April 20, 2014 § Leave a comment
Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems. ~Rainer Maria Rilke
Hope you find something beautiful this holiday! Sweet Spring Wishes. Happy New Beginnings. Gosh I loved that green checkered dress. Style Zeitgeist circa 1960 something.
April 17, 2014 Comments Off
Raw Vegan Carrot Cake
This simple yet incredibly decadent no-bake carrot cake is out-of-this-world delicious! Shredded carrots, walnuts, coconut, and plump raisins and dates are blended with spices and seeds to create this perfect addition to a holiday celebration treat. A wholefood goodness, nutrient packed guilty pleasure, you don’t have to feel so guilty about. Rawsome!
1 cup organic carrots
1 cup oat flour
3/4 cup organic raw walnuts
½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup organic golden raisins or apricots
1/4 cup organic dates, pitted
2 Tbsp organic sunflower seeds
1 Tbsp organic flax seeds
1 tsp orange zest
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 cup agave nectar or raw honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 Tbsp organic unsweetened almond milk
Lemon Nut Purée Icing
2 cups raw cashews, preferably soaked for a couple of hours
Juice from 1 lemon
2 Tbsp liquid coconut oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Water, as needed
*The icing is optional -the cake tastes great on its own, but I think this traditional creamy citrus flavour partners perfectly with the earthiness of this cake.
1. Place carrots in food processor and pulse until chunky.
2. Add remaining cake ingredients to food processor. Process briefly and slowly, stopping to monitor. Do not over-process. Mixture should be well-blended but still “chunky” (not a paste).
3. Combine icing ingredients in high-speed blender and blend until you get a nice smooth purée.
4. Press half the cake mix into the bottom of a spring-form pan and then spread on about 1/3 of the nut purée. Put it in the freezer until the layer of icing is hard (about 2 hours). Then press on the rest of the cake mix. Take it out of the pan and use the remaining icing. Best to let it set in the fridge overnight, then frost the whole thing, but you can do it right away if you want.
5. Decorate creatively with cashew pieces, shredded coconut, orange zest & nutmeg. Dried edible flower garnish or fresh rose petals would be festive and colorful for Spring!
6. Refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.
April 13, 2014 Comments Off
David Maisel, History’s Shadow GM4, C-Print Frame, 30 x 40 inches, edition of 7, 2010, Courtesy Yancey Richardson Gallery, © David Maisel.
On view now through 10 May, 2014 is the exhibition “History’s Shadow” by American artist David Maisel at Yancey Richardson Gallery New York. For over twenty-five years, Maiselʼs photographic work has been wide-ranging in scope, and yet deeply focused on what he describes as a “long-term investigation into the aesthetics of entropy, and the dual processes of memory and excavation.” Maiselʼs previous work includes several aerial landscape portfolios exposing the surreal, almost incandescent imprint of industrial mining and mineral extraction operations throughout the American West. In a later project, Library of Dust, Maiselʼs inquiries shifted dramatically in scale, to the unique imprint of mineral corrosion on individual copper canisters from a hospital archive.
David Maisel, History’s Shadow GM12, Archival Pigment Print, 40 x 30 inches, edition of 7, 2010, Courtesy Yancey Richardson Gallery, © David Maisel.
Historyʼs Shadow represents an elegant continuation of these well-established themes, utilizing x-rays as source material to explore the intersection of scientific research and visual art. The exhibitionʼs title comes from a project of the same name, inspired by the artistʼs residency at the Getty Research Institute, during which time he re-photographed x-rays of sculptural antiquities culled from the museumʼs conservation archives. According to Maisel, Historyʼs Shadow refers “both to the literal images that the x-rays create as they are re-photographed, and to the metaphorical content informed by the past from which these objects derive.”
David Maisel, History’s Shadow AB3, Archival Pigment Print, 40 x 30 inches, edition of 7, 2010, Courtesy Yancey Richardson Gallery, © David Maisel.
David Maisel, History’s Shadow GM10, Archival Pigment Print, 40 x 30 inches, edition of 7, 2010, Courtesy Yancey Richardson Gallery, © David Maisel.
In his essay, Trace Elements and Core Samples, Maisel describes the transformative nature of the material: “The ghostly images of these x-rays seemed to surpass the potency of the original objects of art. These spectral renderings were like transmissions from the distant past, conveying messages across time, and connecting the contemporary viewer to the art impulse at the core of these ancient works. Through the x-ray process, the artworks of origin become de-familiarized and de-contextualized, yet acutely alive and renewed, revivified. The shadow-worlds they occupy are informed by the black space surrounding the images, which in some instances becomes a vast nether world, and in others becomes the velvety ground of some kind of brain scan/portrait.”
David Maisel, Library of Dust 1834, Archival Pigment Print, 2005-2006, Courtesy Yancey Richardson Gallery, © David Maisel.
David Maisel, Library of Dust 242, Archival Pigment Print, 2005-2006, Courtesy Yancey Richardson Gallery, © David Maisel.
In addition to Historyʼs Shadow, selections from Maiselʼs Library of Dust series are on display in the galleryʼs project space. In Library of Dust, the artist photographed individual copper canisters containing the cremated remains of patients from a state-run psychiatric hospital, documenting the beautiful yet disquieting effect of mineral corrosion on each unique object. As in Historyʼs Shadow, these transformative still-life objects float in a void against a pure black background, sublime meditations on the passage of time, memory, loss, and the metaphorical illustration of matter versus spirit.
David Maisel was born in New York City in 1961. He received his BA from Princeton University, and his MFA from California College of the Arts. His photographs, multi-media projects, and public installations have been exhibited internationally, and are included in many public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Victoria & Albert Museum; the National Gallery of Art; the J. Paul Getty Museum; the Brooklyn Museum; the Santa Barbara Museum of Art; the Yale University Art Gallery; the Nevada Museum of Art; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, among others. Maiselʼs work has been the subject of five monographs: Black Maps (2013), Historyʼs Shadow (2011), Library of Dust (2008), Oblivion (2006), and The Lake Project (2004).
