2015年7月31日 星期五

“Screen Play: Life in an Animated World” runs through Sept. 13 at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo

Visitors studying Tabor Robak’s “A*,” a 14-panel LED monitor installation in the exhibition “Screen Play: Life in an Animated World” at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo.CreditBrendan Bannon for The New York Times
BUFFALO — Printed as epigraph in many animator’s handbooks is the quotable Walt Disney: “Animation can explain whatever the mind of man can conceive.”
His words were prophetic, but could he have imagined that the world a half-century from his time would be so thoroughly animated? Or have predicted the proliferation of the form throughout digital art, new media art and Internet art? From storefront ads to text messaging apps, animation is the vernacular of the increasing number of screens that populate daily life.
Addressing this rapid and pervasive shift in visual culture in the last two decades, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery here has organized a broad survey examining the work of contemporary artists who use the techniques of animation — creating the illusion of movement through a quick succession of frames — the same breadth of technologies that gave life to Mickey Mouse as well as Indominus Rex of “Jurassic World.”
“Screen Play: Life in an Animated World,” through Sept. 13, presents 47 pieces spanning roughly a quarter-century by more than three dozen artists from around the world working in a range of techniques, from hand-drawn cel animation and stop motion to three-dimensional video projection and video game design. Some of these artists illuminating animation’s trajectory are experimenting with older traditions like Claymation (Allison Schulnik, along with Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg, who combine sculpture, animation and music), while others use animation to speak directly to the challenges of living in a digitally mediated world (Ryan TrecartinTabor Robak).
From left, Megan Riley, Clare Riley and Rachel Mikel watching Marco Brambilla’s “Evolution,” a 3-D video piece from 2010 about the history of civilization as imagined on film. CreditBrendan Bannon for The New York Times
The show totals 14 hours of watching (thankfully, the purchase of a single admission includes a free return visit).
The concept for “Screen Play” occurred quite naturally to Joe Lin-Hill, the museum’s deputy director. “It came from my children, who love their iPads and the games they play on them,” he said. Given the ever more personal relationship between people and their screen devices, Mr. Lin-Hill and his co-curators, Cathleen Chaffee and Holly E. Hughes, wanted to look closely at what fills those portals and how contemporary artists are responding to what they identify as a transformative time. “The speed is just so quick that really only artists can address the complexities of how fast it’s changing,” Ms. Chaffee said.
A recent study of children ages 5 to 16 across the United Kingdom by the research agency Childwise found that over the past 20 years — roughly the time covered by the exhibition — their average daily screen use had more than doubled, to 6 ½ hours. A 2014 survey by the market research organization Millward Brown found that across multiple devices, the typical adult global user consumes about seven hours of screen media each day. And wearable screens — watches and glasses — have entered the marketplace.
Harun Farocki’s “Parallel I-IV” is presented in a circular grouping of six screens at the center of the main pavilion of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.CreditBrendan Bannon for The New York Times
The curators make the point that animation is ubiquitous because it’s so expressive. “It’s become so natural to be in a movie, say, flying over an impossible landscape at a speed that no human has ever gone and see realistic-looking creatures that have never existed and will never exist but do exist in these alternative worlds,” Mr. Lin-Hill said.
“Screen Play” unites a multiplying number of art practices. Yet even at its considerable length, the exhibition skips some of the groundbreaking ways animation has begun to mediate how people experience life every day: holography, interactive screen media and virtual-reality environments, to name a few.
