Art I’m Loving: Christoper Wool

Today I finally made my way to the Guggenheim here in New York to see the Christopher Wool retrospective. I have always loved Wool’s work, which I’ve most often seen hanging in private collections. Recently, however, I have been happy to see his immediately-recognizable paintings popping up everywhere, including Christie’s recent record-breaking $691 million evening sale, during which a personal record was set for the artist, who’s Apocalypse Now sold for $26 million, blowing away the $20 million high estimate.

The current landscape of contemporary art is littered with artists who work  in a variety of mediums, however painting as a medium is often thought of as outdated. The reason I am so drawn to Wool’s work is because in his practice he consistently addresses the complexities of painting while playing with various processes. Wool emerged on the New York art scene in the 1980s, and the anarchic punk influences from around that time period can easily be seen in his work.

The Guggenheim exhibition aggregates works that showcase each of the distinctive processes he has explored over the course of his 30 plus-year career. In the late 80s he used “paint rollers incised with floral and geometric designs to transfer patterns in severe black enamel to a white ground.” What I love about this body of work is that he allows for imperfections on his canvases even within this mechanized framework. The show also displays a selection of his iconic text-as-subject series, in which he stenciled words and phrases in a geometric grid, “freely stripp[ing] out punctuation, disrupt[ing] conventional spacing, and remov[ing] letters.” In addition, the exhibition highlights some of Wool’s incredible silkscreens, a process most predominantly used by the artist over the past 15 years. It was during this time Wool also started incorporating his familiar looping lines, applied haphazardly with a spray gun.

If you haven’t had a chance to see this incredibly organized show, I highly recommend visiting before it closes on January 22, 2014. Below is a difficultly-edited selection of some of the pictures I took.

photo 4 (4)

I love how the works were hung – as if they are floating throughout the rotunda

photo 5 (1)

Paint roller patterns

photo 1 (4)

Truth.

photo 2 (3)

Spray-gun + paint = stunning

photo 2 (2)

A series of his stenciled words

photo 3 (3)

View of the installation in the rotunda

Advertisements

Jason Wu + Nate Lowman

ACRIA—an organization founded in 1991 with a mission to pioneer the newest HIV health education and therapies, and get that information and those drugs into the hands of the people who need them the most—has benefited from the enduring support of the fashion and art community since its inception. Many artists donate works to the nonprofit to sell, into order to raise funds to help achieve their mission. It comes as no surprise, then, that two leaders in the art and fashion community have teamed up to create a limited edition t-shirt sold exclusively on ACRIA’s website to benefit the Young Friends of ACRIA (YFA). Wu sits on the Leadership Committee of the YFA, an organization for professionals under 50 interested in advancing ACRIA’s mission. The shirt comes in multiple sizes ranging from Extra Small to Large. Snatch up this awesome collaborative tee and support a great cause at the same time!

Limited edition tee designed by Jason Wu and Nate Lowman

The limited edition tee designed by Jason Wu and Nate Lowman

Chanel’s Art-Meets-Fashion Spring 2014 Collection

It’s true. There are times when material objects overwhelm me with an intense desperation of want, so that I could be swayed to spend an unreasonable amount of money just to have said object immediately in my possession. More often than not, those objects happen to be works of contemporary art, or works of Chanel. Karl Lagerfeld must have known this when envisioning his Spring 2014 RTW collection presentation, which was set in an enormous, self-created art gallery in the Grand Palais filled with similarly enormous artworks, all 75 of which were created by Karl himself. “The idea came from people who overreact to art today. It’s all become a little too much,” Lagerfeld said during a preview, according to WWD. He made small-scale pieces over the course of the summer that were then replicated by his team into the large-scale paintings and sculptures that lined the white walls of the runway. The works each referenced iconic motifs of the Chanel brand — though some more obviously than others, such as the logo dripping with pearls and the bottle of No. 5.

While the display of his art might have had a satirical undertone, there is no doubt that the 89 looks in the collection were just as much works of art as the paintings on the walls of a museum. Particularly, as Style.com’s Tim Blanks noted, “transformations the Chanel atelier achieved with the signature tweeds were nothing short of art. In fact, they weren’t even tweed as we know it: They were some indefinable multi-processed hybrid of de- and reconstructed stuff that was then mounted on tulle to create outfits that were identifiable as iconic Chanel.” Try educating the sales staff at Saks or Bergdorfs in how to explain that intricate process to a customer. Infusing art into his collection even further, his color palette inspiration stemmed from the bold hues in a vintage paint sample board, which was itself even reproduced as a print in the collection. Watch the entire presentation here, and then comment below on your take on the debate, “is fashion art?”

CHANEL-Spring-2014

Models walking past the infinite array of artworks

chanel-spring-2014-runway

Lagerfeld taking his final bow amid his masterpieces

A few runway looks

A few runway looks

Prada + Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst – former YBA’er and frequent fashion collaborator (read past posts here and here) – recently collaborated with Miucia Prada on an installation entitled  “Prada Oasis and Damien Hirst’s Pharmacy Juice Bar” as part of a major retrospective of the artist’s work in Doha, Qatar. The pop-up is based on a modern-day pharmacy, though the structure takes inspiration from a Bedouin tent and is thus a little more appropriate for its erection in the Qatari desert.

The installation – which remain open only temporarily to mark the opening of the retrospective – served as a representational revival of Hirst’s Pharmacy restaurant, which opened in 1998 and eventually closed in 2003 due to mismanagement. The “Prada Oasis” portion of the pop-up referred to a connecting store capsule collection of bags co-designed by Prada and Hirst. Each of the “Entomology” series of clear Plexiglas totes contains live insects and were made in editions of 20, with sales proceeds benefitting Reach Out to Asia, an organization focused on improving youth’s access to education in the Middle East and Asia.

The retrospective, entitled Relics, is being held in the Al Riwaq exhibition space and assembles the largest collection ever of Hirst’s work. The show will be on view through January 22, 2014.

GOODPrada-Oasis-and-Damien-Hirst-Pharmacy-Juice-bar_1

Prada Oasis and Damien Hirst’s Pharmacy Juice Bar

prada hirst bags

The “Entomology” Handbags

Curtis Kulig’s New Jewelry Line

I am a huge fan of Curtis Kulig. I am obsessed with his “Love Me” paintings and wish I could afford one of my own. But since I can’t (at least for now!), I have fallen in love (pun intended) with his recently launched jewelry line Me + Mi, designed in collaboration with jewelry designer Mimi Jakobson. The collection reimagines his signature phrase in two stylized scripts— “drippy” and block letters—onto 14-karat-gold-plated bracelets, necklaces and rings. Priced from $40 to $197, the collection is incredibly affordable. In fact, it’s hard not to want to buy everything.

For now, I am starting with these two (recently purchased and anxiously awaiting their arrival), but am looking forward to seeing what this pair brings us next.

love me

Houston bracelet

drippy

Broome Necklace