Brice Marden from Karma BooksSolomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, 19757.5 x 8.5 inches (19.2 x 21.5 cm)

Brice Marden from Karma Books
Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, 1975
7.5 x 8.5 inches (19.2 x 21.5 cm)

Cite Arrow via karmakarmanyc

LOS ANGELES
LA-based photographer Peter Bohler captured stills from one of our favorite earthbound fantasias, Arcosanti — the living dream of late Italian-American architect Paolo Soleri who passed this spring at age 93. Some of Peter’s thoughts on Paolo’s invention:


Arcosanti was conceived by Paolo Soleri as a new form of city—one that would exist in harmony with nature and promote community by being free of cars. He called his philosophy arcology, a merging of architecture and ecology. He found a home for his city in Arizona on the edge of a canyon an hour north of Phoenix.
Construction began in 1970, with a crew of volunteers casting Soleri’s sweeping concrete forms in the desert sand. Thirteen buildings were built this way through the 70’s and 80’s, but construction stalled because of a lack of funding. Originally intended to hold 5,000 people, today Arcosanti is home to a transient population of just 50 to 100 people.
Arcosanti supports itself through the creation of bronze and ceramic bells based on Soleri’s design. The residents first complete a five-week workshop on Soleri’s ideas, and then are employed either in the workshops or in the daily operation of the city. They comprise a community of idealists as Arcosanti slips from dream to relic.

LOS ANGELES

LA-based photographer Peter Bohler captured stills from one of our favorite earthbound fantasias, Arcosanti — the living dream of late Italian-American architect Paolo Soleri who passed this spring at age 93. Some of Peter’s thoughts on Paolo’s invention:

Arcosanti was conceived by Paolo Soleri as a new form of city—one that would exist in harmony with nature and promote community by being free of cars. He called his philosophy arcology, a merging of architecture and ecology. He found a home for his city in Arizona on the edge of a canyon an hour north of Phoenix.

Construction began in 1970, with a crew of volunteers casting Soleri’s sweeping concrete forms in the desert sand. Thirteen buildings were built this way through the 70’s and 80’s, but construction stalled because of a lack of funding. Originally intended to hold 5,000 people, today Arcosanti is home to a transient population of just 50 to 100 people.

Arcosanti supports itself through the creation of bronze and ceramic bells based on Soleri’s design. The residents first complete a five-week workshop on Soleri’s ideas, and then are employed either in the workshops or in the daily operation of the city. They comprise a community of idealists as Arcosanti slips from dream to relic.

Arcosanti

Arcosanti

Arcosanti


This is California Hospital in Downtown Los Angeles, at its latest incarnation in 1898. The hospital was founded with the help of John and Dora Haynes — you may recognize the ring of “The Haynes Foundation" from many a public broadcasting sponsor shout-out — an enterprising pair of social activists who uprooted from Pennsylvania to settle where the sunshine shone. Mister was a philosopher, civic entrepreneur, medical practitioner and teacher; Missus was a tireless suffragette and ally. California Hospital — now in its 126th year — is one of the many organizations that still benefit from this childless, eccentric and driven couple’s foundation, legacy and goodwill nearly 75 years after their deaths — not to mention the Los Angeles Natural History Museum, Los Angeles City Historical Society, Los Angeles Public Library, USC, UCLA, public radio stations KCRW and KPCC and any deserving, eloquent and well-referenced applicant who applies for a grant.
The hospital has transformed considerably over the last century and a quarter — you can learn more on their site.

This is California Hospital in Downtown Los Angeles, at its latest incarnation in 1898. The hospital was founded with the help of John and Dora Haynes — you may recognize the ring of “The Haynes Foundation" from many a public broadcasting sponsor shout-out — an enterprising pair of social activists who uprooted from Pennsylvania to settle where the sunshine shone. Mister was a philosopher, civic entrepreneur, medical practitioner and teacher; Missus was a tireless suffragette and ally. California Hospital — now in its 126th year — is one of the many organizations that still benefit from this childless, eccentric and driven couple’s foundation, legacy and goodwill nearly 75 years after their deaths — not to mention the Los Angeles Natural History Museum, Los Angeles City Historical Society, Los Angeles Public Library, USC, UCLA, public radio stations KCRW and KPCC and any deserving, eloquent and well-referenced applicant who applies for a grant.

The hospital has transformed considerably over the last century and a quarter — you can learn more on their site.


ARMORY INTERVIEW : ERIC SHINER

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Eric Shiner is the man behind Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Museum. He’s also this year’s Armory Focus curator, turning the Armory Show spotlight — now in its 100th year — to US-based artists of the now. As a curator, he has a very strong voice — he’s commissioned an on-site tower of Brillo boxes in tribute to Warhol by Charles Lutz, and light sculpture by Peter Liversidge — and he’s also orchestrating an installation and performance at Ace Hotel New York we’ll tell you about soon… Another distinguishing facet: if you Google Image search him, you find a lot of guys named Eric with black eyes. We recently talked with Mr. Shiner a little bit about the centennial and these last hundred years of art.

Is the centennial of the first Armory Show an inspiration or a long shadow that it’s hard to get out from under? If the lead-up to WWI was the catalyst for the revolutions that were going on then in art, should we just be happy our own malaise are tame by comparison? Does art benefit from adversity and how much adversity is enough/too much?

I can safely say that the first Armory Show is just one of the countless change agents that have occurred in the art world over the past 100 years, although it is certainly an important one. For me, it was simply a point of reference for the Focus Section of The Armory Show, and I am including one installation that makes a direct reference on Marcel Duchamp, whose work at the 1913 Armory certainly ruffled many feathers. War and political upheaval do indeed act as a major influencer on the art being made in that period, but it’s important to note that the Armory was in 1913, with World War I starting a year later in 1914, so there is no connection to that specific war, but more broadly to the cataclysmic social change that was unfolding on a number of fronts in Europe at the time. Art always benefits from adversity, and so too does art present a fair amount of necessary adversity to its audiences. I think that great art should always make the viewer somewhat uncomfortable, challenging them to think in new ways. So, in the end, too much is never enough.

