• innerspace | interior design blog

 

my husband, bob, and i could now consider ourselves cave dwellers.*

for two nights, at il palazzotto, our hotel in matera, italy.

 suite number 3 | il palazzotto residence & winery | matera | MT | italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

matera is located in the basilicata region of italy (the ‘arch’ of the italian ‘boot’).

west of puglia (the ‘heel’ of the italian ‘boot’).

maps via unesco and isassidimatera.com

 

il palazzotto is located in the historic city center (centro storico) of matera, in the sasso barisano district.

the cave dwellings in the sasso barisano and sasso caveoso districts of matera, which have been continuously occupied since the stone age, are part of the most outstanding, intact example of a troglodyte settlement in the mediterranean region.

in addition to the sassi di matera (stones of matera), the unesco world heritage site includes the parco delle chiese rupestri di materano (park of the rock churches of matera), which also dates to the palaeolithic period.  the rock churches are located across the gravina di matera (ravine of matera) that separates the sasso caveoso from the murgia plateau.  so, the national park is also known as the parco della murgia materana (the park of the murgia of matera).

the entire troglodyte settlement covers an area of 1016 hectares (approximately 2500 acres), and includes about 1000 cave dwellings and around 150 rock churches.

the civita district in the centro storico of matera, which dates to the 13th century, is also part of the unesco world heritage site.

view of matera

foreground | il palazzoto in the sasso barisano district
background | the piazza duomo, the duomo (cathedral), and the campanile (bell tower) in the civita district
photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

 

views of the sasso barisano district

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

views of the sasso caveoso district

left | the (unfinished) castello tramontano
center | the campanile in the piazza duomo
right | the rock churches of san giovanni in monterrone and santa maria de idris
photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

in the sasso caveoso district, there are more cave dwellings.

while, in the sasso barisano district, there are more palaces and houses.

 

before and after.

cave dwellings in the sasso caveoso district

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

matera is also a popular movie location.

while we were visiting, they were filming the new james bond movie, no time to die starring daniel craig.

piazza san pietro caveoso

the film crew was just finishing their 11:00 am gelato break
photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

a rope bridge crosses the ravine that separates the sasso caveoso district from the parco della murgia materana.

chiuso (closed).

views of the parco della murgia materana

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

most of the rock churches in the national park are also closed.

nine of them can be visited via guided tour.  three of them are visible through protective grills.

map via ceamatera.it

 

so, we decided that the rock churches and the grottoes in the national park were best appreciated from the sasso caveoso side of the ravine.

views of the grottoes and the belvedere in the parco della murgia materana from sasso caveoso

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

from the belvedere in the national park, the views of the sassi di matera are supposedly spectacular.

but, we decided that we preferred to explore the centro storico on foot.

 

from the piazza duomo in the civita district, the views of the sassi di matera are also spectacular.

views of the sassi di matera from the piazza duomo in the civita district

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

 

*fortunately, bob and i didn’t dine like cave dwellers.

we paid chef nicola popolizio at ristorante ego our highest compliment.

 ego reminded us of joia, our long time favorite restaurant in milano, when chef pietro leemann was still cooking full time.

talented, passionate, creative, playful, and friendly…

gli autumn della mia giovinezza (the autumns of my youth)

photo credit egogourmet

 

ristorante ego-enoteca gourmet origini | via stigliani | matera | MT | italy

photo credit egogourmet

 

do you believe that fashion trends and interior design trends are related?

if so, then based on the spring 2020 women’s ready-to-wear collections in milan and paris, jungle and tropical prints and colors are on trend.

noir kei ninomiya | spring 2020 ready-to-wear | 27 september 2019 | paris, france

looks 1, 31, and 34
hats by azuma makoto made of ferns, palms, and moss
photos courtesy of noir kei ninomiya via vogue

 

valentino | spring 2020 ready-to-wear | 29 september 2019 | paris, france

looks 29, 40, 34, and 48
naive jungle prints inspired by 19th-century artist henri rousseau
photo credits filippo fior / gorunway.com via vogue

