Category Archives: Craft & Design

Craft experts convene in Madrid

On 22nd January, the LOEWE Foundation and the IED organised a talk on the subject of contemporary craft that brought together some of the most relevant names in design, craft, architecture, journalism, and curation, including Antonia Boström, Sara Flynn, Ramón Puig Cuyàs, Joonyong Kim, and Anatxu Zabalbeascoa, all of them linked to the LOEWE Craft Prize.  Personal experiences, reflections on current creativity, and main sources of inspiration were some of the highlights of this fascinating panel discussion, which took place in English in front of an audience of 120 people.

Anatxu Zabalbeascoa – Journalist, Art Historian, and President of the LOEWE Craft Prize Jury – moderated a discussion among experts as diverse as their roles in today’s craft. The event led to an enjoyable conversation where a number of relevant topics were discussed, including the transition from traditional to artistic craftsmanship, or the importance that beauty and contemporary creation hold in today’s world.

The pieces created by jeweller Ramón Puig Cuyàs, which have been showcased internationally since 1972, are now prominently featured in public and private collections alike. He has been the recipient of the Herbert Hoffman of Munich Award, the Premi Ciutat de Barcelona Special Award or the Danish Craft Bogprice, amongst others. His career, which includes ample teaching experience, has rewarded him with a wisdom he readily transmits in his conversations and speeches.

Antonia Boström –Director of Collections at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London- spent more than twenty years working in American art museums before returning to the V&A, where her professional career had begun. She has carried out extensive research in the field of sculpture and is a prolific writer in this artistic field. Joonyong Kim is a professor at Cheongju University and a 2018 LOEWE Craft Prize finalist. The work produced by this Korean leading glass artist has been shown in individual and collective exhibitions worldwide. Irish potter Sara Flynn, who was one of the finalists in the first LOEWE Craft Prize, went on to become a member of the Experts Panel in the following two editions. Thanks to her work, for which she is known internationally, Flynn has participated in many artistic retreats abroad, and has had a prolific career as a guest speaker and jury member of numerous craft contests.

A meeting of artists who were not shy in showing their strongest creative weapons. Following their interventions, they answered a large number of questions and received congratulatory feedback from a diverse audience that filled the Aula Magna of the IED Madrid headquarters.

Photo Captions: Antonia Boström talks about her work in the presence of Anatxu Zabalbeascoa, Ramón Puig Cuyàs, Joonyong Kim, and Sara Flynn. Ramón Puig Cuyàs. Sara Flynn and Joonyong Kim © Álvaro Tomé for the LOEWE Foundation.

LOEWE Craft Prize 2019 – finalists announced

The LOEWE FOUNDATION is proud to unveil the 29 artists who have been shortlisted for the Craft Prize 2019. The finalists were recognized for their fundamentally important contributions to the development of contemporary craft, with the submitted works presenting a diverse spectrum of techniques, media and modes of expression.

This year’s finalists were chosen by a panel of nine experts from close to over 2,500 submissions (an increase of 44% from last year) by artisans representing 100 countries. The rigorous selection process culminated with the Experts Panel convening in Madrid for two days, where they judged the most outstanding works on their technical accomplishment, innovation and artistic vision.

Anatxu Zabalbeascoa, Executive Secretary of the Experts Panel, stated: ‘The LOEWE FOUNDATION Craft Prize sets the level of skills, will and artistic ambition for which craft should strive.’

The 29 finalists´ works are being exhibited from 26 June – 22 July 2019 at Isamu Noguchi´s indoor stone garden ´Heaven´ at the Sogetsu Kaikan in Tokyo, where the overall winner will be revealed.

Find out more at loewecraftprize.com

A year of awards for the LOEWE Foundation

The LOEWE Foundation closes 2018 underscoring the merit of the two prizes it received for the work carried out since it was established 30 years ago. They are: the Born Awards Special Prize and the Prize for the Promotion of Craft of the 4th Premios Interiores.

