Ideas for Contemporary Living

Tag: Art

Fog Fair 2018

Posted on January 23rd, by David Bjorngaard in Here/There, The Moment. No Comments

We just had the Fog Design+Art Fair, which is one of my favorite events. Once again Bjørn Design was a Fog Forum member, which benefits the SFMOMA’s Department of Architecture and Design. Unfortunately this year I was down for the count: a poorly timed infection meant that I stayed home for much of the fair, missing all the fun parties and lectures. On the very last day, however, I did manage to drag myself out of bed to visit the fair.

Color, line, texture, and ingenuity were on display, and this was our chance here in SF to see some of the best art and design from galleries from all around the world. Here are a few of my favorite things.

 

If you know me, you’re aware of my commitment to the local art community.  So I was happy to see some of my favorite local galleries supporting local artists.

Haines Gallery impressed with a selection from John Chiara’s latest show. In particular, I love this camera obscure work, “Westline Drive at Mussel Rock, 2017”

Jessica Silverman Gallery included new sculptures by Woody De Othello and visceral paintings by Dashiell Manley.

Fraenkel Gallery did not disappoint, and in particular I loved this Diane Arbus piece “Clouds on-screen at a … Read More »


Beauty

Posted on February 28th, by David Bjorngaard in Elements, Here/There, The Moment. 1 Comment

I caught the Cooper Hewitt’s Design Triennial at the San Jose Museum of Art just before it closed.  Titled Beauty, the show explores contrasting themes in contemporary design, where the worlds of art, craft, technique and automation intersect or contrast. While offering a glimpse at the work of some of the hottest designers working today, the exhibition also offered an opportunity for me to ponder the age-old question…what is beauty?  Here are a few of the standouts from the show.

Max Lamb might be one of my favorite designers working today.  There is something visceral in his process, as Lamb explores and integrates the process of furniture making into the end pieces.  Lamb uses raw, often inexpensive and throw away materials, in combination with experimental techniques which result in a rough and tactile quality. This work resonates directly with me, perhaps because I believe that intellect and education only bring us so far in the designing of spaces…we need to ask how does a space feel.

To get a glimpse of Lamb’s process, check out this video of the fabrication of the Pewter stool, where Lamb pours molten pewter into a mold dug into the sand at the beach. He then excavated the hardened piece from … Read More »


Fog Fair

Posted on January 12th, by David Bjorngaard in Elements, Here/There, The Moment. No Comments

I’ve spent the afternoon being inspired at the  Fog Art+Design show at Fort Mason Center, January 12-15. The fair brings some of the best contemporary furniture dealers and art galleries to San Francisco. There are many amazing objects and pieces of furniture which will make you stop in appreciation, especially if you appreciate  process and technique. New discoveries and works by old friends abound. Even if you’re not a collector, a show like this helps to train your eye, which will make it easier for you to sort through all the design choices you encounter. It also helps one learn how to stylishly display our own personal and prized treasures at home. I hope you’ll go explore. Here are a few of my favorite objects from the show.

Finally, check out this great ad…love my day job!

David Bjørngaard, January 2017


Building Art

Posted on December 13th, by David Bjorngaard in Here/There, The Moment. No Comments

On my travels this summer, I took as a little light reading Frank Gehry’s biography (haha, only an interior designer or architect would call this light reading!).

For me it was an unlikely choice, as I am not a huge fan of Gehry’s work. Admittedly, I haven’t seen any of his best work in person.  My understanding is from impressions made over twenty years ago when I stood on the banks of the Mississippi River as a young college student.  The “Standing Glass Fish”, at the Walker Art Center, with its’ internal structure supporting the fish scales, is fabulous;  the Weisman Art Museum, with its’ impractical gallery spaces, is a mess to my mind.

But long ago impressions and prejudices can be overcome by new encounters and gentle persuasion by others. While in Paris, artist Daniel Buren provided that persuasion with his “visual tools”: acrylic colored paneled applied in checker board fashion.

At Fondation Louis Vuitton , Buren transformed the Gehry designed space and its’ context to create Observatory of Light.  Now Gehry’s twelve glass covered sails, or “icebergs”, are defined in thirteen colors and stripes. This intervention gives physical presence to light, as the light shifts and moves throughout the day.

My … Read More »


Bloom

Posted on May 12th, by David Bjorngaard in Elements, The Moment. No Comments

This carpet collection by American designer and florist  Jeff Latham for  Tai Ping Carpets strikes notes that resonate with me: artistic, bold and modern. I want to reach out to touch and feel these textural carpets…they are very tactile. And the colors and designs are so sumptuous that they stand alone as art.

