Loos Loosely \\ Jonathan Henry

•February 28, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Initial investigation into the writings and work of Adolf Loos led me to believe that his hatred for ornament and frivolity was immense. Yet through further inquiry, the heart of Loos’ intent was to find a true and appropriate architecture for the time. First and foremost, I understand the yearning for the quantification and qualification of the zeitgeist, but what is most essential to gain from the writings of Loos is that the act of design must be undertaken with an understanding of contemporary architecture’s issues and the state of the society within which it works.

Villa Muller - Adolf Loos 1930

Villa Muller - Adolf Loos 1930

Loos likes to make a distinction between the fields of art and architecture. He sees the main factor of separation through the intended functionality of each. Art is created with no functionality in mind. To say that, means that when art is sold or commodified that it ceases to be art. Arts function is not that of the object to be owned and traded but as the medium for arousing the emotions of the audience. Therefore regardless of the emotions being conveyed, if the art is conveying anything at all within the realm of emotion, whether it be disgust, lust, fear, play, banality or sadness, then art is doing its job.

Architecture on the other hand has an extremely specific functionality to its definition. Architectures function is to enclose space and it attempts to comfortably accommodate a structural need within the most efficiently functional manner as possible. While art has the freedom to express and convey any message the artist deems fit, it is the sole responsibility of the architect to create comfort. While art is responsible to no one, architecture is responsible to the client.

It is in this dichotomy that I must first make my grievance. After the protests of the Situationist and more importantly the Dadaists, arts function has continually come into question.  This is especially so within the art realm of sculpture.

Stan Allen, dean of the School of Architecture at Princeton University,  describes the ambiguity of the line between sculpture and architecture through the critical associations of each. By suggesting a building is sculptural detonates a figural aspect of the design. Through the suggestion that sculpture is architectural is to denote the presence of tectonic form.  While these fields might differ, using one to talk about another provided the vocabulary to link the effect of one to the other. Rosalind Krauss, art critic and theorist based at Clolumbia University, sees this process taking shape because of the critic’s use of historicism.  Things that appear new and avant-garde are made to feel safer, comfortable and digestible with the assistance of historical precedent.  The ability to see the line from boy to man allows society to better accept the actions of the man. While the bounds of contemporary architecture are continually shifting further outside their socially held definitions, the use of fields outside their own becomes a necessity for the shift to remain viable.

Having the contemporary lines of art and architecture blurred places the functionality of one into the field of the other.  This most directly affects the field of architecture and its internal definition.  Even Loos is able to begin to breakdown his delineation of the two definition but does so only for architecture of specified function.  He sites in his essay ‘Architecture’ that, “Only very small parts of architecture belongs to art: the tomb and the monument.” But he goes on to state, “Everything else that fulfils a function is to be excluded from the domain of art.”  Loos’ exceptions are made because of the tomb and the monument act in the service of evoking various emotions through respective external appearances.  He also sees these two programs as functioning in the visual plane because they lack an internal functionality.

Loos in a sense becomes a proponent of the moniker “Form follows function.” stated by Ludvig Von Mies Van der Rohe.  Loos advocated architectures necessity to truth.  He believes that architecture must not only efficiently function, but it must also be recognized as itself.  In his essay “Architecture” he gives the example

“When we find a mound in the woods, six feet long and three feet wide, raised to a pyramid form by means of a spade, we become serious and something in us says: someone was buried here. That is architecture.” (A.Loos)

Here we see the effects of architecture to convey both emotion and sensibility.  Yet as a rebuttal to the Post modernists, we have seen a social understanding of the non-necessity of a buildings form to impart subconscious understanding of its function.  I myself had at one time attended a church that had no naive, had not towers and had no bells.  My one time church was located in a brown field abandoned strip mall.  Every day we see revived old factories, the place of production being converted into high-end trendy lofts.  We even see churches and tabernacles once held in reverence by society as a house of god, fitted and adjusted slightly to be utilized as concert venues for the music that, more than likely, would have be admonished by the very audience that housed the pews.  What used to be the job of the architect has become the job of the marketer?  When the bank needed to look like it was a place of security and a place of stability, it was the architect’s job to convey the message, but now with the FDIC insured (maybe not so much now considering the timing) and the proliferation of the Automatic Teller Machines, it is no longer a message needed to be conveyed.  Architectures permanence is continually challenged and so too should the forms that it takes.

