the new york apartment (and art studio) of colombian artist, fernando botero.
900 park avenue | apartments 22D and 22E | new york, NY 10021
listed for US$6 million | sotheby’s international realty
photo credit yoo jean han via wsj.com
the new york apartment (and art studio) of colombian artist, fernando botero.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
the title of the exhibition is an excerpt from a poem by robert frost (1874-1963):
‘good fences make good neighbors.’
so, it seems ironic that the washington square (neighborhood) association is protesting the location of the ai weiwei fence installation in washington square park.
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’.
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 is unique in having combined the roles of
preeminent contemporary artist, political dissident, and human rights activist
in such a prominent and powerful way.’
for a complete list of installation sites,
click here to download the press release.
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.
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!
joan mitchell: drawing into painting
cheim & read | new york, NY
27 october-23 december 2016
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?