術劃清界線的英國所做不到的,他直言:「下一個世紀的世界創意中心,肯定會由亞洲接棒!」

The Benesse House Museum on Naoshima island, Japan

Cultured Traveler

Japanese Island as Unlikely Arts Installation

Kosuke Okahara for The New York Times

The Benesse House Museum on Naoshima island, where museums, installations and cutting-edge architecture blend with nature in novel ways. A “pumpkin” by Yayoi Kusama looks over the Seto Inland Sea. More Photos »


ON a chilly night last November on the tiny island of Naoshima in the Seto Inland Sea of southern Japan, I found myself alone in a dark concrete gallery, a sweater pulled over my pajamas. I was staying at the Benesse House Museum, a 10-room hotel set inside a contemporary art museum, on the island’s craggy southern coast, and still battling jet lag. So instead of tossing in bed, I visited the deserted galleries of the museum — guests of the hotel are permitted to wander beyond closing time. Before long, I was transfixed by Bruce Nauman’s art installation, “100 Live and Die,” a neon billboard of flashing phrases.

Multimedia

“CRY AND LIVE,” it read in large, glowing letters. “THINK AND DIE.” “SMILE AND LIVE.”

On my way to bed, I detoured past a whitewashed alphabet by Jasper Johns and the blue hues of a David Hockney swimming pool, the only sound in the galleries the scratching of my hotel slippers on the concrete floor. No guard hovered over Cy Twombly’s scribbles; no tour group blocked Jackson Pollock’s splatters. This was the essential appeal to the Benesse’s unusual hotel-within-a-museum setup: an exhilarating intimacy with art. The museum had been closed for more than an hour when I finally shuffled out of the gallery and crawled into bed.

That accessibility to art is not uncommon on Naoshima, where, thanks in large part to a corporate benefactor, a cultural convergence has been percolating over the past two decades, as museums, art installations, cutting-edge architecture and nature blend in astoundingly novel ways. The result is a sleepy island that has become an unlikely destination for globetrotting art pilgrims.

On that autumn night, I of course could not have known the terror that the following spring held for Japan or how frighteningly prescient some of Mr. Nauman’s glowing commands were. According to Yoshino Kawaura of the Naoshima Fukutake Art Museum Foundation, the area, which is about as far from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant as North Carolina is from New York, was not directly affected by the earthquake, tsunami and resulting rolling blackouts, or increased radiation levels. (Since April, the State Department’s travel alerts for Japan have advised visitors against traveling to destinations only within a 50-mile radius of the stricken nuclear plant on the northeastern coast; Naoshima is over 500 miles south of the plant.)

Still, Naoshima, like all of Japan, suffered a significant drop in foreign tourism after the disaster. At the Benesse House, Naoshima’s only hotel, most reservations in March and April held by foreign guests were canceled.

The island’s intriguing harmony of culture and nature, though, continues to attract Japanese tourists to the island even as foreign visitors are scarce. Overseas travelers, actually, are coming back as well: In May, Rei Namikawa, a representative for the Benesse hotel, wrote in an e-mail that foreign guests have slowly been returning as the crisis wanes, adding that the hotel was fully booked during the Golden Week holidays that straddle April and May.

The emergence of modern art and architecture in this relatively isolated place can be credited to corporate donations from Benesse Corporation, a Japanese company that specializes in test prep and language schools. The company’s chairman, a native of nearby Okayama, is the billionaire art-lover Soichiro Fukutake, whose longstanding support has fueled the transformation of Naoshima and a growing number of surrounding Seto Inland islands, particularly Teshima and Inujima — remote fishing islands with aging populations.

Over about 20 years, Benesse Corporation has financed one project after another. Last year, this accrual of art got a boost from the Setouchi International Art Festival, a 100-day celebration with works from 75 artists distributed among seven islands, including Naoshima. The festival ended on Oct. 31, but many of the featured works remain permanently. Teshima is now home to “Les Archives du Coeur,” an installation of recorded heartbeats by the French artist Christian Boltanski, and the Teshima Art Museum, which houses one work in a water-droplet-shaped structure created by the artist Rei Naito and the architect Ryue Nishizawa, a winner of last year’s Pritzker Architecture Prize.

