A global guide to LIVING CREATIVELY

Friday, December 17, 2010

Ibon Mainar - Landscape as Canvas

Artist, Ibon Mainar, projects images onto the nighttime landscape. His media is light and color; his canvas, the environment. Images appear within the darkness - some eerie, some whimsical - all out-of-place. The image matters most. It is the focal point. Yet, without the surrounding landscape, the significance of the artist's image is lost.

Santa Fe Clay Gallery 2011

Exhibition Schedule 2011
through September 17
Photo, Avra Leodas, from Seven Deadly Sins exhibition
Small Sculptures
Work by Miguel Abugattas, Cynthia Rae Levine, Karen Thuesen Massaro and Katherine Taylor.
Summer Workshop Preview
Work by the ten visiting summer workshop artists: Claudia Alvarez, Chuck Aydlett, Pattie Chalmers, Charity Davis-Woodard, Steven Heinemann, Kristen Kieffer, Curt Lacross, Liz Quackenbush, Lisa Reinertson, Emily Schroeder.
Steven Godfrey + Andy Shaw
Functional pottery exhibit.
La Mesa - Tampa
Over 100 national ceramic artists present their place settings and centerpieces in this banquet table display, held at NCECA Tampa, FL.
Group show of ceramic figurines.
JUNE 10 - JULY 23
Santa Fe Clay’s studio director, Mike Jabbur, along with Nicholas Bivins and Tara Dawley will show their current bodies of functional pottery.
Steven Heinemann + Tom Phardel
Present their sculptural vessels during SOFA West in Santa Fe.

Currently, at Santa Fe Clay (from the press release):
"For the last six years, Santa Fe Clay has hosted a unique exhibit of dinnerware during the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts annual conference in cities across the U.S. Due to the success and popularity of “La Mesa”, Santa Fe Clay is bringing this unique show back to our gallery in New Mexico this December. 
This spectacular one hundred foot banquet table display will fill the entire gallery, and over one hundred artists from across the country will present their place settings and centerpieces. This is a wonderful opportunity to view work in an extraordinary variety of styles, and to collect one-of-a-kind pieces. It is also a chance to see work from some sculptural artists who shift focus and create functional pieces.  
La Mesa Santa Fe" will be on display at Santa Fe Clay December 10, 2010 - January 15, 2011, just in time for the holidays."

Santa Fe Clay Gallery

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Art LA Contemporary

January 27-30
Barker Hanger at the Santa Monica Airport
For more information: ALAC website
Galleries include:
1301PE, LA
Peres Projects, Berlin / LA
Susanne Vielmetter, LA / Berlin
Standare, Oslo
ACE Gallery, LA / Beverly Hills
Cardi Black Box, Milan
China Art Object Galleries, LA
Galeria Espacio Minimo, Madrid
Jack Hanley Gallery, NY
Kalfayan Galleries, Athens
LM Projects, LA
Thomas Solomon Gallery, LA
and many more

Monday, December 13, 2010

Global Warming Worries

From NASA, the following photos illustrate how much our planet has warmed between the years 1970 to 2009. If you live in Los Angeles, you know this year has been a confusing one with regard to weather patterns. Summer seemed more like spring or cool fall, while fall seems more like summer. There has been no definite pattern to our seasons this year - and I find it alarming.
As a result, we plan to post more stories in 2011, dealing with technological advances in the area of creatively combating global weather changes.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Modernist Cuisine-The Art and Science of Cooking

"I don't like food that's too carefully arranged; it makes me think that the chef is spending too much time arranging and not enough time cooking. If I wanted a picture I'd buy a painting." Andy Rooney

Julia Child (with Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck) gave America the gift of French cuisine at a time when homemakers were preparing "fast food" from their freezers. For those brave home "chefs", preparing family dinners from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, TV dinners were replaced with Boeuf Bourguignon - a three-page, authentic recipe from the book, requiring multiple steps and multiple procedures. Ms. Child, while demystifying the recipes, refused to simplify instructions which were handed down from master chefs to generations of students. While her book raised the level of food consciousness in America, it was originally rejected by Houghton Mifflin Publishing. The publishing house felt that the recipes would intimidate American housewives and as a result, the book would not sell well. Since publication (Knopf,1961), the book, which has never been out of print, has sold more than one million copies. Of course, with the release of both the book and film, Julie and Julia, sales have increased dramatically.

