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Frieze Art Fair 2012

Surveying Frieze New York

Fact #1: New Yorkers are more allergic to bridges and tunnels than plants and trees. Fact #2: Manhattanites generally enjoy exploring other boroughs as much as they like the Times Square subway platform in the stew of summer. Therefore, when Frieze Art Fair–which has thrived in London’s Regent Park for a decade–chose to debut its American counterpart May 4th through 7th on Randall’s Island, a geographical curse seemed in the cards. (“Who is this Randall and how do you get to his island?,” and so on.) Luckily, the one thing Manhattanites enjoy more than schadenfruede is a pleasant cultural surprise. 
May 12, 2012
abramovic OMA

Marina Plus Rem, in Upstate New York

Hudson, New York, is a small community nestled into its namesake river valley about 100 miles north of Manhattan. Known mostly for the antique shops that line scenic Warren Street, the hamlet is also home to an assortment of arts venues, galleries, and annual fairs and festivals, all of which have helped put it on the cultural map in recent years. A project announced this week, however, could turn out to be Hudson’s artistic trump card. Marina Abramovic, the mercurial Serbian-born performance artist, has conscripted Dutch master designer Rem Koolhaas as part of a new project destined for an abandoned property near the center of town. 
May 11, 2012
Tower Studio by Saunders Architecture

Friday Finds 05.11.12

Wrap up the week with our roundup of architecture, art, and design finds.
May 11, 2012
screenplay week 6

The Making of Screenplay: Part 6

Jenny Wu, a partner at Oyler Wu Collaborative, documents the process from design through fabrication of their latest installation, Screenplay, to be featured at the upcoming Dwell on Design 2012. Part 6:  The Physical Work Begins… At this stage of the process, those around me often say that this isn’t the way typical architects produce work. For many years, my parents wondered why someone with Columbia and Harvard degrees would choose to spend a large portion of my summer months braving the grueling sun and performing serious manual labor. “Shouldn’t you have people for that?” they would ask.
May 9, 2012
Alex Katz Round Hill LACMA

Alex Katz: Give Me Tomorrow

The American painter Alex Katz is one of my favorites. His flat, graphic realism, and paintings of the windswept coast of Maine recall Edward Hopper, Fairfield Porter, and the cover of some sun-faded issue of the New Yorker. I usually get a chance to see his work in person during summer trips to the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine, but this month the Tate St. Ives in Cornwall, England, is launching the wonderful show Alex Katz: Give Me Tomorrow. The 30 canvases on view stretch across the six decades of his career and after its run from May 19th to September 23rd it moves to the Turner Contemporary in Margate, Kent. Check out the slideshow for a glimpse of Alex Katz's stellar paintings.
May 4, 2012
Screenplay Platform 5

The Making of Screenplay: Part 5

Jenny Wu, a partner at Oyler Wu Collaborative, documents the process from design through fabrication of their latest installation, Screenplay, to be featured at the upcoming Dwell on Design 2012. Part 5: Designing the Tools. How to start? At the beginning of every construction project, I always feel a sense of anxiety about the road ahead, especially in terms of the complexity of the fabrication, the workload, and, nearly always, the insanely tight schedule. Fortunately, this is the very moment that my partner, Dwayne Oyler, really excels. I often marvel at the fact that he can conceptualize every step of the build so well that he is able to troubleshoot the problems in advance, build the necessary tools or jigs to speed up fabrication, and is able to turn a simple utilitarian object into a design element. Given the unique and varying nature of our work, the construction process becomes its own kind of design project, with each assignment bringing a new set of geometric problems, connection issues, and material challenges.
May 3, 2012

Public Art at Johns Hopkins

Yesterday the Johns Hopkins Hospital officially opened its new building, the Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children's Center, bringing an empathetic and curatorial eye to civic architecture by inviting 70 artists to create more than 500 on-site installations throughout the structure. One of the most visible highlights is a 250,000 square foot glass curtain wall on the facade designed by artist Spencer Finch, in which each aluminum panel is sandwiched between two layers of glass colored in a "carefully distilled palette" of 26 shades, one for each letter of the alphabet.
May 1, 2012
Screenplay model 3

The Making of Screenplay: Part 4

Jenny Wu, a partner at Oyler Wu Collaborative, documents the process from design through fabrication of their latest installation, Screenplay, to be featured at the upcoming Dwell on Design 2012. Part 4: Building a Physical ModelDigital or analog? This has been a hotly debated issue in the architectural community for the past 15 years. Within our office, we find the discussion to be relatively unproductive given the clear, yet differing, advantages that both techniques offer. We feel that it is far more useful to embrace both processes as a way of dealing with the wide range of issues that we often encounter, particularly in realizing experimental work.
April 25, 2012
week three Screenplay 6

The Making of Screenplay: Part 3

Jenny Wu, a partner at Oyler Wu Collaborative, documents the process from design through fabrication of their latest installation, Screenplay, to be featured at the upcoming Dwell on Design 2012. Part 3: The Big Reveal. A designer is an emerging synthesis of artist, inventor, mechanic, objective economist and evolutionary strategist. —Buckminster Fuller. When we first started our practice eight years ago, we had just moved from New York to Los Angeles. With no clients, no portfolio of built projects, and virtually no income, we realized quickly that in order to build a body of work that is unconventional and unique we would have to rethink how we practice. We came to two conclusions: (1) we would need to go out and find the right clients (even if they were my own parents!) and (2) we would have to learn to build the work ourselves, because we simply couldn’t afford to hire a contractor. We have always been of the mindset that sometimes as architects you have to take on responsibilities that fall outside of the conventional skill set, such as fabrication and installation, in order to realize work that is experimental in nature and complex in its construction. While fabricating our own design started as a necessity in order to control cost, we have continued to do it as a way of extending the research of our practice in terms of material and structural experimentation.
April 18, 2012
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