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robertogreco : 1957   6

A historical photo series of San Francisco's "Outside Lands" Richmond district
"Driving out to “The Avenues,” or San Francisco’s Sunset and Richmond neighborhoods that hug the Ocean Beach coastline, can seem like a trek to those more centrally located within the city. But the payoff is worth the trip. Out there you’ll find the slowed down bustle of mom and pop shops, a salty fresh breeze from the ocean, and the sprawling Golden Gate Park (neat fact — it’s larger than New York City’s Central Park).

The Richmond district used to be sand dunes as far as the eye could see up until the late 19th century. Since then, it’s grown up into a diverse residential neighborhood with some of the best Chinese and Russian cuisine in the city. Explore its rich history below, and don’t forget to take a trip to see it for yourself."
sanfrancisco  history  photography  classideas  sfsh  2017  1800s  1870  1898  1899  1906  1919  1922  1932  1935  1940s  1957  1972  1974  outsidelands  innerrichmond  outerrichmond  innersunset  outersunset  richmonddistrict  sunsetdistrict 
april 2017 by robertogreco
All About Yves: The Story of International Klein Blue | Departures
"What we talk about when we talk about “Yves Klein Blue,” the shocking hue of ultramarine created by Yves Klein.

In her collection Bluets, the poet and art critic Maggie Nelson writes about visiting London and seeing Propositions Monochromes, a collection of objects and canvases painted by Yves Klein in 1957. The only color used was a shade of ultramarine. Three years later, Klein would submit that color, under the name International Klein Blue (IKB), to the French patent office, resulting in patent number 63471. Nelson writes:

Standing in front of these blue paintings, or propositions, at the Tate, feeling their blue radiate out so hotly that it seemed to be touching, perhaps even hurting, my eyeballs, I wrote but one phrase in my notebook: too much.

Writers have reported seeing IKB appear in runway shows in the last decade, citing collections by Diane von Furstenburg, Giorgio Armani, and Proenza Schouler. The problem is that International Klein Blue isn’t a color you can spot—it’s a process. Unless you are standing in front of a work by Klein, or visiting an art-supply store in Paris, you’re not looking at it.

Klein started painting ultramarine monochromes in the late ’40s but entered the ’50s dissatisfied with his results. Soon after his first exhibition 60 years ago, Klein began working with an art supplier in Paris named Edouard Adam, looking to create a blue that was evading him. As he wrote in an unpublished paper, quoted in Philip Ball’s book Bright Earth, Klein was struggling with the fixatives used to turn powder into pigments: “The affective magic of the color had vanished. Each grain of powder seemed to have been extinguished individually by the glue or whatever material was supposed to fix it to the other grains as well as to the support.” With the help of Adam and the chemical manufacturer Rhône-Poulenc, Klein found a synthetic resin called Rhodopas M60A in 1956. When combined with an ultramarine pigment, this colorless medium allowed the powder to retain what Klein described as “pure energy,” which may be what Nelson experienced as “too much.”

In 2011 I had an encounter
 with muchness in Nice, Klein’s main home until his death in 1962, at the age of 34. After missing a flight to Paris, I ended up in the city on a brutally sunny day. I wandered away from the airport, walked up a hill, and found Nice’s largest modern-art museum, MAMAC. The MAMAC was showing a piece made in 1960 at Klein’s apartment, a solid sheet of ultramarine covered in white handwriting. It was the manifesto of Nouveau Réalisme, a brief, not entirely coherent artistic movement named in 1960 by art critic Pierre Restany, Klein’s friend. I wasn’t that interested in what the collective was up to—they were kaput by 1970 and I had managed to be invested in 20th-century art without ever hearing of them. I walked past the manifesto, directly into more Klein. A branch, about two feet high, was standing on end. It was painted entirely in IKB. Next to that sat a dusty pyramid of IKB pigment. I felt the color reach into me and coat my nerves. I had never understood the alleged intensity of monochromes in art, yet here I was, in love with a color and unaware it had its own name.

You can go, right now, to Adam Montmartre (96 Rue Damrémont; 33-1/46-06-60-38), a shop in Paris established in 1898 by Adam’s grandfather Gaston and now maintained by his nephew, Fabien, after his death this past February. You could buy a one-liter or five-liter jar of Le Medium Adam25 and make your own pile or mix it with a medium and paint with it. This would be a genuine encounter with International Klein Blue, but because of the rules laid down by the Klein estate, you wouldn’t be able to refer to it as Klein blue. This is confusing, as Klein himself enlisted Adam to create IKB—which is what a jar of Le Medium Adam25 is—but the estates of dead artists tend to be less flexible than the whims of living artists.

