Category Archives: Architecture

The war is over…

Last week I was in Sarajevo and visited an exhibition opening in gallery Duplex 100m2. The exhibition was great, but I caught this corner in a side room, a painting and poster showing Radenko Milak‘s work, and another wall object. It says: “The war is over! Let’s go to Venice.” Somewhat blurry images, which made my thoughts sharp.


Well, is it? And if yes, what war? As Venice Biennale is indeed celebrating world’s differences and joint life ahead (its slogan being “All the world’s future”), I can’t help thinking about all wars that are currently taking place, world’s past and the future that seems more complicated and blurry as never.

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Light and Color!

I spent several days in December in Oslo. You may not believe but first thing that comes to my mind is – light! And then color! And then some more light!

The color was more indoors. Somewhat lazy and unwillingly I went to City Hall, only to discover that it was a real gem. One may say it is kitsch or another that it is too much of national and soc-realistic portrayals of the history and local population; I may say that is was, in today’s abundance of images and reincarnations of power and force – just fresh, unexpected and alive. What you say?

What you have seen here are details from ceilings, walls, doors and interior.

Not so far away another fascinating indoors, Oslo Opera House, designed by Snohetta – and again light:

Although mother nature did its magic and outside are predominantly monochrome colors, human touch did its magic and, as beauty is in the eye of beholder, some of you may appreciate a whole different angle on Scandinavian outdoors:

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He Couldn’t Swim Either

When in Oslo, don’t miss two things: Oslo Opera House and Astrup Fearnely Museum. Here are some messages and impressions from the second one.

This museum has been built between 2006 and 2012 and designed by designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop. The complex is itself very nordic: very light, very ethereal, very transparent and minimalistic. Or is it just a huge sail? Inside, on the other hand, is colorful and loud, as one of the world most complex and diverse private collections found its place there. The collection itself dates to 1960s and museum displays it not in chronological view but in its full visual richness and expression. I may say that I learned here about Bjarne Melgaard and have never seen before so many damien-hirsts at one place. However, another piece was perhaps more intriguing:

Tom Sachs, “London Calling”, 2004

Is it electric cupboard? Or self-reflection board? Or serves only as a visual composition?

The exhibition is curated in the way that the visitor is engaged herself in the art, from just observing, going and out or avoiding it, to picking up the posters or candies from the floor and taking them with (yes, ‘the art pieces’ they are!).

Or – others are just – honest:

More about it you may found in their own blog.

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Highlights of the Highlights

International art fair “Highlights” in Munich is klein aber fein. It is also very young: established only in 2009 as a joint initiative from several galleries, it still managed to position itself as an important meeting point for true experts in fine and contemporary art. Here one can find icons, ancient Japanese art, contemporary drawings, baroque furniture as well as fine calligraphy from high-end galleries in the region.

I am presenting you my highlights of this year’s Highlights.

Russian malachit vases, Czar workshops in St. Petersburg or Ekaterinenburg, around 1820

Emil Nolde: “Blumen”, around 1930-1935

Ogawa Machiko: “White Vessel with Blue Glass Glaze”, 2009

Corall diamond collier, France, around 1870

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Skyscrapers: in and out

I’ve been recently in Chicago – a city with certainly some of the most beautiful high-rise buildings in the world. These buildings have later inspired the cities and architects around North America to compete more creative, more theme oriented and unusual in their next project. Museum of Contemporary Art has organized a fantastic exhibition on skyscrapers, showing them from inside out: what it means not only for citizens as part of the skyline but also for their inhabitants. Moreover, what skyscrapers meant for society, their construction and, sometimes, deconstructions. Last but not least, all those emotions that those skyscrapers involve have been also touched upon and often on display.

 

Roy Ethridge, “Tokyo 2”

What a fantastic shot! Roy Ethridge captured romance of this world by striking the upward rising Tokyo with a sharp ray of light and rainbow in one and focusing not only on metropolitan urbanism of the city but also on its lucky charm of modernity.

 

Peter Wegner, “Buildings Made of Sky, VI”

Another interesting photography: Wegner shows the obvious here with non-obvious means. Long city boulevards, elongated upending buildings and gloomy sunset – he surrealistically ‘creates structures where none seem to exist’.

 

Jan Tichy, “Installation No. 3”

The image here does not do the work its justice: the light projection right on the fragile paper structure is further translated on the wall, so that the installation is a constant play of light and shadow. Reminds a lot on works of Sol LeWitt.

 

Kader Attia, “Untitled (skyline)”

What you see here are refrigerators,  which have been altered by simple mirrors. This work symbolizes ‘a yearning for the glamour of the metropolis’, but also shows how this urbanity can be easily improvised and approximated.

 

Ahmet Ögüt, “Exploded City”

Ahmet Ögüt shows here an imaginary metropolis, comprised of building that have been destroyed in an act of destruction, conflict or war. He shows them in the shape as they used to exist, disregarding the geography and placing them all together (this above is only a table explaining the background). Through this installation, the artist is playing with personal stories and emotions, the meaning of building and their destructions as well as the role of mass media.

 

Jonathan Horowitz, “Recycling Sculpture (World Trade Center Memorial)”

What you see behind Ögür’s model of Vijecnica in Sarajevo (“Exploded City”) is an everchanging sculpture representing World Trade Center towers. Every day the newspapers are placed and the ‘towers’ are rising; once the newspapers fill rectangular forms, they are removed for recycling. In this way, the artist plays with idea of constant change and rise and fall patterns.

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German-Greek summer

A warm and sunny afternoon was well-spent in Glyptothek in company of Greek and Roman statues.

Roman copy of a Greek original, Apollon, 420 BC

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Sarajevo impressions: spikes, mothers and canned beef

I spent recently a beautiful week in Sarajevo. The city was pretty as always (or maybe even prettier): warm, sunny and full of good-mood people. Its artistic articulation took my attention in another area and I have seen rather the opposite.

I have seen the “Spiked” exhibition by young artist Daniel Premec, who is with his 12 aluminum spikes symbolically reflecting on difficulties in Bosnian everyday life but also artistic and cultural one; what all people have to go through in order to stay on the surface.

Daniel Premec, “Spiked”, 2012

I have not seen the photography exhibition “Majke” of two Polish artists, Monika Redzisz i Monika Berežecka, which focused on gender questions, sexual identity, gender equality and stereotypes, feminist ideas, transsexual and intersexual topics. I did see the poster and I found it to be just the right one.

Monika Redzisz i Monika Berežecka, “Matki / Majke”, 2012

… and now a ‘classic’: International Community monument, a over-dimensional canned beef by Nebojsa Seric Shoba, that fed the people of Sarajevo during the war-time. In the meantime, the ‘can’ became one of the favorite landmarks of locals. According to artist, this was a can with “never-confirmed content, expiration date, country of origin, (…) did not have anything better”.

“Monument to the International Community by the grateful citizens of Sarajevo”, 2007

“Monument to the International Community by the grateful citizens of Sarajevo”, 2007

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