Black Maps: American Landscape and the Apocalyptic Sublime, Photographs and essay by David Maisel, Introduction by Julian Cox, Essays by Natasha Egan, Geoff Manaugh, Alan Rapp, Kirsten Rian, Joseph Thompson, and Kazys Varnelis, Poem by Mark Strand, Book design by Bob Aufuldish, Aufuldish & Warinner, Edited by Alan Rapp, Hardcover, 248 pgs, Published by Steidl, 2013.
Black Maps is the first in-depth survey of the major aerial projects by David Maisel, whose images of radically altered terrain have transformed the practice of contemporary landscape photography. In more than one hundred photographs that span Maisel’s career, Black Maps presents a hallucinatory worldview encompassing both stark documentary and tragic metaphor, and exploring the relationship between nature and humanity today. Maisel’s images of environmentally impacted sites consider the aesthetics and politics of open pit mines, clear-cut forests, rampant urbanization and sprawl, and zones of water reclamation. These surreal and disquieting photographs take us towards the margins of the unknown and as the Los Angeles Times has stated, “argue for an expanded definition of beauty, one that bypasses glamour to encompass the damaged, the transmuted, the decomposed.”
David Maisel’s work has always been concerned with processes of memory, excavation, and transformation. These themes are given new form in his latest work, History’s Shadow. In this series, Maisel re-photographs x-rays from museum archives that depict artifacts from antiquity, scanning and digitally manipulating the selected source material. X-rays have historically been used by art conservators for structural examination of art and artifacts much as physicians examine bones and internal organs; they reveal losses, replacements, construction methods, and internal trauma invisible to the naked eye. By transcribing both the inner and outer surfaces of their subjects simultaneously, they form spectral images of indeterminate space, depth, and scale. The resulting photographs seem like transmissions from the distant past, both spanning and collapsing time. They express -through feeling and art, as well as science and reason- the shape-shifting nature of time itself, and the continuous presence of the past contained within us. The book contains an original short story by Jonathan Lethem that was inspired by Maisel’s images.
Library of Dust, Photographs by David Maisel, Essays by David Maisel, Geoff Manaugh, Michael Roth, Terry Toedtemeier, Hardcover, 108 pgs, Published by Chronicle Books, 2008
Photographer David Maisel has created a somber and beautiful series of images depicting canisters containing the cremated remains of the unclaimed dead from an Oregon psychiatric hospital. Dating back as far as the nineteenth century, these canisters have undergone chemical reactions, causing extravagant blooms of brilliant white, green, and blue corrosion, revealing unexpected beauty in the most unlikely of places. This stately volume is both a quietly astonishing body of fine art from a preeminent contemporary photographer, and an exceptionally poignant monument to the unknown deceased.
April 1, 2014 Comments Off
The Buddha, one of the world’s first great psychologists, made acknowledgment of suffering as the centerpiece of his teaching. Trauma, if it does not destroy us, can be used to awaken the mind. When we stop distancing ourselves from our pain, or the pain of others, Buddha taught, we open up the possibility of a new experience -one that often surprises because of how much joy, connection, or relief it yields.
Join Mark Epstein, MD, and Joseph Goldstein, experts in Buddhist psychology, to explore the theory and practice of Vipassana, or Insight Meditation -the Buddha’s method of discovering freedom when dealing with the trauma of being alive, 3 May, 2014, at Omega NYC, for “The Trauma of Being Alive: A Path of Awakening.” Questions will be answered, meditations offered, and discussion is encouraged. This workshop is appropriate for both nonprofessionals and helping professionals.
Joseph Goldstein, cofounder of the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, is also a cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, where he is one of the organization’s guiding teachers. Since 1967, he has studied and practiced Buddhist meditation under eminent teachers from India, Burma, and Tibet. He has been leading insight and lovingkindness meditation retreats worldwide since 1974. He is the author of Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening; A Heart Full of Peace, One Dharma: The Emerging Western Buddhism; Insight Meditation: The Practice of Freedom; and The Experience of Insight; and coauthor of Seeking the Heart of Wisdom and Insight Meditation: A Correspondence Course.
Mark Epstein, MD, is a Harvard-educated psychiatrist and author whose latest work, The Trauma of Everyday Life, uses the Buddha’s biography to explore the hidden psychodynamics and contemporary relevance of Buddhist thought. As a psychiatrist in private practice in New York City, he integrates Buddhist psychology into his work, his teachings, and his books. His books include Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart, Going on Being, Thoughts Without a Thinker, Open to Desire, Psychotherapy Without a Self. He also has written for Tricycle: A Buddhist Review, Yoga Journal, and O: The Oprah Magazine.
In The Trauma of Everyday Life renowned psychiatrist and author of Thoughts Without a Thinker Mark Epstein uncovers the transformational potential of trauma, revealing how it can be used for the mind’s own development. Western psychology teaches that if we understand the cause of trauma, we might move past it while many drawn to Eastern practices see meditation as a means of rising above, or distancing themselves from, their most difficult emotions. Both, Epstein argues, fail to recognize that trauma is an indivisible part of life and can be used as a lever for growth and an ever deeper understanding of change. When we regard trauma with this perspective, understanding that suffering is universal and without logic, our pain connects us to the world on a more fundamental level. The way out of pain is through it.
Epstein’s discovery begins in his analysis of the life of Buddha, looking to how the death of his mother informed his path and teachings. The Buddha’s spiritual journey can be read as an expression of primitive agony grounded in childhood trauma. Yet the Buddha’s story is only one of many in The Trauma of Everyday Life. Here, Epstein looks to his own experience, that of his patients, and of the many fellow sojourners and teachers he encounters as a psychiatrist and Buddhist. They are alike only in that they share in trauma, large and small, as all of us do. Epstein finds throughout that trauma, if it doesn’t destroy us, wakes us up to both our minds’ own capacity and to the suffering of others. It makes us more human, caring, and wise. It can be our greatest teacher, our freedom itself, and it is available to all of us.
March 24, 2014 Comments Off
“I get help from the greatest designer: Mother Nature.” ~Ron Mann
Sonoma-based designer Ron Mann looks to nature and the local terrain for inspiration.
Ron Mann’s work encompasses commercial and residential projects, with a focus on designing from the ground up. Mann prefers to custom design and build all interior and exterior elements of a property with an eye to integrating the structures with the terrain. He utilizes environmentally sustainable building practices, including recycled woods, locally harvested stone and natural materials in both construction and furnishing.
Hillside House Sonoma California Poolside Terrace
Overlooking Lovall Valley in Sonoma California, about an hour north of San Francisco, the modern “Valle Vista” compound constructed in 2008, -featured in Architectural Digest the same year, was designed by Harvey and Conrad Sanchez of Conrad Design -architects that love the world of fine arts and have a focus on integrating art into their design, in collaboration with designer Ron Mann. Mann was asked to help with the architecture and build out and design the interiors. Mann added the poolside terrace and used creative organic design elements such as a large fragment of ceiba-tree root as a curtain for the outdoor shower.
Hillside House Sonoma California Interior
The house sits on 19 acres of hillside with incredible views of Sonoma County, Mount Tamalpais and San Francisco Bay, and was conceived and orchestrated as a complete concept. Every detail is custom designed for the property integrating the site, architecture and the interior of the home.
Hillside House Sonoma California Interior
By his own admission, Mann works best when he is given free rein “Then, my only restriction is myself,” he makes known. He approaches interiors sculpturally, searching for the juxtapositions of scale, texture and color that will make a given space feel as though it does not resemble any design that has existed before it.
Hillside House Sonoma California Interior
“I like bold design,” he says of his philosophy. “I believe in angles, not rectangles. I think they humanize a space. After all, human beings aren’t rectilinear.” Nestled among the trees, many rooms reflect Mann’s design influences and ideas about nature, space and light, through natural and often seamless transitions of inside and out.
Hillside House Sonoma California Interior
The rooms are defined by windows that visually bring the live Oaks in, and in large measure by the floor -really a floorscape. Running in ribbons embedded in the concrete are boards of Douglas Fir rubbed with metallicized paint forming subtle paths intersecting throughout the house. The residence is full of wood especially Fir, Bay Laurel and Eucalyptus.
Hillside House Sonoma California Entrance Courtyard
Mann designed many sculptural pieces for the house, including the cypress bench and the hammered-aluminum-and-steel light fixture in the entrance courtyard. Balanced proportions of concrete, plaster, exotic marble, stone, wood & metal affect stunning vignettes throughout.
Tres Paraguas Carmel California Entrance
One of the most visionary eco-friendly homes in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, designed by Ron Mann, three years in the planning and four years to completion in 2013, was from inception, an experiment in creating a “one of a kind living environment for the Monterey Peninsula.” Tres Paraguas, as it was named, is a 13,000 square foot compound, built on its own five-acre pinnacle above all surrounding properties, which affords 360-degree views of the entire Monterey Bay with a Jacks Peak Forest backdrop. The forest gives the designer beginnings of a natural landscape of live Oaks and Pines, to which has been added Canary, Mediterranean, and Washingtonian palms, multitudes of agaves, and New Zealand flax as ground cover, in all, providing strong visual texture to the hillside terrain.
Tres Paraguas Carmel California Exterior
Innovative and stylish, Tres Paraguas is a virtual master class in integrating structures with the terrain and utilizing environmentally sustainable building practices artfully. ‘Tres Paraguas’ is Spanish for ‘Three Umbrellas,’ representative of the five house complex that is covered by 3 giant rectangular roofs of corrugated Corten Steel mounted on square columns of Douglas Fir 26 feet high, stilted, standing free of the 5 buildings.
Tres Paraguas Carmel California Exterior
The buildings are modern Pueblas, self-roofed, heavily stuccoed in three earth tones, with 18 foot walls and giant 12 foot sliding glass walls that pocket into the end walls, allowing the buildings to all open into courtyards and terraces as pavilions. Voluminous and airy, the modern-style Pueblas property creates a large, enclosed courtyard -almost half an acre, and features a lawn, raised pool and a Cantina outdoor kitchen.
Tres Paraguas Carmel California Terrace
Scenic Monterey Bay viewed from the front terrace with outdoor furniture crafted from sandblasted Redwood. Ron Mann designed roughly hewn tables and chairs can be found at Ma(i)sonry in Yountville -an art, design and wine gallery set amidst a contemporary, landscaped sculpture garden in Napa Valley.
Tres Paraguas Carmel California Interior/Exterior
A table top -15ft. natural slab of Tiger Redwood on 3 sculptural steel bases, was designed by Mann for the Great Room. With its precise placement the indoor/outdoor areas blend seamlessly with each other, allowing space for entertaining as well as a living environment. While the open plan interior enables the homeowner to have spectacular views of the Pacific ocean and Jacks Peak beyond the courtyard wall as a natural landscape.
Tres Paraguas Carmel California Interior
Mann, a master of interior design, wood and stone sculpting, and custom furniture fabrication, employed all of these skills to find innovative and elegant solutions for the Tres Paraguas challenge. All of the rooms have a modern-edge organic feel resonating Mann’s characteristic yin and yang aesthetic throughout.
With a fusion of luxe bohemian primitive and contemporary elements, and wabi-sabi spirit, Mann creates something new, unexpected and cohesive. “If one is able to place things in a space so that they retain their individuality, don’t fight one another and don’t cancel each other out, that’s the trick” concludes Mann.
Tres Paraguas Carmel California Interior
“All I need to hear is the word impossible, I like a design challenge and the freedom to execute it. There is no secret to it. I just gather up a truckload of stone and wood and do it.” A perspective that produces inspired results.
Tres Paraguas Carmel California Interior
Tres Paraguas has all the markings of being remembered as master work of art, as one of the most important homes built in America today, designed by a visionary artist and designer with meticulous attention to detail. The designer’s deep respect for the natural beauty and splendor of the setting are reflected in every aspect of design, planning and creation. This one-of-kind artfully crafted Ron Mann designed architectural jewel of a house Tres Paraguas is currently on the market listed with Sotheby’s International Realty.
London Pied A Terre Interior
With his clients’ collection of Asian art in mind, Mann refurbished a modern penthouse in London overlooking the Thames in 2010. The freestanding pieces of furniture were designed by Mann, who had them made in California before shipping them to London. Particularly notable is the vast sofa in the living area created for the space. Made in three separate parts with a frame crafted from solid California bay laurel and hand-cast magnesium tables that attach. A large four-panel lacquered screen Dragon Knows Dragon by Shiryu Morita, and an ancient salt-glaze jar, both from Japan, subtly set the tone in the living area.
London Pied A Terre Interior
But most remarkable is the sheer variety of artworks, which range from a Nepalese bronze Buddha to a Korean paper screen and a Javanese wood carving, that blend effortlessly with their surroundings, lending an extra dimension of serenity to Mann’s intriguing design. The richness and quality of materials exemplified by deeply hued faux-fur bedcoverings, hand-pieced together and lined with silk, bring texture and warmth to the space, while a Isamu Noguchi paper lantern dangles in the corner, and Kum Kang San’s Bamboo, a 10-panel, early-20th-century Korean paper screen, is in the hall. Discretely sited throughout the main rooms, the collection of paintings, sculptures and objects gives a particular resonance to the space.
March 20, 2014 Comments Off
And Spring arose on the garden fair, Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere; And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, “The Sensitive Plant”
Kathy Ruttenberg, The Messenger, Ceramic Sculpture, 15.25 x 23 x 38, 2010, Courtesy and © Kathy Ruttenberg. The environmentally astute fairytale sculptures of Chicago-born, New York-based artist Kathy Ruttenberg inhabit an allegorically charged world of unconscious drives, Ovidian transformations and feminst-inflected narratives. Described by Donald Kuspit as perhaps the most creative, certainly unusual, ceramic art being made today, Ruttenberg’s work is populated with women sprouting or metamorphosing into trees, flowers, birds, snails, antlers and crabs. Figurines of whimsical caterpillars, bats and rabbits are intricately rendered in clay and watercolor, a three-dimensional counterpart to the poetry and visions of William Blake a la Beatrix Potter. The tools for my work are fire, earth and emotions, Ruttenberg writes. “This mix makes an interersting cocktail of allegory and symbolism, with an odd twist of nature. In my world, where the wind blows with intensity, animals and humans often share the moment.”
March 17, 2014 Comments Off
Cultivate your natural capacity for faith, compassion, and love with leading spiritual guides Krishna Das and Sharon Salzberg March 20-23, 2014 for “The Power of A Loving Heart: Devotional Chanting and Loving-Kindness Meditation” at Kripalu -Center for Yoga & Health, in the Berkshires. They combine the complementary practices of devotional chanting and loving-kindness meditation to celebrate the power of the heart. Through teachings, stories, chants, guided meditations, and question-and-answer sessions, Krishna Das and Sharon lead you within to find inner knowledge and open to deeper levels of courage and wisdom.
Krishna Das is at the forefront of infusing traditional Hindu kirtan (chanting) with modern influences. Grounded in the path of bhakti, or devotional yoga, since 1968 when he met his guru, Mahara-ji Neem Karoli Baba, his music is energized with modern grooves and melodies to create soulful chanting that is eminently accessible to Western hearts. Founder of Karuna/Triloka records, his popular CDs include Pilgrim Heart, Live on Earth, Breath of the Heart, Door of Faith, All One, and Flow of Grace: Learning the Hanuman Chalisa. He conducts seminars and workshops and leads kirtan in yoga centers throughout the world.
Sharon Salzberg is one of America’s leading meditation teachers and authors. A student of Buddhism since 1971, she has led meditation retreats worldwide for over 30 years. She teaches both intensive awareness practice (vipassana, or insight meditation) and the profound cultivation of loving-kindness and compassion (the Brahma Viharas). Sharon is a cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts and the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. She is the author of many books, including Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness; Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience; and A Heart as Wide as the World. Her latest book is the New York Times best-seller, Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation – A 28-Day Program, published by Workman Publishing.
March 15, 2014 Comments Off
Constantin Joffé, American Vogue, September 1945, © 1945 Condé Nast.
Back in 2012, photography historian Nathalie Herschdorfer published an impressive book titled ‘Coming into Fashion: A Century of Photography at Condé Nast’ which presented the work of illustrious fashion photographers such as Cecil Beaton, Irving Penn and Ellen von Unwerth at the early stages of their careers. Herschdorfer was allowed unprecedented access to the Condé Nast archives which enabled her to produce a panorama of the images that have marked the history of fashion photography. Two years on from its publication, the book has inspired an exhibition at Palais Galliera -the Fashion Museum of the City of Paris, on view now through 25 May 2014, curated by Herschdorfer herself in collaboration with the museum’s photography collection manager Sylvie Lécallier. Titled “Papier Glacé: Coming into Fashion, a Century of Photography at Condé Nast,” the exhibition offers access to the Condé Nast archives in New York, Paris and Milan celebrating 150 original prints and images by some 90 fashion photographers from 1918 to the present day that transformed the industry over the last century. A multifaceted view on how Vogue and other Condé Nast magazines have shaped the evolution of fashion photography across the globe.
Erwin Blumenfeld, American Vogue, March 1945, © 1945 Condé Nast.
The displayed photographs are accompanied by fifteen haute couture items, most of which have been sourced from the collections of the Palais Galliera (including Issey Miyake’s iconic 1980 red plastic bustier, evening dresses by Christian Dior, Coco Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent, as well as more recent creations by Rei Kawakubo and Nicolas Ghesquière). There are also two reading rooms with fifty or so magazines in long display cases and a number of screens where visitors can explore the highlights of almost a century of Condé Nast publications, as well as a screening room showing contemporary fashion videos. ‘Papier Glacé’ is undoubtedly full of glamour and striking beauty, however on a deeper level, it also provides visitors an opportunity to consider how women have been represented in the media over the past century, and to realise how their image has been shaped by the many hands of couturiers, photographers, directors, editors and businessmen who run the fashion world.