Another layer of information that the architect has at their disposal is the use of decoration and ornament.  Loos make note to differentiate ornamentation and decoration.  He allows the use of decoration as a means to appease the client.  Ornamentation, defined by Loos, is the excessive use of decoration.  When the architect’s use of decoration has surpassed its necessity to create a sense of comfort for the client, it moves into the realm of ornamentation.  Referring back to our classical view of ornamentation, ornament seeks to be subservient to the truth of the structure and never stifle or conceal it.  Here too Loos has a definite view.  These views stem from his understanding of function at the heart of architectures definition.  Loos quotes Leon Battista Alberti’s definition of beauty in his article ‘Furniture for Sitting’ as, “An object that is so perfect that one can neither add to it nor take away from it without harming it is beautiful.” This is said in an effort to display the manner in which ornament might detract from the beauty of a building.  Decoration for decorations sake is pointless and worthless.

Loos make a distinction that is worth noting, and will be the point of reference for our future explorations. In “Vernacular Art”, he states that

“The house should be discrete on the outside; its entire richness should be disclosed on the inside” (AL)

With this statement Loos narrows the scope of decoration to the interior of the building. Loos sees the exterior of the building being in service to society.  In the era of his capitulations on the role of architecture, his state of mind was in contrast to the excessive and ornamental designs of those being produces by most of the turn-of-the-century architects in Vienna. His statement therefore allows those designed to express themselves and the will of their clients on the interior of their homes. But when it comes to the exterior, society at large should conform to one another and maintain an edict of stability and restraint. Restraint is what was currently missing from his Viennese society.  But how do we rediscover the concerns of Loos and implement his suggestions in the contemporary society that is not too distant from the one he criticized.

I would propose first that the melding of architecture with other professions allows architecture to respond to the concerns and solutions of other fields and incorporate the knowledge into theirs. These interests may have at one time not been of concern to the architect but with the speed of information and the instability of design intent it has become the architect’s responsibility to reflect on the current coexisting fields of art, politics, science, theology etc to forge a comprehensive design reflecting society’s density of information.  The current trends towards excessive decoration (ornament) is a reflection of the over load of sensation that occurs in our urban areas.  While in Loos’s day the use of architecture was to support the authoritative figure of the government and society and give permanence to each.  In contemporary society, architecture reflects not the socialist agenda but the capitalist system. While Loos draws the distinction from the interior to the exterior and their respective responsibilities in culture, our current culture has fundamentally changed.  Not only has society changed but so has the topology of the program.  If Loos would extend his statement outside the home and into the un-delineated public space of the capitalist mall, what would he suggest?


The Cosemetician \\ Jonathan Henry

•February 28, 2010 • Leave a Comment

In Jeff Kipnis’s article “The Cunning of Cosmetics”, he differentiates the practice of ornamentation and the act of cosmetics as two modes of surface articulation.  After reviewing the article entitled “Herzog et DeMeuron: Minimalismus und Ornament”, by Nikolaus Kuhnert, Kipnis emphasizes the elements with which minimalism and ornament are both very different ideas yet they come together in the work of HdM and manifest a new cosmetic way of surface articulation.

So this combination begs the question of how! How can you be both minimal and ornamental at the same time?  A shining example in HdM’s work is that of the Signal Box.  On first sight the Signal Box is a cube, a minimalist mass that defines the word minimalism.  Special care was taken by HdM in ignoring the possibilities for the site to influence the project.  Most contemporary architects that utilize context as a generative process of form would have jumped on the chance to explore

“the fact that the signal station belongs to remote networks and inter-urban infrastructures and, therefore, that its architecture should be conceived more in terms of flows and intensities…” (J.Kipnis)

Signal Box - Herzog & De Meuron

Signal Box - Herzog & De Meuron

Instead of using vector primitive masses of formless geometry, due to the lacking demands of human inhabitation and the relatively stark conditions of the surrounding site, HdM pushes the rectilinear figure you see today, into the site.  But what differentiates this monolithic cube from pure minimalism is the surface treatment.  This articulated surface of copper ribbons functions as ornamental architecture, but Kipnis would suggest that is also undermines the very definition of ornamentation.

