May 23, 2012

Three Women and Plexi Glass

Don’t ask me why but I ADORE plexi-glass – I always have. I seriously incorporate it into every interior I create. I love how shinny it is. I love how it can be opaque and transparent. I love that it’s reflective. It makes the most amazing backdrop and room divider in a space. I love how something so slick can be juxtaposed with say an object from the 18th century and it all seems so fresh, modern and unexpected.

Here are three amazing sculptors – all worked in plexi-glass – all were women – and all were on the forefront of new movements in art. Each artist has influenced my work and shaped my understanding of objects and surroundings. Louise Nevelson’s plexi pieces were void of color and were completely clear – they were intricate and geometric, architectural and orderly – but never symmetrical. Aaronel deRoy Gruber worked in color plexi and created sculptures that moved – kinetic works have always intrigued me – her work was based on logic, light, movement and symmetry. Nicola L. has always had a fascination as I have with body parts – her quirky oddities of lighting, seating and other objects are fascinatingly strange – with a wonderful sense of humor. 

Aaronel deRoy Gruber Life of it's Own, 1972
Plexiglass and chrome kinetic sculpture, with motorized base. 34 x 27 x 26"
image Francis Frost Gallery

Nicola L. Blue Eye, wall sculpture
image Galerie Pierre-Alain Challier

Louise Nevelson Ice Palace
image Christie's

Aaronel deRoy Gruber

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1918, she was an abstract expressionist painter and sculptor in steel and plexi-glass later in her career she went into photography. Gruber graduated in 1940 from the Carnegie Institute of Technology (Carnegie Mellon) with a major in science, however she also studied extensively in the college of fine arts. Her work in the 1960s and 70s with plexi-glass and kinetic sculpture garnered her an international reputation.

Aaronel deRoy Gruber Untitled, 1976
Plexiglass and chrome kinetic sculpture, with motorized base. 45.5 x 10 x 10" 
image Francis Frost Gallery

         Aaronel deRoy Gruber Moment in Time, 1973
       Plexiglass sculpture with illuminated base. 18.5 x 14.5 x 14.5" 
      image Francis Frost Gallery

     Aaronel deRoy Gruber Untitled, 1970s
         Plexiglass kinetic sculpture with motorized base. 16 x 12 x 12" 
          image Francis Frost Gallery

Louise Nevelson

Louise Nevelson’s career spanned over sixty years. She was considered the most influential female artist of her time. Her work is marked by periods of abstract sculpture – mainly focused on geometric forms. Her pieces were primilary constructed of wood and painted black - with brief moments early on when she used gold or white. In the late 1960s she began experimenting with plexi-glass (clear) and created two series Canada and Ice Palaces (both made with plexi).

     Louise Nevelson Canada Series, 1968
     Plexiglass and chrome kinetic sculpture, with motorized base. 16.5 x 13 x 8" 
    image Pace Gallery

For the last 20+ years I have owned this early 1960s Louise Nevelson gold sculpture - I have proudly displayed it in all my crazy houses and have incorporated it into my sometimes impromptu re-decorating of them all. Shown here in 2009 - my Miami Beach dressing room. Note - the walls are all created using teal blue mirrored plexi-glass panels. The rug and console are both Doug & Gene Meyer designs.
image Mark Roskams

My Miami house in 2003 - the Nevelson holds court in the living room.
HOME & DESIGN, 2003 image Troy Campbell

In 2010 she made her way back up to New York.
 image Mark Roskams

         Louise Nevelson Untitled, 1965
        Lucite bracelet and ring

         Louise Nevelson Transparent Sculpture IV, 1968
   Plastic, 8 x 12 x 11"
   Collection Albright-Knox Gallery 

Nicola L.

French born Nicola L. is a conceptual artist who creates performances, films and functional art. She had her first show at Daniel Templon Gallery, Paris in 1969 and the Wadell Gallery, New York in 1973. She moved to New York in 1979. From 1986 to today she has exhibited at numerous galleries: Moss, Vrej Baghoomian, Peder Bonier, Wooster Projects, Ingrao Gallery and Twentieth Gallery.

Nicola L. Red Foot, 1967-68, edition of 50. Vinyl, 69" long. 

Nicola L. Blue Eye, table lamp, 1969 
image Galerie Pierre-Alain Challier

Nicola L. Lips, floor lamp 
image Galerie Pierre-Alain Challier

My Miami Beach Apartment with Nicola L’s hanging Eye Ball and a collection of faux bois pottery by Grandjean Jourdan, France. 
image Mark Roskams AD France

My Miami Beach dining room with Nicola L’s hanging Eye Ball above an Eero Saarinen table. Note the walls are plexi-glass with silk screens of sea shells - inspired by Gio Ponti and Piero Fornasetti. 
image Mark Roskams AD France

Nicola L. Green Eye, floor lamp
image Galerie Pierre-Alain Challier

Aaronel deRoy Gruber work is available at Francis Frost Gallery
Nicola L work is available at Galerie Pierre-Alain Challier

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