tag archives: art

pietrasanta, italy is an art and an artisan center.  a place to experience art.  and, a place to learn about the process of making art.

the town center not only is filled with art galleries, but also is an international contemporary sculpture park (parco internazionale della scultura contemporanea).  about 40 sculptures are either permanently installed or temporarily exhibited in the town center.  additional sculptures are installed in the surrounding towns of capezano monte, fiumetto, and tonfano.

map | parco internazionale della scultura contemporanea | pietrasanta, italy

pietrasanta is located in the foothills of the apuan alps, in lucca province, in the versilia region of tuscany, about 125 km (80 mi) west of florence

photo credit comune di pietrasanta

many of the permanent installations were donated by artists who have collaborated with the local artisan workshops that specialize in casting metal, carving marble, firing ceramics, and fabricating intarsia, mosaics, or other materials.

some of the artists, including the famous colombian sculptor, fernando botero, have studios in pietrasanta.

fernando botero | il guerriero (the warrior) | bronze | 1992

piazza matteotti | pietrasanta, italy

fonderia (foundry):  massimo del chiaro | pietrasanta, italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

when we visited fonderia artistica mariani (mariani artistic foundry), two botero sculptures were in the process of being patinaed. (for the artists’ protection, our hostess, monica, requested that we not take any photographs inside the foundry.)

fonderia mariani | via tre luci, 51 | pietrasanta, italy

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

at fonderia mariani, everything is handmade by master artisans, who each specialize in one phase of the lost wax casting process.


lost wax casting process

model | the artist provides the foundry with a three dimensional model, which can be scaled to any size.

mold | the scaled model is used to create a resin mold, which can be used multiple times.

copy | a wax copy of the model is made from the resin mold.  then, the wax copy is detailed.  often, with the artist’s participation or supervision.

mold | the wax copy is covered in a ceramic shell.  then, the ceramic shell is heated in the furnace.  the wax melts, but the ceramic mold remains intact.  the ceramic mold can only be used one time.

cast | molten metal is poured into the ceramic mold.  the metal solidifies as it cools.  large sculptures are cast in multiple sections from multiple molds.

finish | the ceramic molds are removed from the castings.  then, the castings are cleaned, welded, assembled, and finished.

patina | chemicals are applied to patina the metal of the finished sculpture. 


the botero warrior was cast by another foundry, fonderia d’arte massimo del chiaro (massimo del chiaro art foundery).  but, fonderia mariani cast the bronze flame on via oberdan by american sculptor helaine blumenfeld, OBE, who also has a studio in pietrasanta.

helaine blumenfeld, OBE | flame | bronze | 2015

via oberdan | pietrasanta, italy

fonderia (foundry):  fonderia mariani | pietrasanta, italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

during our visit, fonderia mariani was testing patinas for a white bronze myomu (key of dream) sculpture by japanese artist kan yasuda, another sculptor with a pietrasanta studio.  a white marble version of the yasuda sculpture is installed in the piazza della stazione.

kan yasuda | myomu (key of dream) | carrara marble | 2004

piazza della stazione | pietrasanta, italy

laboratorio (workshop):  giorgio angeli | querceta, italy

photo via kan yasuda

the white marble sculpture was carved by studio di sculptura d’arte in marmo e pietre giorgio angeli (giorgio angeli studio of art sculpture in marble and stone).  when we arrived for our visit to studio angeli, which is located in the nearby town of querceta, our hostess, marzia, was on the phone with kan yasuda.

studio angeli | via madonnina 256/b2 | querceta, italy

photo via giorgio angeli

studio angeli incorporates modern technology into the traditional marble carving process.


marble carving process

model | the artist provides the laboratorio dei marmi (marble workshop) with a three dimensional model, which can be scaled to any size.  studio angeli now uses a digital scanner to scale the artist’s model.

material | the workshop helps the artist select a block of marble or stone either from their inventory or from a local quarry.  after the block is selected, the workshop squares it off and cuts it to size using a monolama or a diamond wire saw.

rough (sbozzatura) | the workshop roughly carves the sculpture out of the block.  instead of carving the block by hand, studio angeli now uses a robot that is programmed to carve the block mechanically.

trim (smodellatura) | the sculpture is hand trimmed by a master artisan using a pointing machine to transfer the proportions and the details from the scaled model to the rough sculpture.

finish (rifinitura) | a master artisan hand finishes the trimmed sculpture by grinding and polishing the surface.  often, with the supervision of the artist.


pietrasanta is also a center for tool, mold, and model makers.  the collection of the museo dei bozzetti (sketch museum) includes about 700 models and maquettes (reduced scale models) of sculptures, by about 350 artists, that were made by local artisan workshops.