Coming Into Fashion: A Century of Photography at Conde Nast, by Herschdorfer, Hardcover, 288 pgs, 2012
March 12, 2014 § 2 Comments
Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Pandora, Oil Painting, 51 X 31 in., 1871, Pandora will once again exert her divine magnetism when Sotheby’s brings to auction Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s magnificent oil painting of 1871. Pandora is arguably the most significant painting by Rossetti to be seen at auction in recent years. Its appearance in the company’s London sale of British & Irish Art on 22 May 2014 presents the public with a rare sighting of the work. Pandora occupies an important place in the pantheon of the artist’s images of the woman who defined his mature output, Jane Morris -the wife of his best friend William Morris, whose remarkable beauty was the catalyst for a new type of woman in Rossetti’s art soulful, enigmatic and other-worldly, sealing her status as artist’s muse. Rossetti, Pre-Raphaelite master of storytelling and psychology, spellbindingly combines these two obsessions with Pandora, with impressive canvas dimensions, lending power to Rossetti’s vision. Destined to be a record breaker at Sotheby’s.
Clad in a loose, long robe of Venetian red and adorned with bracelets, Rossetti’s Pandora stands before us imperious in her beauty. She holds the fateful casket, from which escapes potent spirits in the form of red smoke, curling behind her and enveloping her hair. The story of Pandora originated in Greek mythology. Zeus commanded the creation of Pandora, the first woman on earth, who was formed out of clay by Vulcan. Her name (meaning ‘the gifted’) was derived from the gifts given to her by each of the Olympian gods: Aphrodite bestowed great beauty upon her; Hermes, the art of persuasion, and so forth. After Prometheus stole fire from Mount Olympus, Zeus took vengeance by handing Pandora to Epimetheus, Prometheus’ brother, whom she married. Given the eponymous receptacle by Jupiter and ordered not to open it under any circumstance, Pandora did not heed the warning and unwittingly unleashed a multitude of evils into the world, trapping only Hope inside as she hastened to contain the distempers within. For the early Church, the story of Pandora was a pagan counterpart to the story of Eve and the Fall of Man. The symbolism of Pandora’s mythology invites a reading of Rossetti’s work as proof of the artist’s belief that Jane -as muse, had released the artist’s incarcerated passions and that she was the guardian of his hope.
March 10, 2014 Comments Off
Ring from the Frozen Garden Collection designed by Delfina Delettrez, Distinctly surreal, the beautiful pieces feature Delettrez’s signature insects, flowers, and other magical elements from the natural world come to life. An ode to life, the collection also touches on the dark side of humanity with references to memento mori, one of the recurring themes in her work.
Frozen Garden is designer Delfina Delettrez‘s latest jewelry collection comprised of a necklace, ring, bracelet and earrings. Delfina Delettrez -fourth generation Italian designer of the Fendi dynasty, drew inspiration for this capsule collection from “The magical moment when nature begins to reawaken, in a slow yet inexorable crescendo, between the end of Winter and the beginning of Spring.” It is that precise moment that inspired Delettrez. The picturesque image of a winter garden, with flowers blossoming from the snow, led the designer back to her childhood, to relive her dream as a little girl, where every flower seemed a piece of jewelry. “Nature is the most precious jewellery. Every little girl’s first piece of jewellery was a flower or a garland of daisies in her hair. This collection is a look back to nature and to childhood. It’s as though you are wearing a future piece of the past, with flowers suspended in time like a frozen garden.” In each piece, flora, leaves and insects are encased in ice-like crystalline resin -the jewelry reads like precious fossils or a shadow box of all your most treasured things.
March 9, 2014 Comments Off
The understated luxury of hand-crafted wood furniture does more than serve a basic function. It makes a statement, tells a story, and adds to the beauty and charm that makes a home unique and artful. Heirloom-quality furniture usually starts with a set of fundamental elements. These include structurally sound methods grounded in old-world style, sustainable materials with timeless longevity and a distinct intrinsic flair. The following is a selection of artisans and small companies that are keeping the woodworking tradition alive by using sustainable practices and innovative techniques.
Walnut Chair from the Torsio Collection, Designed by Salih Teskeredžić -an internationally renowned Bosnian designer with Artisan. The meaning of the Torsio chair design technique is in erasing the aesthetic boundary between sculpture made of wood and the industrial product. Form is treated as the most important aspect, the material is supplemented, though true form “remains”, which is expressive, unique and yet a product of industrial aesthetics. Walnut as the favoured natural material has been reduced to basic tectonic principle of the plate-seat and legs with a backrest, merged with fluid lines creating a unity of form with no superfluous constructive elements. Fluidity of form and construction reduced to minimum are the central design themes for the ‘wood technology’ designers at Artisan, who co-founded Arteco, the driving force of a new movement in Bosnia -a sustainable technology wood industry center.
Indoor Desk, From the collection of objects designed by Elisa Cavani of Manoteca. Capturing old, discarded objects and turning them into something new to be appreciated, Manoteca hopes that the object’s new owner will think about the life the object once lived and the stories it invariably told. Often paired with recycled materials, the designer reinvents old objects into one-off designs that are completely handmade and only painted when necessary. Hailing from Bologna Italy, Manoteca re-creates objects in a “wooden house in a garden, a laboratory where old abandoned things and salvaged materials are taken care of, thought-of a second time, and re-assembled.”
La Nuit De Noel, From the collection of objects designed by Manoteca. With great delicacy, a twisted tree dangles a drop of light over a small pool of water. The box grounding the branch is positioned so perfectly at an angle you almost don’t notice the absolute balance that this brings to the piece. The electric source runs through the inside of the tree and the brown wire becomes evident exposed at the top to wrap a few branches before it feeds the exposed bulb. The water provides a reflective surface, mirroring the light source and calming the organic branch. In the work of Italian designer Elisa Cavani there is an immediate refreshing and humble nature in her approach, everything handmade and a one-off, the pieces echo the spirit of experimentation without the signs of trial and error. At the same time they demonstrate a love captured in the thought that went into making them, as well as in the history and reverence that connects them to something old. Whether it’s a vintage door as a table top, or a tricycle, lamp, and bookshelf ‘Wandering Library‘ creation, the materials blend naturally together to create a harmonious rather than thrown together recycled aesthetic.
