Art Digest: March 08—14

By März 14, 2021 No Comments

Julia Kryshevich

Art Digest: March 08—14

It’s so gratifying that good things never come alone. Slowly but surely, spring is taking possession, and now we choose even lighter materials to put on, while the soul is singing together with the birds, which have come back from the south. The haute couture season is also in full swing. A few days ago the Paris Fashion Week FW 2021—2022 was finalized, and it was quite a spectacle. Counter-intuitively, however, we are not going to cover the vogue event now, stepping aside a bit in favor of art installations, skillfully illustrated books, and exclusive photographs. 

As usually, the creative fields are not clearly distinguished, but rather channelled here. One of the world’s most famous artists denudes his past as a fashion illustrator (find material evidence is attached); a talented designer gets back to his photographic background, while another couturier has never deviated from his enthusiasm for arts and successfully integrated it into his work. Enough with the puzzles, let’s take off with the Art Digest of the week! 

A R T 

A rare cookbook illustrated by Andy Warhol auctions off 

No doubt it’s the Campbell’s soup tins canvases that made Andy Warhol’s name recognizable in the art world. Today almost everyone has heard of or seen reproductions of Marilyn Monroe Diptych, Eight Elvises, and Green Coca Cola Bottles by the Pop Art King. However, not that many people know that young Andy started off as a commercial illustrator primarily sketching for fashion magazines. For that reason, the news of Warhol’s self-published book full of playful recipes going to auction might surprise most of his fans. Bonhams auction house bids the artist’s rare 1959 cookbook created together with the interior decorator Suzie Frankfurt. The book’s sound title Wild Raspberries is an allusion to Wild Strawberries, the quintessential Ingmar Bergman’s film (1957). 

‘The books perfectly capture the puckish nature of much of Warhol’s work’ 
(Book and Manuscript specialist at Bonhams New York, Darren Sutherland)

Jokingly following the lavish cookbooks fad of the 50s or rather parodying it, Warhol together with Frankfurt published 34 copies of the recipe book, having managed to sell around 20 of them (despite the original ambitions of the artist to make a million on the edition). 

Andy Warhol got to know Frankfurt in his beloved Serendipity ice cream shop, which at night would turn into an art gallery with some of Andy’s drawings on show. The co-authors make fun of the high cuisine of the time in the book, with seeming excitement, discussing such recipes as ‘Omlet Greta Garbo’ (‘always to be eaten alone in a candlelit room’), ‘Gefilte of Fighting Fish’ (‘immerse them in sea water and allow them to do battle until they completely bone each other’), and ‘Seared Roebuck’ (‘ <…> roebuck shot in ambush is infinitely better than roebuck killed after a chase’). Interesting enough, Andy’s mother, Julia Warhol also took part in the process doing the calligraphy. Wild Raspberries is auctioning off at Bonhams NY in March 2021 for an estimated $30,000-$50,000.

Bed of salt cherry petals in the installation by Motoi Yamamoto 

Just imagine: a huge field of white cherry petals in front of an exhibition hall. A well-prepared love confession or, maybe, a grief for the one who left? It turns out to be both. Japanese artist Motoi Yamamoto, who has been using salt in his works since he mourned the death of his beloved sister has created a large-scale installation called Sakura Shibefuru (falling cherry petals) for the Setouchi City Art Museum. The installation features about 100,000 cherry blossom salt petals, which the artist developed one by one, during the nine days of careful work. 

Cherry blossoms here don’t only stand for the beauty of the flower, but also touch upon such eternal topics as the continuous circle of life and death. Sakura Shibefuru is the second Yamamoto’s exhibition hosted by the Setouchi City Art Museum. The artist’s debut took place in 2013, when his Floating Garden (an extended 100m2 structure featuring interconnected white lines and a deep blue ground) was put on display. As for the current exhibition, it also includes two-dimensional works created by Motoi Yamamoto in 1995 in the very beginning of his salt-concept series. You still have time until May 05 to see Yamamoto’s solo show.

P H O T O G R A P H Y 

Solo exhibition by Hedi Slimane opens its doors in Shanghai 

If you watched Celine Homme Winter 2021 show, you might have spotted Hedi Slimane’s love for minimalist aesthetics. The creative director of Maison Celine, Slimane successfully combines his interest in photography and fashion. Having graduated from the École du Louvre in Paris with a degree in Art History, Hedi Slimane began his career in vogue as an assistant to fashion consultant Jean-Jacques Picart, but he wouldn’t give up photography, which, indeed, wasn’t for nothing. 

The fruits of Slimane’s steady work as well as his distinctive concise manner of shooting will be presented at his solo exhibition to open this month in Shanghai at the place called Almine Rech Gallery. Titled Sun of Sound, the exhibit will mark Slimane’s debut in China and become his first solo show over the past 7 years. The Sun of Sound exhibition comes as a homage to the music scene and all its stakeholders, carefully assembled by Slimane during his years of work in the field. In focus are such music stars as Amy Winehouse, Lou Reed, Keith Richards, Brian Wilson, and even Pete Doherty, an emerging British punk rock musician at the time. Besides, get ready to see an immersive sound installation, which introduces the viewer into Slimane’s process of exploration of music.

F A S H I O N 

Issey Miyake introduces a new menswear line 

Wizard of Japanese fashion and founder of the world-known brand, the 82-year-old Issey Miyake is the type of person one can write a book about. Having studied graphic design in his home Tokyo, Miyake went to Paris to be enrolled in the eminent Chambre syndicale de la couture, where, by the way, he made friends with Kenzo Takada (more on the heritage of the late couturier here). Before moving to free floating, Issey Miyake managed to work for such maitres as Guy Laroche, Hubert de Givenchy, and Geoffrey Beene. The designer’s passion for art (Miyake drew inspiration from Isamu Noguchi’s works and appreciated his contact with artists like Christo and Robert Rauschenberg) just boosted his career in fashion. Issey Miyake collections as well as his perfume limes encompass the structuredness of good architecture and the free-thinking abstract vision, which, eventually, have won him international renown and success. 

Issey Miyake Inc. is famous for the few lines hosted by the company, specializing on bags, fragrances, watches, and, surely, different lines of wear both for men and women. In summer 2020 the founder of the brand announced the closing of the Issey Miyake Men. However, it merely meant the concept was to be continued. The new line IM MEN by the Issey Miyake Design Studio has been created to suggest unconventional menswear options — functional, minimalist, nothing extra, just the way Mr. Miyake prefers it. Perfectly cut jackets and pants of some bright yet natural hues, comfortable trench coats, shirts, and shoes all are made of eco-friendly, recycled materials such as plant-based polyester. Over the weekend the line was presented in Issey Miyake’s Aoyama flagship in Tokyo. Looking forward to seeing IM MEN collections in international distribution.

On the cover: Young Andy Warhol and Suzie Frankfurt over a bite. Photo: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images