Tag Archives: Art

NOW AVAILABLE | New Kindle Version of Poor Richard | Volume 2

A new version of Poor Richard, Another Almanac for Architects and Planners (Volume 2) specifically tailored for Kindle devices is available for purchase from the Kindle Store. Be sure to check the online store in your country/currency (USA store available below).

Poor Richard, Another Almanac for Architects and Planners (Volume 2) brings together more common sense proverbs, astute observations, and general rules of thumb for anyone interested in the future of our cities. In doing so, author Mark David Major again draws from a dizzyingly array of sources for inspiration including the artistic movements of Modernism, obscure African, European and Oriental proverbs, and even the Old and New Testaments. These witticisms are often eloquent, sometimes biting, and always insightful; even occasionally bizarre in the absence of deeper thought. They offer a valuable resource for the entire year, daily reminders for everyone involved in the building of our cities about their better angels and warning against the worse demons of human nature.

Poor Richard, Another Almanac for Architects and Planners (Volume 2)
by Mark David Major
Foreword by Steve Mouzon, AIA
Forum Books
November 30, 2014

BISAC: Architecture/Planning

Purchase from Kindle Store here.

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The Dark Side of the City | BBC Culture

Interesting article on BBC Culture this morning about the depiction of urban loneliness in the paintings of Edward Hopper based on excerpts from The Lonely City, a new book by Olivia Laing.


“This is the thing about cities, the way that even indoors you’re always at the mercy of a stranger’s gaze. Wherever I went – pacing back and forth between the bed and couch; roaming into the kitchen to regard the abandoned boxes of ice cream in the freezer – I could be seen by the people who lived in the Arlington, the vast Queen Anne co-op that dominated the view, its 10 brick storeys lagged in scaffolding. At the same time, I could also play the watcher, Rear Window-style, peering in on dozens of people with whom I’d never exchange a word, all of them engrossed in the small intimacies of the day. Loading a dishwasher naked; tapping in on heels to cook the children’s supper.”

Edward Hopper (July 22, 1882 – May 15, 1967) was a prominent American realist painter and printmaker (Source: Wikipedia). Born in 1882, Edward Hopper trained as an illustrator and devoted much of his early career to advertising and etchings. Influenced by the Ashcan School and taking up residence in New York City, Hopper began to paint the commonplaces of urban life with still, anonymous figures, and compositions that evoke a sense of loneliness. His famous works include House by the Railroad (1925), Automat (1927) and the iconic Nighthawks (1942). Hopper died in 1967 (Source: Biography.com).

Read the full article here: The dark side of the city | BBC Culture

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FROM THE VAULT | Concerning the Spiritual in Art

Concerning the Spiritual in Art by Wassily Kandinsky

“It is the conviction that nothing mysterious can ever happen in our everyday life that has destroyed the joy of abstract thought.”

Students and aspiring artists will find the entirety of Concerning the Spiritual in Art by Wassily Kandinsky a fascinating read. Throughout, Kandinsky attempts to lay out a theory of art through analogy to the composition of music. In doing so, Kandinsky is explicitly seeking to promote the inner expression or spirituality of the artist in the creation of a truly abstract art. For architects, urban designers, and urban planners, it is likely that they will find particular sections of Concerning the Spiritual in Art more useful to their own area of interest than others in the book; in particular, page 21-45 on the psychological effect and language/form of color. As might be expected from an artist of Kandinsky’s standing, he has some very interesting and insightful ideas about the use and mixture of colors in composition. It seems like some of these ideas might prove useful application in the built environment, especially for those who find themselves constrained in an oppressive world of beige. Certainly, the use of color in the built environment appears to be a poorly understood subject, especially in the United States. It couldn’t hurt for some professionals to better understand the topic.

About Wassily Kandinsky
Wassily Kandinsky (December  16, 1866 – December 13, 1944) was an influential Russian painter and art theorist. He is credited with painting one of the first purely abstract works. Born in Moscow, Kandinsky spent his childhood in Odessa, where he graduated from Grekov Odessa Art school. He enrolled at the University of Moscow, studying law and economics. Successful in his profession, he was offered a professorship (Chair of Roman Law) at the University of Dorpat. Kandinsky began painting studies (life-drawing, sketching and anatomy) at the age of 30. In 1896, Kandinsky settled in Munich, studying first at Anton Ažbe’s private school and then at the Academy of Fine Arts. He returned to Moscow in 1914 after the outbreak of World War I. Kandinsky was unsympathetic to the official theories on art in Communist Moscow and returned to Germany in 1921. He taught at the Bauhaus school of art and architecture from 1922 until the Nazis closed the school in 1933. He then moved to France, where he lived for the rest of his life, becoming a French citizen in 1939 and producing some of his most prominent art (Source: Wikipedia).

Concerning the Spiritual in Art by Wassily Kandinsky
Paperback (76 pages), English
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (June 11, 2010)
ISBN-13: 978-1453627426
ISBN-10: 1453627421

You can purchase Concerning the Spiritual in Art by Wassily Kandinsky on Amazon here.

From the Vault is a series from the Outlaw Urbanist in which we review art, architectural and urban design texts, with an emphasis on the obscure and forgotten, found in second-hand bookstores.

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Reimagining the Urban | Art and Public Space | University of Auckland

A global search to find the planet’s most outstanding public art will culminate in an awards ceremony, exhibition and conference in Auckland in early July.