models and maquettes

museo dei bozzetti | via sant’agostino | pietrasanta, italy

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

including, a plaster maquette of another yasuda marble sculpture, that was carved by studio angeli, and is now in the collection of the sakata city museum of art, sakata, japan.

kan yasuda | shyosei (volare) | plaster maquette | 1991

museo dei bozzetti | pietrasanta, italy

laboratorio formatura (form workshop):  sirio navari | pietrasanta, italy

photo via museo dei bozzetti

sculptures by korean artist and pietrasanta resident, park eun sun, are on exhibition until 29 october 2017 in the chiostro di sant’augustino (cloisters of saint augustine), the former convent where the museo dei bozzetti is now located, in the piazza duomo, and in the nearby town of tonfano.

park eun sun | piazza duomo | pietrasanta, italy | 11 august-29 october 2017

organized by vecchiato arte | padova and pietrasanta, italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

exploring the parco della scultura in the pietrasanta town center is an inspiring experience.  there are sculptures everywhere.  in the squares.  on the streets.  at the roundabouts.  in the car park!

junkyu muto | il cerchio del vento (the wind circle) | marble | 2003

parcheggio (car park) piazza statuto | pietrasanta, italy

laboratorio (workshop):  ettore mariani | pietrasanta, italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

rinaldo bigi | serenata (serenade) | carrara marble | 2005

largo padre thomas mcglynn | pietrasanta, italy

laboratorio (workshop):  umberto togni | valdicastello, italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

david jungquist | l’onda (the wave)

via capriglia | pietrasanta, italy

laboratorio (workshop):  studio stagetti | pietrasanta, italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

eugenio riotto | amanti alati (lovers lure) | bronze | 2011-2012

via oberdan | pietrasanta, italy

fonderia (foundry):  fonderia versiliese | pietrasanta, italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

ron mehlman | sole scapola (sunscape)

via capriglia | pietrasanta, italy

laboratorio (workshop):  studio stagetti | pietrasanta, italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

choi yoon sook | ego | travertine | 2007

via capriglia | pietrasanta, italy

laboratorio (workshop):  studio stagetti | pietrasanta, italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

nall | quadro di pace (peace frame) | bronze and mosaics | 2006

via mazzini | pietrasanta, italy

fonderia (foundry):  fonderia versiliese | pietrasanta, italy

laboratorio mosaico (mosaic workshop):  poli & da prato | pietrasanta, italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

pietrasanta:  portale d’art (art portal)

ai weiwei: good fences make good neighbors

12 october 2017-11 february 2018

new york, NY

 

ai weiwei, the chinese artist, dissident, and activist, is building fences.

all over new york.

the city wide public art installation is so large that the sponsor, the non-profit public art fund, initiated a kickstarter campaign to help finance the project.

for the installation, the artist created fence themed sculptures for 17 public and private sites.  plus, 200 banners and 100+ documentary images to be installed on lamp posts, bus shelters, news stands, and advertising kiosks.

ai weiwei: good fences make good neighbors

rendering of the fence installation at doris c. freedman plaza | central park | 5th avenue and east 60th street | new york, NY

the plaza, which was named after the founder of the public art fund, has been the site of temporary art installations since 1977.

photo credit courtesy of ai weiwei studio/frahm & frahm and the public art fund via huffpost

the title of the exhibition is an excerpt from a poem by robert frost (1874-1963):

‘good fences make good neighbors.’

‘mending wall’ | north of boston | robert frost (1874-1963) | published in 1914

so, it seems ironic that the washington square (neighborhood) association is protesting the location of the ai weiwei fence installation in washington square park.

ai weiwei: good fences make good neighbors

rendering of the fence installation inside of washington square arch | washington square park | washington square north and 5th avenue | new york, NY

mckim, mead and white designed the arch, which was dedicated in 1895, to celebrate the centennial of the inauguration of president george washington.

photo credit courtesy of ai weiwei studio/frahm & frahm and the public art fund via huffpost

it also seems ironic that ai weiwei is fencing in the centerpiece of the 1964-1965 new york world’s fair, which had a theme of ‘peace through understanding’.

ai weiwei: good neighbors make good fences

rendering of the fence installation around the perimeter of the unisphere | flushing meadows-corona park | 111th street | queens, NY

landscape architect gilmore d. clarke (1892-1982) designed the unisphere for the 1964-1965 new york world’s fair.