As curator of the Focus section, the country you got handed was the United States of America. That’s a big, rich country. How do you even start to narrow it down?

Yes, indeed. America is a very big thing, both in terms of geography and in more importantly in terms of its psychographic presence in the world, both within and without its borders. It’s true that it is a big, rich country… for some that’s very true, but I think it is critically important to always remember that for many, it is a very poor country with millions of people facing actual need on a daily basis. America is nothing more than a continual series of juxtapositions, from Big to Small, Rich to Poor, Liberal to Conservative. One might even say it is a series of never-ending internal strife and conflict — something that keeps it alive, if nothing else.  This being the case, I didn’t narrow anything down at all. I simply addressed some of the juxtapositions that make up this nation, and selected artists who make a career out of always questioning the powers that be, in one form or another.

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INTERVIEW : JOHANNA JACKSON

Johanna Jackson, a treasure of the West Coast and of the universe, introduced to most of the world through Beautiful Losers, has six hand-knit sweaters and a blanket strung up at the new Portland Museum of Modern Art, a makeshift gallery inside Mississippi Studios on North Albina in Portland, Oregon. Her show, The Big Fig, reflects her roots in street and folk art culture, and celebrates craft, feminized mediums and the psychically, physically and philosophically dynamic metaphor of weaving and knitting.

You still have a few more days to catch the show in Portland — it’s up through Saturday.

I’m curious if other textile artists like Sheila Hicks or Lenore Tawney provide you with any inspiration. Hicks has a book called Weaving as a Metaphor the pages of which hold all of her miniature weavings she’s done over the last 40, 50 years in Paris, Mexico, Florida, wherever. Each one is like a poem — how the weft expresses the way the wind was moving that day and the deep blue ribbon was a man she’d spoken with on the corner. Do you feel like your sweaters are part of this sort of kinesthetic storytelling tradition?

I do feel influenced by Tawney and Hicks, but more influenced by people way outside of the professional art world, like Bertha Gray Hayes and Martha Stewart. Still, I love Hick’s poetry, and I feel the cyclical loop within loop motion of the knitting process mimicking a kind of narrative impulse — it turns the formless enormity of time into fabric the way a story turns the infinite succession of events into a finite chain of events, looped one to another.

Does art have to be useful? These sweaters are real and will keep animals and humans warm. They could even insulate tomato plants or reupholster the driver’s seat of a car. Does it feel different to make art that can be useful in real life?

I don’t think that art has to be useful. I mean, it’s all dust.

It seems like you and your partner Chris have strong feelings about not worrying to much about shit and just living the good life. What is there to learn from letting go of the label of “artist” — or conversely, spreading it out to encompass everything you do?

Life is the best thing that I have. I don’t want to block it by labeling myself, limiting my creativity or prioritizing some of my life work (say painting) over others (brushing my teeth). I want to be here for all of it, who knows where the art is?

Images via Portland MoMA


If you’re in New York before November 12, consider making the trip to Gowanus to see Cabinet Magazine's exhibition of Harry Smith's string figures at their studio gallery space. Harry was a legendary artist, filmmaker and ethnomusicologist who resided at length at The Hotel Breslin where Ace now makes its home, and he holds a special place in our hearts as well as our lobby at Ace New York.
An avid student of the metaphysical aspects of geometric shapes and patterns, whose mysteries have entranced mystics and polymaths from the Pythagoreans to Kabbalists to the Five Percent Nation, Harry created intricate webs in which you can see a connection to other works in his vast oeuvre, from his animated films — timed precisely to bebop scores — to his mandala-like Tree of Life collotypes. 
The exhibit is accompanied by a video program of some of his seminal films, including his masterpiece, “Heaven and Earth Magic,” and a handful of short films about Smith and the string figure art form. In a short survey of Navajo String Games, the narrator weaves elaborate mazes resemblant of animals, spirits and constellations, then dissolves them with flicks of the wrist. In another, a young boy didactically, adorably walks you through the creation of Jacob’s Ladder, stopping to illustrate the swift proximity between Jacob’s Ladder and Anansi, just a couple of manipulations away from each other in either direction. We can only hope the video heralds a new generation of Harry Smiths.

If you’re in New York before November 12, consider making the trip to Gowanus to see Cabinet Magazine's exhibition of Harry Smith's string figures at their studio gallery space. Harry was a legendary artist, filmmaker and ethnomusicologist who resided at length at The Hotel Breslin where Ace now makes its home, and he holds a special place in our hearts as well as our lobby at Ace New York.

An avid student of the metaphysical aspects of geometric shapes and patterns, whose mysteries have entranced mystics and polymaths from the Pythagoreans to Kabbalists to the Five Percent Nation, Harry created intricate webs in which you can see a connection to other works in his vast oeuvre, from his animated films — timed precisely to bebop scores — to his mandala-like Tree of Life collotypes. 

The exhibit is accompanied by a video program of some of his seminal films, including his masterpiece, “Heaven and Earth Magic,” and a handful of short films about Smith and the string figure art form. In a short survey of Navajo String Games, the narrator weaves elaborate mazes resemblant of animals, spirits and constellations, then dissolves them with flicks of the wrist. In another, a young boy didactically, adorably walks you through the creation of Jacob’s Ladder, stopping to illustrate the swift proximity between Jacob’s Ladder and Anansi, just a couple of manipulations away from each other in either direction. We can only hope the video heralds a new generation of Harry Smiths.


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