Soon, another culinary-world-changing book, Modernist Cuisine - The Art and Science of Cooking, will arrive on bookstore shelves (and in online shops). It should rest, comfortably, near Ms. Child's first book. The brainchild of Nathan Myhrvold, (former Chief Strategist and Chief Technology Officer of Microsoft Corporation, currently founder and CEO of Intellectual Ventures), Modernist Cuisine evolved out of Dr. Myhrvold's interest in sous vide cuisine. Sous vide, developed by George Pralus in the 1970s, translates to "under vacuum." It is a method of slow cooking at low temperatures in vacuum sealed bags, placed in warm water. Foods cooked via this method, tend to retain more of its shape and flavor than do foods cooked in slow-cookers due to the absence of oxygen and low cooking temperatures.
Trained as a chef, Dr. Myhrvold, along with Chris Young (a biochemist) and Maxime Bilet, both Fat Duck alumni, spent approximately three years developing and producing the five volumes which are included in the book.
The volumes are titled, as follows:
1. History and Fundamentals
2. Techniques and Equipment
3. Animals and Plants
4. Ingredients and Preparations
5. Plated Dish Recipes
No single style of cooking is represented. Modernist techniques, for example, are used to prepare "the ultimate cheeseburger, sunny-side up egg and Indian curries." However, highly technical discussions of processes, "such as constructed creams..." are also presented. Much like a richly photographed textbook, Modernist Cuisine, elevates the reader's knowledge  - as accomplished by Ms. Child's first book, so many years ago.
However, one must wonder if home chefs will find the technical aspects of the book too complicated. And would they purchase the necessary small appliances to accomplish sous vide, etc.? Perhaps, proof this may not be a problem, was found in the December 2nd issue of the Los Angeles Times, in an article titled, "Sous-Vide Comes Home", by Betty Hallock, (Food Section). In brief, Ms. Hallock informs readers as to the availability of various cutting-edge equipment, such as hand-held smokers, Vitamix  high powered blenders, whipping siphons, and sous vide cookers; validation that interest in modernist cuisine is present and growing. Perhaps, even, validation that Modernist Cuisine could be a best seller, as well.

Wondering which recipes might be found in the cookbook, the press room furnishes us with the following information:
"We have full-on Modernist dishes that would not be out of place at leading Modernist restaurants. But we also have dishes that are far more informal, like barbecue from the American South, a pork belly picnic and even the perfect omelet. For us, a plated recipe doesn't have to be fancy, as long as it's made with the quality and care of more elaborate preparations. Our hamburger is the best one we know how to make, and we believe that you should put every bit as much effort into making a great hamburger as you would if you were making dishes with loftier ambitions."
In an article written by Bruce Feiler (edited by Julie Coe) for Departures Magazine (December 2010), Dr. Myhrvold states, 
"One of the things that marks this genre of cooking is a real desire to be art. Something that is deeply intellectual and, yes, where the artist takes narrative control. But when you eat it (Caesar Dorito or freeze-dried lettuce, for example) certain ideas occur to you that will impact how you consume food forever."

The photography, research and overall development of the book required years of work; all within the kitchen laboratory developed by Dr. Myrhvold in Bellevue, Washington. While the volumes contained within this book deal with savory foods, future volumes will include desserts, pastries and baked goods.
In the new book, As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto, edited by Joan Reardon for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the following question was asked of Julia Child, "What makes a great cookbook." Her response was, "You might as well ask what makes a good restaurant. It's an eclectic mix of voice, recipes, design, attitude, prose, originality - only occasionally do all of the pieces come together to create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts."
Will Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, come together to create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts?
Time will tell.

Modernist Cuisine website
Modernist Cuisine blog
Modernist Cuisine at Amazon
Intellectual Ventures
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Knopf Doubleday
Ryan Matthew Smith Photography

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