Kipnis sets forth a definition, or affect of ornamentation by stating, “Ornaments attach as discreet entities to the body, like jewelry, reinforcing the structure and integrity of the body as such.”   In this manner ornamentations responsibility is to the structure and integrity of the body, of which is constituted by the architecture.  If we reflect back on the classical notions of ornamentation as can be read in Styles of Ornamentation, by Alexander Speltz, we see the limit of the definition of ornamentation.

“The art of ornamentation therefore, stands in intimate relationship with material, purpose, form, and style.” (A. Speltz)

“Lightly understood, the conformation of an ornament should be in keeping with the form and structure of the object which it adorns should be in complete subordination to it, and should never stifle or conceal it.” (A. Speltz)

From this definition we are left to wonder, and rightfully so, how does ornament work on a minimal form? When the form, style, and structure of the ornamented is void of the nuances that breed ornament, where does this ornament come from? Or better yet, can Hdm treatment of the Signal Box surface be considered ornament? The easy answer is of course, NO. This is why Kipnis understands that ornament is not the right term for the conditions that HdM is exploring.  He makes his point through the use of analogy.

“Cosmetics are erotic camouflage; they relate always and only to the skin, to particular regions of skin. Deeply, intricately material, cosmetics nevertheless exceed materiality to become modern alchemicals as the trans-substantiate skin into image, desirous or disgusting.” (J.Kipnis)

Cosmetics are the realm of the creator and are framed on the skin.  Although it is necessary to have the body as host, its intentionality is to work on the exterior surface.  Such is the case of HdM Signal Box.  The surrounding copper case is an artificial surface.  The true surface of the space inside the box is held within, just slightly hiding, out of sight behind the cosmetic facade.  HdM creates this canvas in order to give place for their acrobatics to occur.

HdM utilizes their love for the minimalist when creating the form for their cosmetics.  This is most appropriately done through the use of the denuded form of the cube.  The featureless faces of the minimalist shape helps to emphasize the subtle articulation that occurs.  Kipnis explains this by returning to the roots of cosmology.  The cosmetician wants the “gaunt featureless visage”, a kind of minimal body/face from which to work, in order to demonstrate the true power of their work.  So is the approach of HdM.  This moves the reading of the building from that of the form to that of pure surface engendered affect.

The title of the article that initiated the retrospection of Kipnis, “Minimalismus und Ornament”, sets the stage for another layer of discourse in the field of surface architecture.  While ornament can only enhance the form, cosmetic treatment will negate it.  While ornamentation becomes subjugated to the body, cosmetics in some sense, becomes the body.  Cosmetics redefine the relationship of the surface to the figure and remove the surface from being the figuration of the body.  The surface becomes the affective manifestation of the new figure.  But let’s take for example a form that is not articulated.

Say we take from the headlines one of the ever so popular vector primitive forms that is being created now.  Featureless and gaunt, the new white box becomes the vector primitive shapes.  When attempting to articulate the surfaces, adding affect to the affectionless gestures does this become ornament, cosmetics, or something new all together?

