The Noguchi Museum Exhibits the Finalists for the Loewe Craft Prize
By Jameson Montgomery
In 2016, the Loewe creative director Jonathan Anderson initiated the Loewe Craft Prize, an open call competition for artisans and makers to submit one-of-a-kind works in the applied arts, awarding 50,000 euros to its winner. To announce the recipient of this year’s prize, the Spanish fashion house’s Loewe Foundation hosted a ceremony at the Noguchi Museum in Long Island City, Queens, on May 16. The jury consisted of experts in the field of design, including the ceramist Magdalene Odundo; Abraham Thomas, the curator of modern architecture, design and decorative arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; and last year’s winner, the fiber artist Dahye Jeong.
The panel narrowed its selection to 30 works representing artists from 16 countries. Among them: Dominique Zinkpè from Benin submitted an assemblage of wooden statuettes carved from an old canoe; Giorgi Danibegashvili from Georgia made a sculpture out of paper and silk fibers; and Maina Devi from India used an ancient Rajasthani carpet-making technique employing over 200,000 asymmetrical Persian knots to make a sheep’s wool-and-bamboo-silk rug, which, said Thomas, “looked like a digitally printed textile.” Of the three works by artists from the United States, one was a basket made by the New York City- and Tucson-based studio Aranda/Lasch in collaboration with Terrol Dew Johnson, a member of the Tohono O’odham Nation, who used materials like bear grass, yucca and creosote bush gathered from Arizona’s Sonoran Desert. All the entrants employed traditional techniques while making work that appears wholly contemporary. Ultimately, the top prize went to the Japanese artist Eriko Inazaki, whose “Metanoia” sculpture consists of hundreds of tiny ceramic pieces affixed to a clay core, creating, according to the show’s organizers, “a sense of bursting, radiant energy across the work’s surface, evoking a symphony.” All 30 pieces will be on view in Isamu Noguchi’s studio — marking the first time that the space has been opened for a public exhibition — until June 18. craftprize.loewe.com.
Kona Village, a Thatched-Roof Resort on Hawaii’s Big Island, Finally Reopens
By Martha Cheng
Twelve years after a tsunami devastated Kona Village on the Big Island of Hawaii, the resort long known for its castaway aesthetic and oceanside thatched cottages (Steve Jobs was one of its last guests) is reopening under Rosewood Hotels & Resort’s stewardship this summer. When Kona Village debuted in 1965, it was so isolated that guests had to arrive by boat or air taxi. Though roads now pierce the hardened lava fields, the 81-acre resort along Kahuwai Bay still feels relatively secluded. There are 150 bungalows, most with their own lanai and black concrete soaking tub that echoes the surrounding basalt landscape. In homage to the ancient fishing village that once occupied the site, designers from NicoleHollis, the San Francisco-based interiors firm, added a few nautical touches, including column lashings inspired by canoes and fishing nets, and triangular pe‘a (sails) by the artist Kaili Chun that are suspended from the rafters of the hotel’s signature restaurant, Moana. Fans of the old property will be heartened to know that the old Shipwreck Bar, fashioned from the sunken schooner of Kona Village’s first owner, has been fully restored, emblematic of Kona Village’s twinned wildness and rejuvenation. Kona Village opens July 1; rooms from $1,900 a night, rosewoodhotels.com.
A Brooklyn Ceramist Expands Into Brutalist-Inspired Furniture Design
By Kurt Soller
Even though he grew up in France, it wasn’t until last summer that the Brooklyn-based ceramist Danny Kaplan — best known for his sinuously sculptural clay lamps — had a chance to visit Le Corbusier’s Unite D’habitation, the robust midcentury housing development in Marseille that changed architecture forever. Long inspired by Brutalism, the structure inspired Kaplan to think more deeply about “modular layering,” he says, the ways “material, form and composition play a strong and equally important role” in construction. From there, he and his studio began experimenting: not on the wheel, where most of his items have traditionally been developed, but instead with slabs of clay that are rolled out and then dried to “the leather-hard stage,” he explains, allowing them to be cut and joined together to later stiffen into sturdy, hollow blocks. This process allowed Kaplan to create his first mixed-media pieces, an assortment of tables, lamps and stools called the Brick collection, all of which combine rectilinear ceramic shapes with rounded oak, the handsome tactility of which he’s long admired but never before incorporated into his practice. “I am always learning,” Kaplan says of slab building, “so any technique that allows me to take the material to a new level is satisfying.” From $2,500, for the Emma table lamp, dannykaplanstudio.com.
