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Struck By Modernism: C. Carl Jennings, California Artist-Blacksmith
is now open at Mingei!
Photograph by Darren Bradley

Monday August 26, 2013

A new exhibition, Struck By Modernism: C. Carl Jennings, California Artist-Blacksmith, at Mingei International Museum explores the rugged individualism of C. Carl Jennings (1910 – 2003), highlighting his physically demanding work as a blacksmith and his distinctive, modern approach to ironwork. Jennings went beyond what he called “plain blacksmithing” to pioneer the role of the artist-blacksmith in postwar California. His artistry is evident in sculpture and refined vessels, and objects such as hand-forged fireplace implements, dramatic gates and light fixtures. Jennings’ vigorous metal forms share a sense of visual simplicity and confident execution. Despite showing his work at major museums throughout California, his name remains largely absent from the familiar list of Northern California studio craftspeople with whom he regularly exhibited during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. See the show and read more HERE.

Beyond my passion for post-War California, I have long been fascinated with early 20th century European modernism. You can imagine my surprise and delight when recently viewing Hans Richter: Encounters – a fantastic show open at LACMA through Sept. 2. Beyond Richter’s fascinating work, you can also witness works by his colleagues Marcel Duchamp, El Lissitzky, Fernand Léger and Sophie Taeuber-Arp. Read more HERE.

Eleven of the original Case Study Houses have found their place on the National Register of Historic Places. Built through a public engagement program launched by Arts & Architecture magazine, the Case Study House program featured works by Richard Neutra, Charles Eames, Pierre Koenig, Craig Ellwood and others. The list off newly-landmarked include Pierre Koenig's Stahl House (aka CSH #22), Entenza House (aka CSH #9) and CSH #21. Read more HERE.

Charles Pollock, creator of the iconic Pollock Executive Chair, and later the CP Lounge Chair, has died at age 83. Born in Michigan, he studied design at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, and would later go on to work for both Charles Eames and George Nelson. In 1958, while working under Nelson at Herman Miller, Pollock designed the curvaceous and now-iconic Swag Leg Armchair (although Nelson was widely credited for the creation). Most notably, in 1963 he introduced the Pollock Executive Chair through Knoll Studio. Read more HERE.

Eileen Gray’s design, e.1027 (built ca. 1929), has been called one of the most beautiful houses of the early 20th century, and was a highlight of this spring’s retrospective of Gray’s work at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. The exhibition opens Oct. 12 at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin. Like many houses of its age, e.1027 deteriorated over time and a restoration project was begun. The work was originally scheduled for completion by now, but the house remains closed and a controversy has erupted over the quality of the renovation.  Read more HERE.


Struck By Modernism: C. Carl Jennings, California Artist-Blacksmith curated by Dave Hampton opens soon!
Photograph by Darren Bradley

Saturday August 17, 2013

Read a fascinating article about how Angelenos are destroying modernist architecture with mcmansions HERE.

Japanese American artist Ruth Asawa died recently at the age of 87. Read more about her HERE.

Raphael Soriano's Kimpson Residence (1940) in Long Beach has been restored/remodeled. Learn more HERE.

Jerrold Lomax's home for his own family in Los Angeles is up for sale. Check out the house HERE.

Greta Grossman's Hurley Residence (ca. 1958) in Lake Hollywood is up for sale for the 2nd time in its history. Read more HERE.

Guest-curated by San Diego contemporary craft authority Dave Hampton, a new exhibition at the Minge (opening 8/24) ‘C. Carl Jennings, California Artist-Blacksmith’ will feature large forged works including gates, headboards, chandeliers, and the free-standing sculpture of California artist-blacksmith C. Carl Jennings (1910 – 2003). Thje show explores Jennings’ physically demanding work as a blacksmith and his distinctive, modern approach to ironwork. Jennings went beyond what he called “plain blacksmithing” to pioneer the role of the artist-blacksmith in postwar California. His artistry is evident in sculpture and refined vessels, and objects such as hand-forged fireplace implements, dramatic gates and light fixtures. Jennings’ vigorous metal forms share a sense of visual simplicity and confident execution. Learn more HERE.


Coming August 24th to Mingei International - 'Struck By Modernism' a new show on C. Carl Jennings' work
Photograph by Darren Bradley

Friday August 2, 2013

The Palm Springs Modern Committee has announced their 'Summer Tour to San Diego' HERE.

Further evidence that remodelling historic architecture grabs more press than restoring (or not amending at all) homes and buildings can be found HERE. In this case, Gregory Ain's architecture office in Silver Lake.

Others are always quicker to good ideas than I am. In this case authors of 'Never Built Los Angeles' have published a book highlighting architects' unbuilt projects! 'Unbuilt San Diego' remains on the drawing boards... but you can learn more about the L.A. effort HERE.

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