Today's mash-up includes a new piece, a relatively recent fabric design, and a vintage (or possibly antique) textile from San Francisco's Asian museum.
We've got John Robshaw's ever-versatile handprinted linen, Lanka Oyster, Anthro's just-out-for-spring striped linen pillow in whisper soft pink, and a deeper-than-deep Thai silk ikat that could be circa 1900 or later 20th century. The latter is not currently part of a special exhibition but there are a few textiles to be spied in the old Indian paintings included in Yoga: The Art of Transformation. (Many look a bit like fore bearers of Lanka.) This traveling show is the first major exhibition to delve into yoga, specifically from a visual perspective. Yoga will be on view through May 25.
[Detail: Enid A. Haupt Conservatory at the NYBG.]
Yesterday I stumbled across a Horst image from a past post (the one that also includes Franco Zeffirelli's wild pants and Indian cushions). It should've been added here or mentioned as a follow up to the orchid pot story.
[Photo by Horst, 1973 as seen in Horst Interiors.]
Compared to the director's pants, Enid Annenberg Haupt's three-dimensional still life may seem tame, but it actually holds a lot of interesting juxtapositions: the lines of her luminous Rothko are repeated on an earthy, unpretentious piece of pottery, and both of these are starkly contrasted with the exuberant twists and turns of her Louis XV console and prized orchids. Using a magnifying glass, I make out slits in at least one of her terra cotta orchid pots. And the roots seem to be enjoying their freedom.
The pictured Rothko, Orange and Tan, was later given to the NGA.
[Detail: Kris Iden, Hortus Conclusus (Anatomy), 2013. Mixed materials and beeswax. Click for full view.]
Critics have likened Virginia-based artist Kris Iden's ethereal prints and mixed media drawings to visual poems. Some of her pieces literally incorporate text while others do not, but the relationship between words and images is a topic she'll explore in a special workshop, Saturday, April 19 from 9 a.m. to noon at Hollins. It's a program offered in conjunction with Iden's spring exhibition at the University's Eleanor D. Wilson Museum, and during the event participants will learn how literature can be a jumping off point for visual art. Details here.
[Images via Frances Palmer]
Mark Rothko's classic paintings -- his floating rectangles and abstract, moody bands of color that emerged in the late 1940s -- are such a part of our visual vocabulary. Before reading the name that potter, gardener and art historian Frances Palmer has given her contemporary ceramic hand pitchers, we instantly think of the pioneering 20th century painter.
But if you're a little hazy on how Rothko arrived at his iconic style, the NGA offers a great online primer. Click through to learn more about the Russian-born immigrant, his journey toward abstraction, and the many nuances of his color-washed works of the 50s and 60s. The Museum also has online a short documentary (like less than 10 minutes), produced in conjunction with the past exhibition, In the Tower: Mark Rothko.
[Detail: Felt mosaic. Kyrgyz, Central Asia. Circa mid-20th century. Via Meller's Bazaar.]
[From TASCHEN's Henri Matisse: Cut-Outs- Drawing With Scissors.]
But when I noticed one of the envelope-shaped Central Asian storage bags (bokche) that was originally featured in the textile historian's book, Silk and Cotton, is now available in her shop, I thought it was calling out to be paired.
[Henri Matisse, oil on canvas. Click here for more.]
Many pieces from Matisse's own textile collection can be seen in his 1924 painting, Interior, Flowers and Parakeets. This layered still life is part of the famous Cone Collection and is currently on view at the MIA in Matisse: Masterworks from the Baltimore Museum of Art.
Related past post: Mood Indigo.
This stylized Indian floral cloth from LACMA's collection makes me think so much of the spread pictured in the Mughal painting in the previously mentioned MIA show, Imperial Nature.
[18th-century Mughal floor spread. Cotton plain weave with silk chain stitch embroidery, wrapped metal thread with silk core, and silk quilting. From the Nasli and Alice Heeramaneck Collection, Museum Associates Purchase, LACMA.]
Look at the details.
Similar to the MIA exhibition, LACMA currently has on view a show that also explores English art patronage in colonial India, and demonstrates how Indian artists and craftsmen adapted their styles to suit European tastes. So, again, it's about beautiful wares that resulted from the cultural mash-up. Princely Traditions and Colonial Pursuits in India continues at LACMA through October 12, 2014.
