Category Archives: Craft & Design

The 4th edition of the LOEWE FOUNDATION Craft Prize has been postponed

Given the reach of the Covid-19 pandemic, the LOEWE FOUNDATION and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris have decided to postpone the 4th edition of the LOEWE FOUNDATION Craft Prize.

LOEWE’s commitment to craftsmanship, one of the House’s priorities, remains unchanged. As such, the LOEWE FOUNDATION has launched a series of online events and workshops through the Fashion House’s Instagram account, with LOEWE EN CASA as a standout production whose aim is to showcase different crafts to a worldwide audience.

The annual Craft Prize was launched by the LOEWE FOUNDATION in 2016 to celebrate excellence and innovation in modern craftsmanship, and recognise artists whose talent, vision and innovation promise to set a new standard for the future. The finalists of the 4th edition have already been selected by Prize’s panel of experts and we hope to be able to celebrate their valuable creativity in the very near future.

Photo Caption: The LOEWE FOUNDATION Craft Prize Trophy. Designed by Alex Brogden, 2016.

Craftsmanship & Experience

On 21st January 2020, the LOEWE FOUNDATION Craft Prize Jury convened in Madrid. Taking advantage of its presence in the Spanish capital, the LOEWE Foundation organized a talk on the subject of contemporary craftsmanship at the Paper Pavillion in the IE School of Architecture & Design, bringing together three members of the Experts Panel: Ramón Puig, Sara Flynn, and Koichi Io. The talk, which took place in English, was moderated by journalist Anatxu Zabalbeascoa.

During his welcome speech, Edgar González, Dean of IE’s Design School, highlighted three fundamental concepts that are at the heart of the LOEWE Foundation philosophy: innovation, tradition, and context. Sheila Loewe, President of the Foundation, introduced the talk’s participants by underscoring the effort put forth during the selection process that had taken place over the previous two days, as they had deliberated and chosen the finalists among more than three-thousand entries. Zabalbeascoa – Executive Secretary of Experts Panel and President of the LOEWE FOUNDATION Craft Prize Jury – explained what had inspired the Foundation when organizing this talk: “We’ve always felt we needed to share all the information we are privy to: images, beauty, good intentions, the breaking down of barriers that is achieved through the work we do…. That is why we love organizing these talks, as much as we love having artists and artisans from all over the world teaching classes or participating in conferences.”

Koichi Io (Tokyo, 1987) embodies a commonality shared by many artists: family tradition. Because his father and grandfather are known metal artists, the concepts of dynasty, hierarchy, and evolution are very much present in all the pieces he creates. The Japanese artist identified three distinct processes that are integral to his work with silver, iron, copper, and aluminum: goldsmithing, casting, and engraving. He showed images of the different types of hammers he keeps in his workshop -anywhere between 200 and 300-, of which he uses 5 to 10 when working on his individual pieces. Koichi pointed out that, in general, he seeks “to eliminate the original function of an object” and then explained how, through traditional metalworking processes, he goes about his work, managing to get to the heart of his pieces.

Sara Flynn (Cork, 1971) studied at the Crawford College of Art & Design. Her workshop – of which she showed numerous images – is in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Flynn, who is one of the Panel’s expert potters, talked about how her mother’s approach to life’s problems had influenced her artistic development. Flynn learned to create with little means, taking advantage of random materials one might come across. The Erskine, Hall & Coe Gallery in Mayfair featured her first solo exhibition in 2012 and Flynn recognizes how important their support has been, as they have organized a biennial exhibition of her work since then. “I wouldn’t be where I am today if it hadn’t been for them,” she says. Flynn’s creative determination has been fundamental in her evolution as an artist, which begun with her first functional clay pieces.

