May 6, 2012
SUNDAY FROM MY DESK
Whether it is a building, a piece of jewelry or food on a plate, pure
form has an unmistakable attraction, at least to me. A strong voice and
the focus of the artist, whatever the field, will express the idea in
architecture, design, fashion or music. At the end, it is all about the
shapes and forms and the hand and eye that will bring through their
designs, real beauty. I was wearing these cuffs at a concert in Paris
and everyone has asked to hold and touch them. Today they sit as
sculpture on the desk – to wear or not.
Here a lazy Sunday morning with Blackie playing with Kris’ cuffs.
Kris Ruhs was one of the artists Robert Lee Morris showed for years at
ARTWEAR. Ruhs’ art until he met Morris had been through paper and canvas
works. Morris had a profound influence on his decision to experiment in
ARTWEAR was on West Broadway and was a first stop for me when in
New York. A place of inspiration, attraction and, hopefully, shopping.
The creation of Robert Lee Morris, this generous vision for a place for
artists to show and sell their work has never existed again. From 1977
to 1994 ARTWEAR was the meeting place, a hub of creativity, for the best
jewelry artists: Ted Muehling, Cara Croninger, Kris Ruhs, Tone Vigeland
and others from all over the world to present cutting edge ideas in
design and craft. Robert Lee Morris is a remarkable jeweler himself
who continues to work from his studio in New York.
Here a drawing of one of his pieces from 1976.
When it comes to sculptured cuffs, my first thought goes to
Tone Vigeland. Her jewellery and art work are so pure and perfectly realized.
Here two cuffs from 1989. Recognized as a leading artist in her native
Norway, she started her workshop there in 1961 as a pioneer in hand
working silver. I discovered her works in ARTWEAR when Robert Lee Morris
was giving to artists this incredibly generous showcase.
A pioneer in the use of resin; Croninger is a painter, a sculptor, and a very creative and innovative jeweler. Since 1972 she has been working with abstract and
sculptural shapes and tonalities of material.
Here on the right, a series of her iconic bracelets.
On the left, a picture by Man Ray, 1932.
Cuffs are an important body decoration. From the time of ancient Greece, Egypt or
in the famous Man Ray picture they are art for the body. And today they
can be sculptural architectural pieces like the ones Frank Gehry has
designed exclusively for Tiffany that recall his architecture, or the
iconic sensual “bone” cuff, 1975, also for Tiffany, by legendary designer Elsa Peretti that molds so beautifully to the shape of the wrist.
Here an unexpected sculptural building designed by Frank Gehry for the
Vitra Design Museum outside of Basel, Switzerland. Completed in 1989, the
Vitra showcases an extensive collection of modern furniture from the
beginning of the 19th Century to the present as well as a campus of
buildings by some of the world’s leading architects. Superbly designed
structures for the world’s most excellent design collections – which
makes for all the visitors and any student in design Weil Am Rhein
a true destination.
Frank Gehry has envisioned a project as unusual as his amazing sail building,
here, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.
Always exploring across all boundaries, Gehry has conceived a project of three Mozart operas to be designed by three architects and all directed by Gustavo Dudamel, the Principal Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Gehry himself does the first, Don Giovanni. This opens on May 18th.
He has chosen Rodarte to create the costumes to complement this unique
visual picture which Dudamel will conduct.
The other two operas are now in development and will also draw as much attention.
The collaboration to make Gehry’s vision even more memorable with his
sets for Don Giovanni will come from the costumes of the Rodarte sisters,
Kate and Laura Mulleavy. Long fantastical gowns but also menswear for
both the master and his ever watchful servant Leporello. Here is one of
their already published creations. I look forward to seeing what are now
very closely guarded costume designs from two of the best fashion
designers with a unique eye and a strong personality.
I am still in the reverie of an evening of music. Thursday in Paris
listening to Gustavo Dudamel conduct the Berliner Philharmonic in the
Salle Pleyel was a rare privilege. One of the most acclaimed conductors
now in the world, the passion of his work and his personal charisma are a
force of energy that still resonates with me. There is nothing quite
like the effect of music on the mind and heart.
The Salle Pleyel and its beautiful Art Deco hall was built by the Pleyel
piano company in Paris in 1927. Since 1827 they had made pianos for the
greatest pianists – Chopin and Debussy up to the modernists Ravel and
Stravinsky, who played here in this perfect acoustically designed space.
Even the applause of the enthusiastic audience was music at the end of
this amazing evening with a master of form and space.