Tag Archives: Berlin design

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The exhibition Kendell Geers 1988 – 2012 can be seen in Haus der Kunst in Munich until 12.05.2013

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February 16, 2013 · 9:13 pm

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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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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S*** on Your Hat

Few months ago I have visited Barcelona. It was a perfectly chaotic weekend with both good and not-so-good experiences, but with some great people (and that is what counts).

On a hot touristy Saturday I had no choice but to hit MACBA and I can’t say I regretted it. The building itself has been designed by Richard Meier and its design is an antidote to the city’s Gaudi/gothic architecture. It is very bright, open, minimalistic and urban and its huge triple-floor ramp-hall reminds me a bit of Centre Pompidue’s.

MACBA, inside out view

At that time, temporary exhibitions involved spanish photographs and contemporary art works, which I did not have much background about I must admit, aside from Antoni Tapies’ works. What I liked a lot were films from Aleksandr Sokurov, a Russian director, who has been awarded with several awards, one of them being Golden Lion in Venice International Film Festival in 2011. I found the monotony in life or Russian solders in “Confession: From the Commander’s Diary” and their confinement and limitness in their activities but also space very strong and thoughts-provoking. However, “Elegy of a Voyage” from 2001 is what really kept me siting there for long time. (Both may be found in e.g. YouTube.) This seems to be an infinite voyage, ‘told’ to us by a nameless narrator, which we can easily identify with and see it from his own eyes: no matter how much dreamlike it may seem and not related to reality, it ends with narrator finding its identity.

Other work, also as video art shown, was Samuel Beckett’s “Not I” from 1972, showing disembodied lips of a woman telling us about dramatic incidents in her life in high-pitched voice. It is very intense for audience, hinting a big trauma and detesting for self – which one does not feel comfortable listening to and seeing.


There was another interesting Bruce Naumann there, combining both video and installation, “Shit on Your Hat – Head on a Chair”, from 1990,

Bruce Nauman, “Shit on Your Hat – Head on a Chair”, 1990

as well as Pierre Bismuth’s “Postscript – The Passenger”, from 1996-2010.

Pierre Bismuth, “Postscript – The Passenger”, 1996-2010

Both are being somewhat humorous, tricky and also experimental in interpreting reality and suggesting (and controlling?) the course of events and our perception.

What is left for me to do next time when I am there would be Fundacio Antoni Tapies. This time I can also admire its outer look, work of  Lluís Domènech i Montaner.

Fundacio Antoni Tapies

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This event also happened few months ago, but as new one is coming up in autumn, I thought that it still worth of putting up some photos here. I am talking about Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei, once a cotton-spinning areal and today an artistic hotspot. More about its history and revival you may find here, but I will just mention that many of Berlin galleries have found its (second) presence here as well as some up-and-coming and already established artists, the most prominent being Neo Rauch. Not only that: British Guardian proclaimed its ‘cutting-edge arts’ as ‘the best of Germany’.

For this spring gallery tour, we were invited by Halle 14, a fantastic exhibition space, which charms with its raw architecture but avant-garde contents. One of its gems is group Famed, which love to play with light installations. Other shots that I made in different exhibition spaces there were the following ones:

Peter Krauskopf, “Landschaften”, 2006-2007

L.C. Armstrong, “Green Vase with Oranges and Skull”, 2005

Markus Uhr, “Marilyn”, 2009

Exhibition comparing Dutch classics of 17th century and contemporary artists, SOR Rusche Collection

One of the buildings in the areal


Grass rooftop and view over Leipzig

There are regular gallery tours every spring, autumn and winter. More information you may find on their website.

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Salone del Mobile or “Two Alices in the Wonderland”, Part II

I had a chance to visit this time Salone del Mobile in Milan, one of the most prestigious design furniture fairs in the world, together with its accompanying content outside the fair premises. That included visiting the city center, Brera and other areas within FuoriSalone, fair program that is being shown for many times in the row now outside of the regular fair content. Second day was reserved for the furniture fair itself.

The day after we went to official fair areas, which was expectedly overwhelming. As we were not looking for anything in particular, we hit first SaloneSatelite and in  the end of the day, that remained our favorite spot. Satellites are those relatively smaller boots, mostly arranged by less established younger designers, such as Zeljka Kavran or design schools, such as New York Institute of Technology or American University of Sharjah, just to name few. This area was boosting of freshness and new vibes – it is not to say that others were not, but we found this one more to be more innovative and dynamic.

I hope you liked Salone del Mobile 2012!

(Please note that I have marked the design objects to the best of my knowledge. If there are any objections, please do not hesitate to contact me directly. I can remove the picture from this blog right away.)

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Go North!

Yes, North is the place to go and be this year! And when I say North, I mean on Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Kauniainen and Lahti. These cities are hosting a wide range of events throughout 2012 as Helsinki has been selected and awarded to be World Design Capital, after Seoul and Torino and right before Cape Town in 2014.

Totally agree – there is hardly any city in the world that incorporates design in such natural born and spontaneous way as Helsinki. Or, in true democratic way – to express it as recently being said in the event that I visited. Design in Finland is not something elite and that belongs only to secluded artistic circles; there is hardly household that does not have dishes from Iittala, table cloths and curtains from Marimekko or Tapiovaara chairs, just to name few. On a big scale, Aalvar Aalto enriched with his idea not only urban skylines and exteriors but also came in our living rooms. Furniture such as … belong today to classics. After all, Nokia revolutionized the design of telecommunications equipment at its early stages and brought product design to masses throughout the world. On a much smaller, but more exclusive scale, there is also Mia Maljojoki, with her avant-garde jewelry design, who I had chance to meet in the event and who belong today to one of the most prominent designers in the field.

Source: miamaljojoki.com, 2010 | Photo: Mirei Takeuchi

Another thing that I learned the other evening were less arty in its nature and more ‘practical’ and money related. Did  you know that extremely positive market development of financial portfolio of design industry companies is almost identical to the one of emerging industries and is way above the standard S&P 500 companies?

This will be a hot year and a hot summer up north. There is hardly a nation that is so quiet and subtle in conventional communication and so loud and distinctive in artistic expression. And I would love to somehow be part of it!

For more information, I would recommend to check the program here and for concrete ideas for collaboration, just get in touch with Finpro.  



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