Monday, November 29, 2010

The Artful Modernism of Olson Kundig

A few weeks ago The New York Times published a house designed by Olson Kundig Architects.  It's a very cool house set into a hillside of rocks, overlooking a watery inlet.  I was taken by it's simplicity and the beautiful and interesting way the built form meets the landscape.  My teenage son was equally taken with the design.  For the most part, architecture, at least the traditional work that we tend to do, doesn't interest him in the least.  But when he saw the Olson Kundig house.  He exclaimed that if he could do work like that, he might actually like to be an architect.  Hum? 

This is the house which was published in the Times.  From this angle it looks like a one story building.  The low profile and the sod roof really help it blend into the landscape.  And then...

from the water side, you see the soaring two story wall of glass, and the concrete shear walls which look like they are actually slicing through the rock to make a space for the house.

I also like the mixing of tradional formal furnishings with the sleek modern architectural elements.

I thought my son would like to see these other, very cool, structures.

photos from Olson Kundig website

Friday, November 5, 2010

Elizabeth Peyton

I first saw the paintings of Elizabeth Peyton a few years ago in an article in the New York Times magazine.  I was struck by the energy and bold colors in her work.  I recently came across her name on a blog post about Marc Jacob's apartment.  I think Ms Peyton takes figurative work to a new, really modern and up to date level.  I love the intenisty of her paintings and of her subjects.  Many of whom are famous.  Her work is so contemporary, and yet has the same power to draw you into the world of the subject.  Much in the same way some of my favorite artists from the past did.  I  see her work as a descendent of Sargent, or Whistler, or Velasquez.