Post-Minimalist Art by Miya Ando

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Miya Ando is an American post-minimalist artist. She has done most of her works in countries besides the United States. Ando is of half-Japanese and half-Russian heritage and is a descendent of Bizen sword maker Ando Yoshiro Masakatsu. She was raised by sword smiths-turned Buddhist priests in a Buddhist temple in Okayama, Japan and in the redwoods of Santa Cruz, California. After graduating from UC Berkeley with a degree in East Asian Studies, Ando attended Yale University to study Buddhist iconography and imagery before apprenticing at the Hattori Studio in Japan.

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Ando’s work has been featured in solo exhibitions in several U.S. states including New York and California. Ando has also exhibited in France, Australia, England, Germany, and Tokyo, Japan. Ando’s work can be found at Aldrich Contemporary, the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, the Byzantine Museum in Greece, and in Chapman University’s private collection.[citation needed]
In 2009, Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society commissioned Ando’s piece, “8-Fold Path,” which consists of a grid of four steel square canvases measuring 4 feet each. The work was featured in a July 2009 article for Shambhala Sun for its “meditative” nature and “spiritual” influence. Also in 2009, Ando created “Fiat Lux” (“Let There Be Light”), a grid of 144 individual 5″ x 5″ steel canvasses for the meditation room in Brooklyn’s St. John’s Bread and Life Chapel. Ando was next commissioned by president Jay Davidson of The Healing Place Non Denominational Chapel to produce an installation for its women’s facility. Ando’s forty-foot, phosphorescent-coated steel piece, “Shelter[Meditation 1-2],” collects sunlight during the day and radiates blue at night. Ando’s latest installation commemorates the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks on New York City’s Twin Towers. Commissioned by the 9/11 London Project Foundation as a permanent addition to Potters Fields Park in London, England, Ando’s sculpture stands eight meters tall and is crafted from polished World Trade Center steel. Ando has also completed public commissions for Safdi Plaza Realty, the Thanatopolis Exhibition, San Francisco General Hospital, and CalFire. In 2011, Ando worked on commissions for the Haein Art Project in Korea and the Fist Art Foundation in Puerto Rico.

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Ando became an advocate and public ambassador for Element Skateboards’ 2010 International print and media campaign[citation needed] and won the Thanatopolis Special Artist Award and Public Outdoor Commission in 2010. Ando also received grants from the Puffin Foundation and Gilbert Slomowitz Foundation in 2010 and 2011.[citation needed]
Ando donated 100% of sales from her limited edition 2009 series to the Indigo Youth Movement, a non-profit organization that provides art supplies, books, and school supplies to children of the Isithumba village in South Africa. Ando actively participates in a wide variety of philanthropic collaborations to benefit causes ranging from environmental preservation to humanitarian aid.

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Miya Ando currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Ando’s two- and three-dimensional works reference American minimalism and Zen Reductivism in its exploration of reflectivity and luminosity. According to Rural Intelligence, Ando’s “works on steel canvas are post-minimalism at its very best.”

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ILMA of the Week: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

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Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (March 27, 1886 – August 19, 1969) was a German-American Architect commonly referred to, and was addressed, as Mies, his surname. He served as the last director of Berlin’s Bauhaus, and then headed the department of architecture, Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, where he developed the Second Chicago School. Along with Le Corbusier, Alvar Aalto, and Frank Lloyd Wright, he is widely regarded as one of the pioneering masters of modern Architecture.

Mies, like many of his post-World War I contemporaries, sought to establish a new architectural style that could represent modern times just as Classical and Gothic did for their own eras. He created an influential twentieth century architectural style, stated with extreme clarity and simplicity. His mature buildings made use of modern materials such as industrial steel and plate glass to define interior spaces. He strove toward an architecture with a minimal framework of structural order balanced against the implied freedom of free-flowing open space. He called his buildings “skin and bones” architecture. He sought a rational approach that would guide the creative process of architectural design, but he was always concerned with expressing the spirit of the modern era. He is often associated with his quotation of the aphorisms, “less is more” and “God is in the details”.

