Category Archives: Craft & Design

LOEWE’S Windows

It is no coincidence that LOEWE’s Madrid Gran Vía store –it opened in 1936 and it is the brand’s oldest retail space that remains open today– is hosting an exhibit showcasing one of the fashion brand’s most distinctive features: its windows. The exhibit is a time travel experience that brings us closer to LOEWE’s history and shouldn’t be missed.  It spans 70 years of displays and 8 different themes.

Designed by visual artists and artisans, the fashion house’s windows have always caught the eye and attention of passers-by; in exhibit the exhibit, there are recreations of some of the most memorable windows, a few juxtaposed with current interpretations by Jonathan Anderson, LOEWE’s Creative Director. In addition to photos and explanatory texts, the sample includes iconic pieces, such as a huge metal grasshopper from the 1960’s designed by José Pérez de Rozas –the fashion house’s magnificent window designer for more than 30 years– which stands next to Anderson’s reinterpretation of the same grasshopper for the summer 2017 display.

Also on view are wax and watercolour sketches of the windows that Perez Rozas drew, a few impressive horse heads by sculptor Amadeo Gabino, and a sculpture of Princess Margarita, the main subject of Velázquez masterpiece Las Meninas, on loan from Enrique Loewe’s personal collection.

Once again, LOEWE’s history, creativity, and excellence in craftsmanship takes us on a journey through time allowing us to appreciate the social and aesthetic particularities of past generations.

A través del cristal: los escaparates de LOEWE. Galería LOEWE, Gran Vía 8, Madrid. From 12th September [Monday to Saturday: 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sundays and Holidays: 11:00 a.m to 8 p.m.]

Photo Captions: A través del cristal: los escaparates de LOEWE.

CASA LOEWE, in London

CASA LOEWE has become one of the firm’s most attractive concepts: it implies luxury, intimacy, and culture in ways that perfectly match the exquisiteness and charm of the Spanish fashion house. The idea behind the CASA LOEWE concept, which emerged from the presentations of LOEWE’s collections at the Maison de l’UNESCO in Paris, is to simulate the dreamt-up home of an avid art collector.

In LOEWE’s recently-opened store in New Bond Street, in one of London’s most iconic neighbourhoods, this unique concept serves as a link between the contemporary spirit of the LOEWE Craft Prize and the annual Miami Chance Encounters art exhibition series. The beautifully designed store, which occupies the three floors of an historic building, showcases a cylindrical lift and floating spiral staircase that takes its cue from the Georgian period.

Since Jonathan Anderson took over as the fashion house’s Creative Director, the firm has made its presence in the UK capital known. The second floor of the New Bond Street CASA LOEWE will showcase a series of permanent and rotating art pieces, an impressive kaleidoscope of design, craftsmanship, and modernity. There are currently 14 works -including three oak vessels by Ernst Gampierl, the winner of the inaugural 2017 LOEWE Craft Prize, and a series of 15 photographs by Alair Gomes- all strategically placed throughout to surprise and charm CASA LOEWE’s visitors. Some of the artists whose works are currently on exhibit are none other than Anthea Hamilton, Edwin Lutyens, William Turnbull, Grayson Perry, Nicholas Byrne, Giorgio Griffa, Caragh Thuring, Daniel Sinsel, Axel Vervoodt, Ron Nagle, Alvaro Barrington, Magali Reus and Justin Fitzpatrick.

Photo Captions: Anthea Hamilton, Vulcano Table. Daniel Sinsel, Butzenbrille. Alvaro Barrington, Been around the world -2.

Aplications open for the LOEWE FOUNDATION Craft Prize 2020

LOEWE is pleased to open submissions for the LOEWE FOUNDATION Craft
Prize 2020, and to announce that it will take place in Paris at the Musée des
Arts Décoratifs. Submissions for the LOEWE FOUNDATION Craft Prize 2020
will be accepted until 30 October 2019.

Jonathan Anderson states ‘the fourth edition of the LOEWE FOUNDATION Craft
Prize promises to build on the high standard set by our previous editions. It has
been gratifying to see how the Prize has been recognised as an important platform
for craft and its role in today’s culture.’

An expert panel composed of artists, artisans, essayists, curators and designers will
consider all submitted works in order to select a shortlist of up to 30 submissions. The panel’s choice will be based on a number of key criteria: originality, clear artistic vision and merit, precise execution, material excellence, innovative value and a distinct authorial mark.

