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Large scale works by Jeff Koons, Cy Twombly and others

Large scale works by Jeff Koons, Cy Twombly and others

Cy Twombly - Bacchus, 2010-11, Vienna State Opera, Vienna, Austria
Cy TwomblyBacchus, Eiserner Vorhang (Iron Curtain) 2010-11, Vienna State Opera, Vienna, Austria

Safety Curtain is an on-going exhibition series taking place in the Vienna State Opera, Austria. The exhibition transforms the safety curtain into a temporary show for contemporary artists every year. The Vienna Opera has been hosting art shows since 1869 and tries to find new and interesting ways to address viewers as well as attract new audiences. However, it is also well known for being a world-class destination for global opera lovers as well as Renaissance Revival architecture.

For now 20 seasons, the Vienna Opera’s safety curtain has included art that has been specifically made for the opera house. The Safety curtain has featured a list of impressive artists such as John Baldessari, Cy Twombly, Tacita Dean, Matthew Barney, Jeff Koons, David Hockney, and Franz West just to mention a few of the famous names.

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What happens when Ai Weiwei puts thousands of bicycles together?

What happens when Ai Weiwei puts thousands of bicycles together?

Ai Weiwei - Forever Bicycles, 2014
Ai WeiweiForever Bicycles, 2014. 1,254 bicycles. Dimensions variable. Installation view, Waller Creek Delta, The Contemporary Austin – Museum Without Walls Program, Austin, Texas, 2017
Photo: Brian Fitzsimmons

Bicycles have always featured in Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s installations. The very first time that Ai used bicycles was in his installation known as Very Yao in 2008. As the years have passed, his use of bicycles has only gotten grander as is evident in his piece titled the Forever Bicycles. In Forever Bicycles, Ai used Shanghai-based Forever Company bicycles to make his massive installation. The repetitiveness and the size of the installation were intended to allude to China’s mass production, which is well known to fuel the Chinese manufacturing industry.

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Anni Albers: Leading textile artist of the 20th century

Anni Albers: Leading textile artist of the 20th century

Anni Albers - With Verticals, 1946, cotton and linen, 154.9 x 118.1 cm
Anni Albers – With Verticals, 1946, cotton and linen, 154.9 x 118.1 cm

Anni Albers was a well known German textile artist and prominent printmaker. She is perhaps one of the most well-known print artists of the 20th century. Albers dared to go where no textile designer had gone before, which in part helped to launch her designs into popularity. Born in Berlin, Albers became a student of the Bauhaus in Weimar which is where she met and married Josef Albers. Albers sometimes with help from her husband managed to blur traditional boundaries that existed between craft and art. Albers blended her talent as a painter, designer, artist, and teacher to create a highly successful career that lasted over 60 years.

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Segregated from the rest of the world, eerie North Korea

Segregated from the rest of the world, eerie North Korea

Philippe Chancel - DPRK - North Korea
Philippe Chancel – DPRK

Philippe Chancel’s photographs from North Korea are simply remarkable. Chancel joins the ranks of the few photographers in the world that have actually managed to document the impenetrable nation of North Korea. For more than half a century, this enigma of a country has been the personification of a rogue state; North Korea is an incredibly closed and reclusive nation.

In North Korea, the flow of information is controlled: Koreans do not have access to international newspaper publications, and the internet use is monitored heavily. Because of this restricted flow of information, the world only gets to see what the North Korean government wants it to see, which has led to contrasting views of the state. Philip Chancel’s collection was created to reconcile the way that the North Korean government presents itself and the way the rest of the world views it.

Philippe Chancel has been collecting pictures that echo elements of art, journalism, and documentaries for years. His 2006 North Korean series was later turned into a book of the same title published by Thames and Hudson. His collection featured images of the heavily controlled Pyongyang, as well as numerous pictures of the infamous leaders of the state Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong-il. The photographs featured were documented between 2005 and 2012 and they also featured celebrations and events happening in the elusive nation.

Having witnessed the decline of Europe during the socialist regime, the scenes that Chancel photographed during his stay in North Korea were too familiar to him. But according to the photographer, the attitude of the Koreans seemed quite different from the Russians that lived under a similar socialist regime.

North Korea juxtaposes the official imagery that the country’s press agency releases against Philippe’s works. Chancel’s work manages to occupy a vacuum where politics, trade, business, and diplomacy cannot go. As such, Phillipe manages to open up the floor for conversations about the complications in the state so that the world can get a broader form of understanding of North Korea.