Set in the grand 1905 Beaux-Arts Albright building, the opening galleries feature works that will at least feel familiar to visitors. The Belgian artist Peter Wächtler’s “Untitled” is a hand-drawn animation featuring his own rat character that, aesthetically, looks not unlike Disney’s classic films.
Visitors interacting with an animation work by Ian Cheng.CreditBrendan Bannon for The New York Times
“Johannesburg, 2nd Greatest City after Paris,” created in 1989 by the South African artist William Kentridge, is the oldest work on view. Mr. Kentridge uses a stop-motion technique in which he erases and reworks a single charcoal drawing to produce movement. “The legacy of Kentridge is so much that of film,” Ms. Chaffee said, “it’s embedded in the way the work’s been made.” It represents an early landmark for animation in contemporary art. In one gallery, Ms. Schulnik’s two claymation videos, “Forest” and “Mound,” are projected large on the wall. She choreographs graceful ballets from a cast of grotesque sculpted creatures. Her fascination with animation, like Disney’s, focuses on its boundlessness.
“The screen allows you a glimpse into another world,” she said in an email interview. “I love making a world from top to bottom. I can create an environment exactly how I want it to be, or at least as exact as my skills will allow.” The worlds on view here are dripping with life — a parade of shape-shifting monsters collapsing into and growing out of one another.
Commanding the center of the main pavilion, Harun Farocki’s “Parallel I-IV,” which Mr. Lin-Hall calls “the brain of the show,” is presented as a video installation on six hanging screens arranged in a circle. Through four segments, Mr. Farocki shows how, over a relatively short history, video game animation has evolved from symbolic representation, like the rudimentary depiction of trees in the 1980 computer game “Mystery House,” to the photographic realism of the present-day crop.
An Allison Schulnik work on display. CreditBrendan Bannon for The New York Times
Other galleries examine how the rise of screen-based media has affected the way we interact with one another. For “Two Minutes Out of Time,” Pierre Huyghe, along with his collaborator Philippe Parreno, bought the copyright to an animated manga character Anlee — the sort of sprite who without Mr. Huyghe’s intervention would have been only a bit player in some animated fiction. Now, she stars in her own four-minute character portrait. She has developed an identity, a “character talking about its condition of being a character,” he said.
“RMB City,” by the Chinese multimedia artist Cao Fei, offers a tour of her titular wonderland, a hub for artistic experimentation frequented by users from all over the world in Second Life, the online virtual world. Jon Rafman’s “Codes of Honor,” filmed partly in Second Life, considers obsolescence and nostalgia in the digital age, elevating the story of a professional gamer to that of a celebrated athlete or ancient warrior. “If your greatest memories are about having these intense experiences in front of a screen,” he said in a phone interview, “why can’t those be the important moments that define your identity as a human being?”
Luminous like a stained glass medallion, Tabor Robak’s “A*” — a 14-panel LED monitor installation — hangs on the front wall of the gallery. Like the North Star, it’s visible from most vantages. The work borrows from the imagery of iOS and Android games, the kind of amusements subway commuters might busy themselves playing on their smartphones: “Bust-a-Move,” “Breakout,” pachinko and “Luxor.” In an interview, Mr. Robak, 29, called the work a self-portrait, each game eliciting a certain emotion. He is of the first generation that grew up surrounded by screens.
A William Kentridge work on display. CreditBrendan Bannon for The New York Times
“I think his mother’s milk must have been delivered through some sort of software platform,” Mr. Lin-Hill said.
Mr. Robak understands himself in the language of screens.
“For me, screens are very precious objects,” he said. “It’s like a window, the world continues right into it. The screen disappears when you’re immersed. You forget that it’s there. That’s an important quality: You’re in it. They disappear. They give you everything you want.”
Animation is the form that best reflects the present moment because it’s also capable of tremendous movement and speed, Mr. Robak said. “Screen Play” suggests that it is a tradition fusing with technologies that will continually drive it faster. Just as one frame cedes to the next, it’s a medium defined by reinvention.