 

dolce & gabbana | spring 2020 ready-to-wear | 22 september 2019 | milan, italy

looks 25, 26, 118, and 24
sicilian jungle prints
photo credits filippo fior / gorunway.com via vogue

 

mezzanine | the greenbriar hotel | white sulphur springs, WV

renovated by dorothy draper during the 1940’s | refreshed by her protégé carleton varney in 2007

brazillance wallpaper | dorothy draper(r) fabrics & wallcoverings

designed by dorothy draper for the arrowhead springs hotel | san bernadino, CA | 1937
photo credits dorothy draper & company and the greenbriar via facebook

 

one word could describe many of the award winning show gardens at the 2019 chelsea flower show:

naturalistic

 

rhs chelsea flower show

21-25 may 2019

royal hospital chelsea | london | united kingdom

the m&g garden

best show garden | gold medal winner | rhs chelsea flower show | 2019

designed by andy sturgeon | built by crocus | sponsored by m&g investments

photo credit rhs

 

the layers of naturalistic gardens could be compared to the levels of natural habitats.

family monsters garden

best artisan garden | gold medal winner | rhs chelsea flower show | 2019

designed by alistair bayford | built by idverde | sponsored by idverde family action

photo credit via rhs

 

naturalistic gardens, like the new perennial movement gardens and meadows of dutch landscape designer, piet oudolf, could also be considered eco-friendly.  and, could also be described as wild.  or, painterly.  or, dreamscapes.

country living magazine described the 2019 morgan stanley garden as:  paint[ed] with plants’.

chris beardshaw, the designer of the garden, ‘paints’ by building up layers of plants.  and, by repeating plants in three or more places.  the repetition of colors and textures creates visual connections within the garden as well as continuous circulation through out the garden.

the morgan stanley garden

gold medal winner | rhs chelsea flower show | 2019

designed by chris beardshaw | built by chris beardshaw ltd | sponsored by morgan stanley

photo credit paula mcwaters via country living

 

i am now reading ‘joan mitchell: lady painter’ after seeing joan mitchell:  i carry my landscapes around with me at david zwirner gallery in new york.

mitchell’s method was also additive.  her technique was physical.  and, she painted spontaneously.  yet, she would stop to contemplate the structure of the composition, and the relationship between the colors, before adding another layer of paint.

 

“the painting has to work,’ joan believed,

‘but it has to say something more than that the painting works.”

-from mitchell paints a picture‘, an article from artnews by irving sandler, originally published in october 1957

joan mitchell (1925-1992) | posted | 1977 | collection walker art center | minneapolis, MN

photo credit (c) estate of joan mitchell via david zwirner

 

what do you think makes a design ‘work’?

 

joan mitchell: i carry my landscapes around with me

an exhibition of the artist’s panoramic, multi-paneled paintings

at david zwirner gallery in new york, ny

from  3 may-22 june 2019

 

front gallery | david zwirner | new york, NY

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

 

from ‘to joan mitchell’

 

‘…like her great canvas

in four panels,

continuous field so charged

as to fill the room in which it hangs

with an inaudible humming,

as if to erase the gallery over which it triumphs…’

-from ‘to joan mitchell’, a poem from ‘fire to fire: new and selected poems by mark doty

 

joan mitchell (1925-1992) | la seine | oil on canvas in four (4) parts | 1967

governor nelson a. rockefeller empire state plaza art collection, new york state, office of general services

one of mitchell’s first quadriptychs

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

in 1968, joan mitchell moved her primary studio from the city of paris to the french countryside.

 

‘with the move to vétheuil, joan’s paintings had grown larger, more expansive, and more often multi-paneled. 

at [rue] fremicourt [her studio in paris from 1958-1968] she had first become serious about diptychs and triptychs as a way of making large paintings in a small studio. 

bigger but never big enough, vétheuil could accommodate at most two moderately sized adjacent panels, no higher than nine feet two inches, however; because of the ceiling beams.

…the restrictions on width meant that she could not view large multi-paneled paintings-in-progress in their entirety but, rather, had to put the parts together in her mind.’

