Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Miami Beach Modern; January 2017

Miami Beach has the largest concentration of 1920's and 30's Art Deco buildings in the world.  Here is just one, a private residence, showing unity of design, preservation, maintenance and color.  Note white block with carved panel around door.  

Silver trim echoed by palm tree.

Two (or three) of the draws to Miami Beach.

Rather than modest Art Deco buildings, the reality of Miami Beach is now high-rises.

The Fontainebleu hotel has been a big name in Miami Beach for decades.
We were told it has about 1800 rooms.

The front desk, to right, has light art works by James Turrell.  No one seems to notice.

Believe it or not, the main lobby lounge has chandeliers by Chinese activist artist Ai Wei Wei.  Is he making a joke or are they serious?  No one seems to notice.  The artists were probably happy to get the commissions.

More is More: The Wolfsonian

Wolfsonian Museum, in South Beach:
(Created by Mitchell Wolfson:,_Jr.)
The museum contains over 80,000 objects from 1885-1945:  Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Bauhaus, etc.

 The lobby of the Wolfsonian had a temporary exhibit by contemporary Dutch artist Christie van der Haak:  "More is More."  It is drawn from Dutch styles Nieuwe Kunst and the Amsterdam style from early 1900's, with a modern beat.  To our eyes, it would be evocative of Art Deco.

Objects from German design of the early twentieth century.

 Above, an oil painting from 1932 by Ida Ten Eyck O'Keeffe:  "The Highland Lighthouse"  (Cape Cod).
Ida is almost unknown, having been overshadowed by her famous older sister.

To right:  an undated Italian print by Vincenzo Bona of Turin:  "The Way of the Cross"

Signage for public housing in Amsterdam, 1920; typography in Amsterdam School style where thoughtful design was used for public works too.

Sculpture from 1929 in cast aluminum:  "The Wrestler" by Dudley Vaill Talcott

Wynwood Walls, Miami

 Wynwood is a Miami industrial district, renovated by Tony Goldman and family into a hip artsy area.  It comes alive at night.


Collage in gallery, constructed and run by Peter Tunney.

Megalithic like stones are part of the public art.

Right, one example of the wall art covering Wynwood Walls.

"Antediluvian Aftermath" 2015, Beau Stanton.
Particularly relevant in these times.

Encounters with Public Art Miami; January 2017

 Large apartment buildings in the museum district of Miami.  
Construction of OneThousandMuseum condo tower, designed by Zaha Hadid is rising and is about half of eventual height of 700 feet/62 stories:
While it will be an expensive high-end condo tower, the sinuous form perhaps may provide some visual interest from the public Museum Park.
The low structure partially blocking OneThousandMuseum is the Miami Science Museum.

The Perez Art Museum in Museum Park:Ă©rez_Art_Museum_Miami
It is a LEED certified building designed by Swiss firm Herzog and De Meuron.

 Above:  Outdoor sculpture:  "Penetrable BBL, Blue 2/8; 1999 by Jesus Rafael Soto." 

Below:  "Vertical gardens", planted with local vegetation, dampen sound and make the outdoor portico more appealing.  They were designed by Patrick Blanc.

 Crowd at the New World Center, designed by Frank Gehry, in South Beach.
It is home of the New World Symphony, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas.
Simulcast of the concerts are presented free to the public on the wall.

Sunrises Miami Beach; January 2017

Subtle.  This is how sunrise often looks looking east from Miami Beach.

And three in a sequence of an especially fiery sunrise with clouds magnifying colors, which fade as the sun rises.

Sunrise Richmond, Sunset Philadelphia January, 2017

This sequence shows how colors change as the sun rises over the coastal plain that is Richmond Va, in this case, January 2017.  Note silhouettes of Longleaf Pine.  Colors are often most intense in pink and blue before the sun rises.

These shots, on the other hand, are at sunset in Philadelphia.  Inversely, colors become more intense after the sun sets.  Are colors different in the colder northern climate?

Friday, December 30, 2016

Past and Present Pleasure as an Antidote to Gloom

This Christmas card is by Eric Rohman, one of the foremost designers of vintage Swedish movie posters, from the mid-1930s. Dark clouds of history were rising and the world was threatened by depression, hunger, threats of dictators and war.  The card was intended to show light shining through the gloom.  The color scheme of blue and yellow, the colors of the Swedish flag, elicited a patriotic sentiment.  There are beams of light shining up from the church and down from the stars, emphasizing vertical dimension and giving depth: the arc of the horizon suggests the Earth in a starry universe surrounded by pillars of stability.   We felt the card evoked a feeling of hope during hard times, a message reassuring in this and the coming year.  The inscription is in Swedish and means "Good Yule."

Some of the pleasures of the holidays include Christmas meal above and elaborate toy train setup at the National Botanic Garden below.  This boy could not contain his delight.

Meadow Colors December 2016

Houston Meadows
Wissahickon Valley
Fairmount Park
Philadelphia, PA

More info on Friends of the Wissahickon website.

December Skies, 2016

 Sky looking southwest from Washington DC at sunset.
The end of an empire?....

The area over the Potomac is a flight way; planes fly down that corridor every 2-3 minutes.

December morning sky looking south near Philadelphia.

December trees form fine etching lines against the sky.

National Gallery East Wing Open Dec 2016

The sky above the National Gallery on Constitution Mall in Washington.
Yes, it is a grey December day.
Also, security and communications were already going up a month before inauguration day.

Below, serene art inside the East Wing:  painting by Franz Kline on the wall.

 Movie in the wonderful theater in the East Wing.
This is an unforgettable film: