Friday, June 24, 2011

Back in NYC: Stephen Burks

I've known this artist for years but I guess like any good relationship it only happens when both parties are ready. In Venice and Basel we met and smiled and this time promised to find out WTF each of us was doing in the art world. Yesterday he took me on a tour of his exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem, and then his first curated exhibition at the Museum of Arts & Design in Columbus Circle.

"Stephen Burks: Man Made" is the first exhibition of design at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Focusing on a creative collaboration between Stephen and his studio Ready Made Projects in NYC with basket weavers in Senegal, the exhibition offers videos about the process of creation, photographs by the artist of locals interacting with his exhibition of works in Senegal, lamps, speakers, tables, chairs and other decorative and functional objects made with the shape and idea of the basket. A series of interactive days where the artist and guests actually created things are over, but the exibition ends on Sunday so rush over there.

At MAD, Stephen has put together an exceptional exhibition of art and design along the idea of the hybrid; i.e. the influence of the ethnic on contemporary art and culture. "Stephen Burks: Are You a Hybrid?" includes work by American Indian artist Brad Kahlhammer, Charles and Ray Eames, Chris Ofili, Isamu Noguchi, Delphine Diallo, many others and by the artist himself. This exhibition goes till October 2, but run to see it!
Stephen Burks, Cappellini Love Table, 2008

Maarten Van Severen, Hybrid Cutlery, 2008

Zwelethu Mthethwa, Untiltled (from the series interiors), 2010

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