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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Duomo di Milano, Italy

The gothic Milan Cathedral, the second largest church in Italy after St. Peters, took over 500 years to complete---started in 1386, largely finished in 1805 for the coronation of Napoleon Bonaparte, and finishing touches (e.g. the punch list) put on as late as 1965.  A few decades later the restorations begin!

This place truly evokes the majesty of a redwood forest.  One feels insignificant walking besides these giant columns (which I guess was the whole point).  Even the ceilings looked like a dense forest canopy.  Twas a marvel to behold.....

Friday, August 20, 2010

David Mabb's deconstruction of Morris

(all click to enlarge)

Last month I had an opportunity to visit artist David Mabb in his studio a few miles from William Morris's Red House.  You may remember him from the "Smash the Bourgeoisie" post.  These paintings (on Morris wallpaper) come from a series called Rhythm 69 which can seen in its entirety here along with an essay discussing the installation.  I wish I could buy one (or four) of these paintings but David is hoping to sell them as a set, all sixty-nine---so my next wish is that I owned a large corporate headquarters with lots of wall space!  In fact, why doesn't Sanderson buy these?

Mabb's wall-of-Morris with photograph of him in his Fruit fabric suit posing as Russian artist Rodchenko.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The power of beautiful architecture

(all click to enlarge)

In 2009 a new Community Rowing Inc. boathouse opened along a neglected stretch of the Charles River in Boston. It replaced an old building that was so innocuous that I can't even remember what it looked like, despite the fact I have been driving by it for two decades. The public has been so enchanted and seduced by the new building that membership in CRI has doubled in one year.

Robert Campbell, the architectural critic for the Boston Globe, wrote “The architecture of the exuberant new Community Rowing Boathouse in Brighton is such a joy. This is a building that is happy to look, fresh, new, democratic and up-to-date… This is one of the best new pieces of architecture in Boston.” And I'll add, most innovative use of shingle style since 19th century.

I love the glass storage shed which looks so colorful from the street, especially during the gloom of winter.

 (this pic from CRI website. Glass storage shed on left.)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

William Morris on acid....wallpaper


These are some of my favorite wallpaper designs from the Scottish design firm Timorous Beasties (best name ever??).  

From their website:  "Noted for its surreal and provocative textiles and wallpapers, the design studio Timorous Beasties was founded in Glasgow in 1990 by Alistair McAuley and Paul Simmons.....By depicting uncompromisingly contemporary images on traditional textiles and wallpapers, Timorous Beasties has defined an inconoclastic style of design once described as "William Morris on acid.""

Para Flower

Barberini Bee


White Moth

Friday, August 6, 2010

Could Andy Goldsworthy have passed this way?

My dad sent me this picture of a cairn they came across while hiking the remote wilds of western Ireland.  Very Goldsworthyesque!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Julia Talcott's rollercoaster.....

Onward and Upward, by Julia Talcott, Linocut collage, 45 x 41 inches
(click to enlarge)

My friend Julia is exhibiting this beautiful print at the International Print Center gallery in New York.  It captures her spirit of loving and laughing at all the curves life throws you.  You can see more of her wonderful work here.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Villino Ruggeri, a most incredible seaside home....

When I was walking around the seaside town of Pesaro, Italy, last week, I came across this amazing house called Villino Ruggeri.  It is a private residence that was built between 1904 and 1908 by the architect Giuseppe Brega (1878-1958, born in Urbino).  The Italians call this style Stile Liberty (after the English store Liberty of London), their name for Art Nouveau.

Of all the incredible plaster plants and animals that adorn the house, none are more incredible than the dozens of lobster eave brackets that surround the upper story.  My jaw dropped when I noticed those!