Furniture

Mies designed modern furniture pieces using new industrial technologies that have become popular classics, such as the Barcelona chair and table, the Brno chair, and the Tugendhat chair. His furniture is known for fine craftsmanship, a mix of traditional luxurious fabrics like leather combined with modern chrome frames, and a distinct separation of the supporting structure and the supported surfaces, often employing cantilevers to enhance the feeling of lightness created by delicate structural frames. During this period, he collaborated closely with interior designer and companion Lilly Reich.

Educator

Mies played a significant role as an educator, believing his architectural language could be learned, then applied to design any type of modern building. He set up a new education at the department of architecture of the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago replacing the traditional Ecole des Beaux-Art curriculum by a three-step-education beginning with crafts of drawing and construction leading to planning skills and finishing with theory of architecture (compare Vitruvius: firmitas, utilitas, venustas). He worked personally and intensively on prototype solutions, and then allowed his students, both in school and his office, to develop derivative solutions for specific projects under his guidance.

Architecture

A master of minimalism, he sought to define a new modernist architectural style after World War I and pioneered the use of modern materials such as glass and steel. His style was rejected by the Nazis as un-German and he emigrated to the United States in 1937, where he was appointed the head of an Architecture school in Chicago.

The Barcelona Pavilion (Spanish: Pabellón alemán; Catalan: Pavelló alemany; “German Pavilion”), designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, was the German Pavilion for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona, Spain. This building was used for the official opening of the German section of the exhibition, It is an important building in the history of modern architecture, known for its simple form and its spectacular use of extravagant materials, such as marble, red onyx and travertine. The same features of minimalism and spectacular can be applied to the prestigious furniture specifically designed for the building, among which the iconic Barcelona chair.

Villa Tugendhat is a historical building in Brno, Czech Republic. It is one of the pioneering prototypes of modern architecture in Europe, and was designed by the German Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Built of reinforced concrete between 1928-1930 for Fritz Tugendhat and his wife Greta, the villa soon became an icon of modernism.

Widely regarded as Mies van Der Rohe’s masterpiece, Crown Hall in Chicago is one of the most architecturally significant buildings of the 20th Century Modernist movement. Crown Hall was completed in 1956 during Mies van der Rohe’s tenure as director of the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Department of Architecture.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library is the central facility of the District of Columbia Public Library (DCPL). Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed the 400,000 square foot (37,000 m²) steel, brick, and glass structure, and it is a rare example of modern architecture in Washington, D.C.

The Farnsworth House was designed and constructed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe between 1945-51. It is a one-room weekend retreat in a once-rural setting, located 55 miles (89 km) southwest of Chicago’s downtown on a 60-acre estate site, adjoining the Fox River, south of the city of Plano, Illinois. The steel and glass house was commissioned by Dr. Edith Farnsworth, a prominent Chicago nephrologist, as a place where she could engage in her hobbies.

In 1958, Mies van der Rohe designed what is often regarded as the pinnacle of the modernist high-rise architecture, the Seagram Building in New York City. Mies was chosen by the daughter of the client, Phyllis Bronfman Lambert, who has become a noted architectural figure and patron in her own right. The Seagram Building has become an icon of the growing power of the corporation, that defining institution of the twentieth century. In a bold and innovative move, the architect chose to set the tower back from the property line to create a forecourt plaza and fountain on Park Avenue.

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Modern Retreat in Argentina, “Casa BB” by BAK Arquitectos

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The design of this house is a continuation of a ‘building in the forest’ research done by BAK arquitectos, which started in 2004 with the design of their first house in Mar Azul. The architects examine the possibility of building without losing the environmental quality of the site, proposing alternatives to ensure the survival of natural environments. This involves a Minimal Architecture in terms of not only of form but in materials and particularly minimum site intervention. This is achieved by ‘listening to the forest’ and what the site tries to communicate, along with practicing ‘seeing for the first time’ on behalf of the architects.