The construction of the Benesse House Museum in 1992 marked the beginning of a fruitful partnership between Benesse Corporation and another Pritzker winner, the Japanese architect Tadao Ando. To date, he has designed seven structures on the small island, including three museums and the Benesse House Park building, which is studded with museum-worthy pieces.

On Naoshima, another recent addition financed by the corporation is the Lee Ufan Museum, a space wholly dedicated to the work of Mr. Lee, a Korean artist whose meditative works are on display as part of a retrospective at the Guggenheim in New York, running through Sept. 28. The new museum, which opened in June 2010, is the result of collaboration between Mr. Lee and Mr. Ando, whose modern concrete creations have been integral to the evolution of Naoshima’s art scene.

Naoshima, about three square miles in size, supports a population of about 3,300. Local residents have opened a few traditional guesthouses, which provide alternative lodging options to the Benesse hotel, and restaurants, but it is the art that brings visitors, my husband and me included, to the island.

Before my nighttime visit to the Benesse galleries, we had explored the other impressive buildings affiliated with the hotel. We clambered aboard a six-seat monorail that trundles up the wooded hill behind the museum, and discovered another of Mr. Ando’s sleek structures, a six-room hilltop annex called the Oval, which opened in 1995, one of four of the museum’s lodging options. The spare space is anchored by a dramatic black oval pool, and blends seamlessly into the natural surroundings, with tumbling waterfalls and a grassy rooftop lawn with panoramic views.

The next day, a rainy one, we hopped on a mini-bus to Honmura, on the eastern side of the island, where in an innovative effort called the Art House Project, artists have transformed abandoned houses into stand-alone projects that are woven into the fabric of this traditional neighborhood.

One contribution did involve the creation of a new structure. Titled “Minamidera,” the building was designed by Mr. Ando in 1999 to house a work by the American artist James Turrell. The work, “Backside of the Moon,” is an interactive, mind-bending experience for the viewer. (A full explanation would spoil the exhibit’s surprise.)

The artists’ messages are not always easy to decipher. At “Haisha,” the artist Shinro Ohtake has installed a hodgepodge of neon-light pieces and a two-story simulacrum of the Statue of Liberty. At the secluded “Go’o Shrine,” Hiroshi Sugimoto’s work is more straightforward: a glass staircase that descends from an above-ground shrine to a subterranean cave.

The island’s big-ticket draw, though, is Mr. Ando’s Chichu Art Museum. Chichu means “in the ground,” and indeed, the museum, built into a hilltop, is entirely underground, though it doesn’t feel that way to the visitor, thanks to a series of open courtyards and strategic skylights.

On the lowest level of the museum is an installation by the American sculptor Walter De Maria. On the floor above, a set of three progressive works by Mr. Turrell culminates with “Open Sky,” where viewers recline on stone benches to watch the evolving sky framed by the open ceiling; during our visit, raindrops pattered onto the floor.

But the central piece at Chichu will be familiar to most art lovers: one of Claude Monet’s famous large-scale water lily paintings, from the same series that is housed at the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris (in 2009, the museum acquired four more, smaller Monet water lily pieces). To enhance the piece, a hazy sunset scene of clouds and willow trees reflected in a pond, the room that houses it features an inlaid floor of die-sized cubes of white Carrara marble and rounded walls that shimmer with natural light from above. And in a loop of life imitating art, a garden modeled on Monet’s own in Giverny has been installed outside the museum.

When the rain finally let up, we set out to find the many other works that are strewn about the island in outdoor installations, creating a sort of scavenger hunt for the visitor. On a densely wooded hill, spindly silver tines twirl above the treetops. At the end of a pier, a jumbo-size, polka-dotted yellow pumpkin squats above the sea. Beside a road, a band of 88 Buddha statues made from industrial slag blur the line between waste and art.

After completing our exploration, my husband and I spent our last evening on the island immersed — literally, as it turned out — in an art facility that is also a Japanese-style public bathhouse, or sento, called Naoshima Bath “I Love Yu.” (A bilingual word play, the name uses the character for “hot water,” which is pronounced “you.”) Opened in 2009, the sento was designed by Mr. Ohtake, the visionary behind the manic “Haisha” house in Honmura. Although many visitors simply snap photos of the bathhouse’s fantastically eclectic facade, fully experiencing this artwork demands active participation.

