It’s easy to forget that at the height of Diego Rivera’s fame, in the 1920s and ’30s, he had star power. A Communist who painted murals for the great capitalists of his day, he offered an epic view of history and a cosmic vision of human potential. But in the last few decades here, his reputation has been vastly eclipsed by Fridamania, the cult status of his third wife, Frida Kahlo.
“It’s ironic that this artist who painted miles and miles of frescoes is not as well known as his wife, who painted almost miniatures,” said Linda Downs, an expert on Rivera’s American murals.
Yet on the 50th anniversary of his death, this city is in the midst of a series of exhibitions celebrating his work, a tribute that shows his wide range, including not just frescoes, but also paintings, watercolors, sketches and even magazine covers. (The Kahlo worship, though, continues unabated: A retrospective this summer at the museum of the Palacio de Bellas Artes here drew about double the number of visitors as the recent Rivera show there.)
Rivera is best known, of course, for his Mexican murals, particularly in the National Palace and the Ministry of Education. If these seem rather earnest today, it is worth remembering, as Juan Coronel Rivera, an art historian and a grandson of Rivera, points out in one exhibition catalog, that Rivera and the Mexican muralists created the first major Modern art movement on the American continent.
“Diego was looking for knowledge first, the great knowledge of the human being, the notions of space and time,” he said. “What hurts Diego the most is first, the vision that’s imposed on him from the United States as a Communist, and second, Mexico’s own centralist vision that made him a historical painter.”
The sheer volume of work on display in the commemoration rescues Rivera from easy classification. The national homage, as it is billed, involves five exhibitions in Mexico City (including the Bellas Artes show, which ended last week) and one in Rivera’s birthplace, Guanajuato.
“Diego was a deluge of work,” said Raquel Tibol, a prominent art critic and historian who organized one of the shows. “He was too dynamic, and so many cultural themes opened his interest in a very vibrant way.”
There are the huge works: Rivera produced part of a giant mosaic to adorn the city’s Olympic Stadium, murals for hospitals, government buildings and even hotel bars. The Bellas Artes exhibition showed portable murals from private collections as well as sketches and cartoons of the larger murals.
At the National Museum of Art, the first comprehensive show of Rivera’s illustrations reveals an unexpected diversity in style and subject matter over 50 years.
He produced simple line drawings for primers published by the education ministry in Mexico’s post-revolutionary government of the 1920s. He illustrated Yiddish poems by an immigrant Jewish poet, Isaac Berliner, in a vivid Expressionist style; drew for André Breton’s Surrealist review Minotaure; and put the hammer and sickle on a Fortune magazine cover commissioned in 1932.
He also used pre-Hispanic motifs in drawing covers for the magazine Mexican Folkways, and created illustrations for the Mayan sacred book, the Popol Vuh, that drew elements from Mayan inscriptions. “Rivera didn’t conserve his own style,” said Ms. Tibol, who oversaw the exhibition. “He put it at the service of the text.”
At the Dolores Olmedo Museum in southern Mexico City, a collection of some 50 portraits begins with a pencil drawing of Rivera’s mother that he did when he was 10. Rivera painted Mexican movie stars and members of high society, but it is his simple portraits of Indian peasant women that are the strongest. A painting of his second wife, Guadalupe Marín, stands out for its vitality.
Ms. Downs, the author of several books on Rivera’s American murals, contends that there is a renewed interest in studying the politically charged realism of the 1920s and ’30s. “It’s being re-evaluated as a legitimate aesthetic movement, where before it was written off, especially by those critics who were promoting Abstract Expressionism and Modernism.”
Rivera’s emblematic looks at Mexico’s distant Indian past and its recent (for him) revolutionary history endure as defining images both inside and outside the country. But for an artist so linked in the popular imagination with Mexico, the exhibitions are also a reminder of his ties to Europe and the United States. He lived overseas, mostly in Paris, from 1907 to 1921, where he experimented with Cubism.
It was only after he returned to Mexico at the end of a bloody decade of fighting that he began to create the work that made him famous. As he turned frescoes on public buildings to universal themes, he melded elements from European masters and Modernists with pre-Hispanic forms and designs to create his own pictorial language.
But by 1929, as revolutionary fervor veered toward authoritarianism, and Rivera fell out with the Mexican Communist Party, he accepted an offer to paint in San Francisco. He spent four years in the United States. After California, Rivera and Kahlo went to Detroit. There his patron Edsel B. Ford opened the doors of the largest Ford plant, and Rivera carried out the research for his landmark mural cycle at the Detroit Institute of Arts, a series celebrating the auto industry and the capitalist worker at its heart.