Move Over, Taxidermy: Contemporary Design Gets Lighter and Cleaner

Move Over, Taxidermy: Contemporary Design Gets Lighter and Cleaner



Danny Giannella, left, and Tammer Hijazi, founders of Bower, carry one of their signature mirrors in their Brooklyn shop.

CreditCasey Kelbaugh for The New York Times

The Contour coffee table by the Brooklyn-based design firm Bower is one sexy piece of furniture.

It has a smooth curved base made of lacquered white wood, with a top of delicately veined Calacatta Paonazzo marble that’s inset at one end with glass tinted peachy pink. The effect is somehow cool and warm, contemporary and retro. You can picture it decorating the apartment of Richard Gere’s character in “American Gigolo,” cast in soft morning-after light.

The Contour series (there are coffee, dining and side tables) is also one of the more striking examples of a nascent design trend.
For years, design in New York and elsewhere has been dominated by the “new vintage” look, with its love of taxidermy and salvaged barn wood, its nostalgia for dark hunting cabins and 19th century gentleman’s clubs.
What design insiders are seeing lately is a brighter, lighter, more contemporary aesthetic, one that still favors organic materials but with a more refined sensibility and cleaner lines.
To the eye of Glenn Adamson, the director of the Museum of Arts and Design in Manhattan, the look possesses a “lightness of touch, a low-key feeling.”
Mr. Hijazi, left, and Mr. Giannella, peek through glass used in their Contour side tables. CreditCasey Kelbaugh for The New York Times
For Newell Turner, editorial director of the Hearst Design Group, there’s “a lot of influence from Scandinavian design.”
Jill Singer, the design writer and co-founder of the online magazine Sight Unseen, can’t give it a pithy label (“I’m not a good namer,” she said), but she isn’t at a loss to describe what she is seeing: “Extremely sophisticated palette. Mixing of materials. It’s been percolating for a long time.”
Think 1970s instead of 1870s. Vancouver or Palm Springs instead of Brooklyn or Portland, Ore. As Ms. Singer said, “My partner and I were joking that the new ‘Put a bird on it’ is ‘Put a cactus in it.’ ”
The look was much in evidence at Sight Unseen Offsite, an annual design fair by Ms. Singer’s publication, held in Manhattan last May to coincide with the International Contemporary Furniture Fair.
Designers exhibiting at Offsite, including Bower, favored blond or bleached woods and polished metals like brass and copper. Peach, white and sky-blue tones were in abundance; furniture and lighting mixed wood with sumptuous materials like marble and bronze.
“Three years ago when we started, we only made things out of wood,” said Danny Giannella, who founded Bower with Tammer Hijazi. “It was limiting, and we liked mixing materials. We liked the veining of this marble.”
In addition to the Contour tables, the firm was showing C Lights made of curved brass tubes and opal glass globes and a series of Line wall mirrors, in silver, black and copper, created from 20 pieces of glass precision-cut by water jet. A Miami nightclub owner would love them.
Marshall Johnson, the co-owner and designer of the clothing boutique Anthom.CreditHiroko Masuike/The New York Times
Mr. Giannella and Mr. Hijazi aren’t the only Brooklyn woodworkers experimenting with materials and embracing a look that’s more crafted than reclaimed. Asher Israelow, who operates his eponymous studio out of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, made his Lincoln chairs from black walnut but incorporated brass dowels.
Using brass instead of wood, Mr. Israelow said, counters the image of his studio as a rustic wood shop and adds visual refinement. “Polished brass has a lighter, ephemeral quality,” he said. “In my own shop, we’re cutting brass as much as we’re cutting wood.”
Mr. Israelow’s furniture was at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show in Manhattan last spring, alongside several designers whose work shared a resemblance. They included the Rhode Island-based duo Ben & Aja Blanc, who showed their Half Moon coffee table made of white oak and Imperial Danby marble; Eric Trine, a California designer whose Octahedron Stool exemplified recent enthusiasm for thin lines and copper-plated surfaces; and Fort Standard, a Brooklyn design studio that combined simple Shaker inspired style with rich tanned leather to create solid hardwood chairs that felt stealthily luxurious.
Lighting, too, is moving away from the neo-industrial look and toward something more like the fun, Memphis-esque focus on pattern, shape and color favored by the Seattle- and Brooklyn-based Ladies & Gentlemen Studio, or the chic brass desk lights with globe bulbs that Karl Zahn recently showed at E.R. Butler. (The new Edison bulb, it is becoming apparent, is the globe bulb.)
Like many designers who began their careers during the recession, Dylan Davis and Jean Lee, the team behind Ladies & Gentlemen, started by repurposing vintage items and selling them on Etsy. “We still have the sensibility of making something simple and playful,” Mr. Davis said, “but direct vintage references have been replaced with a more reductionistic approach.”
Ian Collings, a founder of Fort Standard, said he also has grown more experimental and current. His recent designs are, in part, a reaction to the “live-edge and rustic features” of the new vintage aesthetic, he said, which made every restaurant interior (and many people’s living rooms) resemble a turn-of-the-last-century apothecary.
There is, it seems, a fatigue with all those mounted deer heads and chunky farm tables that overtook Brooklyn’s hipper neighborhoods over the last decade and was imported to parts of Los Angeles, Paris and elsewhere.
A Contour side table by Bower. CreditBower
Frank de Biasi, a New York-based interior designer, said that the first time he entered Freemans, the Lower East Side restaurant stuffed with antiques and taxidermy that arguably kicked off the trend, he marveled.
“I thought it was the coolest thing to have something so rough, so undone,” Mr. de Biasi said. “Would I want to live there? Probably not.”
While it’s fine to appreciate American heritage, he said, “We can move on, embrace something that’s more designed.”
For Mr. Adamson, the museum director, this more sophisticated version of small-batch, handmade Brooklyn design points to what he cautiously calls “an upswing.” “Not to say everything is great in the world,” he said. “But there’s a comfort with creating an elegant interior after the depths of the recession.”
Mr. de Biasi, who has been recommending Bower’s tables to his clients, said the lighter touch speaks to his current mood, and presumably to the well-heeled homeowners who hire him.“It’s calmer, quieter, more soothing,” he said. “The forms are more polished. It just feels right.
You can find the new look in the marble-top credenzas and consoles by Egg Collective at Design Within Reach; in the Fancy Chic low table with a copper-plated base at Ligne Roset; and in the stunning Elliott coffee table by Minotti made of polished gold sides and a rose marble top.