The Born Awards, founded eight years ago by Jean-Christophe Chopin, celebrates creativity in design-based lifestyle with a focus on desirability, functionality, and integrity. The Foundation was the chosen recipient of this year´s Special Award –announced at the beginning of October- for “promoting and supporting creativity”. The theme of the 8th Born Awards ceremony, which was held at the prestigious Design Museum in London, was “Peerless”– as in “incomparable” or “without equal”. The Foundation´s Director, Sheila Loewe, accepted the award in a celebratory and congratulatory atmosphere

Shortly thereafter, the Prize for the Promotion of Craftsmanship of the Premios Interiores was announced. It was with great pride that the LOEWE Foundation accepted the award at the gala held in Madrid´s Westin Palace Hotel. On this occasion, Sheila Loewe´s speech included a special thank you for the recognition given to a discipline -craftsmanship- whose value and exclusivity are on the rise. “In a world where everything is immediate, these artisans manage to stop time, think with their hands, and create something truly admirable,” she declared.

With these two awards, the LOEWE Foundation put the finishing touches to 2018, a year in which it celebrated three decades dedicated to poetry, dance, design, craftsmanship, photography, and architecture.

Happy 2019

Photo Captions: Sheila Loewe receives the Special Prize at Born Awards 2018. Alberto Merlo and Sheila Loewe, at the award ceremony of the Premios Interiores © Alfredo Arias, 2018.

The LOEWE Archives

LOEWE’s oldest store dates back to 1939 and it is located in one of the most emblematic corners of Madrid’s Gran Vía street, in a historic building designed by architect Francisco Ferrer Bartolomé. Its window displays, which preserve a certain century-old aroma, are key in understanding how the splendor of the past has shaped LOEWE’s present.

It is in the store’s basement, a truly magical space, where the Spanish firm decided to showcase the LOEWE Archives. These historical bags, which were carefully curated to show more than a century of innovation in bag design, will be on view until 20th January.

A number of the bags the experts chose were donated to the firm by the heirs of their original owners, in hopes of sharing their historical value with the world. As such, the LOEWE Archives include the geometric lines of the Art Deco era, the rigid shapes of the 1940s, the colourful designs of the 60s and the unstructured designs that came later.

All the time periods that these LOEWE bags represent come together in a historical journey that is worthy of admiration for its attention to detail and respect for tradition, and because it is an excellent sample of the outstanding craftsmanship LOEWE is known for. It is a must this holiday season.

Happy Holidays.

LOEWE Archives, 8 Gran Vía Street, Madrid. Until 20th January 2019 [Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sundays and holidays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.]

Photo Captions: LOEWE Store, 8 Gran Vía Street, Madrid. LOEWE Archive pieces. Bag purchased in 1958 by actress Ava Gardner in the Gran Vía LOEWE store.

Art Basel Miami: Chance Encounters IV

Chance Encounters is an annual exhibition staged by the LOEWE FOUNDATION at the LOEWE Miami store in the city’s Design District. Unique as a commercial space, it is dominated by a 200 year-old granary building which was transported, stone by stone, from Portugal to Miami. At over 10 meters long and five meters high, the wood and stone pitched-roof structure sat for centuries in the river lands of the Miño, a humble edifice designed for rural industry. It now assumes the grandeur of a temple, its weather-worn surfaces redolent of another place and time.

Anne Low

Contradiction and displacement are key to Jonathan Anderson’s creative approach at LOEWE. His collections challenge notions of beauty, upset gender conventions and push materials and silhouettes to their limits. To be contemporary is to acknowledge the past; dissonance can create moments of strange harmony. This potential has been embedded in the architectural fabric of the LOEWE store itself through the presence of the granary, and has provided something of a guiding principle for the Chance Encounters series of exhibitions that creates unexpected dialogues between historical and contemporary artists and makers. Previous exhibitions have included work by Anthea Hamilton, Lucie Rie, Paul Nash, John Ward, Rose Wylie, William McKeown, Lionel Wendt and Sara Flynn – conversations that have taken place between art forms and across time.