After that debacle, he created a series of portable murals, “Portrait of America,” for the New Workers School in New York. Several were in the Bellas Artes show: intense, knotted pictures of injustice, greed and the dehumanizing power of technology. But even in those critical works, Rivera found something exalted in America, in the innovations of its scientists and the nobility of its working people.
The centerpiece of the show was “Glorious Victory,” a mural Rivera painted at the end of his life, after the American-backed coup that brought down the democratically elected government of Guatemala in 1954. It is pure propaganda, almost caricature, as Mr. Coronel says. The piece, on loan from the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, will remain in Mexico at the Dolores Olmedo Museum for eight more months.
There are also exhibitions dedicated to Rivera’s watercolors, his very early work, his writings and his collections of pre-Hispanic art. A documentary at the National Museum of Art features silent footage of Rivera at work that was shot by the Mexican cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa.
At the end the film shows Rivera standing on a river bank, sketching Indian women as they bathe. Staged or not, the image is a reminder of what moved him first.
Via: Elisabeth Malkin
Momo Designs has alway pushed the limits of innovation. Showcasing this example is the Momo Ice Helmet, which features the use of thermoplastic, steel mesh inserts, and an adjustable integrated goggle.
The New York Times had a great article on starting a contemporary art collection.
Now that you own an Apple iPhone (or you will soon), here are some iPhone accessories to pair it with:
1. Griffin iPhone adaptor
As you probabily know the iPhone has a 3.5 mm stereo recessed headphone jack, which is compatible only with the stereo headset that is delivered with the phone and a small range of third party headphones. Have you ever wanted to bring music at a higher quality, ever said that the clasic headset is simply not enough for you? Have you ever been at a party and wanted to play the songs from your iPhone so that everyone hears them?
Someone thought at this problem before and decided to find a way of solving it. This someone is called Griffin Technology and they designed a special adapter which gives you the possibility of using any normaljacked headset on your iPhone.
The Griffin Adapter enlarges your horizont, from now on you will be able to trow a party just using your iPhone and the adapter. It is well designed, not very rigid as most adaptors on the market, and the first one specialy created and ment for iPhone. Available in white or black for just $10, it fits smooth into the design of the Iphone.
But headsets aren’t the only things you can use with it. Any other sound sistem working on a normal jack will function. The Griffin adapter makes not only your favourite headset compatible to your iPhone, but connecting it to any sound sistem means that you will be able to play your music much louder, and turn the music so loud that you might disturb the neighbours.
2. iPhone InCharge Auto Adapter
InCharge iPhone auto charger from XtremeMac has to be one of the coolest looking car power adapters ever designed. And I mean not only iPhone chargers but the best looking of all car chargers ever designed for a mobile phone. Just take a look at the picture above and say it isn’t so.
Look at the shiny black plastic, with it’s nice finishing and chromed details to match iPhone’s design. Look at the fuzzy blue power led that disapears completely when the device is removed from your car’s 12 volts socket.
Look at the fine crafted, detachable USB cable with the cord lenght of 5 feet (that’s a wooping 1.5 meters for the happy iPhone owners in Europe). I mean come’on, most car chargers have a power cord that’s so short you can’t even use the phone while charging. This 5 feet cable should allow a person in the back seet to use the phone without removing it from the socket.
Also a nice feature of this charger is that it’s practicaly 3 devices in one:
- an universal USB car charger. You can use the base unit as a standalone charger for any device that allows charging throug an USB cable.
- a spare, 5 feet, USB cable for your iPhone, that you can use to conect or charge your iPhone at your computer.
- a car adapter for your iPhone, the main purpose of the device.
That sounds like alot for the mere $19.95 this charger sells for, but before you buy maybe you should read the reviews from these happy and not so happy owners that bought it from the Apple store.
You can grab one of these at a discounted price of $14.55 at Amazon.com (This is a limited time offer, the regular price is $19.95, so don’t blame me if the price changes in time).
Pablo – This one is for you!
3. Incase Protective Cover for iPhone
The Incase Protective Cover for iPhone ($30) offers the best combination of fit and protection we’ve seen for the new handset, with great looks — the black model looks as if it was meant to be there all along — and covers for the volume and sleep buttons. There are already plenty of different cases for the iPhone, but only this one seems like it was actually made using an iPhone.
4. Apple iPhone Bluetooth Headset
I am still trying to decide between a few different Bluetooth headsets for my iPhone. I like the Jawbone and Argard M10, but the Apple iPhone Bluetooth Headset ($129) seems to be calling me. Sporting a very classy design, the lightweight headset has a simple, single button for making and answering calls. The headset also includes Apple’s iPhone Dual Dock to charge it and your iPhone at the same time.
(If someone has a take on this – please let me know!)