On Monday, March 10, at 6:30 p.m., food historian Maite Gomez-Rejon will lead a private tour of the show, discussing native Indian ingredients that were sent to England. Later in the evening an East meets West dinner will be offered at Ray's. Details here.
[Jar with design of bamboo and plum trees. 16th to 17th century. National Museum of Korea.]
One hundred and fifty Joseon dynasty pieces including textiles, ceramics, lacquer, furniture, photographs, metalwork, screen painting and calligraphy have been chosen for the States' first major survey.
[Late-19th-century box with ox-horn decoration. National Museum of Korea.]
[Photo by Heunkang Seo. Cheonguijeong Pavilion, Changdeoak Palace.]
[Sulphur-crested cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) on a custard apple branch (Annona reticulata) (LI901.6), Lent by the Radcliffe Science Library, University of Oxford, to the Ashmolean.]
I didn't have any design-related images of celery or kale to share (although there is a leafy green apple branch, above), but in honor of Portlandia's upcoming fourth season, this post has birds on it.
[Via the MIA]
Long before there was a Portland, Oregon, Lady Impey (Mary) and her husband, Chief Justice Sir Elijah Impey, put lots of birds around. In fact, as part of the early group of English transplants in Calcutta during the 18th century, the couple hired three Indian artists to paint their menagerie of birds, plants, and animals. Lady Mary's art collection grew to include 200 drawings of birds and is highly prized today. (Some of you may remember the Ashmolean's recent show, Lady Impey’s Bird Paintings.)
Right now eleven “Lady Impey” paintings can be seen in the States at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA), as part of the exhibition Imperial Nature: Flora, Fauna, and Colonialism in India. This newly opened show delves into the British-Indian cultural mash-up of the colonial era, touching on global trade, natural science and arts patronage. It continues through April 20, 2014. (Thanks to Enfilade for the alert!)
[There may or may not be a bird in this 18th-century garden scene from the MIA's show, but I couldn't pass by the fantastic bordered floor cloth and that densely patterned canopy. Click for larger view.]
New at Cistanthe: airy hand-embroideries.
The white on white and floral-like forms stitched to breezy fabrics make me think of the organic imagery carved into the VMFA's 19th-century Indian garden pavilion. John Henry Rice, the Museum's associate curator of South Asian Art, calls the arcaded, late-Mughal marble structure a "place of pleasure."
[Watch the detailed video here.]
Last year I linked to the VMFA's time-lapse video of the pavilion's installation and provided some history, but the clip above offers a closer look.
this past post.
[Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette]
In Almost Famous, music critic Lester Bangs (Philip Seymour Hoffman) tells teen journalist William Miller (Patrick Fugit) that Rock is over; William has arrived on the scene in the 70s just in time to see Rock's "last gasp."
Similarly, when fresh-out-of-school, not-so-posh Alain Baraton came to Versailles' gardens in the late 70s, he witnessed the waning of one era: "The aging but terribly beautiful Versailles…tall, dark, and populated by majestic trees."
These were the years when the garden sheds were filled with interesting tools like myriad quirky watering cans with fixed or removable roses in copper, iron, wood or steel as opposed to today's ubiquitous pre-fab styles, available in just two shapes. Security was much less stringent then, fewer codes had to be abided by, and loud automated equipment wasn't used. But Baraton doesn't have an overly romantic view of the past.
Rising to be Versailles' gardener-in-chief, he's also seen, and helped bring about, what he views as good changes: the return of wildlife; the elimination of cars; and the re-introduction of potted plants, for example. Out of necessity after 1999's devastating storm that felled Marie Antoinette's oak, the 100-foot Virginia tulip tree and thousands of others, Baraton spearheaded the garden's rehabilitation.
In his book, he shares his personal experiences. His tales involve people as much as plants -- modern day visitors, sometimes eccentric souls, who are drawn to the gardens at their happiest and lowest moments. Then there are Versailles' rock stars (Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette), Le Notre, and various Kings' mistresses who influenced the grounds too. Over decades, Baraton has observed well-meaning tour guides squelch the joy out of visitors' walk-throughs. So he offers readers his own ideal tour designed to ignite passion not induce yawns.