 

‘Diver’, woodcut on Japaneese paper 218×117.5 cm
2017

Chance Encounters IV brings together works by Andrea Büttner (b. 1972, Germany), Ian Godfrey (1942-1992, UK) and Anne Low (b.1981, Canada). From different generations and working in various media —from ceramics and textiles to woodcut printing— these artists are united by a fascination for historical traditions of making, exploring the potential for the outmoded to, somewhat counterintuitively, give fresh insights onto contemporary concerns. In their work, history becomes a prism through which the present moment fans out into a spectrum of social, economic and material realities.

Low’s newly-commissioned installation Dust Bed occupies the granary, drawing on the intimate textures of this object and to create an exuberant performance of textile forms.

Woodcuts by Büttner monumentalise simple every objects and fragments of art historical works. Hand-carved and printed, her images speak urgently about notions of shame and humility through works that are wilfully slow and temporally-layered.

 

A major collection of over 100 works by British ceramicist Ian Godfrey occupies museum-like cases throughout the space. His minutely-detailed ceramic sculptures are individual worlds that draw on the art of ancient civilisations. Populated by exotic animals and fantastical architecture, they draw the viewer into their childlike landscapes and transport us momentarily to another time and place.

Ritualistic Sculptures and Vessels

Chance Encounters IV. From 4th December 2018 to 31st January 2019.
 LOEWE Miami Design District, 110 NE 39th Street, Suite #102. Miami, Florida (USA).

Photo Captions: Anne Low ©Dennis Ha; ‘Diver’ ©Andy Keate, courtesy of Andrea Büttner and Hollybush Gardens; ‘Ritualistic Sculptures and Vessels’ ©Lewis Ronald.

LOEWE Craft Prize 2019 – Submissions period now closed

The deadline to enter this year´s LOEWE Craft Prize passed at midnight on October 31. We have been utterly overwhelmed by the response and quality of the work submitted, receiving more than 2500 entries from over 100 countries. We would like to thank everyone who has participated. If you were unable to enter, there is always next year.

Now we hand over the reins to our esteemed Experts Panel who will be reviewing the submissions over the course of the next three months, after which the shortlist of finalists will be officially announced.

The LOEWE Craft Prize in the Design Museum in London

Pale, Shadowed Speckled Traces, Fading Elipse, Bronze Specks, Tilted Shelf by Jennifer Lee was chosen from the shortlisted thirty finalists as the winner of the LOEWE Craft Prize 2018. The prize was launched to celebrate excellence, artistic merit, and creativity in the contemporary craft landscape and this year’s recipient was Jennifer Lee (born in Aberdeenshire, United Kingdom, in 1956), a Scottish potter who studied at the Edinburgh College of Art and the Royal College of Art in London. The winning piece –made of stoneware clay mixed with natural oxides– together with the finalist works will be on display in an exhibition at the Design Museum in London until 17th June.

LOEWE Creative Director Jonathan Anderson, the person behind the prize, remarked at the time of its launch that “craft is the essence of LOEWE. As a House, we are about craft in the purest sense of the word. That is where our modernity lies, and it will always be relevant”. For the Jury’s Chairwoman, Anatxu Zabalbeascoa, this year’s finalists –whose age ranged from 26 to 76– represented “a multigenerational snapshot of the utmost excellence in craft today”. Zabalbeascoa also said that the thirty shortlisted artists “reflect an almost alchemical manipulation of each medium’s possibilities and reward those who have mastered traditional skills in order to transform them for the contemporary age”.

Since it was established, the Design Museum in London, one of the world’s leading centres devoted to architecture and design, has welcomed more than five million people and staged over 100 exhibitions with objects from a wide range of fields including fashion and graphic design. The museum is located in a landmark modernist building in the heart of Kensington that was remodelled by architectural designer John Pawson. Its halls will be showcasing the thirty LOEWE Craft Prize finalist works, including the winning piece, and two special mentions given by the Jury: Tea Bowl, by Japanese potter Takuro Kuwata (Hiroshima, 1981) and Croissance XL (XL Growth), by French textile artist Simone Pheulphin (Nancy, 1941). The LOEWE Craft Prize 2018 believes that all finalists have significantly contributed to the development of modern craftsmanship and, as such, will document the legacy of the exhibition in a special catalogue that will include all their works.