5. Belkin Sport Armband for iPhone
If you plan to really use your iPhone for everything, then you’ll need a good workout case. The Belkin Sport Armband for iPhone ($30) is hand-washable and water-resistant, and sports lightweight neoprene construction, screen protection, and a key pocket to hold your house key while out on a run.
6. Shure SE210 Sound Isolating Earphones and Music Phone Adapter
At 149$ the Shure SE210 wired earbuds are a bit of a splurge, but they’ll conform comfortably to the inside of your ear, and their sleeves do an excellent job of reducing external noise. For $40 extra, you can purchase Shure’s Music Phone Adapter, which will transform any of Shure’s Sound Isolating Earphones into a headset. With the push of a button, you can pause and resume music while you make phone calls.
I love it!
7. Macally mClip
Looking for a comfortable way to watch video on your iPhone? Macally’s mClip features a swivel belt clip that doubles as a stand. That way, you can prop the iPhone on a desk or table. The mClip also protects all the corners of the iPhone.
A little-known Taiwanese firm that makes motherboards for brand-name PCs has put its own moniker on one of the lightest, sleekest, cheapest laptops ever to connect to cyberspace.
The ASUS Eee PC family recently expanded even further with the addition of the $299 2G Surf model. Newegg now currently lists ASUS Eee PC 2G which is available in Galaxy Black, Blush Pink, Sky Blue and Lush Green.
The Eee PC 2G Surf, as its name implies, only comes with a 2GB solid-state drive (SSD). The device also comes with 512MB of DDR2 memory and the 4G Surf’s smaller 4-cell 4400 mAh battery (2.8 hours) and a 7 inch screen.
Ever since, the little-known giant – Asus is arguably the world’s largest maker of motherboards and a leading laptop vendor – has been scrambling to keep pace with the viral interest in this no-frills, hardworking box.
Indeed, pioneering buyers have already created forums like Eeeuser.com to trade tips about how to coax more bang from this bargain-basement box.
The Eee PC joins a small but growing cohort of ultralight, ultracheap computers including, most notably, the One Laptop per Child project sponsored by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
That project focuses on providing children in the developing world with a cheap learning tool. Asus, with its North American headquarters in Fremont, also has gone after the education market, but here in the developed world.
So… the world just got bigger, or so it seems? With ASUS and Intel’s demonstration of their low cost ultra mobile platform, the “Eee” (Easy to learn, work, play; Excellent Internet experience; and Excellent mobile computing experience), becoming connected globally just became easier for people in parts of the world who previously couldn’t afford items such as PCs and notebooks.
Mine is on the way, so stay tuned for my experience review…
Ecology.Design.Synergy, an exhibition that presents recent collaborative work by Behnisch Architekten, the distinguished Stuttgart-based architectural firm, and Transsolar ClimateEngineering, the Stuttgart-based environmental engineering company, will be on view at Carnegie Museum of Art’s Heinz Architectural Center February 23–May 25, 2008. Ecology.Design.Synergy documents 10 innovative, aesthetically refined, energy-efficient, and sustainable building projects in Europe and the United States including RiverParc, a green, mixed-use, residential and arts neighborhood in downtown Pittsburgh.
Behnisch Architekten and Transsolar ClimateEngineering share the belief that quality is not a quantitative measure and their collaborative design approach to projects utilizes natural resources to highlight their value. Ecology.Design.Synergy is organized around six key topics—temperature, air, sound, light, material, and human scale. Each topic is explored through two recent or current projects and includes working methods, the results of previous collaborations, and prospects for the future on the subject matter. Examples include a natural light collection system in Genzyme Corporate Headquarters, Boston, Massachusetts, that uses heliostats and mirrors mounted on the roof to redirect sunlight into the building’s atrium. A “double façade” of glass on Hannover, Germany’s Norddeutsche Landesbank protects against noise as well as vehicle emissions, offers wind protection, and serves as an air supply duct to adjacent offices. The 120-foot high flower-like structures in the Senscity Paradise project provide both shade and cool air to the park beneath them by pumping water through the hollows in the structures’ leaf forms, creating an evaporative cooling effect.
The work of Behnisch Architeken and Transsolar is noteworthy for its ability to connect infrastructure and technology to human scale. A human silhouette, the installation’s graphic identity, guides visitors through the exhibition.
“It’s an opportune time to exhibit this collaborative work in Pittsburgh”, says Raymund Ryan, Carnegie Museum of Art curator of architecture and organizer of the Pittsburgh installation, “both because of potential for Pittsburgh of the RiverParc proposal and because Behnisch and Transsolar are at the forefront, internationally, of excellence in sustainable environmental design.”