New additions to the expert panel this year include, Hyeyoung Cho (SecretaryGeneral at the Korea Craft and Design Foundation), Rodman Primack (GlobalAmbassador for Design Miami), Koichi Io (metal artist and finalist of the LOEWE FOUNDATION Craft Prize 2019) and Sylvie Vandenhoucke, glass artist and finalist of the LOEWE FOUNDATION Craft Prize 2017.

These shortlisted works will then form the basis of an exhibition due to go on display
at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, from which the Prize’s Jury will select the
winning piece. The Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris was founded in 1882 to
promote the applied arts and develop links between industry and culture. New
members of the jury for 2020 include Olivier Gabet, (Director of the Musée des Arts
Décoratifs, Paris), and Genta Ishizuka (Winner of the LOEWE FOUNDATION Craft
Prize 2019).

You can download the rules of entry for the LOEWE FOUNDATION Craft Prize here.

 

Last days in Sogetsu Kaikan

Sogetsu Kaikan – where the headquarters of the Sogetsu Foundation are located in Tokyo– will host, through 22nd July, a selection of finalist works from the third edition of LOEWE FOUNDATION’s annual Craft Prize, including the winner of the contest, a spectacular piece entitled Surface Tactility # 11 (2018), by Genta Ishizuka.

A prestigious jury made up of specialists as renowned as Anatxu Zabalbeascoa, Jennifer Lee, Naoto Fukasawa, and Patricia Urquiola, selected Ishizuka’s work from a total of 29 finalists. For many years, the pieces created by this Japanese artist, who graduated from the Kyoto University of Arts & Design, have been showcased in numerous individual and collective exhibitions around the world. He has also earned a spot in the permanent collections of the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

On view in Tokyo are two other pieces that had been awarded honourable mentions by the jury: `Untitled´ from Dichotomy Series (2018) by Harry Morgan and KADO (Angle, 2018) by Kazuhito Takadoi. These and other finalist works are on display at Isamu Noguchi’s indoor stone garden ‘Heaven’, inside the Sogetsu Kaikan building.

Jonathan Anderson, LOEWE’S Creative Director, established the LOEWE Foundation Craft Prize to highlight the firm’s artisanal roots and relevance in modern design; it was conceived out of a desire to acknowledge these important contributions. From jewellery, wood, and glass to stationery and lacquer – among other specialties- the works that make up the exhibition underscore what is relevant in craft today. An exemplary sample that will be on show for just a few more days.

LOEWE Foundation Craft Prize, until 22nd July. Sogetsu Plaza, 2-21, Akasaka 7-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo (10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday until 8 p.m.)

Photo Captions: LOEWE Foundation Craft Prize at Sogetsu Kaikan.

Genta Ishizuka wins the LOEWE Craft Prize 2019

Surface Tactility #11, 2018 by Genta Ishizuka wins the Craft Prize 2019

Surface Tactility #11, 2018 by Genta Ishizuka

Jonathan Anderson, LOEWE creative director, commented on this year’s winner: ‘Ishizuka’s work proves that craft can be open and shows the freedom of creation. His use of an ancient lacquer technique in a contemporary form breaks conventions and represents a new sculptural vision in craft.’

The Jury also agreed upon two special mentions:

Harry Morgan, for the work ‘Untitled’ from Dichotomy Series, 2018. The jury commented: ‘This radical work by Harry Morgan is a paradoxical confrontation of materials which don’t belong together. He brings a craft spirit to common materials.’

‘Untitled’ from Dichotomy Series, 2018 by Harry Morgan,

Kazuhito Takadoi for the work KADO (Angle), 2018. The jury admired the work for ‘being a craft without a name’ and applauded the fact that Takadoi is involved in the piece from conception, from growing the material in his garden to creating an object with a very powerful form.

KADO (Angle), 2018 by Kazuhito Takadoi

Jennifer Lee, Winner of the LOEWE FOUNDATION Craft Prize 2018, observer of this year’s prize said: ‘This year’s finalists prove that old traditions of making continue to surprise us and be radical and contemporary. The prize makes you inquisitive and opens your mind to new ways of making and working with materials.’

From the 26 June to 22 July, Genta Ishizuka’s winning piece and all the finalists’ works will be showcased at a free exhibition at Isamu Noguchi’s indoor stone garden ‘Heaven’ inside the Sogetsu Kaikan building in Tokyo. From ceramics, furniture and glassware, to basketry, jewellery and blacksmithing, the show demonstrates the artists’ quests to reconcile the ancient with the avant-garde.

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.