Spread from book on Henry van de Velde by Richard Hollis

Richard Hollis’s Henry van de Velde: The Artist as Designer is out at long last. A lot of love, sweat, and tears has gone in to that book. It is absolutely jam packed, covering pretty much all of HvdV’s life with over 400 images. As part of Occasional Papers, I worked on the permissions, a bit of editing, and compiled the index.

Read about how the index was compiled

Quotes from Alison Moloney’s essay in The World of Charles and Ray Eames regarding the couple’s uniform-esque attire.

Their relaxed, workwear aesthetic was an integral part of a carefully considered image, one that complemented the practice of the Eames Office, its philosophy and the Eameses’ own resolute work ethic.

Moloney, Alison. “The Dress of Charles and Ray Eames.” The World of Charles and Ray Eames. Ed. Catherine Ince with Lotte Johnson. London: Thames & Hudson Ltd in association with Barbican Art Gallery, 2015. 149.

Black and white photo of Ray Eames in her standard pinafore

Photo of Ray Eames in her standard pinafore dress (image source)

Ray’s aesthetic was feminine – unsurprisingly so, given the era in which she was working – but it is the habitual wearing of the same style that is most telling, and which, instead, reveals her to be uncompromising and non-conformist.

Moloney. The World of Charles and Ray Eames. 149.

Black and white photo of smiling Charles Eames in bowtie and checked shirt

Photo of Charles Eames in bowtie and checked pullover shirt (image source)

His shirts were well worn, as evidenced by numerous repairs, and reflected the Eames’ make-do-and-mend mentality, which extended to all aspects of their lives, from their routinely darned pillowcases to their wedding-gift toaster, which was said to be constantly repaired.

Moloney. The World of Charles and Ray Eames. 151.

On California, and a book review

I grew up in California but moved away in mid-2010 to the UK for a postgrad at Central Saint Martins. Recently, I had the opportunity to visit San Francisco with my partner. It had been almost five years since I was last in the state.

I had a great time showing him some of my favorite things in San Francisco, discovering new favorites, seeing family and friends. California was as beautiful as I remember, perhaps more so. I didn’t realise just how much I had missed the environment, the fog and the wildlife. A couple of friends and I happened to visit Ocean Beach on an overcast day when thousands of bright indigo jellyfish-like creatures washed up on shore. I spent an afternoon walking the trails through Mt. Sutro with a good friend, passing California poppies, Pepper trees, serpentinite boulders, eucalyptus, mountain irises, hummingbirds, columbines, poison oak.

However, a few of the more disappointing aspects of Californian life have lingered in my mind since returning to the UK, things that I rarely noticed (or maybe more accurately, tried to ignore) when I was living in the Bay Area.

One moment from our trip sticks out in particular.

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Motivation matters more than talent, and for a particular reason. The craftsman’s desire for quality poses a motivational danger: the obsession with getting things perfectly right may deform the work itself. We are more likely to fail as craftsmen, I argue, due to our inability to organize obsession than because of our lack of ability.

One question is, how do you create a way of being in the world that allows new things (ideas, information, people, places) into your life without letting everything in?

Carol Bove’s work is currently part of the Carol Bove / Carlo Scarpa exhibition at the Henry Moore Institute. Sam pointed out a recent tweet from the Institute sharing the article linked above, v. glad to come across it and that Artspace was able to publish the extract in full.

Hope to get my hands on this book. In the meantime, see further extracts from AKADEMIE X on Artspace (links at bottom of Bove’s excerpt).

Incidentally, the exhibition is excellent, revisit it when it’s not quite as busy.