Aristotle reasoned that imitation forms the basis of art, and that art imitates nature — some works perhaps more literally than others. Portraying the power, mystery, and grandeur of weather, in particular, has long been a curious obsession of landscape artists brave enough to bear the elements. After all, it’s not easy to capture the immensity of a snow squall or a summer electrical storm.
But art has come quite a long way since the days of picturesque nature paintings, such as Thomas Cole’s dramatic thunderstorm rolling across a somewhat exaggerated Connecticut River Valley. As far as aesthetic subject matters go, weather is just begging for interactivity, some movement and spectacle that don’t just portray the elements, but actually imitate them. These brilliant contemporary art installations prove that there’s more than one way for art to harness the power of Mother Nature.
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Art Basel Miami Beach, the most fabulous art fair in the world, marked its 10th anniversary over the past few days with one of its best presentations of modern and contemporary art ever. More than 260 international galleries packed the Miami Beach Convention Center with every size, shape, and form of art imaginable — from Mike Kelley’s assemblages of found plushy animals and Nick Cave’s surreal Soundsuits to eye-catching displays of Andy Warhol’s commercial work and a life-like sculpture of Prince William ready to fulfill your royal dreams. Flavorpill combed the aisles for days to offer you the best of this year’s fair.
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BMW recently launched a virtual museum featuring 17 of its commissioned “works of art on wheels.” Visitors can vroom around the site between the Roy Lichtenstein-ed, Frank Stella-fied, and Jeff Koons-tomized vehicles, and view short video vignettes about the making of each car. The vids drop a few curious revelations — like Rauschenberg dubbing his car a “wonderful virgin.” Generally, they are just long form commercials for BMW, with carefully selected, amorous soundbites. Still, they are worthwhile to watch for glimpses of each talent at work alone. See the individual videos at the BMW Art Car Tour and check out our favorite four-wheelers in the gallery below to see what we’ve learned.
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Like a modern day version of Rainbow Brite’s Color Castle, Olafur Eliasson’s latest installation, Your rainbow panorama, is a candy-colored platform atop the ARoS Museum of Art that provides a 360º view of the city of Arhus, Denmark. Simply put, after looking at the magical photos, we really, really want to go to there. “I see Your rainbow panorama as an orientation tool,” explains Eliasson in his artist statement. “Dividing Aarhus into color zones, it has the qualities of a lighthouse: it draws attention not only to itself, but also to your physical location in Aarhus. For people living in the city and moving through the different times of day, the work becomes a compass in time and space.” Click through for some additional images of the work.
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Anyone remember that scene from The Office where Steve Carell’s Michael Scott gives a presentation beside a very distracting DVD screensaver? Here’s a screen shot from the gag, which you can watch on Hulu. For those at work who can’t view the video, the screensaver is nothing more than a box that changes color as it bounces against the edges of the TV. The staff get very excited by this moving box because everyone wants to see it land squarely in one of the corners. They watch it ravenously, like sports fanatics might follow a game.
As the scene illustrates, anticipation is a powerful means of engaging an audience and a viewer. After the jump, we collect artworks that have done just that.
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Last week Villa Reykjavik, the second incarnation of an international art festival that first took place in Warsaw in 2006, held its opening ceremonies in the downtown harbor district of the Icelandic capital. Festival organizers invited 14 European galleries to install exhibits in various available spaces, and staged screenings and live performances in both public and private venues across town. The idea? To bring an international art community to a place outside of the traditionally established art districts of Europe, and in doing so, create a more fluid and stimulating dialogue between artists and the viewing public.
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Reporter Carol Vogel wrote last week in the New York Times about an upcoming Antony Gormley public art residency with the Madison Square Park Conservancy. All well and good: Gormley is bringing his nude sculptures in multiples to the environs of the park on 23rd Street. He’s a Turner Prize winner. He’s fresh off a living art project in London’s Trafalgar Square. He’s a finalist in some big secret project for the 2012 Olympic Games. But why, according to Vogel, is his commission any less “improbable” than other recent New York showings from the likes of Roxy Paine, Olafur Eliasson, or Christo and Jeanne-Claude? And what, really, should we expect or demand from the realm of public… Read More
Olafur Eliasson. Mel Bochner. Lawrence Weiner. Meet polarizing NFL general manager Jerry Jones and 80,000 screaming football fans. We learned this week that the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium, right in the seat of gun-toting, Good Book-thumping, Friday Night Lights-living country, is launching an art program, and a contemporary one at that. Connecting the general public to 14 contemporary artists of museum quality is an inventive idea, sure, but will it work? Tyler Green of Modern Art Notes points out that abstraction in modern art is having a moment: blockbuster exhibitions this fall include Georgia O’Keeffe abstracts at The Whitney, an Arshile Gorky retrospective at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a Kandinsky survey at the Guggenheim, and the typically “safe” SFMoMA presents modern paintings from Clyfford Still’s collection. Judge for yourself whether sea change is a-comin’, after the jump.… Read More
Some things remain unaffected by this bad economy: Porn sites. Gossip Girl plots. Lady GaGa’s trampy wardrobe. And lucky for us, the New York Times reports that this year’s Milan Furniture Week somehow managed to sidestep you doom and gloom you might have expected given all of the “design boom or bust” conversations floating around as of late. Sort of.
“Behind the bravado, some manufacturers cut costs by introducing fewer products than usual, and designers swapped sob stories of canceled projects and dwindling royalties…There was also an uncomfortable awareness that the investment decisions to green-light this season’s new products and ventures, like Skitsch [a new Italian furniture company], had been made over a year ago, when the industry’s prospects looked very different.”
While the market might be tougher, it wasn’t any harder for us to find an overload of virtual design candy to drool over. After the jump, join us in a game of What We’d Buy for Our Apartment If We Had a Citibank Bonus. Enjoy!
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