In theory

Felt Forms

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Dutch artist Claudy Jongstra does incredible and surprising things with wool, felting it to create large-scale architectural settings. Her massive wall-coverings, rugs, and architectural tiles are created by hand in her beautiful Friesland studio, where she keeps and shears her own sheep. Her work – on walls at both Lincoln Center, and the Barnes Foundation (detail image shown), adds a soft, textural element to the clean, minimal spaces its inhabits.

Art Shift

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It’s been fun keeping eye out for new art that rotates on Rag & Bone’s shop at Houston and Elizabeth streets. In April and May, one of our favorite grafitti artists, Aakash Nihalani, turned the wall into an eye-bending green, pink and black geometric vortex. And in June and July, Erik den Breejen created a pixelated, pink and blue image of David Bowie, built from word blocks of lyrics. The newest iteration is from painter Henry Samuelson, whose “White Noise” brings another trick of the eye, building well upon his predecessors.

Lighting the Natural World

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Ohio artist Barry Underwood creates beautiful, otherworldly images, altering the natural landscapes he shoots with site-specific LED illuminations before photographing them. Beginning by researching each site, Underwood pays close attention to its ecological and historical nature. He then builds light installations on-site, placing glowing blue, orange, yellow, or green objects to shift the landscapes into wonderful new worlds.

New Craft

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Artist Sherri Lynn Wood removes quilts from their traditional associations, making masterfully crafted, colorful and abstract new takes on the form. Many of her quilts use organic, abstract forms rather than geometric patterns, playing with shape and color in ways rarely seen in quilting. Wood also teaches her methodology of intuitively forming her compositions, through workshops that emphasize the social and therapeutic aspects of the craft.

Movable Type

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Inspired by his favorite song, artist Antonius Bui hand-wrote the lyrics in looping black cursive on paper, which he then meticulously cut out. The result is a delicate, tactile form of the song, each section connected to form one whole, movable piece. Its a lovely expression of the impact of music, and how it informs other artforms.

Suspended Climbing

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Following up on his impressive installation (Cloud City) on the Met roof last summer, artist Tomás Saraceno installed an even larger and more ambitious interactive place for climbing at the K21 Staendehaus museum in Düsseldorf. “In Orbit” is essentially a giant landscape of 27,000 feet of netting, which hangs 65 feet over the museum’s foyer. Visitors can climb or hang out throughout the layers, suspended above the floor, in the netting or giant plastic orbs that also hang in the space. The work will be up through autumn of 2014.

Traveling Gallery

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Artist Doug Aitken is working with Levi’s to bring together art, music, food, literature and film – all on a train traveling across the country. From New York to San Francisco, with seven stops in between, “Station to Station” will host a diverse group of artists, from Kenneth Anger and Urs Fischer to Charlotte Gainsbourg and Dan Deacon. The train itself will act as a “moving, kinetic light sculpture,” shifting and changing as it chugs along, partnering with seven museums across the country, where it will stop and be open for visitors.

Brighten Up

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Finnish illustrator Annu Kilpelainen’s work is bright enough to enliven any drab day. Her flattened, highly saturated patterns and prints expertly combine and contrast colors in ways we haven’t seen since the 80’s. The compositions “Nice Shorts” and “Spring Shop 2” combine great fields of color and texture with flattened floral and graphic patterns on textiles, framing the patterns well.

Mystical Ceramic

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Brooklyn artist Michele Quan creates beautiful bells, birdhouses, flowers and garlands with ceramic, infusing a magic and mysticism into her simple forms. She paints beautiful Eastern-inspired, graphic florals and seeking eyes, or Day-of-the-Dead skulls on some, and beautiful rainbow shades on others. Quan creates lovely, spiritual worlds with her work, recently installing a piece in a tree as part of a show at Canyon Ranch in Massachusetts, complete with cotton garland wrapping the trunk, ceramic bells hanging, and beaded garlands draped from branches.

Tate Update

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The Tate Britain is looking to the future – the museum will undergo a multi-stage transformation, taking place in a series of phases over the next twenty years. Architects Caruso St. John are over-seeing the renovation and re-opening of the Milbank entrance to the museum, including the striking, graphic spiral staircase (shown). Contemporary artists will also add permanent installations to the building, with Richard Wright creating a stained-glass window, Alan Johnston devising a ceiling drawing, and Nicole Wermers designing a tea & coffee spoon available for purchase in the museum shop.

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