Category Archives: Reviews

New Exhibitions: “Wilhelm Thöny – Dreaming In Times Of Crisis” (Salzburg, AT)

Museum der Moderne Salzburg LogoThe motifs of Thöny’s art are informed by the pervasive unease of the interwar years, whose apprehensions he portrayed in the grotesque and nightmarishly somber drawings he created around 1920 for his unpublished Buch der Träume (Book of Dreams). Other works, however, render serene and idyllic landscapes and urban views as well as scenes from social life.

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Wilhelm Thöny (1888 Graz, AT—1949 New York, US) was a restless cosmopolitan and indefatigable networker whose peripatetic career took him far beyond Austria’s borders. A cofounder of the Secession in his native Graz, he made friends along the way—he spent time in Munich and Paris, on the Côte d’Azur and in New York, among other places—but zealously guarded his creative independence, building an oeuvre that did not align with any of the major tendencies of the period.

The Museum der Moderne Salzburg’s first exhibition devoted to Thöny’s oeuvre since 2010 presents around two hundred works from the museum’s own collection. One highlight in the show are the (letter) illustrations in the artist’s Scrap Book from the 1930s. Observations from everyday life captured with lighthearted humor are interspersed between reflections on the increasingly oppressive political situation. It is the first time that this body of work, which is of outstanding value both for its artistic quality and as a document of its time, is shown in its entirety in Salzburg.

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New Restaurants: “Ampia Rooftop NYC” – “Sanitary, Social Distance Dining”

Ampia Rooftop (Ampia meaning “Space” in Italian) is a sprawling 4,500 Sq. foot outdoor rooftop terrace featuring individual greenhouses for a social distance dining experience, opulent clusters of colorful flower gardens, and Italian-themed art and décor dispersed throughout. Chef Michele Iuliano offers up an authentic Italian menu of lite casual fare, along with a selection of inventive seafood paninis. 

Ampia Restaurant

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Restaurant Business (August 1, 2020) – The first step was a name change. When New York City announced that restaurants could open for outdoor dining during Phase 2, the Iulianos changed the name from Gnoccheria Rooftop to Ampia—a move that gave it a distinct identity. Then they set about redesigning the space to satisfy all the restrictions.

The entire space was sprayed with an electrostatic sanitary coating, including the tables, chairs, bar and every touchable surface. The process sanitizes for up to three months. The pair also purchased a facial recognition thermometer and all the essential PPE specified in New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Phase 2 guidelines.

Next, the space was reconcepted from the original 250-seat restaurant to an outdoor dining venue with a limited bar and food menu. The beer garden in the original plan had to be scrapped; it’s impossible to enforce social distancing in that kind of setting. Instead, tables were spread out and seating areas set far apart, accommodating 60 to 65 guests.

The regulations around social distancing state that if tables cannot be arranged six feet apart, a restaurant can use plexiglass dividers between them. But the Iulianos wanted to infuse Ampia with the same stylish elements that differentiate their other restaurants.

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New Architecture Books: “Zaha Hadid – Complete Works” (Taschen)

Zaha Hadid was a revolutionary architect. For years, she was widely acclaimed and won numerous prizes despite building practically nothing. Some even said her work was simply impossible to build. Yet, during the latter years of her life, Hadid’s daring visions became a reality, bringing a new and unique architectural language to cities and structures such as the Port House in Antwerp, the Al Janoub Stadium near Doha, Qatar, and the spectacular new airport terminal in Beijing.

TASCHEN

By her untimely death in 2016, Hadid was firmly established among architecture’s finest elite, working on projects in Europe, China, the Middle East, and the United States. She was the first female architect to win both the Pritzker Prize for architecture and the prestigious RIBA Royal Gold Medal, with her long-time Partner Patrik Schumacher now the leader of Zaha Hadid Architects and in charge of many new projects.

Based on the massive TASCHEN monograph, this book is now available in an extensively updated and accessible edition covering Hadid’s complete works, including ongoing projects. With abundant photographs, in-depth sketches, and Hadid’s own drawings, the volume traces the evolution of her career, spanning not only her most pioneering buildings but also the furniture and interior designs that were integrated into her unique, and distinctly 21st-century, universe.

The author

Philip Jodidio studied art history and economics at Harvard, and edited Connaissance des Arts for over 20 years. His TASCHEN books include the Architecture Now! series and monographs on Tadao Ando, Santiago Calatrava, Renzo Piano, Jean Nouvel, Shigeru Ban, Richard Meier, and Zaha Hadid.

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Medical Videos: “How Coronaviruses Work” (Johns Hopkins Medicine)

It’s one of the tiniest machines on the planet — about a hundred times smaller than the average cell. It’s so small that no scientist can spot it through a typical light microscope. Only with an electron microscope can we see its spiky surface. It’s not alive, and it’s not what most of us would think of as “dead.” This teensy machine seems to survive in a kind of purgatory state, yet it has traveled across continents and oceans from host to host, and brought hundreds of nations to a standstill. Despite its diminutive size, the novel coronavirus, dubbed SARS-CoV-2, has seemingly taken the world by surprise with its virulence.

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Books: “The Clock Mirage – Our Myth Of Measured Time” By Joseph Mazur

The Clock Mirage - Our Myth of Measured Time - Joseph Mazur - Book Review - July 2020With a narrative punctuated by personal stories of time’s effects on truck drivers, Olympic racers, prisoners, and clockmakers, Mazur’s journey is filled with fascinating insights into how our technologies, our bodies, and our attitudes can change our perceptions. Ultimately, time reveals itself as something that rides on the rhythms of our minds. The Clock Mirage presents an innovative perspective that will force us to rethink our relationship with time, and how best to use it.

A tour of clocks throughout the centuries—from the sandglass to the telomere—to reveal the physical, biological, and social nature of time.

Wall Street Journal Review

What is time? This question has fascinated philosophers, mathematicians, and scientists for thousands of years. Why does time seem to speed up with age? What is its connection with memory, anticipation, and sleep cycles?

Award‑winning author and mathematician Joseph Mazur provides an engaging exploration of how the understanding of time has evolved throughout human history and offers a compelling new vision, submitting that time lives within us. Our cells, he notes, have a temporal awareness, guided by environmental cues in sync with patterns of social interaction. Readers learn that, as a consequence of time’s personal nature, a forty‑eight‑hour journey on the space shuttle can feel shorter than a six‑hour trip on the Soyuz capsule, that the Amondawa of the Amazon do not have ages, and that time speeds up with fever and slows down when we feel in danger.

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