The low budget along with the no maintenance requirement set the aesthetic and construction limitations of the project. High compact, waterproof, fair faced concrete provided the necessary insulation and covered the no maintenance factor. The use of glass captures natural light and allows views of the landscape in all directions.

Casa JD has two bedrooms with the flexibility to transform part of the large living/dining space into a third one, a kitchen as well as generous outdoor spaces. The design concept is based on two intersecting prisms situated on a naturally inclined site within the trees, in this way hiding part of its volume. The trees seem to penetrate the house as wood, along with concrete, is a predominant feature of its interior. Wooden steps and a deck lead to the living room. Wooden sliding panels provide a seamless continuation of the exterior and the interior. This level of access is a unique space where different uses are defined by height differences caused by the intersection of prisms and cross sections of concrete walls. Except for the beds, couches and chairs the rest of the equipment of this housing is concrete cast.

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ABC Museum, Illustration and Design Center by Aranguren + Gallegos Architects

Spanish Architects Arranguren & Gallegos have converted a brewery in Madrid into a museum with an underground gallery and triangular windows.

The Colección ABC gathers the works of more than 1,500 artists of all styles, techniques and tendencies, with nearly 200,000 pieces. Following the collection’s development throughout its history will enable substantiating the consolidation of the most important illustrators, the role played by certain artists of the highest relevance, the diverse changes of taste and the different historical and social events narrated through these media.

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This is a stunning project. I love the simplicity of the “plain” base below superimposed by the magnificence of the triangulation forms above. It definitely defines it’s self, like a billboard sign (Read Venturi’s: Learning from Las Vegas)

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The juxtaposition of the modern forms placed in the old worn down historical context really turns me on.  Very sexy indeed.

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I would love to come around the corner and see this spectacle.

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These details are well thought out and planned for a strong unifying design concept.

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Simple Elegance

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Great way to make a big impact on a tight urban site.  The bright white modern forms really pop within its context.

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The simple section is a bit deceiving.  The latice structure empowers the design and informs the overall look of the project.

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Love, love, love taking the forms from the facade and applying them to the plaza in a new way.

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Roof Plan: The overall uniform design concept comes through in the skylights above.  Very sharp.

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This is a great space for chance encounters.

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At night, the modern white lattice glows in soft blue, in bitter contrast to the bright red and white lights from the automobiles driving past as if to mark time.

Space and Form!

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Again, the strength of this design is in it’s simplicity – an application of the facade, similar to the Italian plazas from long ago.  There is something timeless about how the spaces and forms speak to one another – The facde, the bridge, the plaza.

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The Plan: Simple Modern Elegance.

Architects: Aranguren & Gallegos Architects
Location: Madrid, Spain Client: Grupo Vocento

Photos courtesy of Photographer João Pereira de Sousa AND Photographer Jesús Granada

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Frank Cunha III
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e-mail: fcunha@fc3arch.com
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Art & Architecture

Originally posted on Architectural Record…..

Ellsworth Kelly has been collaborating with architects since the 1950s. His latest project with Peter Zellner turns an L.A. gallery into public art.

By Laura Raskin

Photo © Joshua White / courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery
The Los Angeles Matthew Marks Gallery in West Hollywood is a case study in minimalism, with an Ellsworth Kelly metal sculpture on the facade its only exterior detail. 

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Awesome Modern House by Mima Architects

After a strong finish to 2011 and slow start 2012 (slow only in terms of blogging), I would like to share this really cool project with you.

For those interested in becoming Architects, Architecture Education is offered in an increasing amount of ways. From night school to accredited online degree programs, it is possible to participate in the evolution of structure and design. Design and community inspire learning and technological advancements expand the possibilities for what will stand and what will not. The movement toward a environmentally friendly society also creates a need for students who have fresh ideas and a green thumb, so to speak. In the coming decades, the need for students with the knowledge necessary to convert old buildings into efficient ones will give many a chance at a career that makes an impact on the beauty and function of the world around them.