[The Queen’s Grove © EPV via…]
He conjures the grandest parties ever held in the park but, as I mentioned in the previous post, also tips us off to Versailles' hidden nooks and crannies -- the best places to enjoy a bit of solitude. Obviously the book's title, The Gardener of Versailles: My Life in the World's Grandest Garden, will lure Francophiles, however, if formal grounds and French history aren't your thing, try leafing through a few pages. Baraton's surprising stories and wry humor will likely pull you in.
[© EPV / Ch. Milet]
Clarification: The book is unillustrated but the text inspired me to gather these screen shots and images from Versailles.
Clarification: The book is unillustrated but the text inspired me to gather these screen shots and images from Versailles.
From Sofia Coppola's fastidious attention to detail while shooting Marie Antoinette on location (the director requested water lilies like those she'd spied in a period etching) to "the large, majestic willow baskets" still in use in the late 1970s, before all the "identical and ugly" plastic bags took over, to the most secluded hideaways for lovers and the charms of an un-mowed country lawn, great tidbits abound in Alain Baraton's book, The Gardener of Versailles: My Life in the World's Grandest Garden.
As Versailles' Gardener-in-Chief, Baraton has seen it all. And in his bestseller (just released in English), he shares more than tantalizing bits of info: there are riveting stories, past and present, that offer a sense of Versailles' earthier, less formal and less known side. Later this month I'll post more, but for now I wanted to put the book on your radar. It's perfect spring fever reading -- even though Baraton's favorite season in the park is actually fall.
I think I first posted this image to Tumblr the same day I received the issue of Vogue in which it ran, then later re-posted here as part of tree-themed holiday thing. But more than a year later, it's still just as fixation-worthy. Maybe more so. If you're among the few who haven't virtually toured the Brooklyn bedroom of Miranda Brooks and Bastion Halard, take a peek at the other end for a little context.
[See the online Vogue feature here. Photo by Francois Halard.]
The main feminine element, softly-colored custom de Gournay chinoiserie wallpaper, is balanced by more masculine looking exposed beams, and minimal, rustic furniture including a bed and sofa designed and built by Halard. Beyond the yin and yang of the masculine and feminine design components, the bedroom balances tradition with modernism, too.
In the Brooks-Halard bedroom, the wallpaper can be appreciated like one very large spectacular work of art. Appropriate, seems to me, since chinoiserie scholars believe that this style of panoramic wallpaper, created in China for export, stemmed from highly-coveted Chinese pictures, which Emile de Bruijn reports were all the rage in Europe during the early 18th century. A forthcoming book from the National Trust aims to highlight the artistry of these historic hand-painted papers, and show how walls were enveloped with them in the UK's great houses. Check back here for details on the expected March release.
[First two photos my own, taken at the ABG.]
I've become a little obsessed with these hanging Vanda orchids at Terrain.
I keep picturing several suspended from the top of my four-poster bed. How cool it would look. But how impractical, too. You know, the watering and all. I think these are intended to be hung in a less precarious place. Another way to let the roots run wild is with airy, net-like pots -- something I learned about doing research for this weekend's WSJ story. (I also discovered how one legendary horticulturist unconventionally arranged her orchid pots en masse.)
If you're in the mood to see some exotic blooms in living color, check out these orchid happenings:
Orchid Daze just opened at the Atlanta Botanical Garden and continues through mid-April.
Kew's Orchids 2014: A Plant Hunter's Paradise runs through March 9.
The Orchid Show: Key West Contemporary opens at The New York Botanical Garden March 1.
The San Francisco Orchid Society hosts the Pacific Orchid Expo February 20-23.
The U.S. Botanic Garden Orchid Symphony takes place February 22 through April 27.
Illoominata's wool, Tibetan striped pillow is all about beaute nomade.
[Photography © Yann Romain, Tibet Style, Flammarion, 2006.]traditional striped aprons worn in the region.
[© Ellsworth Kelly]
But it also has something in common with Ellsworth Kelly's spare Train Landscape of 1952-53. Apart from the horizontal bands, the greens and yellows are uncannily similar.