His North Korea series also forced people to question what it must be like for the North Koreans to live under Communist ideas in an incredibly contemporary society. Chancel’s work has been widely exhibited in various parts of the world. It has also brought him international recognition for his ability to reveal a version of North Korea that had not been manipulated by the government.

Philippe Chancel - DPRK - North Korea
Philippe Chancel – DPRK

Philippe Chancel - DPRK - North Korea
Philippe Chancel – DPRK

Philippe Chancel - DPRK - North Korea
Philippe Chancel – DPRK

Philippe Chancel - DPRK - North Korea
Philippe Chancel – DPRK

Philippe Chancel - DPRK - North Korea
Philippe Chancel – DPRK

Philippe Chancel - DPRK - North Korea
Philippe Chancel – DPRK

Philippe Chancel - DPRK - North Korea
Philippe Chancel – DPRK

Philippe Chancel - DPRK - North Korea
Philippe Chancel – DPRK

Philippe Chancel - DPRK - North Korea
Philippe Chancel – DPRK

Philippe Chancel - DPRK - North Korea
Philippe Chancel – DPRK

Philippe Chancel - DPRK - North Korea
Philippe Chancel – DPRK

Philippe Chancel - DPRK - North Korea
Philippe Chancel – DPRK

Philippe Chancel - DPRK - North Korea
Philippe Chancel – DPRK

Philippe Chancel - DPRK - North Korea
Philippe Chancel – DPRK

Philippe Chancel - DPRK - North Korea
Philippe Chancel – DPRK

Philippe Chancel - DPRK - North Korea
Philippe Chancel – DPRK

Philippe Chancel - DPRK - North Korea
Philippe Chancel – DPRK

Philippe Chancel - DPRK - North Korea
Philippe Chancel – DPRK

Philippe Chancel - DPRK - North Korea
Philippe Chancel – DPRK

Philippe Chancel - DPRK - North Korea
Philippe Chancel – DPRK

Philippe Chancel - DPRK - North Korea
Philippe Chancel – DPRK

Philippe Chancel - DPRK - North Korea
Philippe Chancel – DPRK

Philippe Chancel - DPRK - North Korea
Philippe Chancel – DPRK

Philippe Chancel - DPRK - North Korea
Philippe Chancel – DPRK

Philippe Chancel - DPRK - North Korea
Philippe Chancel – DPRK

Philippe Chancel - DPRK - North Korea
Philippe Chancel – DPRK

Philippe Chancel - DPRK - North Korea
Philippe Chancel – DPRK

Philippe Chancel - DPRK - North Korea
Philippe Chancel – DPRK

Philippe Chancel - DPRK - North Korea
Philippe Chancel – DPRK

Philippe Chancel - DPRK - North Korea
Philippe Chancel – DPRK

Philippe Chancel - DPRK - North Korea
Philippe Chancel – DPRK

Philippe Chancel - DPRK - North Korea
Philippe Chancel – DPRK

Philippe Chancel - DPRK - North Korea
Philippe Chancel – DPRK


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When giant green tentacles burst out of buildings ..

When giant green tentacles burst out of buildings ..

Filthy Luker - Art Attacks tentacle, troublin in dublin
Filthy LukerArt Attacks

Luke Egan otherwise known as Filthy Luker is a mixed media artist from Bristol. He is know for creating large inflatable sculptures, temporarily installed in various places around the planet.

Filthy Luker - Art Attacks at Sand Safari, Gold Coast, Australia

Filthy Luker - Art Attacks tentacle 2

Filthy Luker - Art Attacks tentacle 3

Filthy Luker - Art Attacks tentacle 5

Filthy Luker - Art Attacks tentacle 4

Filthy Luker - Art Attacks tentacle 6

Filthy Luker - Art Attacks tentacle, Monterey Bay Aquarium, 2014

Filthy Luker - Art Attacks, 2017 1

Filthy Luker - Art Attacks, brush

Filthy Luker - Art Attacks, International Surveillance

Filthy Luker - Art Attacks 1

Filthy Luker - Art Attacks


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Higher than trees: A seemingly impossible installation

Higher than trees: A seemingly impossible installation

Tomás Saraceno - In Orbit, 2013. Installation view, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, K21 Ständehaus, Düsseldorf
Tomás SaracenoIn Orbit, 2013, permanent installation at Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, K21 Ständehaus, Düsseldorf

A massive installation by Tomás Saraceno titled In Orbit has to be one of the artist’s most notable and successful installations. At a height of more than 20 meters, Saraceno suspended a mesh construction within which audiences could move weightlessly on the net. The net construction, which was accessible on 3 levels, was designed to resemble a cloud setting or landscape.

