Carl Kleiner is a master of balance, colour and form. We have featured the photographer’s work on Frontier before, and you have probably come across the delicious culinary arrangements for Ikea, made in collaboration with partner and stylist Evelina Kleiner. His portfolio is so inventive and diverse, that it’s hard to believe that the photographs have all been taken by the same person. Commercial work is set off with a healthy dose of personal projects, the stunning Postures series being a recent one.
In Postures, Kleiner uses bent wires as supports, and with the assistance of gravity creates precariously balanced compositions with tulips. The thick, fleshy stalks are twisted into elegant curves, framed by leaves that look frozen in the midst of a rippling wind. Some hover in the air, bent like some circus contortionist, other flowers look like restrained dancers folded in a graceful moment of repose. Kleiner manages to make blooms appear light as butterflies in one image, and sinking into the ground with heaving weight in the next. Blocky plinths and stiff lines of brass wire beautifully complement the softness of the plants. This series of photographs demonstrates Carl Kleiner’s expertise in manipulating light. The crispness, colour and rich range of shadows is reminiscent of the inimitable clarity held in the still lives of Dutch Golden Age painter, Balthasar van der Ast.
Carl Kleiner is represented by MINK MGMT in Sweden and Mini Title in the UK, you can see more of his work there or on his own website. He also keeps a gorgeous photographic diary, which combines documentation of his process with arresting shots of daily observations.
Anti, the Norwegian creative powerhouse, is one of our favourites at Frontier and they have outdone themselves again with their work for Bergen International Festival 2014. Bergen International Festival (Festspillene i Bergen) is one of the oldest and largest festivals of the arts in the Nordic region. The programme offers more than 220 events over 15 days, with performances ranging from theatre to classical symphonies, contemporary music, opera and dance. Anti was commissioned to create a strong, recognizable visual identity for the festival, flexible enough to represent the array of events and engage a wide audience. In their response to the brief, a perfect square is divided up to form three bold lines composing the logo, a simplified F. This simple, clear visual solution connects directly to the basis for all music—the relationship between sound and silence.
The logo is repeated at different scales to compose rhythmic patterns that sit harmoniously side-by-side and are applied to branded tote-bags, brochures, banners and even a rain poncho, exclusively designed by Norwegian Rain. The simplicity of the design really allows for limitless variations, I love the idea of embedding it into the markings of the ubiquitous zebra crossing. To shake the monotony of black and white, irregular blocks of pastel blue, red and yellow break up the serious tone and add a hint of the unexpected to the designs. You can watch this short informative video to hear about the concept from the designers and the festival’s artistic director, Anders Beyer.
Anti are yet to develop a musical sequencer in line with the festival’s brand, and are even finalizing their very own version of the iconic Nordic sweater. This project is a great example of comprehensive brand development and implementation. Keep up to date with Anti’s work for a regular measure of sophisticated and intelligent design and check out our review of their gorgeous work for IMG Models.
I don’t know about you, but I have always been a fan of brutalist architecture. Recently one of my favourite buildings at my old university was torn down. It was big, heavy and concrete, and I loved it and feel like I’m the only one mourning it’s destruction. That’s maybe why I’ve instantly fallen in love with Mareike Kanafani’s brutalist jewelry. I came across Kanafani’s collection when trawling through work from Schmuck Jewelry Fair that took place in Munich earlier in March. As the oldest Jewelry Fair, it’s the benchmark for what’s new in jewelry design and often showcases techniques that push the traditions of the field. Kanafani’s concrete works do just that and have brought her some well deserved attention.
Personally, I’ve not seen jewelry made this way before. I’d be interested in the construction techniques as, from my small amount of concreting experience, I do know that the material, although strong, needs a spine or mesh to help keep it altogether. It’s got me all intrigued, it’s not something that I would want to drop accidentally. Maybe this dichotomy is something that Kanafani is playing with here? The idea of fragility and stability being fused into one and being one in the same. It’s an interesting concept for jewelry, a genre of design that is routed in preciousness and expense.
I can’t find out where you purchase Kanafani’s work, and the range so far is small and concise, but shoot, what a way to start. You can see more from Schmuck Jewelry Fair by clicking through here (trawl to the bottom).
I feel like there are a few exciting ‘firsts’ at this years Salone del Mobile. We featured Tom Dixon’s debut show at Salone on Saturday, and today, it’s Sarah Lucas’ first foray into furniture.
Sarah Lucas is a British artist who’s famous for her suggestive sculptures, photography and collage work. Often using found objects and mass produced materials, Lucas’ works are curious things when you’re in front of them. They’re confronting, concerning and well, just a bit bloody unnerving. There’s a blatant approach in Lucas’ practice that although tells it how it is, doesn’t leave the viewer with nothing to discover by themselves.
Sarah Lucas Furniture at Sadie Coles HQ presents a selection of bench seats, room dividers, chairs and side tables designed by Lucas in collaboration with the London Art Workshop. Using pre-cast concrete breeze blocks and MDF, Lucas has a created a collection that is just as blatant and confronting as her artwork. These materials, do in fact, stem from the artwork she produces as they are the materials that Lucas uses to creates her display plinths from. Here, the displayer of work has become the work. Solid, bold and heavy, the undervalued supporter has finally taken it’s rightful place ahead of the artwork itself.
The collection, which is all signed and dated, is interestingly referential to movements both in the art and furniture worlds with both contemporary and post modern artists and designers being referenced. The gridded, brutalist range reminds you of Donald Judd or of Karl Andre, or of the many architects who incorporated pre-molded concrete into their work. Is it a collection to snuggle up on and watch a movie? Probably not. But is it a collection that makes us stand back and think? Well, it probably is, and surely that’s not a bad thing. ‘Thinking’ aside however, what I do like about the collection is it’s unexpected aesthetic appeal, something Lucas herself commented on as being “surprisingly stylish“. I reckon I could easily live with one of these pieces in the right setting. Getting it there, or up the stairs?! Hmmm, well that part might be a bit tricky.
Salone del Mobile, it’s nearly done and dusted! But we’ve got one more highlight tomorrow.
This year Salone del Mobile has introduced me to a new favourite—Raw-Edges. Their experiments in furniture making commonly borrow techniques from other disciplines, such as fashion, and apply them to cleverly conceived objects. The pair behind Raw-Edges, a design studio with a focus on furniture, have a history of using materials in innovative ways. In the Salon del Mobile exhibit, surface specialist Caesarstone took full advantage of their talents to collaborate on Islands, a collection of hubs of activity for different parts of the home.
Raw-Edges offer the most interesting variation on the idea of the “kitchen island” I have ever come across. The seven islands include a long kitchen bench, a vanity, a bath and even a ping-pong table. Each one reiterates a simple stone structure as a base, which is built up with a number of storage cupboards, drawers and racks that are inserted into purposefully cut slots in the bench. The varied stone finishes are a refreshing alternative to the marble that has been taking over furniture trends as the material of choice. The resulting objects’ functions are quite clear and fixed, but the eclectic combinations of shapes, colours and surfaces infuse them with a spark of creative potential. The video above showcases this well by playfully animating the the different components of the islands.
The kitchen bench presented at Salone del Mobile was extended to span the length of the room, and even comes complete with a lemon tree! This presents the potential for outdoor use, and I think that some of the islands would look the part in a sophisticated outdoor entertainment spot. I also love the simplicity of the ping-pong table, which showcases the stone beautifully. The collection fits in well into Palazzo Clerici’s 18th Century surrounds, where it is currently exhibited, complementing the interior surprisingly well.
Come back for more gems from Salone del Mobile tomorrow!
Photos: Wallpaper Magazine