In an article in TIME entitled Cosmetic Architecture, circa 1963, at the beginnings of the minimalist movement there were cries for differentiated forms.  The postwar period brought with it the standardization of the high-rise into towers of curtain walled glass.  This is the manner which has been circumvented in contemporary designs.  Although we are starting to vary the forms of our urban cityscapes the realm of cosmetics should not be relegated to the minimalist form. Paul Rudolph, once dean of the Yale school of Architecture, emphatically decrees,

“It’s not a question of beauty. It’s a matter of significant form.  There is something in human beings which demands that we sense the support and the supported–even though it may be sheathed with other materials, and decorated.  Look at the difference between these bland cosmetic boxes and a Gothic cathedral, where every last rib and column is structural.” (P. Rudolph)

This should not be misinterpreted as a need for structuralism.  Rather his remarks, although dated should emphasize forms unique ability to derive difference and give potential to the figure.  When both the form and the ornament/cosmetics work in harmony, one not subjugated to the other, the seamless transition from form to surface articulation will allow a scalar shift linked to the users proximity to the building.  This will achieve an active form and active surface and an active audience.

A Summary and Conclusion to “Architectural Formalism and the Demise of the Linguistic Turn” \\ Jonathan Henry

•February 28, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The stage of architectural theory was inevitable after the end of Modernism. As a rebuttal to the lofty intents of the international style, Post Modernism grew. As the edict of CIAM (Congres International d’Architecture Moderne) laid down the rules and regulations required to consider ones work as having a place in the ‘modern’ prose, the necessity of society to break this mold became palpable. Designers, and the society at large, searched for messages and meanings in the faceless buildings of the International style. The question of “how we understand the world?” and “how do we manifest back onto it?” continued to trouble those that found no value in this modern aesthetic. Philosophers were hard at work postulating theories about mental cognition and how we interact with the world. This was to be the only way to infuse any legibility into architecture. The map they drew became the concrete basis for the shift from Modernism to Post Modernism.

Although our search for the truth in cognition has been worked on by philosophers and scientists alike, ever since the self actualized ego was born, it wasn’t until name such as Derrida and Heidegger, in the 80’s, came along that philosophical cognition was to be understood as a totally verbal assemblage. They believed that language was not only used in verbal communication but was also the very essence of cognitive thought. They suggested that all knowledge and all mental capacity originate from language and the ontological classifications of the tangible and intangible. This new thought on though became wildly popular and gave the Post Modernists the ammunition they needed to communicate their designs.

Soon, as this new understanding of humanity purveyed through society, all fields took up its cause. As the concepts ran their course, one by one, fields of research began finding holes and uneasy situations that the philosophy had no clear answer to.

Culture is an important part of our understandings of the times, ie Zeitgeist. As culture changed so did our understanding of the importance of visual imagination.  Even though other fields worked on these issues, architecture was stuck until the widespread use of the computer allowed architects to visualize their designs in new methods.  First let’s see where the rest of the fields began and how architecture eventually caught up.

“With that demise, the belief in language as the vehicle of thought (as opposed to understanding language as the mere vehicle of communication) lost its credibility and, as a result, formalism in aesthetics, visual imagination in psychology, and internationalism in historiography became viable and credible theoretical positions.” (B.Mitrovic p. 18)

During the 1970’s scientists diverged from populist topics and continued to pursue a deeper understanding of cognition. Meanwhile the philosophers and their converts were happy to become squatters in the house of linguistics. What the science community did was to begin exploring the role that visual imagination plays in our understanding of our world. The cracks in the wall began with an experiment conducted that sought to test human capacity of imagination (a mental model of the world). The experiment called for each participant to visualize a given geometric shape. They were then asked to rotate the shape and decipher the resultant shape. It took participants twice as long to rotate a shape 180 degree than it did to rotate 90 degrees. These tests concluded one result with two different explanations.

The first is that this imagined transformation occurs visually in our mind and needed some medium with which to translate, maybe even words (linguistic model). The second concluded that the transformation occurs because of our innate understanding of how object behave in space, either from intimate knowledge of these circumstances, or through primal knowledge of our environment and required no medium (visual imagination model or mental model). This mental model suggests that out knowledge of physical events invades our visual imagination. A good way to illustrate this point is by proving the negative, that without a physical basis we cannot imagine events that can be verbalized. Mitrovic illustrates this through the thought experiment of imagining a nine corner cube.  While the words make sense and we might even believe that such a thing is possible, it is impossible to create the mental image in our minds. This is where we will have to break the mold of monocognition and implement a polycongitive state. Our minds cannot function on linguistics alone if we are able to use words to create conditions our mind has no ability to comprehend.