Audiences that were brave enough to walk on the net enjoyed the rare opportunity to observe the museum’s visitors from above who looked like tiny dots and figures from the lofty heights. The gigantic installation spanned the K21, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Düsseldorf museum’s cosmic cupola. The resulting aerial landscape was a fun mixture of science fiction, cloud formation, and spider webs which are all elements which helped to draw thousands of audiences to the exhibition.

Well known for pushing boundaries that incorporate both scientific and artistic elements, Saraceno often classified his installation as living organisms. Over the course of creating his masterpieces, Saraceno consulted with arachnologists so that he could gain a deeper understanding of how spiders behave and live, as well as architects and engineers that helped him achieve a structurally sound design that could be walked on safely by visitors. The entire planning process of the installation took over three years to create.

Saraceno created the installation to represent a large network of communication. As visitors explored the different levels and the structure, their movements would resonate throughout the net, allowing others that were also on the same level to perceive space through vibrations just like spiders have done since time in memorial. According to Saraceno, In Orbit was also created to represent the space-time continuum, the ramifications of tissue in the human brain and dark matter or the structure of the universe. Within Saraceno’s orbit, proportions entered into new relationships where human beings were transformed to social black holes, molecules or planets.

Although the mesh construction of In Orbit alone weighed a staggering 3 tons with the largest of the spheres weighing 300 kilograms, In Orbit was adapted with accuracy to fit the museum. Despite being quite heavy, the mesh structure appeared to be lightweight, with its stability managing to truly echo a spider’s web. Tomás successfully pulled off a seemingly impossible installation by incorporating beauty, functionality, and strength into the artwork, something that many artists have failed to do and do well. The awe-inspiring piece manages to evoke feelings and emotions about life, fear, excitement, which are all common human emotions and part of the In-Orbit experience.

Tomás Saraceno - In Orbit, 2013. Installation view, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, K21 Ständehaus, Düsseldorf
Tomás SaracenoIn Orbit, 2013, permanent installation at Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, K21 Ständehaus, Düsseldorf

Tomás Saraceno - In Orbit, 2013. Installation view, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, K21 Ständehaus, Düsseldorf
Tomás SaracenoIn Orbit, 2013, permanent installation at Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, K21 Ständehaus, Düsseldorf

Tomás Saraceno - In Orbit, 2013. Installation view, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, K21 Ständehaus, Düsseldorf
Tomás SaracenoIn Orbit, 2013, permanent installation at Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, K21 Ständehaus, Düsseldorf

Tomás Saraceno - In Orbit, 2013. Installation view, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, K21 Ständehaus, Düsseldorf
Tomás SaracenoIn Orbit, 2013, permanent installation at Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, K21 Ständehaus, Düsseldorf

Tomás Saraceno - In Orbit, 2013. Installation view, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, K21 Ständehaus, Düsseldorf
Tomás SaracenoIn Orbit, 2013, permanent installation at Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, K21 Ständehaus, Düsseldorf

Tomás Saraceno - In Orbit, 2013. Installation view, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, K21 Ständehaus, Düsseldorf
Tomás SaracenoIn Orbit, 2013, permanent installation at Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, K21 Ständehaus, Düsseldorf

Tomás Saraceno - In Orbit, 2013. Installation view, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, K21 Ständehaus, Düsseldorf
Tomás SaracenoIn Orbit, 2013, permanent installation at Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, K21 Ständehaus, Düsseldorf

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROqL-8h_7DM
Tomás Saraceno about In Orbit, 2013, permanent installation at Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, K21 Ständehaus, Düsseldorf


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Why do these massive piles of rubble fill up art spaces?

Why do these massive piles of rubble fill up art spaces?

's Main Hall, 2010, Installation View, Secession, Vienna, Austria
Lara AlmarceguiConstruction Rubble of Secession’s Main Hall, 2010, Installation View, Secession, Vienna, Austria

Spanish born Lara Almarcegui who currently lives in Rotterdam has always had a deep curiosity for examining processes of contemporary transformation that are brought about by the social, political and economic transformations in society. Since the early 1990s, Lara has examined urban areas that most artists choose not focus on such as rubble from construction materials and stuff from wastelands. Lara carefully catalogs and highlights each location’s inclination towards entropy or lack of order and predictability.

Her projects vary based on the intention of the message. For instance, she developed a guide to the wastelands in Amsterdam consisting of materials used to establish the wasteland in its raw form. Lara has managed to consolidate a reputation for herself as a respectable and revered artist in the global artist realm. In 2013, her work allowed her to act as Spain’s only representative in the 55th Venice Biennial.

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