Designer Valeria McCulloch, who once claimed that she wears only Klein blue, and France Telecom, which sold a phone in 1998 under the name Klein blue, are only two of many acting under a categorical delusion that is perhaps the most generative part of Klein’s patent. All these dresses and phones simply embody various shades of bleu d’outremer—ultramarine. France Telecom was sued by the Klein estate, as it was using the name “Klein” for commercial purposes, but otherwise the Klein estate does not legally disabuse people of thinking they are printing things in Klein blue or wearing Klein blue as long as they keep the name Klein out of it. (Hence, the Adam Montmartre shop selling “Adam25” and not “Klein blue.”) You cannot patent a color. The 1960 patent covers only a chemical procedure that fixes ultramarine pigment in a certain way and connects it to a family name.

Hold a jar of IKB and you see something lighter and more intense than all the other things you thought were Klein blue. This is not so surprising, as you’re not looking at paint but at powdery granules coated with polyvinyl acetate: the undiluted form of Klein’s blue energy. This is part of Klein’s cockeyed triumph. His arrogance was unchecked, but his idea ended up more than just conceptual tomfoolery. The idea of chasing the great blue monochrome came to him as a teenager, when he “signed the sky” while lying on a beach in Nice. The color he ended up fixing on had a universal appeal, even as he struggled to make it unique to him. Klein’s work hasn’t started flipping like Basquiats, and we aren’t seeing more museum retrospectives for Klein than for any of his con- temporaries. Klein simply helped make ultramarine popular and led people to believe they loved a color they may have never seen. This is logical. It’s fun to think a person claimed a color, turning the mundane into something you can root for and be slightly snooty about: “This color is a famous blue, not just blue.” And IKB does, empirically, live on; anyone can buy the pigment, which is where Klein’s concept turns back on itself. For a painter, using IKB would be an act of reappropriation, like writing a song using one of Sonic Youth’s guitar tunings. An artist using Adam25 is in Klein’s country, working around and against his rules. So many of the artists who might paint with Klein blue likely won’t, and the people confessing their love for IKB are talking about a different color. And it’s a lovely confusion."
yvesklein  blue  internationalkleinblue  ikb  2015  shashafrere-jones  color  colors  art  1957  lemediumadam25  ultramarine  reappropriation  confusion 
march 2016 by robertogreco
A Situationist classic: Asger Jorn and Guy Debord's Fin de Copenhague: Observatory: Design Observer
"According to legend, Fin de Copenhague was composed and printed in the space of just 24 hours. Or maybe it was 48 hours. Either way it was pulled off with a dizzying burst of speed and with nonchalantly scathing brilliance by the Danish artist Asger Jorn, credited as main author, and the French theorist and writer Guy Debord, who is named as “technical adviser for détournement” — back to that in a moment.

Fin de Copenhague (Goodbye to Copenhagen) will be familiar, at least by reputation, to scholars and admirers of the Situationists, and perhaps to aficionados of the artist’s book, though not many will have perused an original copy since only 200 were printed by Permild & Rosengreen in Copenhagen, and published by Jorn’s “Bauhaus Imaginiste” in May 1957. I have never seen one myself. Christie’s sold a copy in 2011 for $14,427. What I do have, and show here, is a reprint published in 1986 by Editions Allia in Paris (it was reprinted again in 2001). It is one of those books that I count myself lucky to have stumbled upon by chance without knowing, at the moment I picked it up, anything about it. In fact, I couldn’t say now why I did pick it up, many years ago, because it has the plainest, most misleading cover. The original, unreproducible covers, made of super-tactile flong embossed with pages from newspapers, were all different."
2013  1957  rickpoyner  books  situationist  asgerjorn  guydebord  detournement  design  art  color 
march 2013 by robertogreco
greg.org: the making of: Wherein The Inventor Of The Pixel Totally Agrees With Me, Even Though I Don't Totally Agree With Him
"In 1957, NIST computer expert Russell Kirsch scanned the world's first digital image [a photo of his infant son, above] using the country's first programmable computer. To accommodate the memory and processing capacity of the available equipment, Kirsch had the computer break the image up into a 176x176 grid, and to assign a binary color value, black or white, to each of the resulting 30,976 square pixels.
computing  imaging  russellkirsch  1957  pixels  culture  shapes 
june 2010 by robertogreco

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