While the scientific field continued to broaden our understanding of cognitive imagination, architecture took up the linguistic torch and ran, rarely looking back. Soon the overwhelming adoption of linguistic principals in architecture created a stifled search for other answers. The outcome of this concretized rhetoric was to secure the place in architectural discourse for the hegemonic control of the ‘parti ‘as a driver of designs. Architecture became a place where legibility of the concept, through linguistic communication, becomes the litmus test for projects in all design fields.

Changes in technology reflect changes in representation. Until the renaissance perspectives and building sections were not able to be understood until the technology of their representation was unlocked.

In the early 90’s widespread use of the computer began to change the way we think about architecture and specifically the cognition of architecture. There were new requirements to produce modes of representation that convey new spatial qualities. Axons, perspectives, and sections could not be used in the way they had been but must be appropriated to a new cognitive role. These shifting sands revived some concepts that had all but died during the linguistic brainwash. Computers coupled with this cognitive shift coalesce into the revived interest in a visual spatial imagination within the architecture community. While the computer was not the first spark of this new cognitive reality, it did mark the shift in its adoption by the architectural community.

“Rather than replacing the visual means of architectural communication with nonvisual ones, the digital revolution introduced technology for developing a completely new generation of visual, analogous media that have revolutionized the way architects deal with the spatial properties of their work.” (BM p. 18)

Architecture is a slave and a building block, no pun intended, to our cognition of the world. As architects we use the people in the world to bring life to our designs/buildings. By embracing the newly accepted duality of cognition (visual imagination and innate understanding of physical properties) we must also come to terms with the difference. In architecture there are concepts that can only be experienced through words, such as program, function [linguistic intent], then there are concepts that can only be conveyed through visualization; space, atmospheric effect and complex form [mental model]. You can describe the golden ratio in words but the beauties of its effects are not empathetically felt until it is visualized. The same way that our imagination is reliant on the way we have experienced our world, so too is the visual effects that architecture creates.

The visualizations come from specific and verbalized conditions of the architecture. “The architecture is beautiful because…” “The architecture is grotesque because…” The answers to these questions are verbal visible attributes. Without our visual imagination created we would have nothing to back up these statements. These statements differ from the Linguistic statements which presume formal processes becoming legible. Our new understanding is that form is meant to be visually imagined and not process driven.

With the loss of linguistics as a driving factor, architecture recoiled to favor theory. Theory requires justification out of architecture. It requires verbal narratives to evaluate the architecture, effectively circumventing and role that visual cognitive properties could play in design. The last bastions of linguistics found safe haven in the necessity for justification of architectural design. Its justification found in its theoretical intent.

Now it is understood that architecture needs a driving force, maybe even a linguistically slanted force that drives designs to be understood as visual and aesthetic objects that utilizes visual imagination. Notions such as beauty and aesthetics are only conceived through visual imagination. While they can be described through linguistic means, they cannot be imagined without our mental model. We can describe a beautiful building that is no longer around or has never been built. This beauty only can be recreated in real time through our imagination. The requirement of physicality is not even necessary.

The physical building is a tool to relay spatial composition. The example of the Parthenon and its tweaked physicality give the visual effect of continuity of the façade, while the physicality of the façade uses varied diameter columns and uneven plinths. The physical building is not the aesthetic object of the building, but is an assistant to the visual imagination. Imagination compensates for visual physicality. Take for example the effects of perspective on the eye. The view is understood in the brain and allows us to draw a planar façade without viewing it as such.  Our imaginative capabilities do not run linguistically or verbally. These images are manifestations into our visual imagination. This imagination derived from our physical world but required a visual interpretation to allow spatial cognition. This we can call a ‘mental model’ and it comprises a total understanding of the object and not just a single vantage we are presented. Architecture is not like paintings. They require a visual imagination to produce three dimensionality, where paintings capitalize on a single vantage point.