Ecology.Design.Synergy is curated by Frank Ockert, Stuttgart, in cooperation with IFA, German Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations, and represented by the Goethe Institute and Galerie Aedes, Berlin. The exhibition was inaugurated in Berlin in November 2006 and scheduled to tour across America.
Specific to Pittsburgh, the show highlights the RiverParc proposal for more than 700 residential units between 7th and 9th Streets, and between Penn Avenue and Fort Duquesne Boulevard, that offers varied forms of urban living and mixed uses of retail, restaurants, leisure and hotel facilities. Winner of an international design competition in 2006, the RiverParc project locates public spaces and recreational areas on the southern, sunny sides of residential streets and provides a wide range of opportunities for people to linger, meet, and interact. In accordance with Behnisch and Transsolar’s collaborative ethic, the plans are not only environmentally responsible but aim to produce a new architectural aesthetic and aid in Pittsburgh’s desire to be a leader in the development of “green architecture.”
The three finalists in the Pittsburgh competition will also be exhibited at the 707 Penn Gallery, 707 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, April 25–June 7, 2008. The exhibition, Live Green, View Blue, Paint the Town Red: Finalist designs from the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust International Design Competition will be feature the design models of the three finalist development and architectural teams. Visit : www.pgharts.org
Behnisch Architekten and Transsolar Climate Engineering have been successful for many years in their efforts to design sustainable and responsible architecture. Current common projects in the US include Harvard’s Allsont Science Complex in Cambridge, Sencity Paradise Universe in Las Vegas, Mill Street Lofts in Los Angeles, and the Arizona State University Gateway Project in Tempe.
Ecology.Design.Synergy should be noted for its efforts to take a more conceptual approach to these ecological goals. With this exhibition, the firms hope to investigate solutions to environmental issues and prevent new problems from arising, through a rewarding and challenging fashion.
The Warehouse Gallery opened its first solo exhibition with work by Gary Schneider titled genetic self-portrait. The exhibition will be on view through Jan. 26, 2008. The show includes 55 photo-based works that Schneider produced when he was offered a chance to create a new body of work inspired by the Human Genome Project (HGP). The HGP, a scientific race to uncover the mysteries of DNA, began formally in the 1990s and was completed in 2003. During that period, Schneider was able to collaborate with a number of scientists and was given access to advanced imaging systems from electron microscopes to x-ray machines.
The work in the exhibition ranges from images of his individual chromosomes made by a light microscope to panoramic dental x-rays. Schneider is known as a master photographic printer, and by combining his skill as a craftsman and selecting specimens for their aesthetic qualities, he moved beyond scientific descriptions to produce a personal portrait that asks us to consider how we are unique and where we stand on common ground.
Schneider had always been interested in alternative imaging techniques, and previous to this project he had been making images by imprinting his hands onto film emulsions. When he decided to include these prints along with the images he had been making with scientists, he realized that what he had been creating was a new kind of portrait. Ann Thomas, curator of photographs at the National Gallery of Canada, described it as a new approach that “challenges the traditional definition of the portrait, and revises our understanding of what it means to be revealed before the camera’s lens.”
By merging scientific accuracy with poetic resonance, Schneider has created a very personal illumination of how our individual identity is so closely linked to our broader understanding and use of the information contained in the human building blocks of our DNA. Through the personal exploration that went into creating genetic self-portrait, Schneider reveals that while we may always want to think of ourselves as more than the sum of our parts, our real promise might be found in looking at the 99 percent of ourselves we have in common with everyone else.
Schneider’s work has been exhibited internationally, and recent exhibition venues include the Sackler Museum at Harvard College in Boston and the National Portrait Gallery of Scotland. A major retrospective of his work will open at the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego in 2008. Schneider’s photographs are included in the permanent collections at The Whitney Museum, The Guggenheim Museum and The Metropolitan Museum in New York City; The National Gallery of Canada; The Musée de L’Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland; The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston; and The Art Institute of Chicago.
The Warehouse Gallery is an international contemporary art venue of the SUArt Galleries at Syracuse University. The gallery’s mission is to present exhibitions and programs by artists whose work engages the community in a dialogue regarding the role the arts can play in illuminating critical issues of our life and times.
Visit the Warehouse Gallery at : www.thewarehousegallery.org
A masterful Lego builder that goes by the name of Arvo is the man responsible for this unbelievably awesome Iron Man figure. And with results like that, the dude doesn’t even need a last name. Just whispering “Arvo” will get grab the attention of geeks the world over. via Brothers Brick
This year’s ART BASEL exhibits included the first-ever curated mural project, PRIMARY FLIGHT that saw 25 artists dropping (legal) bombs across Miami’s Wynwood Art District.