Design & Architecture

Living on Cloud 9

Contemporary architecture never ceases to amaze me. It seems like the simplest ideas can often be some of the most remarkable. Take, for instance, this “Cloud House” by McBride Charles Ryan in Australia.

Using the iconic shape of a cloud, these architects built a playful addition to an Edwardian house that provides a bridge from traditional home life into living life on cloud 9. Cue instant whimsy.

[via ArchDaily]

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Design is Human

In 2002, IDEO’s David Kelley presented his idea of human-centered design at the annual TED conference.  Fast forward to 2012 and Bernard McCoy’s Modern Atlanta (MA) takes that philosophy and explodes it across design genres with talks, films, and exhibitions exploring the future of human connectivity through material.  MA’s Design is Human Week begins on June 1 in Atlanta featuring 7 days of corporeal discovery in engineering, architecture, new media, interior design and food (yes, food).

MA brings heavyweights to the Peach State from around the globe, to exchange ideas in motion.  From Paris, Studio Boissard uses the High Museum as backdrop for a conversation on the influence of Pierre Chareau and Jean Prouve in the evolution of architecture.  Boissard was formerly a member of the team behind design powerhouse Philippe Starck before building his own well-know architecture firm.

Other participants throughout the week include Yale School of Architecture, one of the most prestigious institutions for design in the world, New Haven’s Plan B Architecture, John Cantrell, interior designer for international commercial design firm HOK and local phenom Michael Habachy.

Bill Lowe Gallery is pleased to add to the melange with the opening exhibition for Korean artist Cha Jong Rye, whose meticulous manipulation of wood is visually stunning and exemplifies the quality of precision and calculation inherent in great design.

 

 

The week closes with a lecture by Marc Clemenceau Bailly of Gage/Clemenceau Architects who famously collaborated with Lady Gaga on a temporary installation for Fashion Week 2011 that “fused ideas from both fashion and architecture into a new type of physical environment.”

 

Design is Human Week is an unparalleled coalescence of design talent intended to ignite expanded thinking and global consciousness.  MA is not missing a beat, striking all the right notes to cultivate new relationships between design and our experience with it in everyday life.   MA changes the game.

The English Baroque Reborn: Easton Neston

Easton Neston was originally built in 1702 by Nicholas Hawksmoor, who also had his hand in projects such as Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard. Hawksmoor’s design can be classified as English Baroque with his grand portico entrance on the façade as well as giant order columns that suggest a level of grandeur and weightiness. It must also be noted that Hawksmoor included signature lugs or “ears” on the corner of the windows which add a sense of illusion and drama. The dramatic details and sheer craftsmanship of work have kept art historians and enthusiasts alike returning to Easton Neston. While many properties of this stature stay within family lines or are placed in the hands of the National Trust, others are auctioned off through major auction houses like Sotheby’s and Christies.

In 2005, Leon Max of Max Studio purchased Easton Neston from Sotheby’s after a majority of the home’s interiors were auctioned off at the same sale. This left a need to restore the interiors to it’s English Baroque roots.

Max found the perfect duo to take on this grand manor. He chose Ptolemy Dean who had just been inducted as Westminster Abbey’s Surveyor of Fabrics. For the interiors, Max appropriately selected Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill who grew up in Blenheim Palace. Since Easton Neston is comprised of 36 rooms and 32,000 square feet, the team had their work cut out for them. Not only did the entire house need new interiors, but the inner workings of the home dated back to the 1920’s. Through a long process of replicating 18th century designs, buying furniture off site and selecting art that would compliment the space, this exquisite team was able to successfully bring Easton Neston back to life.

I guarantee that Leon Max will be having numerous parties with this dream backdrop! Enjoy a video campaign from Max Studio Spring 2012, filmed onsite at Easton Neston.