Interior NYC Loft, Desinged by Joinery Structures. Founded in 1988, Joinery Structures is a design-build studio and mill in Oakland California specializing in custom projects that integrate sustainable wood practices, innovative design, and precision craftsmanship. Founder and principal, Paul Discoe, is a renowned Japanese master builder and Zen Buddhist teacher. Paul studied architecture as a Buddhist temple builder in Kyoto, Japan for five years during the 1970s. Upon returning to the United States, Paul founded Joinery Structures to continue pursuing his passion for Asian architecture. By personally training his team in Japanese techniques and representing the architectural process as an embodiment of Zen practice, Paul has helped introduce Asian architecture to the Western world. Joinery Structures is locally and globally recognized for its ability to design and build beautiful spaces and innovative structures. With thoughtful project management, the Joinery Structures team exhibits exceptional skill and knowledge in design, wood milling, construction, and eco-sustainability.
Frank Lloyd Wright Recliner, Designed by Copeland Furniture. Frank Lloyd Wright is without a doubt an icon in the field of American Architecture and furniture design. His creations are recognizable at first glance, and were often specifically created to go into the buildings or homes he designed. Many of these furniture designs even bear the name of the client the piece was commissioned for. Copeland Furniture -natural hardwood furniture made in Vermont, worked with the Wright Foundation and has the rights to reproduce many of his designs to the exacting standards Wright intended a hundred years ago. Wright designed this recliner in 1902 for the grand home of Susan Lawrence Dana in Springfield Illinois and designed variations of this recliner for many of his Prairie Era homes. Copeland Furniture is a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility on the banks of the Connecticut River in Bradford Vermont, whose design aesthetic coincides with a resurgence of appreciation for designs from the Arts & Crafts, Mission, Shaker, and Scandinavian movements today. Copeland Furniture is Forest Stewardship Council certified.
Journeyman Trunk, Designed by Method Studio, Working closely with the design team at cult Dutch jeanswear label DENHAM, Method Studio created their own modern interpretation of the classic portmanteau steamer trunk. Handcrafted from an elegant skeleton of solid ash, skinned in ultra-thin birch and detailed with hand-stitched leather. Contrasting butterfly catches open to reveal a bespoke interior. Drawing inspiration from birch-bark canoes and bi-plane wing construction, the trunk contains over 600 meticulously interlocked components, all handcrafted at their workshop in a historic Scotland town. The passionate Method team meticulously designs and handcrafts unique bespoke furniture, trunks, cases and ingenious objects. Using a variety of the finest materials, but specializing in native hardwoods, each exclusive piece is the product of a deeply personal development process, before being individually handmade by a master craftsman. Established by second-generation cabinetmaker Callum Robinson and architect Marisa Giannasi, the goal is always to apply a down-to-earth and practical understanding of the process of making beautiful objects, with a very personal, research-driven and communicative approach to designing them.
Juglans Chest of Drawers, from the Fold Editions series designed by Rafe Mullarkey for Larkbeck, part of Larkbeck’s ongoing fine wood furniture line that includes the Linden Credenza (Austrian Lime), Acer Console (Sycamore), Asa No Ha Highboy (Black Walnut), Sakura Sideboard (Sycamore), and Shippo Tsunagi Desk (Black Walnut). Larkbeck is a London-based studio collaboration between two furniture makers: Rafe Mullarkey and Laszlo Beckett. Their central London workshop focuses on traditional cabinet making techniques, combined with contemporary technologies. The two designers celebrate the development of practical art within the design of fine furniture. Larkbeck honors their individual design directions whilst collectively combining their own unique creative stories. Their furniture is produced in limited editions, constructed from solid hardwood, and explores the decorative possibilities of domestic objects reaching back to a more classical aesthetic.
English Windsor Dining Table with Slab Base, Designed by Barlas Baylar for Hudson Furniture, All of the products are available in custom sizes in a variety of wood species including Claro Walnut, Black Walnut, Myrtle, Jasmine, Acacia, Satinwood and Ebonized Pine, designed with a most intriguing appeal for the lover of fine furniture and nature. Hudson Furniture respects the natural forms of trees and inherent grain of wood with well-defined organic lines and geometric forms using traditional joinery techniques and hand rubbed oil finishes. Wood slabs are domestically sourced from either salvaged trees or wind/storm damaged trees. Hudson Furniture is New York’s only repository for legally harvested petrified wood. Barlas Baylar founded Hudson Furniture Gallery, a concept design showroom 10 years ago in the Meatpacking District, to showcase large-scale, sculptural furniture and lighting designs, hand-made by an expert artisan team located in a New York atelier. Always inspired by the art, design and architecture of the art deco era, Baylar has delved into studies of modern classics to inform his unique design sensibilities. As homage to the great works of iconic sculptors Brancusi, Noguchi, Jean Michel Frank and Ruhlman, the designer as artist continues to evolve each collection into complex new forms through use of inventive architectural materials.
Enignum Canopy Bed, Designed by Joesph Walsh, Bring dreams to life with this elegant Olive Ash Wood canopy bed by Joseph Walsh. The design has been carved meticulously creating nothing less than a true work of art. The concept behind the Enignum Canopy Bed was to create a space, a cocooned feeling of protection and enclosure. The silk canopy creates a sense of enclosure and lavishness -which can be customized for each season. In the Enignum series, the Welch-born, Ireland-based artisan strips wood into thin layers, manipulating and reconstructing them into free-form compositions. He than shapes through the layers to reveal not only the honesty of the structure but the sculpted form which is a unique collaboration of man and material. The title derives from the Latin words Enigma ‘mystery’ and Lignum ‘wood’, which sums up the series: the mystery of the composition lies in the material. Walsh’s work can be found in many significant international Museum and Private Collections and is regularly exhibited at the major art and design fairs.