Once stripped of my notebook, camera and every last stitch of clothing, I soaked in the warm water, absorbed in the piece of art that surrounded me. As with so much of the work on Naoshima, the divisions between art and life simply dissolved.

IF YOU GO

GETTING THERE

From Tokyo or Osaka, take the Shinkansen (bullet train; english.jr-central.co.jp) to Okayama, change to the regional train line to Uno; from there, take a 20-minute ferry to Naoshima.

WHAT TO SEE AND DO

The Benesse Foundation’s Web site (benesse-artsite.jp) has detailed information in English about each art site, including admission prices, hours and directions.

WHERE TO STAY

Benesse House (Gotanji; 81-87-892-3223; benesse-artsite.jp) has Western-style rooms in the Museum, Oval, Park and Beach buildings. Rates for two start at 31,185 yen, or about $415, at 75 yen to the dollar, for a double room in the Park building, or 34,650 yen for the Museum.

Staying at a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn, costs considerably less; the Naoshima Tourism Association lists lodging options at naoshima.net/en.

2011年8月21日 星期日

Christchurch Cathedral in New Zealand (Shigeru Ban)



Japanese architect tackles new Christchurch cathedral

BY DAISUKE IGARASHI STAFF WRITER

2011/08/21


photoShigeru Ban holds a rendition of the inside of the cardboard cathedral at his office in Tokyo. (Daisuke Igarashi)photoA model of a temporary cathedral Shigeru Ban, an architect and designer, is building with cardboard in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Provided by Shigeru Ban Architects)

A Japanese architect is using an unlikely construction material in his race against time to build a towering structure that will replace Christchurch Cathedral in New Zealand after an earthquake earlier this year ravaged the city icon.

Shigeru Ban, 54, is using cardboard to fashion a new cathedral--a temporary building that will likely be used for about a decade--and hoping to complete construction to coincide with the first anniversary of the temblor on Feb. 22, 2012.

"Even concrete buildings collapse in a temblor, demonstrating that no structures last forever," Ban said. "A cardboard structure will stay in the minds of people forever if it is loved by them."

A powerful quake last February damaged the original stone cathedral that dates to 1864, collapsing its bell tower.

Another temblor in June further damaged the structure, shattering and breaking its stained glass panels on the front of the building.

Ban undertook the project for free after staff at the cathedral called him in April to request his assistance. They learned about his work through the Internet.

Ban, based in Tokyo, has built provisional homes made of cardboard around the world for people displaced by disasters, including the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake, the 2008 Sichuan earthquake in China and the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

He is also involved in a similar project, this time with containers, for victims of the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake in Onagawa, Miyagi Prefecture.

He expects to finance the construction costs of the cardboard cathedral, an estimated NZ$4 million (257.2 million yen, or $3.35 million), through donations.

A church made of cardboard tubes Ban built after the Great Hanshin Earthquake in Kobe was donated to Taiwan more than a decade after it was erected.

In late June, Ban was allowed to enter Christchurch's city center, which was sealed off after the devastating quake in February, to see the cathedral. He drew up some concepts for a temporary cathedral in just one day.

"I decided to make use of the cathedral's geometric shape because it has been etched in the memories of residents," Ban said.

The cardboard cathedral will retain a triangular shape on the front and back, although it will be without a tower. It will be about 24 meters high, almost the same height as the previous one.

Ban uses 86 cardboard tubes measuring 17 meters and weighing about 500 kilograms each to form a triangle shape like a tent. The cardboard structure is strong enough to clear local construction standards, according to Ban.

The finished structure will hold 700 people and is expected to be used as a venue for concerts and other events. All the materials to be used will come from New Zealand.

Staff at the cathedral hope to one day fully restore the building to its original state, but no firm plans have yet been drawn up.

Expressing high expectations for Ban's work, cathedral dean Peter Beck, 63, said the tent-shaped building will inspire confidence in the future as a symbol of hope.


2011年8月16日 星期二

Shōji Hamada Exhibit

Shōji Hamada (濱田 庄司 Hamada Shōji?, December 9, 1894 – January 5, 1978) was a Japanese potter. He was a significant influence on studio pottery of the twentieth century[citation needed], and a major figure of the mingei folk-art movement, establishing the town of Mashiko as a world-renowned pottery centre[citation needed].
日本語

Exhibit puts potter Hamada's works in perspective

BY LOUIS TEMPLADO STAFF WRITER

2011/08/17


photoInside the Hamada Shoji Style exhibition at the Shiodome Museum in Tokyo's Shimbashi district. (Louis Templado)photoHamada's pottery is known for its reassuring warmth (Louis Templado)photoA display of the everyday ware that Hamada himself liked to use. (Louis Templado)

The Great East Japan Earthquake left many shards in the pottery town of Mashiko, Tochigi Prefecture. To those who know their pottery, the shock was that many of those shattered works were originally crafted by the hands of Shoji Hamada.

Arguably Japan's most famous potter, Hamada (1894-1978) almost single-handedly turned the once mundane village of utilitarian wares where he settled into a hotspot for Japan's mingei folk-art movement of the 1920s and '30s.

"Hamada Shoji Style," currently at the Shiodome Museum in Tokyo's Shimbashi district, takes a look at the potter's rarefied lifestyle in the rural town. Given how the quake smashed several of the potter's best known pieces kept in Mashiko, as well as knocked over his kiln, the exhibition brings with it a certain sense of reassurance.

"We received several calls asking if the show was going to go on," says Mieko Iwai, curator of the exhibition that continues until Sept. 25. "Hamada to this day has lots of admirers, and they were relieved when the answer was 'yes.' "

Remarkably, none of the 141 pieces she had chosen for the exhibition was damaged.

With items ranging from designer chairs (from a 17th century Windsor to a Charles Eames' 1950s icon) to English cravats, a wool derby and a herringbone suit of portly proportions, Hamada Shoji Style is no simple display of Hamada's rustically styled pottery?although that is here in spades. It's also an examination of the phenomenon that was Hamada, how he came to pottery and the Mashiko community he transformed.

Hamada was one of the champions of the mingei movement started by Yanagi Soetsu that sought to celebrate the beauty of locally made, anonymous articles used by the general populace. Yet Hamada himself was a sophisticate whose road to fame began in Britain. His first pottery exhibition in 1923 was held in London and was completely sold out. After returning to Japan, he spent time in Kyoto and Okinawa before choosing Mashiko as the place to transplant the ideas behind Britain's Arts and Crafts Movement to Japanese soil.

Although the West saw in him the archetypical Japanese potter, Hamada was a man of eclectic tastes. His banquets at Mashiko were lavish with meat, which the big man liked to wash down with Wilkinson sparkling carbonated water imported from Britain.

"Hamada never had a period where he suffered for his art," explains Iwai. "But he did have a hard time when he returned from Britain and settled in Mashiko. To people there, he was an outsider, an interloper, and it took some time until they accepted him."

Most striking about the exhibition is how Hamada's mingei folk-inspired works harmonize so well with his accumulation of Western items?especially the well-worn Eames chair, which was cutting-edge for its time. It's as if each of his works has been imbued with a bit of the potter's own mutability.

"There may be people who don't appreciate his work, but there was almost no one who didn't like the man himself," Iwai says.

To detractors, he was a big-name artist--designated a Living National Treasure in 1955--and the furthest thing from the anonymous craftsmen whose style he emulated. Still, few could fault his gentle, magnanimous ways.

"He gathered together what he liked. But he also took care of those around him," Iwai says. "His works are exceptional because they really reveal his character. More than anything, they are very reassuring."



2011年8月15日 星期一

2005 莊喆《主題‧原象---莊喆 畫展》




2011,在某二手書店買到歷史博物館 的 主題原象---莊喆 畫展* (2005)
末頁 「學歷」
2行 1963-73 執教於東海大學建築系 。
(然後他出國榮歸台灣,兩次任教1年或一學期。
都不是東海
這,當然有公立大學的因素。
不知道是否有其他讓他感到,回東海會有"物非人非"之處?? 我想主要原因可能是東海建築或美術系的人跟他都關係淡了
。雖然還有這樣寫:
"建築系的同學是多才多藝的,過去莊喆老師、張肅肅老師所引燃同學們對繪畫和藝術的狂熱是值得重視與記憶的"


