The Los Angeles painter brings her first dramatic exploration of nature to the gallery walls in Munich
by Julie Wolfson in Culture on 30 September 2014
LA-based Lisa Solberg paints with bold colorful strokes that convey elements of mystery that evoke an otherworldly spirituality. Her large-scale works reveal passion and intensity through layers upon layers of paint. After the success of her fishbowl-inspired "24HR PSYCHIC" gallery show of reflective canvases created with car paint, Solberg turned her attention to a more natural palette for "Cry Wolf" at Munich's Super+ Centercourt Gallery.
When the gallery approached her about doing a show, Solberg found the idea to be an intriguing way to follow up on concepts explored at her own experimental gallery space. “I love to see the different subcultures forming here in Munich, since most of the attention seems to be on Berlin," she tells CH. For the exhibition, she worked in residency with other artists. “Working in nature here was so beautiful; the spot I found to paint actually ended up being a natural water source which is deemed as holy.”
Living in LA's downtown Arts District, Solberg doesn't often spend much time in quiet natural settings. That urban industrial environment has provided inspiration and driven her work for many years, but recently she longed a breath of fresh air. “I needed a quieter muse in order to access something beyond myself,” she explains.
She named the show "Cry Wolf" to push herself to a place she never explored and test how far it would take her—the plan was to paint in the wild with the goal of creating pulsing pieces, which would aspire to their natural setting. “I've never gone to nature for inspiration, but instead always used nature as a balance for my erratic, excessively active and exhausting process,” she says.
In the end—due to weather and technical challenges—she was able to paint only one work in nature while the rest took shape back in her studio. “The title metamorphosed for me into something literally referring to the dramatic and extreme quality of not only my efforts, but of nature itself," she says. The pieces examine Solberg’s powerful experience of spending time in the woods, exploring both its beauty and its ferociousness.
Solberg captured the process of creating the colorful mixed media works for "Cry Wolf" on a GoPro camera, chronicling everything from her immersion in nature to the installation and show opening. She also made a layered audio loop of the sound of the water that was around her while painting. “GoPro cameras have such a fantastic capability to hide themselves but always capture the shot,” she shares. The idea to film was sparked by a canoe trip she took in Canada before heading to Munich. During the journey Solberg asked a ranger if she would see a wolf. The ranger replied, "They will always see you, but you will never see them."
Next Solberg is planning another 24HR PSYCHIC show before the end of the year, as well as a few installation projects: “I am keen on creating environments right now for people to lose themselves and access a sort of metaphysical realm. I'm not sure which show is coming next, but one of them involves pole dancers and one involves a mosh pit.”
"Cry Wolf" is be on view at Super+ Centercourt Gallery through 12 October 2014.
Images courtesy of Lisa Solberg and Bernhard Lend
Rain-repellent fabrics get a classic cut in the brand's new line
by David Graver in Style on 29 September 2014
Any suit-wearing individual caught in an unexpected storm or using a not-so-effective umbrella understands the discomfort of wet dress attire. Wool absorbs moisture and makes it more manageable, but wet wool also certainly carries a scent when saturated—in addition to a textural change. Heritage brand Samuelsohn offers a solution. Their new F/W 2014 Performance line of suits incorporates Loro Piana's Rain System wool, which actually repels water (not to mention stains) and deters wind. This lightweight, flexible material protects both the suit and (in turn) its wearer against the elements.
The brand keeps their classic cuts and signature style, but the fabric change truly makes their new suit performance wear. There's an artistry to this formal attire, based upon hand-stitching and luxuriant, classy flourishes—reflective of their 90+ years of history. However, the additional increased functionality, by way of an intuitive interior pocket system and even form-recognizing fibers, sets it apart. Not to mention the fact that these suits are prepared for the weather to change—as it's want to do.
Images courtesy of RO NEW YORK
Even the public bathrooms host video artwork in this highly cultural, downtown Minneapolis hotel
Some boutique hotels seem to add artwork to the lobby as an afterthought for sheer novelty. Real estate magnate Ralph Burnet (of Coldwell Banker Burnet), however, has been merging artwork and service for a unique experience since 2006, when he founded Chambers, a 60-room hotel in Minneapolis that features selections from his private art collection but also rotates through new works. Since then, it was bought by Le Méridien (which in turn, is owned by Starwood). While in town recently, we finally had the opportunity to experience Le Méridien Chambers after having it on our radar for so long, and the takeaway is this: it's a memorable stay that's just as enthralling as whatever else is on your itinerary.
About 250 contemporary art works from Burnet's private collection are on display throughout every nook and cranny of the hotel and it almost becomes a treasure hunt-like environment. Read a newspaper under Tracey Emin's neon work "Be Faithful to Your Dreams," (1998) in the lobby den, or walk by Sam Taylor-Wood's mesmerizing seven-minute film, "The Last Century" (2006), on the way to the ATM. The mix of videos, paintings, sculptures (including two giants sculpted by Martin Honert to a realistic-looking pile of garbage bags by Gavin Turk) and more penetrate the hallways to the guest rooms, so you're in contact with art more often than not.
It aims to break the deterring perception that art is only meant to be seen during limited hours of the day in a controlled gallery or museum environment; instead, the hotel has set up an open, inviting place for artwork to become part of your everyday routine (if only for a weekend). Furthering this idea of approachability is Clark Whittington's Art-o-Mat, a repurposed cigarette vending machine that dispenses matchbox-sized original works from local and national artists (one of many scattered throughout the country) for $5, and sits by the elevators.
Your hotel keycard (artist-designed, no less) also functions as a free pass to Minneapolis' famed Walker Art Center, where Ralph Burnet and his wife Peggy serve on the board of trustees. (We recommend hopping on a Nice Ride bike and taking a quick seven-minute spin to the Walker through Loring Park; both the hotel and art center are in close proximity to bike stations.)
Remnants of good times are noticeable in the luxury suite where we stayed, as the furniture and walls appear to have a few scuffs here and there, but the room was sparkling clean. Stained hardwood floors and minimalist furnishings are paired well with bright blue tiled bathrooms. One note is that because we were placed on the second floor, the room overlooked the brightly lit main drag—and we had to be conscious of pulling down the shades to maintain privacy at night. The five-story hotel is across the street from Orpheum Theatre and just a few blocks from venues like First Avenue and State Theatre.
Food-wise, new restaurant Marin replaced the former occupant, D’Amico Kitchen, earlier this year, and brings health-conscious plates to the table. The farm-fresh menu specifies everything from calories and grams of fat to gluten-free and vegan options. Aside from its outdoor (and dog-friendly) patio in the summer, Marin also has a nicely hidden bar—called The Library—downstairs that's especially cozy during Minnesotan winters.
The hotel does have its own gallery space, Burnet Art Gallery, which is open to the public. It typically hosts six solo exhibitions a year, the majority of which showcase local artists. During our visit, Andréa Stanislav's solo exhibition "Phase Velocity" was on view (and continues until 12 October 2014). Stuffed white birds, reflective pink cube mirrors and holographic collages featuring the female form made for a stimulating post-lunch walkthrough.
For those planning to visit Minneapolis over the upcoming US holidays, Le Méridien Chambers is a unique hotel that reflects the city's unequivocal, collective support for the arts. Regular rooms start at $209; luxury suites start at $399.
Images by Nara Shin