-from joan mitchell, lady painter by patricia albers (page 326)

 

joan mitchell (1925-1992) | rivière | oil on canvas in two (2) parts | 1990

collection of the joan mitchell foundation

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

joan mitchell (1925-1992) | minnesota | oil on canvas in four (4) parts | 1980

collection of the joan mitchell foundation

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

‘in the dyptychs and triptychs she grappled with likeness and difference,

wholeness and parts. 

moreover, the panels served as forms to go up against,

like stanzas in lyric poetry,

which also weds structure to emotional release.’

-from joan mitchell, lady painter by patricia albers (page 326)

 

joan mitchell (1925-1992) | untitled | oil on canvas in two (2) parts | 1972

collection of the joan mitchell foundation

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

‘joan’s favorite multi-panel format was the horizontal triptych composed of vertical modules;

she loved the way the cool vertical cuts between the panels undermined the landscape effect

and loved too everything she could make happen around those vertical cuts.’ 

 

‘unlike most artists, joan drew vertically, making use of the weight and drag mark of her hand.’

-from joan mitchell, lady painter by patricia albers (pages 326 and 357)

 

joan mitchell (1925-1992) | untitled | oil on canvas in three (3) parts | 1974-1975

private collection, minneapolis, MN

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

north gallery | david zwirner | new york, NY

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

 

in addition to her unusual technique, joan was not only eidetic, but also synesthetic, which affected her memory, her perception, and therefore her art.

she saw letters in color.  so, her perception of poetry was visual, as well as narrative.

she heard sounds in color.  so, she painted to classical or jazz music.

even people (or pets) emanated color.  so, when painting an homage to a loved one, such as her former psychoanalyst and long-time friend, edrita fried (1911-1981), she strategically selected the appropriate colors.

 

‘for the analyst’s daughter, jacqueline fried, in any case, the painting’s oranges nail her mother’s energy and rage, and its blues, her profound sadness. 

‘edrita fried’ appeared in the 1983 whitney biennial, which jaqui attended. 

when the museum’s elevator doors opened to reveal this twenty-six-foot-wide painting,

jaqui jumped, ‘because it was as if my mother were standing there…it was really my mother!’

-from joan mitchell: lady painter by patricia albers (page 367)

 

joan mitchell (1925-1992) | edrita fried | oil on canvas in four (4) parts | 1981

collection of the joan mitchell foundation

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

joan mitchell (1925-1992) | row row | oil on canvas in two (2) parts | 1982

collection of the joan mitchell foundation

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

joan mitchell (1925-1992) | untitled | oil on canvas in two (2) parts | 1992

collection of the joan mitchell foundation

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

her ‘photographic memory’ was not only visual, but also auditory, sensual, and emotional, not unlike virtual reality.

sometimes, she painted in cycles, from memories of the seine river, rivers and trees, fields and territories, or sunflowers.

 

joan mitchell (1925-1992) | sunflowers | oil on canvas in two (2) parts | 1991

collection of the joan mitchell foundation

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

‘i carry my landscapes around with me.

-joan mitchell (1925-1992)

-from mitchell paints a picture‘, an article from artnews by irving sandler, originally published in october 1957
click here to read the article

 

more highlights from our art filled pre-holiday day trip to los angeles…

2 (of 3) exhibitions by chinese artist and human rights activist, ai weiwei.

 

ai weiwei: zodiac

29 september 2018-5 january 2019

jeffrey dietch gallery | los angeles, ca

 

installation view

ai weiwei | stools | 5929 wooden stools from the ming (1368-1644) and qing (1644-1911) dynasties | 2013

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

ai weiwei life cycle

28 september 2018-3 march 2018

marciano art foundation (maf) | los angeles, ca

 

installation view

ai weiwei | sunflower seeds | 49 tons of porcelain sunflower seeds | 2010

ai weiwei | spouts | thousands of teapot spouts dating as far back as the song dynasty (960-1279) | 2015

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

closed:

cao/humanity

4 october-1 december 2018

united talent agency (uta) artist space | beverly hills, ca

 

installation view

photo credit uta artist space via artsy