Master Jeweller Ramón Puig Cuyàs (Mataró, 1953) symbolizes Spanish creativity and masterful craftsmanship with pieces that push the boundaries of traditional jewellery. Puig Cuyàs explained how he began making jewellery because he found that, generally speaking, it was uninteresting. While still unsure about what career path to embark upon and against his family’s wishes -who expected him to enter a more traditional field of study – he ended up in Barcelona’s Escola Massana. “When I got there, I felt like I’d finally found my place in the world. It was like being born again.” Although the relationship between a piece of jewellery and its owner is very intimate, the spirit of sharing and expressing was key for Puig Cuyàs. He tried to democratize his pieces by using less expensive materials and creating original pieces, evoking the primitive sense of ornaments, the spiritual sense of jewellery pieces, and avoiding the mere decoration of the body. He concluded by saying, “I feel free when I grab my coffee in the morning and head to my studio to work.”

The evening ended with the artists exchanging ideas about evolution and social change; they questioned the role of craftsmanship in our current field and the emergence of large-scale production and technology; Lynn explained that craftsmanship means “investing in a person over a long period of time and committing to the raw material used. It is a very real thing.” For Io, who produces no more than 30 pieces in a given year, “craftsmanship is like cooking: you have to chop and prep… you have to use your hands,” while for Cuyàs it’s “an alternative to industrial manufacturing, which focuses on low-cost mass production. A year after acquiring it, you are no longer interested in wearing it, while a handmade piece is something you treasure year after year and wear over and over again.” By contrast, he explained, “an industrial product has a price, but no value.”

Photo Captions: Contemporary Craft Talk. Anatxu Zabalbeascoa, Koichi Io, Sara Flynn, and Ramón Puig Cuyàs at the IE Paper Pavillion in Madrid.

Chance Encounters V – Art Basel Miami 2019

For the fifth consecutive year, the LOEWE Foundation continues its commitment to bringing together artists from various disciplines in unexpected conversations. Chance Encounters V, through the work of British artist Hilary Lloyd, turns LOEWE’s Miami store into a unique artistic space.

Colour and textile interventions created by Hilary Lloyd (b. 1964, Halifax, UK) – the main artist featured in this year’s edition – are accompanied by images recorded in and around her London studio, which are projected on monitors and screens, taking on a surprising prominence; curtains, frames, and other set-like objects create a space that seems to be activated by the viewer.

For more than three decades, Lloyd has worked and lived in London, where she experiments with film and video within sculptural installations; this exhibition at Art Basel Miami perfectly showcases her most refined work. The videos, which make use of repetitive movement, jump cuts, and sweeps, conjure both her own restless gaze and the experience of increasing speed that characterises the way in which we consume images today.

In and among Hilary Lloyd’s installation is the work of another British artist: Ewen Henderson (1934 – 2000) is one of the most esteemed members of an illustrious generation of potters that included Gordon Baldwin, Gillian Lowndes, and Ian Godfrey. Henderson’s large-scale ceramic sculptures, some of which are presented in this exhibition, were born out of his need to manipulate clay in order to reach total abstraction. The roughly-textured surfaces and layered colour of his pieces often resemble the stratified nature of rock or earth totemic works, evidence of his interest in Neolithic and ancient art.  The pieces presented lead to the perfect interdisciplinary and timeless dialogue between two fundamental artists.

‘The Chance Encounters exhibitions are an opportunity to create conversations across time between artists whose work resonates strongly with my own creative approach,’ says Jonathan Anderson, LOEWE’s Creative Director. ‘Hilary Lloyd’s work is perfectly attuned to the contemporary moment and the way in which we engage with the visual world around us. It stages a striking dialogue with Ewen Henderson’s bold materially-rich work.’

Chance Encounters V. LOEWE Miami Design District, 110 NE 39th Street, Suite #102. Miami, Florida, United States. Until 2nd February 2020.

Photo Captions: Installation view. Hilary Lloyd: Robot, The Shop, Sadie Coles HQ, London, 09 October – 07 November 2015. Hilary Lloyd, courtesy of the Sadie Coles Gallery, London. Ewen Henderson: Group of Standing Stones.

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