Large Scale: Fabricating Sculpture in the 1960's and 1970's
Interior Design Staff -- Interior Design, 11/19/2010 2:16:24 AM
New York: Princeton Architectural Press, $45 256 pages, 305 illustrations (130 color)
Large sculptures have not been unknownhistorically: the Great Sphinx, the Colossus of Rhodes. But they were scarce until about half a century ago, when a great many painters and sculptors felt compelled and emboldenedto work at an unaccustomed heroic scale. The results stretched the capacities not only of galleries but also of foundries. To serve the growing need for expert fabrication, the Lippincott foundry opened in North Haven, Connecticut, in 1966. This book quotes sculptor James Rosati as saying, "The atmosphere there is terribly comfortable. There are great technicians and that is a rarity these days, and the space and equipment that no sculptor could affordto have. I think of it as another studio, but a studio to answer every artist's dream." The book's author is Jonathan Lippincott, a son of company founder Don Lippincott, and the bulk of the photographs were taken by Roxanne Everett, his business partner. Scrupulous in documenting each step in each fabrication effort, she created a superb recordof the working processes of some of the most important names of their day, including Jean Dubuffet, Donald Judd, Ellsworth Kelly, Louise Nevelson, Barnett Newman, and Tony Smith.
The foreword is by Hugh M. Davies, the director of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the introduction by Patterson Sims, a curator and writer. An interesting appendix lists more than 100 installation sites for the artwork.
Houses: Modern Natural/Natural Modern
by Ron Broadhurst
New York: Rizzoli New York, $60 300 pages, 296 illustrations (237 color) One may read this book's title with dread-at the promise of rambling woodsy cottages draped with vines. Not a bit. Instead, this stirring collection assembles beautifully sited modern and contemporary structures chosen with a bracingly hard-edge sensibility.
Barry Bergdoll, chief curator of architecture and design at New York's Museum of Modern Art, writes in the foreword that, although "Mies van der Rohe's work has. . .rarely been associated with the natural," his Farnsworth house is "a platform for both the experience of nature and for the contemplation of the gaps. . .between us and the natural order of which we are such an ambiguous part." Bergdoll quotes the house's former owner Peter Palumbo as saying: "Living in the house I have gradually become aware of a very special phenomenon: The man-made environment and the natural environment are here permitted to respond to, and to interact with, each other."
What follows is a truly international survey encompassing nine examples from Japan, six from Chile, five from Switzerland, two each from Norway and the U.S., and single examples from the Netherlands, Sweden, India, China, and Australia. Architecture firms include Atelier Bow-Wow, KieranTimberlake, and Allied Works Architecture. The most striking design-one with a clearly Miesian heritage-is saved for last: TNA's glass-walled square house perched on irregularly spaced steel pilotis on a steep hill in the Japanese resort town of Karuizawa.
Photography and printing are exemplary. And the author is right to thank graphic designer Beatriz Cifuentes- Caballero for her beautiful and intelligent work.
The Find: The Housing Works Book of Decorating With Thrift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects, and Vintage Details
by Stan Williams
New York: Clarkson Potter/Publishers, $28 240 pages, 250 color illustrations
It's an all-too-typical mistake among those with design-challenged minds: furnishing a house or an apartment straight from a catalog. "Your living room shouldn't ever look like page 42," Ron Marvin says. "It should look collected. And adding vintage furnishings gives any space a unique feel." A veteran collector himself, Marvin often scouts vintage furnishings at the New York thrift shops of Housing Works, a nonprofit battling homelessness and AIDS. Between visits, he also peruses the organization's book, in which such boldface names as Simon Doonan and John Derian offer thoughts on how to identify great pieces. "I'm constantly going back to look up how others have repurposed old objects, displayed art, or found unusual uses for paint and upholstery," Marvin says. With certain items, however, vintage just won't do. He currently has his eye on a brand-new upholstered bed frame for his own home. -Deborah Wilk