我的1974的「藝術欣賞課」延到2011年才續修。


*我跟玉燕說,此書是莊家三兄弟都有作品
。莊照相者為莊靈。他為莊因哥祝壽;而莊因有「十六羅漢尊者造像」一文。這方面也有許多創意,不過我將學習重點放在下述另外一主題


雪舟破墨山水図變奏11幅 頁40-50
雪舟(せっしゅう、応永27年(1420 - 永正388(諸説あり)(1506))は、室町時代に活動した水墨画家・禅僧。「雪舟」は号で、(いみな)は「等楊」(とうよう)と称した。備中に生まれ、京都相国寺で修行した後、大内氏の庇護のもと周防に移る。その後、遣明船に同乗して中国()に渡り、中国の画法を学んだ。現存する作品の大部分は中国風の水墨山水画であるが、肖像画の作例もあり、花鳥画もよくしたと伝える。の古典や明代の浙派の画風を吸収しつつ、各地を旅して写生に努め、中国画の直模から脱した日本独自の水墨画風を確立。後の日本画壇へ与えた影響は大きい。現存する作品のうち6点が国宝に 指定されており、日本の絵画史において別格の高い評価を受けているといえる。このため、花鳥図屏風など「伝雪舟筆」とされる作品は多く、真筆であるか否 か、専門家の間でも意見の分かれる作品も多い。代表作は、「四季山水図(山水長巻)」「秋冬山水図」「天橋立図」「破墨山水図」「慧可断臂図」など。弟子 に、秋月、宗淵、等春らがいる。

現在我們可以在網路上觀賞莊喆老師的「雪舟破墨山水図變奏11幅」 (頁40-50)的原本
山水図(破墨山水図)(東京国立博物館、1495年(明応4年))
我查國內兩本美術辭典中的「破墨」的解釋之後,我相信這是必須向日本再次「請回來」學習的,不只是此圖,因為我們讀日本的雪舟專著,知道這是他76歲的作品,而他年紀稍小時,另有「仿玉澗 (牧溪)的破墨畫」
(ぼく【破墨】 水墨画の技法の一。淡墨で描いた上に、さらに濃墨で手を入れて立体感や全体の趣などを表すこと。中国、盛唐前期に始まる。)


莊老師的,不只是學習,他是進一步發揮。用他自己的話
……說明我的目的。南宋畫家像馬逺、夏圭二位的簡約表現一直吸引我,輪郭與墨染之外,神妙的是在繪畫上的面與線竟能合而為一….. 「破墨山水」一幅對我更特別突出,因為這幅畫實已把山水結構做一次總結,視覺上山是上下縱的走向,而水是水平的橫,一豎一橫,放在正中央,真美而實的最基本兩條線,還能有其他更簡的形狀嗎……這幅的長與寬是直立的兩個正方體,所以用三竹寺分把山勢分成上中下。在三元空間表現距離正好又是遠、中、近三等分。山、樹、岩、岸、村舍、小舟就一次在這三等分中準確調配完成。簡與繁就這樣奇妙的融合在一起了。我想把這個解悟到的心得用不同的幅度來呈現。不同於原畫的水墨,我期望也把色彩的明暗度加進去,抽取出筆與染的純粹繪畫性,省略一切細節,既是「抽象」,又是「自然」。這完全也躲一再敗過去四十年想結合的,從古畫中看出現代,可能與可表現的究竟有多少?反覆推敲求證,在真實自然與已有的畫蹟中實際還埋藏無限生機。我相信這種雙限性的發展可以越過時空,無盡無限 (頁11)

2011年8月10日 星期三

Ernst Neizvestny


John Berger Art and Revolution: Ernst Neizvestny,


Ernst Iosifovich Neizvestny (Russian: Эрнст Иосифович Неизвестный) (born 1925) is a Russian sculptor. He currently lives and works in New York City.

Neizvestny was born 9 April 1925 in Sverdlovsk (now Yekaterinburg). In 1942, at the age of 17, he joined the Red Army as a volunteer. At the close of World War II, he was heavily wounded and sustained a clinical death. Although he was awarded the Order of the Red Star "posthumously" and his mother received an official notification that her son had died, Neizvestny managed to survive.

