Friday, October 31, 2014

Venice: Peggy Guggenheim Collection - AZIMUT/H

“One can’t rise off the ground by running or jumping: one needs wings.”
Piero Manzoni

Venice: Peggy Guggenheim Collection - AZIMUT/H. Continuity and Newness Exhibition. The exhibition at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, AZIMUT/H. Continuity and Newness, until January 19, is curated by Luca Massimo Barbero and is a tribute to the post World War II neo-avantgarde in Italy, currently of widespread interest, and in particular to Azimut/h, the gallery and the review founded in 1959 in Milan by Enrico Castellani (b. 1930) and Piero Manzoni (1933 – 1963). The exhibition reveals Azimut/h’s central position in the panorama of Italian and international art of those years: like a creative earthquake it was one of the great catalysts of Italian and European visual and conceptual culture of the time and an intellectual bridge between a new, revolutionary generation and the most contemporary developments in art.
Above. On the terrace of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, overlooking the Grand Canal, curator Luca Massimo Barbero and artist Heinz Mack (who together with Enrico Castellani are the only two surviving artists of Azimut/h). They hide behind the Arzimut/h catalogue and the Zero catalogue which refers to the related Zero, Countdown to Tomorrow, 1950s-1960s exhibition on at the Guggenheim New York until January, where Mack’s works are also included. Not to be missed is the other related solo Mack exhibition, Heinz Mack: From Zero to Today, 1955-2014 on until December 13 at Sperone Westwater, New York. 

Curator Luca Massimo Barbero, director of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection Philip Rylands and artist Heinz Mack


AZIMUT/H. Heinz Mack – Light Relief – 1959 – aluminum sheet on board. The Light Relief typology tends to create with a reflective material such as aluminum, the perceptual effect of a continuum that exceeds the visual surface, transforming the work from a static object into a concrete spatial suggestion.


AZIMUT/H. Lucio Fontana - I Am a Saint (Io sono un santo), 1958 - cuts and ink on natural linen paper, beige.

Photograph Giovanni Galardini - copyright - Yves Klein, by SIAE 2014 – courtesy Peggy Guggenheim Collection
AZIMUT/H. Azimut/h emerged in Milan after World War II on the threshold of the economic boom known as the ‘Italian miracle’, of which Milan itself was one of the principal motors. Like a thunderbolt of intense activity, between September 1959 and July 1960, Azimut/h is evermore acknowledged in the collective consciousness of critics and historians as a critical episode, marked by radical experimentation, energized by its ties to some of the major figures of the art scene in those years and by lively international dialogue. Different in the spelling of their titles, Azimut (the gallery) and Azimuth (the review) together formulated ‘a new artistic conception’ (title of the second edition of the review, published in four languages, as well as of one of the more important group exhibitions of the gallery), that thrived on the dialectic of ‘continuity and newness’ (the title of an article by Castellani published in the second issue of Azimuth).
Above. Yves Klein - Untitled Blue Monochrome (Monochrome bleu sans titre) – 1958 - Dry pigment and synthetic resin on gauze mounted on panel.

Piero Manzoni - Line of Infinite Length (Linea di lunghezza infinita) – 1960 - Wood cylinder, paper label

 Photograph Giovanni Galardini – courtesy Peggy Guggenheim Collection

Piero Manzoni - Artist’s Shit - No. 53 (Merda d’artista n. 53, 58,63, 68) - May 1961 -Tin can, printed paper

AZIMUT/H. Underlying the exhibition, which is philological in conception, is the idea that each work on display derives from the review, from the gallery, or from the orbit of Azimut/h’s contacts. In this way the visitor is plunged into a space where he or she is intellectually, almost physically in contact with the protagonists of this extreme avant-garde of the late 50s early 60s, consecrated in important international exhibitions, with special attention given to American Neo-Dada which Azimuth promoted in advance of its general reception by critics.
Above. On the right - Enrico Castellani – Untitled -1959 - Acrylic on canvas.

AZIMUT/H. Dadamaino – Volume – 1958 - Tempera on pierced canvas

AZIMUT/H. Enrico Castellani - Untitled (Silver Surface) – 1959 - Acrylic on canvas
Piero Manzoni
- Achrome - 1962 ca. - Package in wrapping paper
  Photograph Giovanni Galardini – courtesy Peggy Guggenheim Collection

AZIMUT/H. Gunther Uecker – Tactile Rotating Structure – 1961 – Wood, burlap, aluminium, iron nails and silver paint 

AZIMUT/H. Enrico Castellani - Angular Diptych – 1966 - Acrylic on canvas

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

New York: A Tour with John Derian around his East Village stores

New York:  A Tour with John Derian around his East Village stores.  The John Derian Company Inc. brand is becoming well known far beyond the cognoscenti - though it is synonymous with decoupage, it is much more. In John Derian's three store in New York's East Village you can find not only his complete decoupage collection, but also gifts and household objects, furniture, dry goods, all especially scouted and hand picked from around the world, from small producers, flea markets and antique shops.  Like John himself they convey an understated elegance and freshness, their quirkiness and playfulness, they make special unusual gifts, not found elsewhere. His illustrious clients are people who do not necessarily  "want to appear" they appreciate the quality and uniqueness and sense of humor and often fun the goods convey. 
Above. The iconic John Derian Company Inc. flagship store at 6 East Second Street.