LOEWE Craft Prize 2018. Design Museum, London. From 4th May to 17th June 2018 [open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m].

Photo Captions: LOEWE Craft Prize 2018 in the Design Museum London.

Anthea Hamilton: The Squash

The Squash, an immersive installation by artist Anthea Hamilton, is the latest in a series of contemporary commissions for Tate Britain’s Duveen Galleries which address the heritage of the space as a sculpture gallery . Hamilton has transformed the heart of Tate Britain into an elaborate stage inhabited by a single character who will perform in the space for six months. Over 7,000 white tiles have been laid to span the length of the Duveen and encase a series of structures that serve as plinths for a number of works of art from Tate’s collection.

Anthea Hamilton –renowned for her bold and humorous works that often include references from the worlds of art, fashion, design and popular culture- has designed seven costumes in collaboration with Jonathan Anderson, LOEWE’s Creative Director, that incorporate the colours and the shapes of different varieties of squash or pumpkin; many of the silhouettes of the costumes, made with materials such as hand-painted leather or painted silk crepon, were inspired in designs from the 1970s. Each day, performers will select a costume that will inform and reflect their individual presentation of the character as they move around the space.

Anthea Hamilton Commision Press View

Alex Farquharson, Director of Tate Britain, said that Andrea Hamilton ‘has made a unique contribution to British and International Art with her visually playful works that both provoke and delight. This compelling commission demonstrates her ability to seamlessly weave together captivating images and narratives, creating rich and innovative environments in which to encounter works of art.’

Tate Britain Commission 2018: Anthea Hamilton is curated by Linsey Young (Curator of Contemporary British Art, Tate) and Sofia Karamani (Assistant Curator of Contemporary British Art, Tate).

From 22nd March to 7th October 2018. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. More information at www.tate.org or follow us on @Tate #AntheaHamilton. Sponsored by Sothebys.

Photo Captions: Tate (Seraphina Neville) 2018. Fibreglass head covered in green stretch fabric with ruffles and gold sequins. Jersey gauze tracksuit with ruban in gold sequin. Reconstructed leather braided cord cod piece.

William Morris, an Arts & Crafts Inspiration

This Christmas, LOEWE presents a collection inspired by the work of legendary British textile designer, artist, and writer William Morris (1834 – 1896). LOEWE obtained special access to the Morris & Co archives from which Creative Director Jonathan Anderson selected original prints featured on a wide range of menswear and womenswear pieces

Strawberry Thief, Forest, Acanthus and Honeysuckle, four striking prints conceived between 1874 and 1883 for wallpaper or fabrics, were selected by Anderson and placed by LOEWE’s creative team on jackets, T-shirts and suits as well as on some of the firm’s most popular accessories: the Puzzle and Hammock bags. Other pieces featuring the prints are scarves, brooches and backpacks.

Morris is considered one of the main contributors of the Arts & Crafts movement, which emerged in response to the concern of a group of architects, designers and artists over the precariousness of traditional British craftsmanship when faced with the unstoppable industrialisation of society. His defence of handmade pieces over those that were mechanically produced, was due to aesthetic as well as ideological reasons.

‘William Morris fundamentally changed the way we look at applied craft, making him one of the most important designers of the last 200 years,’ Anderson explains. This capsule collection reinterprets classic 19th century prints inspired by nature in combination with surprising and irreverent elements used in punk aesthetics. This can be seen in the recurring bright orange details and in the bleached denim pieces whose abstract pattern references the classic vocabulary Morris used, but in an innovative and contemporary way.

Photo Captions: Acanthus, William Morris. Capsule Collection Autumn Winter 2017, photographed at Standen House, West Sussex, England. Strawberry Thief, William Morris.