In 1947, Neizvestny was enrolled at the Art Academy of Latvia in Riga. He continued his education at the Surikov Moscow Art Institute and the Philosophy Department of the Moscow State University. His sculptures, often based on the forms of the human body, are noted for their expressionism and powerful plasticity. Although his preferred material is bronze, his larger, monumental installations are often executed in concrete. Most of his works are arranged in extensive cycles, the best known of which is The Tree of Life, a theme he has developed since 1956.

Although Nikita Khrushchev famously derided Neizvestny's works as "degenerate" art at the Moscow Manege exhibition of 1962 ("Why do you disfigure the faces of Soviet people?"), the sculptor was later approached by Khruschev's family to design a tomb for the former Soviet leader at the Novodevichy Cemetery. Other well-known works he created during the Soviet period are Prometheus in Artek (1966).

During the 1980s, Neizvestny was a visiting lecturer at the University of Oregon and at UC Berkeley. He also worked with Magna Gallery in San Francisco, and had a number of shows which were well-attended in the mid 1980s. This gallery also asked him to create his "Man through the Wall" series to celebrate the end of Communism at the end of the 1980s. He subsequently ended his relationship with the gallery.

In 1996, Neizvestny completed his Mask of Sorrow, a 15-meter tall monument to the victims of Soviet purges, situated in Magadan. The same year, he was awarded the State Prize of the Russian Federation. Although he still lives in New York City and works at Columbia University, Neizvestny frequently visits Moscow and celebrated his 80th birthday there. A museum dedicated to his sculptures was established in Uttersberg, Sweden. Some of his crucifixion statues were acquired by John Paul II for the Vatican Museums. In 2004 Neizvestny became an honorary member of the Russian Academy of Arts.

[edit] Some works

[edit] References

  • Voronov N.V. Ernst Neizvestny. Moscow, 1991.

[edit] External links


2011年8月8日 星期一

Good-Looking and Responsible Design

Good-Looking and Responsible Design


LONDON — Should design be environmentally responsible? The only sensible answer to that question is “yes.” But if you asked a group of designers to define what that term means, each would be likely to give a different answer. Though there is one thing on which they might agree: that the most successful examples of environmentally responsible design are often also the most desirable.

Sprint

The Samsung Replenish phone is a marvel of recycled materials, but has a clumsy presentation.


Magis

Designed by Philippe Starck and Eugeni Quitlet, the Zartan chair scores lots of eco-points but lacks looks.

A couple of years ago the Harvard Design Magazine asked me to explore this issue by choosing one group of design projects that were environmentally responsible but not desirable, others that were the other way around, and a final group that combined both qualities. It was such an interesting way of looking at the subject that I decided to do it again.

1. Responsible but not desirable.

The phone Few products epitomize the irresponsible, throwaway side of design culture more than phones. They are often given away for free in the hope of persuading us to signing lucrative service contracts. New styles of phones are then rushed into production to entice us to sign yet more contracts. Broken phones are invariably replaced rather than repaired, which is why landfill sites are clogged with the plastic corpses of unwanted ones.

Well done to Samsung, the South Korean electronics company, for designing the Replenish, a smartphone made from materials that are 82 percent recyclable, including a case composed of 35 percent recycled plastic. The packaging is fully recyclable, and printed in soy ink. You can also buy a battery cover that doubles as a solar charger. The hitch? Beauty is, of course, in the eye of the beholder, but to my eyes the Replenish looks dire: clumsily shaped in garish colors with tacky typography. There’s another hitch too. Using a Replenish is irritatingly tricky thanks to the cramped keyboard and fiddly operating system.

The chair Chairs, chairs, chairs. Design magazines, books and museums are stuffed with them, mostly chosen because of how they look, and sometimes for the way they were made, but seldom for ecological sensitivity. The furniture industry has been disappointingly slow to embrace its environmental responsibilities. Magis, the Italian furniture maker, has made a start by working with the French designer Philippe Starck and his Catalan collaborator Eugeni Quitlet on Zartan, a chair whose seats and frame are to be made from a specially formulated organic material, which will be both recyclable and biodegradable.

The material is still being developed, but Magis unveiled a prototype of Zartan at the Milan Furniture Fair in April. Like Samsung’s Replenish phone, it scores lots of eco-points, but dispiritingly few when it comes to looks. Let’s hope that Mr. Starck and Mr. Quitlet have spruced up the styling by the time it goes into production. There are, after all, lots of less responsible chairs for consumers to choose from, many of them designed by Mr. Starck.