John Derian.   John Derian takes Contessanally, on a special tour, around his three stores, all located next to each other, on Second Street in the charming East Village of New York City. He picks out some of his favorite things and explains why he is especially fond of them.
Above. John Derian in front of Animal Heads: Made mostly of  paper in Asia, designed by Cody Foster. “I love the humor and handmade quality of this animal friendly taxidermy.”

John Derian - John Derian Dome Paperweights. “Part of our vast decoupage collection, I love a little bit of color on a desk, I keep adding more and more to this part of my collection.”

John Derian - Tulip chair covered in Tissus Tartares. “Our own Tulip chair design upholstered in Russian-inspired Tissus Tartares fabric. I love all of the prints from Tissus Tartares they seem modern even though they are based on 19-18c prints.” In the background a vintage unicorn.

John Derian – Hugo Guinness Paintings and Watercolors. “One-of-a-kind Hugo Guinness paintings framed by Hugo himself with vintage frames. I have been showing Hugo’s works for 10 years and they keep getting better!”

John Derian - The Green Vase Paper Flowers. “Handmade in New York City using hand-dyed, hand cut papers and vintage pots. I love the charm and wit expressed in these beautifully handcrafted flowers by Livia Cetti.” 


John Derian - Amanda Moffat Ceramics. “Handmade in Brooklyn by Amanda Moffat using stencils and hand-painted motifs. Amanda has been a potter for many years; this new blue print is a favorite reminding me of the old blue and white pottery from the 18c.”

John Derian - West African Textiles. “Indigo-dyed men's garments from Burkina Faso. I love indigo and couldn't resist making these pillows out of our vintage African textiles.”

John Derian – Astier de Villattes Ceramics Collaboration. “Handmade in Paris. It was exciting for me to work with them on this collaboration I love their work and that the pieces are functional and dishwasher safe.”

John Derian – John Robshaw Pillows. “Designed in New York City, hand block printed in India. John Robshaw does great work in India but this group is especially nice.”

John Derian – Papiers Dominotes Book. “A beautiful book of antique French wallpapers, I basically worship anything paper and 17c so this book was a must for me when I found it in Paris.”

John Derian – Ino Schaller Halloween Decor. “Made in Germany, I love that these are all handmade using their original molds from the 19c.”

John Derian. John Derian in front of a theater backdrop and a Dromedary sofa. “The theater backdrop is European, late 19th century. I love a bit of fantasy and theatrics so anytime I find backdrops I have to get them! The love seat was from France, re-tweaked and now a favorite piece in my collection. It's called the Dromedary and is upholstered in Tissus Tartares fabric, which is a Russian-inspired fabric line.


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New York: Dover Street Market New york – Rose Bakery – It’s Tea Time

photograph and copyright manfredi bellati

New York: Dover Street Market New york – Rose Bakery – It’s Tea Time. The location is the fabulous concept store Dover Street Market created by Rei Kawakubo 

“I wanted to create a kind of market where various creators from various fields gather together and encounter each other in an ongoing atmosphere of beautiful chaos: the mixing up and coming together of different kindred souls who all share a strong personal vision.” 

The venue is the RoseBakery inside Dover Street Market New York, the first American franchise for Rose Carrarini. The English chef and her French husband Jean Charles started their bakery in Paris in 2002 and since then have expanded not only in Paris but also inside the Dover Street’s London, Tokyo and New York locations.  The bakery is open for breakfast, lunch and tea; pastries, cakes and bread are also available for take out.

“We wanted to create a place where people felt at home, somewhere that people came back to often and the quality of the food shone.” – Rose Carrarini.

DSMNY – Rose Bakery. On a cold grey and rainy Saturday afternoon, what could revive Contessanally, an "Englishwoman in New York", more than a cup of tea and a delicious serving of Scones with Clotted Cream and the most delicious Strawberry Jam, which I’m told, will be available for purchase soon. After a revitalizing tea a tour around the market is stimulating. Check out the best picked selection of clothes and accessories; Commes des Garcons, Prada, J.W. Anderson, Simone Rocha, Azzedine Alaia, Thome Browne and many more of the style-setting designers.


DSMNY – Rose Bakery. Rose is well known for her Carrot Cake, below is her recipe from her book for Phaidon Press Breakfast, Lunch, Tea: The Many Little Meals of Rose Bakery by Rose Carrarini and Toby Glanville.

Rose's Carrot Cake

unsalted butter, for greasing
4 eggs
225g caster sugar
300ml sunflower oil
9 medium carrots, finely grated
300g plain flour, sifted
1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 rounded tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 1/2 tsp salt
150g finely chopped walnuts

for the icing

125g unsalted butter, softened
250g cream cheese
1/2 tsp natural vanilla extract
50-75g icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Butter a 23cm cake tin and line the base with parchment. Beat the eggs and caster sugar until light and fluffy. Pour in the oil and beat for a few more minutes. Fold in the carrots then the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Fold in the walnuts. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for about 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the tin before taking it out. To make the icing, beat the butter with the cream cheese and add the vanilla extract and icing sugar. Ice when the cake is cool.
Serves 8

 Rose Bakery - Fresh Carrot, Apple, Ginger Juice

Dover Street Market My Energy Comes From Freedom

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