 Inspired by his medium, flowers, the carpets are a contemporary riot of color and pattern, rendered with a water colorists brush. The shading and the patterns are beautiful, with color seeping through and staining a graphic grid. It’s sort of like a slightly faded flower, where decay or “wilding” are allowed to seep in and humanize the grid. To me, this resonates with how I want to live today: guided by modernist principles, but allowing nature, chance and artistry to soften the edges. Even if we are not buying a rug for a living room or bedroom, we can be inspired by this new found freedom in design.

 

David Bjørngaard, May 2016

{Images from Taiping Edward Fields.}


Oslo Opera

Posted on April 6th, by David Bjorngaard in Here/There, The Moment. No Comments

I have big expectations for the new SFMOMA expansion. A couple of years ago I was fortunate enough to see first hand the work of the architects when I visited Oslo. I was so excited! It was an architecture pilgrimage. I dragged my poor dad across the city, and together we roamed around and over and throughout the Oslo Opera House. It was early summer of 2008, and my dad and I were just beginning our heritage tour, during which my dad would introduce me to places and relatives that he knew well. But on the first days of our trip, I was able to show my dad the things that excite and animate me in my work: good design, great art. This meant exploring Stave churches, museums and the opera house.

What makes the Oslo Opera House so unique and visually interesting is the seamless integration of art and architecture. Due to a art-sales tax, the architects were able to incorporate the work of several artists into the bones of the building. Four particular pieces shine bright.

Roof (2007). The building is like an iceberg that floats on the edge of the bay, with one lip emerging from the water and rising to large, monolithic structure. The … Read More »


Light Fantastic

Posted on February 16th, by David Bjorngaard in Here/There, The Moment. No Comments

This past week I ran into Leo Villereal’s work at every turn. On a break from work, I saw a great show at Jessica Silverman/fused space gallery. Watching the Super Bowl fireworks show, there was Villereal’s work at the Bay Bridge as a back drop {click here}. And then there on the back page of Architectural Digest was his installation at the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian Museum. Clearly there is a convergence of interest in the work.

The work of Leo Villereal resonates with me: its fluid, evolving, and utilizes technology to create eye-catching, ephemeral installations that compliment the viewer in a way that makes us feel hip and modern for getting it. Usually working in installation format, the site-specific works morph into organic forms or simply turn on-off in random fashion. These pieces take advantage of the minutiae of  LED lighting combined with the speed and finesse of computer programming software and electrical hardware.

The computer software and electrical hardware provide the vehicle for the visual manifestation of code–an artist-written algorithm employing the binary system of 1s and 0s telling each LED when to turn on or off. This simple command creates lighting sequences that synchronize or randomly diverge. It also changes how we think … Read More »


Snapshot 24

Posted on January 12th, by David Bjorngaard in Here/There, Inhabit. No Comments

A fixture of Bay Area art for decades, David Ireland lived the life he preached, turning his house at 500 Capp Street into a living sculpture. Ideas of impermanence, authorship, and “what is art” all come together in one living experiment.
 
His house was one of the first projects that I studied while at CCA. I was excited by the originality and unconventionality: beds and walls that move, torches as lamps, decay as art/decoration. I love that Ireland shellacked all the walls, thereby preserving the decay. Ironically, the house has now been painstakingly restored to its original state of decay (along with foundation and public access code requirements) and will reopen to the public this month.  The 500 Capp Street Foundation is dedicated to providing access to the artist’s work, related study and public programming. It’s worth checking out.
 

A signature of David Ireland’s art is his dumbballs, formed by passing a lump of concrete from hand to hand (over a period of hours) until a sphere sets up and hardens.  The artwork required time and repetition, with theory over-taking notions of craft and artist’s decision-making. Chance and physical characteristic become the output of the creative process, where the performance that engages the body as much as the mind. Isn’t this connection … Read More »


Snapshot 23

Posted on December 15th, by David Bjorngaard in Here/There. No Comments

I was walking by the new SFMOMA extension the other night, and inside the window you can see the form of Richard Serra‘s Torqued series steel sculptures. I am excited, as this series of Serra’s work is monumental and physical, with the experience being immersive: your senses, your body, experiences this work.

The first time I really saw Serra’s work – where I experienced the work – was at Dia Beacon in upstate New York. Large sculptures lined a wing of this former factory building, and the space in early January was devoid of people. The effect of the steel rising overhead, compressing and expanding the quiet space, was thrilling.

Yet, the piece of Serra’s that I am most excited to see again at SFMOMA is his site-specific Gutter Corner Splash: Night Shift (1969/1995), which was created then buried behind the wall of the temporary exhibition space. 6 tons of lead was melted, thrown, and peeled away from the wall once cool. This body of work, started in the 1960’s, is intended to show the action of “process”. Melting, splashing, casting; you can see the process {here}.

This piece is physical, cerebral, and temporal. The medium, once cooled, is unstable, being both soft and unable to hold shape, … Read More »