Peninsula Chair from the Arris Line, Designed by Benjamin Klebba & Matt Pierce at Phloem Studio in Portland Oregon. All of the furniture is available in domestic hardwoods -Ash, Cherry, Walnut, Rift White Oak, Western (Claro) Walnut, and Western Curly Maple. ‘Phloem’ [floh-em] (noun) -the vascular structure in plants that provides nutrients through photosynthesis, a name that references ecology. A nod to remind oneself as a designer, working with wood as the main medium -trees that were once alive, to honor those materials and design with intention. Phloem Studio was founded by designer/craftsman Benjamin Klebba after working first for a luthier building acoustic guitars, and then for a custom furniture company, Ben moved to Oregon and Phloem Studio was born. Later, he joined a group of creative friends and their collaboration became a source of inspiration. With an emphasis on natural materials and traditional joinery, Phloem is dedicated to living within the contemporary canon, but outside any trend or fad. Phloem Studio strives to achieve that balance.
March 7, 2014 Comments Off
Mantras are like little prayers. The lotus mantra is one of the most popular mantras in Tibet; it is known as the prayer of compassion. It is often said that the essence of all the teachings of the Buddha are contained in this one mantra. There are so many layers of meaning in Sanskrit, as each syllable carries its own vibration, and the syllables together form new vibrations that evoke various additional meanings. Loosely translated, Om Mani Padme Hum means: “I bow to the jewel within the lotus.”
Lisa Gayko Schaewe, Lotus #108 from 108 Lotuses: An Art Practice, Courtesy and © Lisa Gayko Schaewe.
This beautiful mantra can be chanted, spoken, or thought on its own, or with a mala to aid your practice and concentration. Repeating this mantra is believed to purify the mind and body and bring joy and peace to you, and those around you:
OM: The Dalai Lama says: “In chanting OM, you can transform your impure body, speech and mind into the pure body, speech and mind of a Buddha.” OM represents the oneness, the universal.
MANI: Mani means jewel, and it symbolizes compassion, love, and the altruistic goal of achieving enlightenment. Remembering this helps us to practice pure ethics, acceptance, and patience.
PADME: Padme means lotus, and it symbolizes wisdom. The lotus flower grows out of the mud, but is not soiled by the mud. It reminds us that we can live in this imperfect world and not be affected by it. This helps us to practice perseverance and concentration, remembering our goals, and our true nature.
HUM: Hum helps us to practice wisdom and make good choices. It means inseparability and it symbolizes purity. It reminds us that we can achieve the perfection we seek by combining wisdom and activity.
Lisa Gayko Schaewe, Dust: Revisited Exhibition Invite, Dust: Revisited -a series of paintings inspired by photographer David Maisel’s Library of Dust, is now on view at Naropa University Lincoln Gallery, Boulder, Colorado.
Lisa Gayko Schaewe’s view and process as an artist are deeply informed by her years as a Zen student and her training with John Daido Loori, Roshi (1931-2009) at Zen Mountain Monastery. She engages in creative process as a form of meditation practice. For her, art making is a way to appreciate the potential held within the open space of not knowing and to directly experience the sacred, interconnected ground of being.
Lisa exhibits her work throughout the country, and is a licensed professional counselor and art psychotherapist, maintaining a private practice in Boulder, CO. She is adjunct faculty at Naropa University and facilitates Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction groups and workshops combining contemplative practice and creative process. Visit Lotus Opening Studio & Lotus Opening Therapy.
March 4, 2014 Comments Off
The first major exhibition to present the origins, history and practice of a millennium of visual history, Bodies in Balance: The Art of Tibetan Medicine opens at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York, 14 March and runs through 8 Sept. 2014, exploring the guiding principles of the Tibetan science of healing represented in medical paintings, manuscripts, and medical instruments. A multi-media installation showing how Tibetan medicine is used today, invites visitors to relate what they discover to their own lives through interactive experiences within the galleries and throughout the Museum including the Café Serai and the shop.
Tree of Diagnosis, Copy of Plate 3 of the Lhasa Tibetan Medical Paintings; Lhasa, central Tibet; date unknown; Pigments on Cloth and Brocade; Private Collection, Chicago, Courtesy Rubin Museum.
The relationship of Tibetan medicine, Buddhism, and the visual arts has been integral to the development and transmission of this medical tradition. Approximately 140 objects dating from the 9th century to the present day demonstrate the advancement of Tibetan medical knowledge as it was codified in medical texts, illustrated in art, demonstrated by medical tools, and made evident by examples of medicines compounded from natural ingredients and applied in practice. Bodies in Balance provides audiences an opportunity to have a personalized exhibition experience.
The Tibetan science of healing is based on an analytical system in which three forces -wind, bile, and phlegm- govern physical and mental aspects of being. They are associated with colors in Tibetan imagery: pale blue, yellow and white, depicting imbalances that create illnesses that are then treated with medications or through modifications in behavior or diet. Using a brief questionnaire, visitors can determine which of the three forces is dominant in their constitutions and follow a color-coded pathway that highlights the exhibition components most relevant to them. The do-it-yourself approach even incorporates a video station where visitors learn to take their pulses in the Tibetan fashion, counting, for example, beats per breath. Also included in the exhibition is a touchscreen that provides additional information and interactive experiences of select elements of these practices.
Bodies In Balance: The Essentials
A conference to deepen your appreciation of the exhibition -a full weekend of talks and demonstrations on the beneficial subject of Tibetan medicine and concepts of wellbeing. Scholars, medical practitioners and experts meet to share their experience in eleven separate presentations. As interest in healthy living and a holistic approach to healthcare gain popularity in Western societies, age-old healing traditions from the East are being re-examined as new sources of knowledge. In a keynote to open the weekend’s conference, exhibition curator Theresia Hofer outlines the rich and integrated medical, spiritual, and artistic dimensions of Tibetan medicine, providing audiences with a new perspective on the relationship between mind, body, and sustained wellbeing.
Expressions of the Inexpressible: The Dictionary of Buddhism
A presentation to launch the Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, in which the author highlights the entries on the Medicine Buddha.