Designed by Mima Architects, the Mima House has a modular structure and can be divided into rooms with a grid of removable partitions.

This prefabricated house in Portugal costs about the same price to manufacture as a family car (all photographs by José Campos).

Plywood panels transform the windows into walls to create privacy where necessary.

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Click here to read the rest of the story about Mima Architects by “Dezeen

Click here for more stories about Architecture in Portugal by “Dezeen

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“Seeing Is Forgetting The Name Of The Thing One Sees” by Robert Irwin

Robert Irwin was born in 1928 in Long Beach, California to Robert Irwin and Goldie Anderberg Irwin. After serving in the United States Army from 1946 to 1947, he attended several art institutes: Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles from 1948 to 1950, Jepson Art Institute in 1951, and Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles from 1952 to 1954. He spent the next two years living in Europe and North Africa. Between the years 1957-1958, he taught at the Chouinard Art Institute.

In 1977, Robert Irwin wrote the following about himself: “I began as a painter in the middle of nowhere with few questions… My first real question concerned the arbitrariness of my paintings… I used my paintings as a step-by-step process, each new series of works acting in direct response to those questions raised by the previous series. I first questioned the mark as meaning and then even as focus; I then questioned the frame as containment, the edge as the beginning and end of what I see… consider the possibility that nothing ever really transcends its immediate environment… I tried to respond directly to the quality of each situation I was in, not to change it wholesale into a new or ideal environment, but to attend directly to the nature of how it already was. How is it that a space could ever come to be considered empty when it is filled with real and tactile events?” (Robert Irwin, 1977) Robert Irwin’s notion of art derived from a series of experiential perceptions. As an abstract, open-minded thinker, he presented experience first as perception or sense. He concluded that a sense of knowing, or ability to identify, helped to clarify perception. For example,

“We know the sky’s blueness even before we know it as “blue”, let alone as “sky.”

He explained later that the conception of an abstract thought occurs in the mind, through the concept of self. Following, the physical form is then recognized, communicating the form to the community. Then, the Objective compound occurs, delineating behavioral norms and artistic norms, becoming identifiable. Then the boundaries and axioms introduce logic and reasoning and decisions can be made: either inductive or deductive. Formalism follows, proving and convincing a decision about the object being perceived. The study done by Irwin suggested that: “…all ideas and values have their roots in experience,… they can be held separate at any point and developed directly on the grounds of function and use, both that they in fact remain relative to the condition of both our subjective and objective being.” Robert Irwin’s philosophy defined his idea of art as a series of aesthetic inquiries, an opportunity for cultural innovation, a communicative interaction with society, and as compounded historical development.

In his book Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One SeesLawrence Weschler documents Irwin’s process from his early days as a youngster in Southern California to his emergence as a leader in the post-abstraction art world. Weschler describes the mystifying and often enchanting quality of these works in his book’s cover notes:

In May 1980, Robert Irwin returned to Market Street in Venice, California to the block where he had kept a studio until 1970, the year he abandoned studio work altogether. Melinda Wyatt was opening a gallery in the building next door to his former work space and invited Irwin to create an installation.
He cleaned out the large rectangular room, adjusted the skylights, painted the walls an even white, and then knocked out the wall facing the street, replacing it with a sheer, semi-transparent white scrim. The room seemed to change its aspect with the passing day: people came and sat on the opposite curb, watching, sometimes for hours at time.
The piece was up for two weeks in one of the more derelict beachfront neighborhoods of Los Angeles: no one so much as laid a hand on it.

Because of the ephemeral or subtle nature of his work, this book became not just an introduction but, for many artists and art students, the primary way that Robert Irwin’s work was experienced. He told Jori Finkel of the New York Times in 2007 that people still come up to him at lectures for book autographs. In that article, Michael Govan, the director of LACMA who previously commissioned Irwin to “design our experience” of Dia:Beacon” said he believes the book “has convinced more young people to become artists than the Velvet Underground has created rockers.”

Buy the book on Amazon.