Lens Blog

Natural History, Not-So-Natural Setting

After a late-night glimpse of the taxidermy division at the Vienna Museum of Natural History, Klaus Pichler spent three years roaming the museum with a camera.


  • 発音記号[tǽksidə`ːrmi]


Ad Reinhardt

Ad Reinhardt was born today in 1913, 9 months after the famous Armory Show, as he liked to say. http://bit.ly/1zwDZMI
[Ad Reinhardt. "Study for a Painting." 1939]

Ad Reinhardt


"Art is too serious to be taken seriously."

Wikipedia article "Ad Reinhardt".

External links

Next Reinhardt work>                 
Abstract Painting

Abstract Painting, 1960- 1966. Oil on canvas, 60 x 60 inches. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, By exchange, 1993. 93.4239. © 2007 Estate of Ad Reinhardt/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. 

Ad Reinhardt’s writings on art read as a litany of negative aphorisms. Describing his signature black paintings, which he focused on exclusively from 1953 until his death in 1967, he wrote: “A free, unmanipulated, unmanipulatable, useless, unmarketable, irreducible, unphotographable, unreproducible, inexplicable icon.” These canvases—muted black squares containing barely discernable cruciform shapes—challenge the limits of visibility. Reinhardt’s strategy of denial echoed his conviction that Modernism itself was a “negative progression,” that abstraction evolved as a series of subtractions, and he was creating the last or “ultimate paintings.” Rather than forecasting the death of painting as a viable art form, however, Reinhardt was instead affirming painting’s potential to transcend the contradictory rhetoric that surrounded it in contemporary criticism and the increasing commercial influences of the market. As art historian Yve-Alain Bois suggests in his study of the artist, what Reinhardt hoped to realize recalls the aspirations of Negation Theology, a method of thought—evident in Platonism, Neo-Platonism, and early Christianity—employed to comprehend the Divine by indicating everything it was not. The artist’s attraction to the mystical side of negation arose from his appreciation of Eastern art and religion, namely the abstract, all-over patterning of Islamic design, the poetically reductive space of Chinese and Japanese landscape painting, and the meditative, ascetic quality of Zen Buddhism. The last he encountered through his friendship with the poet Thomas Merton, who was also a Trappist monk and authority on Zen. Reinhardt saw his own dark canvases, with their classic, geometric compositions, monastic repudiation of anything extraneous, and contemplative depth as a fusion of Eastern and Western traditions.
However hermetic Reinhardt’s black paintings may seem, they were not created in a vacuum. The kind of profound, self-reflexive abstraction he advocated was partially a product of, and reaction to, the climate of Cold War America. Despite the iconoclasm of his aesthetic discourse, Reinhardt was actively engaged in political and social issues throughout his life. During the early 1940s, his editorial cartoons appeared in the leftist newspapers The New Masses and PM. Later, he participated in the antiwar movement, protesting against America’s involvement in Vietnam, and donated his work to benefits for civil rights activities. An aesthetic moralist, Reinhardt sought to create an art form that—in its monochromatic purity—could overcome the tyrannies of oppositional thinking.
Nancy Spector

湖綠色瓶盆風華, Dan Flavin's "greens crossing greens (to Piet Mondrian who lacked green)" 1966

湖綠色是今夏相當討喜的顏色,在18世紀末-19世紀初的清宮裡也有湖綠色的粉彩瓷,歡迎大家到 瓶盆風華-明清花器特展 一起來看看。
‪#‎清‬ ‪#‎粉彩瓷‬ ‪#‎花器‬
瓶盆風華【清18世紀末-19世紀初 粉彩瓷番蓮菊瓣式花盆與盆托】(陳列室:203)
Current Exhibit: Enchanting Splendors of Vases and Planters: A Special Exhibition of Flower Vessels from the Ming and Qing Dynasties
【Chrysanthemum-shaped flowerpot and pot stand with Indian lotus décory】(Gallery: 203)⋯⋯

On St. Patrick's Day, enjoy Dan Flavin's "greens crossing greens (to Piet Mondrian who lacked green)" 1966 from the Guggenheim collection made with green fluorescent lights: http://gu.gg/KrqcU