The 2015 International Award for Public Art (IAPA) seeks to promote and advance culturally diverse, socially responsive public art. An exhibition of case studies featuring the top 32 projects from around the world will be on display at Auckland Art Gallery during the conference, and the 2015 winner will be announced at a prize-giving dinner at the gallery on Wednesday 1 July.

Projects as diverse as a floating school in Nigeria, a restaurant serving cuisine from countries the USA is in conflict with, an experimental sexual politics initiative in India, and a post-earthquake pavilion for the people of Christchurch, represent a selection of the rich, challenging, and divergent practice of public art.

The International Award for Public Art is a biennial search for the most outstanding recent socially-engaged art projects. The inaugural award (2013) was won by Venezuelan artist and architect Alejandro Haiek Coll, co-director of design collective LabProFab, for the Tiuna el Fuerte Cultural Park project, an inventive and community focused redevelopmemt of an abandoned parking lot in Caracas.

The 2015 conference, titled Cities in a Climate of Change: Public Art and Environmental and Social Ecologies, is jointly hosted by Elam School of Fine Arts at the University of Auckland and Shandong University of Art and Design, China. Held at the University of Auckland from 1-4 July 2015, the event will bring together artists, curators, urban planners, architects and museum directors from around the world to discuss art and its relationship to urban development.

Cities in a Climate of Change will encourage dialogue about public art and the place-making practices contributing to the formation of ‘liveable cities’. Alongside keynote speakers and the inaugural IAPA winner, creators of six of the finalist projects will present and discuss their work. The conference will also include presentations on the scholarship of studio teaching, focusing on the public dimension of the built, visual, and performing arts.

Chair of the Institute for Public Art, British curator and cultural consultant Lewis Biggs comments: “Congratulations to Auckland for hosting this combined event of a Conference, Exhibition and Awards ceremony – which together focus on the power and flexibility of public art as a rapidly developing area of knowledge and expertise globally. The Institute for Public Art was founded to undertake and share research, to create a supportive network for practitioners, and to advocate public art to decision makers worldwide. Cities in a Climate of Change demonstrates how vital these motives are, and how much there is to celebrate once knowledge starts to flow from continent to continent.”

Alongside the Cities in a Climate of Change conference, Tokyo-based artist Jun Kitazawa will create a socially based public art project in central Auckland during the 2015 IAPA. Kitazawa is a Elam International Artist in Residence who has established a practice working in collaboration with local government, educational institutions, business and local communities to develop projects which relate to everyday life.

The 2015 International Award for Public Art Exhibition and Conference

For more information, visit here.

Conference: The University of Auckland (1-4 July)
Exhibition: Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki (27 June-6 July).
The University of Auckland’s National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries comprises the Elam School of Fine Arts, School of Architecture and Planning, the Centre for Art Studies, the School of Music and the Dance Studies Programme.

For more information, contact:

Miranda Playfair
Media Relations Adviser
National Institute of Creative Arts & Industries
The University of Auckland
Phone: +64 (9) 373 7599 ext 85029
Mobile: +64 21 063 8393
Email: [email protected]

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FROM THE VAULT | Paul Klee on Modern Art

FROM THE VAULT |  Paul Klee on Modern Art
by Dr. Mark David Major, AICP, CNU-A, The Outlaw Urbanist contributor

Paul Klee on Modern Art (with Introduction by Herbert Read) is the text of a lecture delivered in 1924 at the opening of a museum exhibit of modern art (thus it reads in the first person). It is a series of brief commentaries on the Modernist creative process. Herbert Read’s brief but excellent introduction is an enlightening, concise summary of Klee’s intent in the lecture as well as the difficulties some readers might encounter while reading the text. Because Klee focuses on the creative process, he looks inward rather than outward (as he did in Creative Confessions), which gives the text a bit of an ego-centric viewpoint. In this sense, Modern Art is really about the artist in the world (in this case, Klee himself). Klee’s explicit reservations about speaking about his art also tends to make Modern Art feel somewhat defensive.

Because of this, Modern Art is not as rich with interesting observations, concepts and quotes that might find a common expression in architecture or urban planning (except perhaps its worst excesses, i.e. the architectural genius). Indeed, some of Klee’s text seems to pull back on his thoughts in Creative Confessions. For example, he states “line is the most limited”, which seems to contradict the ‘inherent energy’ he discussed in the other work. Instead, he shifts his focus to tone and color as an unmeasurable ‘quality’ in art, with explicit references to ‘mood’ in the artist and the emotions provoke in the character of a piece of art. In this sense, Modern Art represents a counter (and lesser) movement to Creative Confessions, of more limited application outside the realm of the artistic compulsion itself where there is “more value on the powers (i.e. the artist) which do the forming than the final forms themselves” residing “in the womb of nature” where the artist literally becomes a God himself in a creative act of genesis.

Paul Klee on Modern Art
by Paul Klee (with Introduction by Herbert Read)
55 pages
Faber and Faber Ltd. London. Paper Covered Editions (1967)

You can purchase Paul Klee on Modern Art from Amazon here.

Check out the Artsy.net Paul Klee page here.

From the Vault is a series from the Outlaw Urbanist in which we review art, architectural and urban design texts, with an emphasis on the obscure and forgotten, found in second-hand bookstores.

Share the knowledge!