Hollyhock House

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The Hollyhock House in Barnsdall Art Park was the only Frank Lloyd Wright house I got to see up close when I was in Los Angeles. The park on that occasion was the venue for the Arthurfest music festival so the house was omnipresent but was closed to visitors. After renovation the building was opened to the public last year, and in November was filmed by Houzz in this short video which includes drone shots of the exterior. Rain Noe at Core77 notes that the house was one of Wright’s notoriously poor constructions but a leaking ceiling doesn’t seem so bad if your home looks as spectacular as this.

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Previously on { feuilleton }
Remembering Arthurfest

Remembering Arthurfest

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The Arthur table. Free mags!

Arthurfest is an as-yet unreleased feature-length documentary by Lance Bangs which captured the two-day music festival of that name in Barnsdall Art Park, Los Angeles. The festival took place ten years ago to the day, and was the first such event organised by the sorely missed Arthur magazine. I was fortunate to witness some of the stunning performances on the park’s tree-bedecked plateau overlooking East Hollywood. Bangs’ cameras were hard to miss at the time—I even photographed one of them—but I’ve never seen any of the footage of the event until the appearance of a teaser which has been posted in advance of a tenth anniversary screening this weekend at Cinefamily, Los Angeles. This is tantalising stuff for the way the cameras bring the bands so much closer than they were when viewed at crowd level. There was also a lot happening each day on three different stages, one of which was indoors in the park’s Gallery Theatre, so it was impossible to see everything. Earth and Sunn O))) played inside the theatre but I missed both their shows as a result of a vampire-like reluctance to queue for a seat in the merciless sunlight. (I did get to drink Jack Daniel’s with the Sunn O))) guys, however…) Fingers crossed that Bangs’ film gets a proper release soon so the rest of us can see it. Meanwhile, here’s a few of my photos of the event…

Update: Arthur‘s Jay Babcock alerts me to footage of the late Jack Rose at the Arthurfest. Also at Lance Bangs’ channel there’s some of the performance by The Juan MacLean. Thanks, Jay!

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The main stage.

Continue reading “Remembering Arthurfest”

Hector Guimard elevations

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Design for the Facade of Societé Immobilière de la Rue Modern, No. 6 (1909).

Drawings by French architect and designer Hector Guimard (1867–1942), the man who gave Paris those plant-like entrances to the Metro stations. The examples here can be seen in greater detail at the Google Art Project where there’s a few more of his works including his typically organic smoking bench. One thing I like about the architectural drawings is seeing the way he stylised his lettering. Frank Lloyd Wright used to do the same on his plans but I doubt there are any architects today who do the same.

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Elevation of an Apartment Building, Société Immobilière, rue Moderne (now rue Agar) (1909–11).

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Rear Facade, Castel d’Orgeval, Parc Beauséjour, near Paris: Elevation (1904).

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Previously on { feuilleton }
Hector Guimard sketches
Temples for Future Religions by François Garas
Elizabetes Iela 10b, Riga
Atelier Elvira
Louis Bonnier’s exposition dreams
The Maison Lavirotte
The House with Chimaeras

Mars architectures

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Mars Architectures 3

Italian architect Stefan Davidovici was in touch recently asking whether I’d be interested in his speculative views of Mars architectures and an imaginary Jerusalem. I am indeed interested in work such as this, whether the designs resemble Frank Lloyd Wright sketches for David Cronenberg’s unfilmed adaptation of Total Recall or the Piranesian buttresses of the Jerusalem pieces. As to the question of “why Mars?”, Davidovici says this:

Because the functions of any Mars settlement, be it made by near-future humans or by far-future post-humans or by the famous little green local cousins of humans are so, so, so completely obscure to us – answering to an unknown society in an unknown environment – as to become totally, completely, absolutely irrelevant. Therefore we can read the architectural space of such a place as pure art.

A range of his work can be found at his blog, the architecture draftsman.

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Mars Architectures 6

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Mars Architectures 9

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Mars Architectures 10

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Mars Architectures 9

Previously on { feuilleton }
La Tour by Schuiten & Peeters
The art of Pierre Clayette, 1930–2005
The art of Erik Desmazières
The art of Gérard Trignac

A Wilde Night

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A couple more pieces from yesterday’s Posters in Miniature. The drawing above is entitled A Wilde Night and credited to Claude Fayette Bragdon (1866–1946) whose design work has appeared here before. Bragdon was an acquaintance of Will Bradley’s, and like Bradley was a man of many talents being variously employed as an architect, writer and stage designer. Bragdon and Bradley both worked together on The Chap-Book, Herbert Stone’s Chicago periodical which commenced publication in 1894, the same year as The Yellow Book, a magazine whose style and light-hearted content Stone and co. seemed keen to emulate. Bragdon’s small drawings for The Chap-Book are less Beardsley-like than Bradley’s designs which is why this very overt homage appears as a surprise.

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Bragdon’s picture is undated but the female figure is taken from Beardsley’s cover for the first issue of The Yellow Book which would place it in around 1894; the satyr-like male is an odd blend of bits of Beardsley’s male and female figures. Aubrey, however, would never have drawn bats like Bragdon’s, or a sleeping policeman…too gauche, my dear. As for the Wildeness, 1894 was only a year away from Oscar’s trial, a time when London was buzzing with scandalous rumours, none of which appear to have reached Chicago.

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Also in Posters in Miniature is this piece by another American, Orlando Giannini (1860–1928), a glass designer and another Chicagoan who worked for a while with Frank Lloyd Wright. This design is dated 1895 and struck me with its radical appearance, so very different from the evolving Art Nouveau styles of the time. Giannini’s work as a glass designer evidently brought a different sensibility to graphic design, one which would have still looked bold and original ten years later.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The illustrators archive
The Oscar Wilde archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Echoes of Aubrey
After Beardsley by Chris James
Illustrating Poe #1: Aubrey Beardsley
Beardsley’s Rape of the Lock
The Savoy magazine
Beardsley at the V&A
Merely fanciful or grotesque
The art of Claude Fayette Bragdon, 1866–1946
Aubrey Beardsley’s musical afterlife
Aubrey by John Selwyn Gilbert
“Weirdsley Daubery”: Beardsley and Punch
Alla Nazimova’s Salomé