The Eames Lounge Chair is probably the single most iconic piece of high modernist furniture ever made. Designed by famed modernist designer couple Charles and Ray Eames for the Herman Miller furniture company, the Lounge’s sleek wooden curves and sumptuous leather have pretty much become a byword for wealth and luxury in the design world. In fact, the Lounge Chair was the first luxury product Charles and Ray Eames designed. Check out the original 1956 commercial for the chair that showcases its modular construction, plus a vintage interview with Charles Eames and a modern version of the first ad.
Architectural criticism takes to the streets in this video walk through of starchitect Zaha Hadid’s new opera house in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province in China. Wandering through the structure’s alien curves and strange spaces, Guardian architecture critic Jonathan Glancey explains how the opera house combines high-concept intellectualism with populism, showing how audiences interact with the space and interviewing an effusive (not to mention operatically dressed) Hadid.
Can you believe your internet? Newst Week is a physical device that gets implanted by pranksters in a specific location, a coffee shop, for example. After connecting to the internet through a local router, the device intercepts wireless signals going to computers and edits the headlines on news websites. US Wants Julian Assange as Head of Department of Defense!?
When I was 13, I got my entrance into modern art through a book that explored the development of modernism artist by artist and piece by piece. My favorite artist from that book? Pablo Picasso, of course. That early art-viewing experience still makes it inspiring to watch the artist paint in this video, a cut from the 1950 documentary Visit to Picasso.
In honor of International Women’s Day, here’s a video of one of modernism’s most enduring female painters, Georgia O’Keeffe. The artist had visited New Mexico on and off since 1928 but in 1940 she bought a house in Ghost Ranch. This video captures O’Keeffe at age 92, still in New Mexico, and still drawing inspiration from the landscape around her.
YouTube star and art-world explainer Hennesy Youngman records a rant about artists’ personal mythologies, the tall tales that serve as the background for many art superstars. Besides a lesson in hagiography, this video serves up an awesome comparison of myth-making practices between rapper Jay-Z and artist Joseph Beuys.
Painter, sculptor and all-around legendary artist Louise Bourgeois lived through most of the important moments in the development of modern art before she died at age 98 in 2010. This means that she had a long time to figure out how to interact with prodding members of the press. In this video, watch Bourgeois as she shuts down an interviewer by turning on a band-saw in her studio.
We all knew Young British Artist Tracey Emin isn’t afraid to say what’s on her mind. From making her unmade bed into an art installation to appliqueing the name of everyone she’s ever slept with on a tent, no one can say Emin doesn’t bare it all. In this 1999 interview Emin gets even more personal: she recounts how her first abortion forced her to rethink her artwork.
Richard Serra may be best known for his curving steel wall sculptures, but his earlier works erred even more on the side of conceptually abstract. The artist’s 1967 “Verb List Compilation: Actions to Relate to Oneself” kicked off a body of work in which a single verb directly translated into art. Check out “Hands Scraping” (1968) above.
If Hyperallergic was a teen magazine, Museum of Modern Art design curator Paola Antonelli would totally be our crush of the moment. In this video, from Vice’s Creators Project, see Antonelli discuss the “communication” that takes place between people and technology, through the medium of design.
In our book review from last week, we looked at the art-world comic book Adventures of Grossmalerman, the often-bloody satire of a bad-boy German painter. This video episode of Grossmalerman lampoons the classic cliche of a studio visit: a standoffish critic takes one look at the artist’s latest canvas and pronounces it “Matisse with some porn thrown in.”
Youtube is a surprisingly excellent place to see art, and not just the latest glitchy gif set your neighbor came up with. The site is full of historical performance videos, all just a click away. One of the greats is Martha Rosler’s performance “Semiotics of the Kitchen” (1975), in which the artist goes through an alphabet’s worth of kitchen implements for a blistering feminist critique of traditional gender roles.