This massive painting by Japan’s most successful and well-known contemporary artist Takashi Murakami is displayed in the primest spot of the Broad Museum in Los Angeles. It’s huge. It’s epic. It’s unmissable. Anyone entering the museum’s main galleries, where the core selections from the permanent collection are exhibited, will see it as they arrive from the lobby, whether they come via escalator, elevator or a stairway.
Every time we’re in Los Angeles, we try to make a point of visiting the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art (LACMA) and seeing “Band,” the humongous abstract sculpture by artist Richard Serra, in the museum’s Broad Contemporary building. From a distance, some viewers initially believe the massive artwork is made of wood, bit it’s made of oxidized, waterproof steel components connected to form a giant ribbon occupying an entire gallery (half the first floor) at the Broad.
Here’s another of the new New York City-themed “Big Apple” Space Invader street art mosaics by pioneering French street artist Invader. This one is at the New Museum on the Bowery and is one of several that have popped up in downtown New York City, mostly in the Lower East Side, the past few days while the artist is in town for the screening of his new film “Art4Space.
This ping pong table installed in the second-floor terrace of the first-rate Hammer Museum in Los Angeles (and, by design, the museum-visiting couple playing) is a conceptual piece of installation sound art titled “Sound Piece for the Hammer Museum,” one of a series of projects at the museum by Machine Project. Love it.
This space in the main exhibition space at the Palais de Tokio, that wonderful leading-edgy and influential contemporary art museum in Paris, recently had a massive installation work by artist Ulla von Brandenburg. Titled the “The King is Dead,” the beautiful abstract work fills a massive space and at first-glance looks like a colorful skateboard ramp.
The RR226 by Italian electronics maker Brionvega is a modern-design classic from 1965 that can be found in the permanent collections of some of the world’s leading museums. This one pictured below is in pristine condition and part of the design trove at the Pompidou Centre museum in Paris.
In the minimalist courtyard adjacent to MACBA, Barcelona’s centerpiece modern and contemporary art museum, there’s large sign — itself a work of art — that displays the made-up word “Ravalejar,” a neologism in the Catalan language. The sign explains the part of speech and usage of “Ravalejar,” which alludes to the edgy, in places gritty, energetic and recently hip Barcelona neighborhood of El Raval. The word is a verb and was proposed to mean something loosely along the lines of “to visit and take in the atmosphere of Raval.” The neighborhood has been the site of major urban renewal efforts by the city in the past couple of decades and has in recent years witnessed rapid gentrification. The establishment and construction of MACBA in Raval itself was one of the first of those major projects starting in the 1990s and helped to lead the neighborhood’s transformation. Near the sign are black-white wheat-pasted photos of local residents in the style of JR.
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York is currently holding a major retrospective of the influential American artist Claes Oldenberg, as we’ve reported on this blog in recent months. Oldenberg is one of the giants of 20th-century and modern art, and this exhibition is definitely worth seeing. But if you go to the show, there’s a major piece of sculpture from the artist that you might miss because it’s in MoMA’s sculpture garden and not included in the main exhibition galleries where Oldenberg’s work is being shown. The artwork is a large, painted aluminum and steel object titled “Geometric Mouse, Scale A,” and we’ve got pictures of it below. You can view full specifications of the sculpture on MoMA’s website,too, if that’s your kind of thing.
We recently stumbled upon this performance art by two women in red jumpsuits at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City. We didn’t get the details, but the performance was a kind of feminist protest against the museum in regards to women artists.
This is one of the more interesting things we’ve seen in a museum lately. It’s the notebook of the man who originally conceived the iconic Volkswagen van, which eventually became the basis for the more popularly known VW bus. The notebook contains his initial sketches of the vehicle, and it’s on view in the design section of Amsterdam’s spectacularly renovated — and recently re-opened — Rijksmuseum. Though Volkswagen is a German company, the concept for the VW van was created by a Dutch race car driver named Ben Pon, who in addition to being an Olympic athlete and vintner was also an importer of VWs after World War II. Pon wanted a smaller, lightweight “truck” type of VW vehicle more suitable for the needs of the Dutch market. He was inspired by a small cart he saw in a factory, and based on his design VW began to produce the vehicle. The full story of how Pon’s idea evolved and got produced is fascinating.
Last weekend Global Graphica paid a visit to a new design exhibition at the New Museum’s Studio 231. The show is titled “Adhocracy” and we can’t recommend it enough. It’s a fascinating survey of the work of designers, architects, hackers, makers, artists, technologists and programmers around the globe who are redefining design and how things are made and used. These practitioners are working either independently or collaboratively, in academia or within commercial or corporate organizations, and sometimes illegally, as part of a DIY underground of people who fix public infrastructure that local governments neglect. It’s also a look at how sustainability, re-use and recycling, open-source systems, life-hacking and the economics of design are being addressed. Among the highlights is a working 3D body scanner called “Be Your Own Souvenir” that feeds data to a 3D printer to make a resin model of a person, and a short film documenting a group who secretly broke into the Pantheon in Paris at night, where they staged film events, built their own secret members lounge, and fixed the broken clock atop the historic building, which hadn’t chimed in four decades.
There’s currently a massive survey exhibition of work by New York-based Swiss artist Urs Fischer at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles. It’s a great show and among the works are these massive cut-outs of the walls between three of the museum galleries.
At the current 10-year anniversary exhibition at the Mori Art Museum at Roppongi Hills, in Tokyo, a gallery was devoted to a mini-retrospective of the futuristic, thought-provoking design and style of cult Japanese fashion brand Final Home.