photo credit courtesy of ai weiwei studio via vulture

when it was founded in 1859, the cooper union for the advancement of science and art revolutionized higher education by making it accessible to anyone.  both ai weiwei and the public art fund believe that art should be accessible to and experienced by everyone.  so, it seems unsurprising that they chose the cooper union as an installation site.  because of historical events that occurred in the great hall, the cooper union foundation building also symbolizes democracy, free speech, and equality.

ai weiwei: good fences make good neighbors

rendering of the fence installation on the facade of the foundation building | cooper union | 7 east 7th street  | new york, NY

designed by frederick a. peterson (1808-1885), the foundation building opened in 1858, one year before the opening of the cooper union.

photo credit via the public art fund

 

‘ai weiwei is unique in having combined the roles of

preeminent contemporary artist, political dissident, and human rights activist

in such a prominent and powerful way.’

-nicholas baume, director and chief curator, public art fund

 

for a complete list of installation sites,

click here to download the press release.

howard street entrance | san francisco museum of modern art (sfmoma)

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

matisse/diebenkorn, an art exhibition at the san francisco museum of modern art (sfmoma) from 11 march-29 may 2017, juxtaposes 40 works by french artist henri matisse (1869-1954) with 60 works by american artist richard diebenkorn (1922-1993) to suggest subjective, stylistic, chromatic, and technical connections between the two artists.

henri matisse (1869-1954) | goldfish and palette | oil on canvas | 1914

museum of modern art (moma) | new york, NY

photo credit (c) 2017 succession h. matisse / artists rights society (ARS), new york via the museum of modern art

richard diebenkorn (1922-1993) | urbana #6 | oil on canvas | 1953

modern art museum of fort worth | fort worth, TX

photo credit (c) richard diebenkorn foundation via the modern art museum of fort worth

henri matisse (1869-1954) | view of notre dame | oil on canvas | 1914

museum of modern art (moma) | new york, NY

photo credit (c) 2017 succession h. matisse / artists rights society (ARS), new york via the museum of modern art

richard diebenkorn (1922-1993) | ocean park #94 | oil and charcoal on canvas | 1976

cantor arts center at stanford university | palo alto, CA

photo credit (c) 2016 richard diebenkorn foundation via the getty museum

henri matisse (1869-1954) | a pink nude seated | oil on canvas | 1935

centre pompidou | paris, france

photo credit (c) succession h. matisse via henri-matisse.net

richard diebenkorn (1922-1993) | ocean park # 27 | oil and charcoal on canvas | 1970

brooklyn museum | brooklyn, NY

photo credit (c) richard diebenkorn foundation via the brooklyn museum

admiration?  inspiration?  or, emulation?

i recently returned from the most extraordinary trip to new york.  the primary purpose was to help a client select some artwork for their residential interior design project.

exceedingly successful.  and, exceptionally inspiring.

i spent most of the time that i wasn’t working gallery and museum hopping.  joan mitchell, john chamberlain, and sol lewitt in chelsea.  sean scully on the upper east side.  the breathtaking zao wou-ki abstract expressionist painting exhibition at asia society.  and at the whitney, the brilliant carmen herrera modernist painting exhibition.

i hope that you enjoy scrolling through the following posts as much as carmen herrera is enjoying having her first retrospective museum exhibition at the age of 101!

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joan mitchell:  drawing into painting

cheim & read | new york, NY

27 october-23 december 2016

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photo credits cheim & read

unfortunately, my trip to new york preceded the opening of joan mitchell:  drawing into painting.  fortunately, one of the gallery directors at cheim & read kindly presented a preview of available pastel on paper drawings for my client’s consideration.  which one do you prefer?

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joan mitchell ( 1925-1992) | untitled | pastel on paper | circa 1980-1990

photo credit cheim & read

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joan mitchell (1925-1992) | untitled | pastel on paper | 1991

photo credit cheim & read

no limits:  zao wou-ki

asia society | new york, ny

9 september 2016-8 january 2017

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zao wou-ki (1921-2013) | homage to chu yun—05.05.55 | oil on canvas | 1955 | private collection, switzerland

© zao wou-ki prolitteris, zurich | photo credit dennis bouchard via art summary

1967

zao wou-ki (1921-2013) | 09.07.67 | oil on canvas | 1967 | private collection, taiwan

© zao wou-ki/prolitteris, zurich | photo via asia society

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zao wou-ki (1921-2013) | 05.03.65—for my brother wu-wai | oil on canvas | 1965 | chao 2000 trust

© zao wou-ki prolitteris, zurich | photo credit michelle geoga via asia society

1976

zao wou-ki (1921-2013) | 13.01.76 | oil on canvas | 1976 | private collection, taiwan

© zao wou-ki/prolitteris, zurich | photo via asia society