2. Desirable but not responsible

Sadly, there is a very long list of things that are temptingly desirable, but not environmentally responsible. Cars for starters. Why do the designers of fuel-efficient vehicles seem to insist on inflicting the stylistic shortcomings of the dullest gas guzzlers on them? And when will we be able to drive an electric or hydrogen fuel-cell car, which is as luscious to look at as a vintage automotive beauty like the Citroën DS19?

The same can be said for lots of other products, including the humble light bulb. Environmentally the traditional incandescent bulb is hopeless: only 15 percent of the energy it generates is used to produce light. The other 85 percent burns off as heat. Yet despite the huge sums invested in the development of energy efficient light sources, so far none of them has matched the incandescent’s warm, soulful light.

3. Responsible and desirable

The idea Up until very recently, designers devoted much of their time to producing things: objects, images, spaces, vehicles and so on. Now that many of us already own more stuff than we need, and the environmental crisis is deepening, designers are increasingly using their skills to come up with ingenious ways of helping us to use it more responsibly. An example is WhipCar, an online car club through which you can rent your car to other people at times when you do not need it, or hire someone else’s car.

To hire a WhipCar, you type your postal code into the Web site to find out which vehicles are available in your neighborhood on the chosen dates. WhipCar went live with a pilot program in London in April last year, and has since expanded to represent 2,500 car owners throughout Britain. The original concept is continually redesigned as the WhipCar team learns more about its market: by enabling car owners to offer discounts to regular customers, for example, and offering advice to people who are planning to buy cars with the intention of renting them out.

The design trophy The found object has a proud tradition in design history from the scraps of metal with which Richard Buckminster Fuller built the first of his geodesic dome emergency shelters in the 1940s, to the tractor seat that Achille Castiglioni transformed into the elegant Mezzadro stool in the 1950s. Making new objects from old ones is now so fashionable that it has become a contemporary design cliché, except when executed with the skill of the Italian designer Martino Gamper.

For the past few months, Mr. Gamper has been scouring the streets, skips and flea markets of Turin in a search for suitable pieces of old furniture to complete his most ambitious project so far: “Condominium,” an exhibition that is to open next month at Galleria Franco Noero. It will be the first-ever design show at the gallery, one of Italy’s most influential contemporary art spaces. All nine floors of its tall, skinny 19th-century building — known to locals as the Fetta di Polenta, or the slice of polenta — will be filled with new pieces of Mr. Gamper’s very desirable recycled furniture.

The Collected Art Works of D. H. Lawrence, ed


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D._H._Lawrence

Paintings

  • The Paintings of D. H. Lawrence,London: Mandrake Press, 1929.
  • D. H. Lawrence's Paintings, ed. Keith Sagar, London: Chaucer Press, 2003.
  • The Collected Art Works of D. H. Lawrence, ed. Tetsuji Kohno, Tokyo: Sogensha, 2004. 這本在台灣大學圖書館有藏 應該是The Paintings of D. H. Lawrence ? 的複製 不過DHL 日常生活還有許多設計 如玻璃等都沒收入

2011年8月6日 星期六

Rembrandt at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Rembrandt
SCALA / ART RESOURCE

Supper at Emmaus, c. 1629
An exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art shows how the great Dutch painter arrived at a new, more intimate image of Christ in the 1640s. Earlier in his career, Rembrandt was more given to turbulent scenes from the Gospel, full of sharp light and emphatic gestures, as when he first attempted to depict the "Emmaus" episode from the New Testament in a painting that appeared only in the first venue of this exhibition, the Louvre. Going for maximum drama, he rendered Christ as a dark silhouette against blazing light, while a disciple, recognizing for the first time that his mysterious dinner companion is the risen Christ, stares at him in pop-eyed astonishment.


Rembrandt
Musee du Louvre, Paris

The Supper at Emmaus, 1648
When Rembrandt returned to the subject about 20 years later, he set a more subdued scene. Now Christ is softly lit, his eyes drifting upward as he prepares to break the loaf, while the disciples, arriving at a more complex moment of recognition, examine him with subtly probing gazes.


Read more: http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,2087000,00.html#ixzz1UInKmDNe