The new Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, by Donald Lopez, in 1,304 pages and 1.2 million words, is the most authoritative and wide-ranging reference of its kind ever produced in English. Its more than 5,000 alphabetical entries explain the key terms, doctrines, practices, texts, authors, deities, and schools of Buddhism across six major canonical languages and traditions: Sanskrit, P?li, Tibetan, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean; the dictionary also includes selected terms from Burmese, Khmer, Lao, Mongolian, Newar, Sinhalese, Thai, and Vietnamese. The entries take an encyclopedic approach to the religion, with short essays that explore the extended meaning and significance of the terms in greater depth than a conventional dictionary. At this book launch event, both authors will be present to discuss new and emerging trends in Buddhist Studies that are covered in the dictionary and highlight the entries on the Medicine Buddha. They will also present a Top Ten list of misconceptions about Buddhism, and will examine how these issues are addressed in the dictionary.
For information on presentations See Full Schedule
Hofer has a dual training in anthropology and medical history, holding advanced degrees from the University Vienna, Brunel University and University College London, UK. She currently works at the Section for Medical Anthropology at the University of Oslo, with her research and teaching focusing on cross-cultural understandings of health, illness and disability, and the history, art and contemporary practice of Tibetan medicine. She has carried out extensive fieldwork in the Tibet Autonomous Region (P. R. of China), Bhutan, India, and Nepal. She spent a year in Lhasa and rural central Tibet researching Tibetan doctors’ work in transforming and developing Tibetan medical traditions in the latter half of the 20th and into the 21st century. The result of almost five years of research and international collaboration is this first major exhibition that examines the guiding principles of Tibetan medicine through its diverse visual history, illuminating how this healing system has been passed down across a millennium and remains relevant to our 21st-century lives.
February 26, 2014 Comments Off
Craig Krull Gallery California
Masao Yamamoto, Nakazora #955, Silver Gelatin Print with Mixed Media, © Masao Yamamoto.
Working from a Zen philospohy of “emptiness”, Japanese photographer, Masao Yamamoto’s images are essentially vignettes of our intersection with the natural world, ruminations over the passage of time and memory. His finished prints are precious miniature treasures -averaging 3 x 5 inches and smaller- they are toned, stained, torn, marked, rubbed and creased into being. One has an experience of looking at found vintage photographs telling an intimate and unique story.
Masao Yamamoto, Nakazora #1280, Toned Gelatin Silver Print with Mixed Media, © Masao Yamamoto.
Yamamoto’s series began in 1993 as A Box of Ku -ku meaning “emptiness” in Japanese, and continued under the title Nakazora, an even more enigmatic definition, a Buddhist term that elludes to “a state when the feet do not touch the ground, and the space between sky and earth.” A fitting description for imagery that takes you somewhere distant, yet mysteriously familiar, to a place of waking dreams. Later, the Kawa = Flow series was created, and evolved into the current series, Shizuka = Cleanse.
Masao Yamamoto, Kawa = Flow #1618, Silver Gelatin Print with Mixed Media, © Masao Yamamoto.
Masao Yamamoto, Nakazora #1142, Silver Gelatin Print with Mixed Media, © Masao Yamamoto.
Like a Zen master, Yamamoto approaches his work with an “active passiveness.” He is active in his observations of Nature, but passive in his understanding that he is an inextricable part of Nature itself. In his statement, he quotes the Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu, “A great presence is hard to see. A great sound is hard to hear. A great figure has no form.” Yamamoto seeks the presence of something indefinable that exists beyond the details we are able to see. Living in the forest, he photographically “harvests” what he calls “treasures breathing quietly in nature.” He refers to the presence of these treasures or moments as “Shizuka” which means cleansed, pure, clear and untainted.
Masao Yamamoto, Shizuka = Cleanse, #3027 Zen, Silver Gelatin Print, 2011-12 © Masao Yamamoto.
In his exhibition “Shizuka = Cleanse” 1 March -25 April, 2014, at Craig Krull Gallery in California, Yamamoto presents black and white photographs of a single rock or branch in deep chiaroscuro. These natural forms appear to take various shapes such as a dragonhead, a falcon, a traditional Noh dancer or a hunter returning home with a deer. Recognizing spirits or creatures in natural objects is rooted in ancient animistic beliefs. From a more analytical, Western point of view, psychologist Steven Goldstein coined the term “pareidolia” in 1994 to describe our tendency to see rabbits in clouds, or the man in the moon. In Japanese culture however, human history is embedded in natural phenomena. For Yamamoto, the act of making a photograph is like picking up a rock on the beach and holding the universe in your hands.
Masao Yamamoto is a Japanese freelance photographer known for his small photographs, which seek to individualize the photographic prints as objects. He is represented by Craig Krull Gallery in Santa Monica California, and Jackson Fine Art in Atlanta Georgia.
February 24, 2014 Comments Off
Ingrid Dee Magidson, Butterfly Effect, Oil & Mixed Media on Canvas, 26 x 31 in., 2012, © Ingrid Dee Magidson. A solo exhibition of the artist’s work in now on view through 4 March, 2014, at Unix Gallery in New York.
Magidson is an artist whose work crosses multiple boundaries. It is at once ancient, referencing high-art and Renaissance images, long forgotten relics from museum archives, and at the same time entirely relevant making use of modern techniques and materials. The fine artist coins her technique “Layerism:” creating three-dimensional compositions of transparent acrylic layers through mixed media process that allows the viewer to see through the images to illuminate an intricate and poetic world within. A world where time is irrelevant, and hundreds of years of historical context are brought to life in a single work of sublime beauty.
Magidson’s new book title, Madness of the Muses, is inspired by a dialogue written by Plato in 370 B.C. In it, Socrates and Phaedrus discuss the influence of the Muses on the artist versus intellect alone. They conclude that inspired art is far better than anything the logical mind could create on its own.
Madness of the Muses, The Art of Ingrid Dee Magidson, Published by Stratumentis Publishing 2013, Hardcover, 12 x 9 in., 176 pgs, With a special introduction by contemporary Russian and American art collector, Bradley E. Place, Jr.
Madness of the Muses is a richly illustrated overview of the career of this intriguing artist. Over two hundred color reproductions highlight Magidson’s life and artwork; from her early experiments to the brilliant works being done today. Articles by prominent magazines and newspapers, as well as essays by the artist share a personal look at Magidson’s early life and her meteoric rise as an artist. Included in the book is a complete catalogue of Magidson’s work from 2006 to 2013.