Our High Wire Act: An Opening at BLG

Planning for an opening is a daunting task, a flurry of activity that begins months before the event. After previewing a large body of work from the artist, Bill and the staff select favorites and begin conceptualizing an overall theme around the work. For example, our upcoming exhibit entitled Sacred Portal is a sophisticated reference to the work’s carnal subject.

Titles don’t just pop out of thin air; in fact, our last show, The Irascible Muse: A Coming of Age and Fried Green Tomatoes, started with over 2 hours of discussion, brainstorming, and some random word associations until we were absolutely delirious. We took a break and the next day got it just right with a comical twist at the end.

Then there’s inventory, installation, wall tags, marketing and of course the great opening night party! The work arrives to the gallery (normally a week or two before the opening) and it is time for our wonderful, and might I say charming, installers to do some heavy lifting. Uncrating, placing , installing and lighting the work can take up to a week.

 

Bill works his curatorial magic as he strips the gallery to make room for new. Next, the gallery girls to inventory, tag, photograph, and properly document everything with pricing, materials and dimensions. Changes are still made up until the day before opening night to make sure the work makes just the right impact and that the client’s eye will move in a harmonious rhythm from object to object and idea to idea.

If you receive our invitations by mail or email you have become quite familiar with the graphic brilliance of Madame Kwan (prime example below).

Marketing is a coordinated effort and Alex Delotch Davis has her foot tapping in it all. We call all of our favorite journalists, print, online, radio and television, with what we think is the most interesting story in the world (sometimes they agree). We load up the car and hand deliver invitations to our favorite restaurants, design firms, and boutiques to share with their preferred clients. We push email blasts, twitter, facebook, and every other social media that connects us with the world. All to get the right people in the right place at the right time.

Finally opening night: food, wine, flowers, and music all arranged somewhere between uncrating and tweeting. It’s the final element of pizzazz trademark of any BILL LOWE event. For the Pierre Le Duc opening Bill and the staff selected light spring inspired food that would not overpower one’s palette. For the flowers white and lush seemed to be the perfect echo to Pierre’s monumental white linen canvases. As for the music, Florence and the Machines is included amongst our usual upbeat tunes.

 

[Flowers by Twelve and Catering by Soiree]

It’s a real high wire act keeping all the parts moving. What seems like a tranquil, ambient gallery space is underscored by lots of shuffle and buzz that keeps people coming back for more!

Home Is Where the Art Is

On Friday, February 9th, Bill Lowe Gallery launched a brand new event series entitled “Home Is Where the Art Is”. This innovative show concept takes contemporary art out of the “white box” and into a residential setting  to demonstrate the way art can turn a house into a home.

 

The first installment of this series took place in a traditional Atlanta Buckhead manor owned by the former Atlanta Braves pitcher, Derek Lowe. Partnering with Harry Norman Realtors / Christie’s, Bill Lowe Gallery took this furnished residence and imbued it with heart and soul using a mixture of contemporary art and African tribal antiquities. The result is one of surprising drama that elevates the architecture beyond it’s classical design origins.

We conceptualized this event series in order to highlight one of our most valuable attributes: the ability to decipher a client’s motivations and aspirations to determine exactly which pieces will move their spirit and energy to a higher dimension.  Or to break it down in layman’s terms: we figure you out and then we figure your art out.

We often hear the phrase “well I love it, but I can’t see it in my home”; on the contrary, what you love is exactly what you need in your home and we did this to show you precisely how it’s done. You can put a larger-than-life sculpture in your foyer. You can mix tribal material with chic contemporary paintings. You can take risks and they can pay off… beautifully.

 

The Living Room

The Dining Room

The Study

The Stairwell

All of the art placed in the home totaled a retail value of over $1 million. Within a week of the showcase, after being on the market for three months, the house had gone under contract.

The gallery will continue transforming residences throughout the year to advocate an appreciation for art and to show how vital art can be to creating homes that heal, nourish, and protect the soul.

For more pictures from the “Home Is Where The Art Is” installation, click here.

For pictures from the “Home Is Where The Art Is” private reception, click here.