It would be difficult to understate the influence of Lawren Harris’ abstract landscapes on Canadian identity. As a founding member of The Group of Seven, Harris pioneered a distinctly Canadian school of art that departed from European contemporaries of the same era. Minimal in texture and detail, his grandiose landscapes use sweeping curves and simplified abstract forms to capture a wider, almost spiritual representation of a landscape.
Fairly covering Harris’ entire career in a single blog post is tricky, but what I’ve presented here are the some of his best known works from Northern Ontario (Lake Superior) in the 1920′s and the Rocky Mountains and Arctic during the 1930′s. I’ve also provided a look at some of the more abstract, but less celebrated work he painted during the late 1930′s and 40′s. Overall, I find most of what he painted during these years to imbue a remarkable sense of modernism, and something I’m hoping readers of ISO50 can appreciate.
I know some of you are most likely familiar with the Group of Seven and Lawren Harris, but if not I would love to know what you think and if you find the work inspiring.
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Hodgy Beats makes a pretty appropriate remix of Toro Y Moi, soo fitting, perfect club jam in my mind.
School Of Seven Bells have a new EP out this month, this collection has the clearest path of understanding to their sound for people just discovering them. Its full of thoughtful unique layers which pop music keeps missing away from.
Chrome Sparks puts together a colorful take on slowed up beat music, rich in brightness and moving parts.
Matthewdavid crawls around the head of recent Stone Throw signee Chrome Canyon single and replaces the brain with a more lively out of this world one.
Today, I bring you an incredibly talented individual, Benjamin JeanJean. I am very envious of not only his work, but his surroundings and life in general. An excerpt from his own biography reads:
“Deeply rooted in the surf and skateboard culture, Benjamin JJ follows life at his own pace on the French Atlantic coast: he drives a 1965 404 Peugeot; lives in an old house he renovated himself, packed with vintage furniture and art pieces; surfs on an old school longboard and takes pictures with a medium format analog camera. Time seems timeless for him. ”
Sounds like the life, if you ask me. Benjamin is well-versed in design, surfing (both shaping and riding), and photography. In todays world, everyone uses their computer or their digital cameras (or phones) to create art, but I find it refreshing to see someone who doesn’t mind getting dirty and taking the time to really put a bit of himself into the things he creates. From pencil and paper, to a surfboard. I love the idea of creating something beautiful that you can also use and enjoy beyond just looking at it.
He has inspired me to pick up a pencil and paper, start working with my hands more, and live my life the way I want to live it.
Stunning images from various Google data centers around the world. I’m always amazed when I see how intricate and complex all this network routing can get, but the images I’m most drawn to in these galleries are the photos that show the routing of something else: water.
The cooing tech seems just as complex as the rest of it all, and they make great use of color to help identify different water types and their functions. For example, in Hamina Finland, one color designates highly pressurized clean and filtered water for use in the event of a fire, while another designates seawater pulled from the Gulf of Finland, used solely for cooling purposes.
Lorn fans: if you haven’t already, you need to go and download his latest free offering in the Lorn & Dolor beat-tape series. If you’ve been following these then you only need to download part IV – otherwise hit the PARTS I-IV link for the whole thing zipped up.
The series is compilation of unreleased material and sketches all with Lorn’s usual HEAVY hitting dark yet ethereal and beautiful sound. It might not flow like a ‘mix’ (it clearly wasn’t intended to), but it’s surprisingly cohesive, given the jumpy/cut nature of some of the transitions.
I’m not sure who this ‘mysterious’ Dolor fellow is – but judging from the severe lack of info on him online and the similarity in sound, I’m thinking it’s just an alias of Lorn himself. Then again, in 1996 when I first heard Feed Me Weird Things I was absolutely convinced Squarepusher was Richard D. James.
Oh, I also though Burial was Four yet. So there’s that.
Image Blender is my go to app for blending and masking but I was getting frustrated using the brush tool to mask a straight line, then it dawned on me that I could use a solid black or white image to “knock out” the part I wanted to be transparent (or in this case to be opaque). Once I blended down the solid black or white I could bring the image back in and use the blending modes to get the transparency.
The screenshots above show this process. The original photo was the edge of a window frame. I overlaid a blank white image at four different angles. I then flipped it and blended it over the mountain photo. Tip: Swipe to the right to move and rotate the image and then from the main screen tap and hold to flatten down, switch images or copy. I did the final color adjustments in picfx, another go to app for me. If you have any other Blender tricks post them below!
We’ve discussed Vitsoe around here before, primarily focusing on what they are most known for: Dieter Rams’ furniture designs, including the 606 Universal Shelving System and the 620 Chair Programme. Founded in 1959, they have worked with arguably some of the most influential mid century graphic designers in Germany, and their attention to detail in the company graphic identity and literature has always been just as impressive as the furniture itself. Now, Vitsoe has started to release some of it’s amazing archival material via it’s newly created Tumblr page, and it’s worth a visit.
I find myself most drawn to the posters and graphic identity that Wolfgang Schmidt created for Vitsoe early on. Being a record collector, I’m obviously obsessed with this 7″ that they pressed in the 1971 for one of the various live performance events in the showrooms.
The poster he designed in 1972 for the 620 Chair Programme is genius – it really captures the idea of ‘furniture as a system’ that both the 606 and 620 embody. Each unfolding of the poster reveals a new layout, ultimately culminating in a whimsical layout featuring the Vitsoe employees as the models.
Schmidt’s book of invitations for the Frankfurt fair in 1971 delivers humor via his iconography combinations.
Finally, Günther Kieser, most famous for his jazz and rock posters, art directed various photo shoots for Vitsoe. This is a postcard featuring one from 1968.