Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Bushwick Beat

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

For this installment of Bushwick Beat, we visited the 56 Bogart St. building to see the latest exhibition at Life on Mars gallery.  The reason we focused our visit entirely on Life on Mars was the news that it would be closing its doors with a final show. This comes as a surprise, as Life on Mars has been responsible for hosting talented and relevant painters throughout its brief history, many of which are synonymous with the art scene in Bushwick.

"An Occasional Dream" at Life On Mars Gallery

“An Occasional Dream” at Life On Mars Gallery

The gallery put on a group show titled An Occasional Dream.  As is befitting for a gallery named Life on Mars, the title is derived from a David Bowie song of the same name, and featured a number of the artists they have shown over the years.

Work by Paul D’Agostino

Work by Paul D’Agostino

Most of the artists featured here have been the subject of shows at the gallery before, making each work in the exhibition feel like a song on a greatest hits album, each standing in for the rich and exciting shows it has held in the past.  We covered many of these artists in Bushwick Beat in the past, including Paul D’Agostino’s here, whose work is pictured above.

Farrell Brickhouse at Life on Mars

Farrell Brickhouse at Life on Mars

Farrell Brickhouse, an SVA instructor regularly featured at Life on Mars Gallery, contributed a thickly worked silver painting for the show.  Its most distinguishing feature was a crater cut out of the center that strikingly resembles the moon, complete with craggy stucco surface and silver sheen. The painting perfectly captures the moon – both its perpetual presence in the night sky and its intangible distance in space.  The dingy-bound figures accumulate at the very bottom of the canvas giving gravity to the scene so that the moon hovers in contrast.

Daniel John Gadd at Life On Mars Gallery

Daniel John Gadd at Life On Mars Gallery

Continuing the motif of irregular, moon-like circles, Daniel John Gadd contributed a large painting with blue glass on plywood.  The piece is rich with weathered subtlety – a clear result of the artist’s process and the fragile sense of care he brings to it.

Todd Bienaveau at Life on Mars Gallery

Todd Bienaveau at Life on Mars Gallery

Todd Bienaveau’s paunchy paintings usually depict slovenly figures drinking beer, getting tattoos or attending rock concerts.  In this piece, the artist shows a painters supplies, brushes in an empty gesso bucket and a paint tube with the cap twisted on.  By the mute blue green of the setting, they look quietly pushed aside after a day’s work.

Brenda Goodman at Life on Mars Gallery

Brenda Goodman at Life on Mars Gallery

Brenda Goodman’s piece reads like a strange surrealist play.  She draws together associations with Tim Burton films and 2-D side scrolling video games in a way that manages to feel fresh and unbeholden to influence.  Her limping, wooly-black figures are barely animated abstract shapes, and are given breath by nothing more than an occasional delirious eye.

Fran O’Neil at Life on Mars Gallery

Fran O’Neil at Life on Mars Gallery

Since the closing of the show, it has been announced that with Life on Mars gallery closing, a new gallery will take its place.  David&Schweitzer Contemporary will carry over a majority of the artists and management from Life on Mars.  The re-formed gallery will be opening in the same space with its first show opening for the upcoming Bushwick Open Studios taking place on October 1st and 2nd.

Even as it turns out that the closure of Life on Mars is not so final as it seemed, its final exhibition in its current form was a great occasion to reflect on art in Bushwick throughout the gallery’s tenure, and to consider where it might be headed as the neighborhood ceaselessly continues to change.  In any case, the exhibition was an occasion to dream.

-Will Patterson

Friday Hot Links

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

Happy Friday! Might we suggest recent art, design, and culture goodies shared by the SVACE faculty and community?

Image via Carl Schlesinger Archive

Image via Carl Schlesinger Archive

Fit to Print (New York Times): How a Linotype master kept apace. (via Ilene Strizver)

Road Trip (FastCo.Design): Google’s fast-tracks its Spotlight Engine in a new VR film. (via SVA MFA Visual Narrative)

User Friendly (PSFK): Designers take on discrimination of all stripes. (via Robert Stribley)

Massimo’s Memorial (Quartz): Designer Massimo Vignelli took his vision to the grave. (via Jess Mackta)

Fish Forms (Design Milk): What 3D printing means for goldfish. (via Jess Mackta)

See more updates and stories on our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram pages.