A mental model has always been present in our cognition of physical objects or represented objects, as through renderings or spatial diagrams, but the ability to utilize and capitalize on this cognition has stifled through the social theoretical slant towards linguistics.

For more on the role of representation in architecture please refer to my previous post.

After the evolution of linguistics, after the much needed jolt provided by the digital revolution, architecture is now situated to take advantage of the concepts that have been brewing under the surface for a long time. Architecture has the capacity to utilize linguistics and visual imagination/mental model to convey the intent behind their designs. What architecture must deal with now is the misunderstanding that the built environment is the only means of accomplishment for the architectural designer. Means of cultural theory, digital exploration and more importantly the ability for the image to convey meaning all become tools in the architectural tool box. What ‘Log 17’ advocates it a lowering of the public’s pretentiousness towards the manifested object of the building and embarrassing a multi faceted and even indefinable scope for all designs.

Mirrovic suggest that, “architecture need not produce any particular ‘movement’ or ‘avant-garde,’ but, more profoundly, they cannot fail to result in a reconfiguration of the field of architectural theory and praxis, and ultimately determine new means of theorizing architecture.”(BM p.20)

Because the culture is so connected to our cognition we must not hold ourselves solely to the realm of architecture but allow ourselves to become reconfigures of society itself. It is not enough to limit ourselves to the built environment, but we must change the cognition of our world to reflect our interests. Every step further in our understanding in how we internalize our external world is one more way we, as designers, can present the concepts and ideas we have.

The Supernatural World in Which I Am Professionally Involved \\ Gordon Terry

•February 22, 2010 • Leave a Comment
a refusal of the materialist insistence on surface and plane

A Refusal of the Materialist Insistence on Surface and Plane-Gordon Terry

Most would view Terry’s work as revived psychedelic imagery. They would describe it as a drug laden trip through the subconscious primordial essence of humanism. They would say that the colors, mimic the LSD flashbacks and of this post lovechild generation. With the titles of the work as ammunition, they might go so far as to seek for an understanding of how socially conscious his works are and where to place him within the ‘save the world mentality’. But I read his work little differently and this is okay. He himself says that this multiply ontological work allows for

“There’s always a confusion implied between my materials and the way I manipulate them. The sterile, sleek, refined and clinical qualities of my cast, molded, and spilled acrylic polymers are filtered through the fluid, the organic, the chaotic, and the ornamental. Categorical shifts like these are very meaningful to me–much more so than the actual choice of physical material. I’m fascinated by the ways in which, for instance, my paintings can reference at once psychedelia, science fiction, modernism, the rococo, decadence, and hermetic texts–wholesome, natural beauty, and toxic, synthetic glamour.” – Gordon Terry

Bordering on the line between photography, sculpture, and painting, the sheer size of the works begs the viewer for closer inspection. Stand at the right distance away and your peripheral vision falls off and you get sucked into an alien universe with alien worlds.  While Nicholas Di Genova controls what happens on our planet, Terry dictates what happens in the seas and in the stars.

More than subject matter and perceived narrative, the technically created depth of information and texture of the work is where the real power lies. With the contents lack of formal associations, the work produces affective visual imagination. There is no understanding of process or procedure. There is no mental model or linguistic communication going on. The images produce pure atmosphere.

Not all the landscapes are as organic as the others. Some of these pieces have the hint of artistic intent, direction, and composition. Others have the law of physics and chemistry on their side during their formation. No matter the circumstances that give rise to each of the pieces, the colors and atmosphere created beg to be explored at various distances and for various lengths of time. When viewing one of this pieces that have multiple pieces on them it is very easy to spend hours scanning and focusing on all the content held within.

I truly believe that this is the mark of a good design! Having the ability to continually engage the audience on multiple levels and at multiple scales makes the art always giving. Never with the art ask for anything in return but your free time, attention and focus.