Summery Clothes That Benefit an Elephant Conservation Group
By Angela Koh
Carla Sersale, the founder of the lifestyle brand Emporio Sirenuse, first met Mark Shand, the co-founder of the charity Elephant Family, when he came to stay at her hotel, Le Sirenuse, in the early 2000s. She recalls being enamored by the conservationist’s dedication to protecting endangered elephants in Asia. Almost two decades later, the designer and hotelier reached out to Ruth Ganesh, who became Elephant Family’s principal trustee after Shand’s death in 2014, in the hope of creating a collection that would contribute to the organization’s mission. The result is an array of resort wear — such as a hand-embroidered, ankle-length ivory dress made of lightweight cotton, and an airy cotton-voile caftan with the brand’s signature botanical print — and matching home accessories. The housewares complement the fashion with kaleidoscopic prints that are hand-painted in the Italian town of Vietri sul Mare using a traditional technique, while the linens are stitched in India. A portion of the proceeds will go to Elephant Family. From $335, emporiosirenuse.com.
A Gallerist’s Wide-Ranging Collection of Paintings
By Samuel Rutter
The photographer and director Ethan James Green has dedicated his New York Life Gallery, adjacent to his fifth-floor studio on Canal Street, to showcasing forgotten, unknown or overlooked artists. He inaugurated the space in October 2022 with “Women,” highlighting a series of rarely seen black-and-white photographs from Baltimore in the 1970s by Steven Cuffie, followed by a residency and show by the painter Drake Carr in early 2023. The gallery’s latest exhibition, “Sleeping Beauties,” shows 19 paintings that Green found while scouring estate sales and auction sites. Both the artists and their subjects correspond to a broad range of schools and identities and, while several of the pieces in the show are by unrecognized artists, many are by painters whose work can be found in the archives of museums like the Met or the Smithsonian but is rarely on view. There’s “Cartoon” (circa 1914), a tableau in vivid citrus tones by the American painter Arthur B. Davies that was incorrectly labeled at an estate sale; another prized find is a 1930 mosaic of a man in profile in intoxicating tinges of green by the German American artist Elsa Schmid, whose work has been collected by the Museum of Modern Art. “Not everyone realizes when they begin their art collection that they can acquire work from artists with pieces in these big institutions,” says Green. “I quickly fell in love with the treasure hunt of it all.” “Sleeping Beauties” is on view from May 19 through July 14, newyorklifegallery.com.
Elizabeth Garouste’s Playful Designs on Display in New York
By Roxanne Fequiere
When it came time for the French designer and artist Elizabeth Garouste to name her latest collection of furniture, she found herself thinking about “Beans,” a Canadian film directed by Tracey Deer. A coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of a land dispute between Mohawk protesters and Quebec officials, its central themes of childhood innocence and “the ferment of adolescence,” as Garouste put it, resonated with the designer. She borrowed the movie’s title for her solo exhibition, which will be on view at Ralph Pucci’s Chelsea gallery later this month. The collection includes tables, lighting, a mirror and a console, many of which feature hand-wrought, slightly irregular kidney shapes affixed to or punched through the items’ bulbous surfaces. “I have always favored the shapes of arabesques, rounds, curves like beans,” Garouste says of her catalog of work, which dates back to the 1980s when she made her name producing slightly surreal furniture in collaboration with Mattia Bonetti. Garouste’s flair for the delightfully unexpected clearly remains intact: In this new collection, one lamp resembles an unearthly anthill, while her sconces’ yellow interiors ensure a warm glow regardless of what bulb is used within. Garouste, who lives and works in Paris, traveled to New York to create each piece alongside the team at Pucci’s in-house sculpture studio. The final works are rendered in mosaic, marble and Plasterglass, a material that resembles plaster but is much more resilient in its final form. Garouste enjoys being able to “model the forms like sculptures,” she says. “The pleasure of this work is to be able to fully control the shape of the object.” “Beans” opens May 22, ralphpucci.com.
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