Friday Hot Links

Friday, April 29th, 2016

Happy Friday! Might we suggest recent art, design, and culture goodies shared by the SVACE faculty and community?

Image via Hyperallergic

Image via Hyperallergic

Protest Projection (Hyperallergic): Artist activists illuminate the Guggenheim’s impasse over migrant workers’  rights. (via Robert Stribley)

Hello Dolly (CNET): Drone photography recreates Alfred Hitchcock’s “dolly zoom” technique. (via SVA MFA Visual Narrative)

Mini Museum (Print Mag): Tribeca treated to a museum in an elevator. (via Steven Heller)

Branding Brew (FastCo. Design): Design titan Milton Glaser has branded Brooklyn Brewery since it began. (via SVA News)

See more updates and stories on our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram pages.

The Armory Show 2016

Saturday, March 5th, 2016

The Armory Show is back, now in its 22nd year.  This year, the fair will feature 205 galleries from 36 countries worldwide. Here are a few highlights from our visit.

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Visit our Instagram for more updates from Armory Week 2016!

Get THE MET?

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

The Met’s new logo has inspired divergent criticism from the art and design press. It’s a “graphic misfire,” writes Vulture, while WIRED explains how its ligatures create “a metaphorical moment.” The capital E’s “look like butts,” quips GQ.

To build our own informed opinion of the logo, we sought answers from Ilene Strizver, a longtime SVACE faculty member who teaches Gourmet Typography.  She also writes TypeTalk, an ongoing and deeply informative blog for CreativePro.com. Ilene responded with some valuable insights. She writes:

The New Met Logo
Ilene Strizver | The Type Studio

The new Metropolitan Museum of Art logo has everyone talking – and it’s not all words of praise. The new logo is the work of global-branding firm Wolff Olins, scheduled to be unveiled on March 2016. This design is a rebranding, with a totally new look, feel, and concept compared to the previous logo. While there is certainly nothing wrong with rebranding a highly revered institution such as The Met, I’m not sure this one accomplishes what they set out to do.

Old and new logos for The Met

Old and new logos for The Met

At first glance, the connection the new logo has with the overly tight type treatments of the 60s and 70s was unmistakable. This style was first employed by Herb Lubalin, who started the whole tight type movement during the transition from metal to phototypesetting which made it possible to do things that were not viable with hot metal. Lubalin was known for his extremely tight spacing and type tailoring (as we called it then), where two or more characters were often blended into each other, creating a ligature of sorts. The new Met logo uses this technique to create extreme ligatures out of each of the three-letter words. Unfortunately it is overdone to the point where the ‘tricks’ catch the eye and take visual precedence over the meaning of the words and the great institution it represents, in effect reverting back to the “bellbottoms and tie-dye shirts” of typography of the 60s and 70s.

This cover of U&lc Vol 5, No 4 was designed by Herb Lubalin in 1978. It epitomizes the overly tight type that was the revered style of the 60s and 70s.

This cover of U&lc Vol 5, No 4 was designed by Herb Lubalin in 1978. It epitomizes the overly tight type that was the revered style of the 60s and 70s.

“Our new logo no longer relies on symbols and, instead, is based on our commonly used name ‘The Met,’ which has an immediacy that speaks to all audiences. It is an original drawing, a hybrid that combines and connects serif and sans serif, classical and modern letterforms. In this respect, it reflects the scope of the Museum’s collection and the inherent connections that exist within it.”

This statement by the museum explains that the hybrid forms are intended to symbolize the broad scope of the museum’s collection. Unfortunately the logo doesn’t ‘read’ that way. If the viewer needs an explanation in order to ‘get’ or understand a logo that is not easily recognizable, it is missing the point.

Both revising or rebranding a logo should take an identity in forward-moving direction, but this does not do that. It is a caricature of a style gone by, and does not accurately reflect the greatness and broad spectrum of the institution it is designed to represent. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for finessing and type tailoring typography to either draw attention to words or letterforms (having lovingly created many in my days working on U&lc), but going overboard with too many tricks makes the tricks the star attraction, not the word mark or the institution itself. If this logo consisted of these same letterforms without the ‘triple-ligaturization’ it might have been more successful in achieving the intended goal.

-Ilene Strizver