Blue Field Entropic Phenomenon-Gordon Terry

Often Originating with intelligent forces at present unknown to us-gORDON tERRY

Often Originating With Intelligent Forces at Present Unknown To Us - Gordon Terry

The Conscious Reconciliation of Opposing Forces-Gordon Terry

Sky Observes Time-Gordon Terry

Depleted Aristocrats, Marginal Poets, Unhealthy Socialites, and Other Deviants-Gordon Terry

Drifting Dream \\ Theo Tagholm

•February 5, 2010 • 2 Comments

I have read several posts on this video and the major consensus is that no one can quite describe what is going on. The effect is produced from blending and morphing from one image to another in a kind of smooth stop-motion style movie. While the technicality of the effect is impressive so too is the resultant film.

As the movie plays notice the way that the background moves slowly, if at all, while the foreground flashes with activity. This schizophrenic split vision ephemeral drunken haze worms its way through London and solidifies the tallest structures in the land as iconic characters of your dream. While the surrounding midrise towers dance, the stone faced high rises smile to you like the Mona Lisa, whose ghostly eyes follow you around the room. The film seems to support the concept of the ‘derive’, coming from the Situationist dogma from the turn of the century. The plot arc follows the urging of your subconscious decision making, pulling and pushing your journey at will.

The sum total of a place is created through the identity we give it. If you close your eyes and think of a city you once lived in, the scene is populated with locations that are linked to encounters and events from your past. The way we cognate the mental version of the city is through loose interpretations of these past events. In the events the architecture will always be present. Through the ‘derive’ we turn off our plans and schedules and let the city call the shot as we explore. This is a type of daytime dream. A drifting dream.

Drift from mustardcuffins on Vimeo.

Sourced from Theo Tagholm

Secrets of Biodiversity \\ Nicholas Di Genova

•February 3, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Imagine a world, a bizzaro world, where incest has run rampant. Each species bumping uglys with one another, time and time again until all that is left is a collage of the world we once knew. Nicholas Di Genova lives in this world. His work imagines the possible outcomes of such events. No one should wait for Darwinism to take effect when we can peer into these drawings and get a sense of things to come. Genova is a kind of crypto zoologist but growing impatient with others to find his creations he hypothesizes them himself.

What is especially interesting is his attempt to explain the genealogy of the species. Through his surrounding family trees you get a glimpse into the origins of each creature, their siblings and close family members. Sometimes Genova creates monsters and sometimes they are friends. But if we look further into the artwork and past the content is where the real interest lies

Each creature creates a form. As we move closer into the drawing we are able to read the natural textures of the beasts, the scales, the hair, the skin and the horns. Then we move in once more into the scene and we discover the artistic prowess. The textures rendered into each patch of free space gives the entire composition its contrast and its life.

Cerberus-Nicholas Di Genova

Study012-Nicholas Di Genova

Study015-Nicholas Di Genova

grid mammal - Nicholas Di Genova

Sourced from Skeleton Hug

Viral Paper \\ Charles Clary

•February 1, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Codastic Infestation - Charles Clary

Viral Paper // Charles Clary

These following works are three dimensionally complex. The artist Charles Clary uses paper as his medium to create these organically topographic objects in space. Each begs the audience to layer their Affective verbage on the artwork in an attempt to describe the formal acrobatics occurring.

I find that the first images I came across from this artist were what seemed to be two dimensional forms digitally created. It was only after finding the blog post linked to at the bottom that the mystification left and was replaced with intrigue. While some of Charles’s work is two dimensional and some is three dimensional, the question is ‘if the audience is meant to imply the third dimension into his work?’ as I did on my first view, or whether or not being in the gallery viewing the work is the audience searching for that perfect angle of view that compresses his work to the two dimensional. Either way the intricacy of his pieces will keep you staring into the pieces and continually rereading and questioning yourself each time.

At moments when he creates a ‘tower’ of sufficient size the shapes implode upon themselves to open up caverns to the interior.

Using this laborious process allows each individual layer to be pain stakingly inspected and pondered over, virally growing and giving a truly organic feel to the overall composition.

Drawing-Chalres Clay

Fermatic Pandemic Movement-Charles Clary

Percusive Art-Charles Clary

Fermatic Wilderness

Chalres clary-Fermatic Wilderness

Sourced from Yatzer