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  • Modern Architecture: The Long and Winding Broad

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    Modern Architecture

    Wherever art collector, philanthropist and billionaire Eli Broad goes, star architects follow. As the lead donor for UCLA's Broad Art Center (2000), LACMA's Broad Contemporary Art Museum (2003), and the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University (2007), he has brought big names like Richard Meier, Renzo Piano and Zaha Hadid respectively to modern architecture, specifically museum design. And with his current project, the Broad Museum (situated next to the Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles), Broad introduces relative newcomers Diller Scofidio + Renfro to the list.

    With more than 2,000 contemporary works of art to his and his foundation's name, Broad's art collection is too expansive to list, so I'll stick to the monuments erected to house it. First up is the Broad Museum, currently under construction (pictured above and below).

    Broad Museum Interior

    Nobody walks in L.A., and to that end cars feature prominently in this design, visible through wide glass windows on the lobby level as they enter the underground parking lot.

    The just-opened design at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, is all Zaha Hadid--skewed lines and angles taken straight from a science fiction movie (below). 

    Zaha Hadid Museum Project

    The windswept lines continue on to the interiors, where even the recessed fixtures continue with an asymmetrical theme. 

    Zaha Hadid Interiors

    The least adventurous of Broad's museums is the Piano designed BCAM at LACMA (pitcured below). Given that the institution is partially taxpayer-funded, the austere design is a bit more understandable.

    Renzo Piano LACMA Wing

    In truth, the most prominent feature of the new wing is artist Chris Burden's light sculpture located next door (check out our earlier story about Chris Burden's artwork). If you're so inclined, feel free to shop our modern post lights and build an art installation of your own at home.

    Street Light Art at LACMA

    Lighting isn't only used as artwork, as the above picture would have you think. At museums and in the home, it's a critical part of viewing artwork. In recent years, the art world has increasingly eschewed traditional incandescent picture lights in favor of modern recessed lighting and fluorescent and halogen fixtures. Here are a few of my favorite designs for lighting contemporary art: 

    Stainless Steel Recessed Light

    Juno 4" Low Voltage Chrome Adjustable Recessed Light Trim

    Modern Picture LightLouvre 18" Wide Satin Nickel Finish Plug-In Picture Light

    Starting your own personal art collection is a lot of fun. And who knows, someday you may find yourself gifting your art collection to museums across the country too. This is the season of giving after all.

    Images: Arch Daily, Architect Magazine, Fabrik, Experiencing L.A.

  • Art Fair + Winter Shopping

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    art fair in miami

    Every year, Americans head south in the winter for a growing conglomeration of art and design fairs. In early December, the art world descended upon Miami for a weekend-long collection of more than 20 art fairs. In the next few months Southern California will see a handful of fairs, beginning with Los Angeles in January (the L.A. Art Show, Art Contemporary L.A., and Photo L.A.) and Palm Springs in February (Palm Springs Fine Art Fair and the Modernism Show). 

    art basel miami interior

    Folks line the halls of convention centers and pop-up tents for these weekend-long parties, taking in thousands of works on sale, along with a never-ending series of art installations, performances and symposia by day. At night, luxury lifestyle brands foot the bill at any number of exclusive parties (see Pae White's city block-sized oceanfront installation from 2009 below)...Don't worry about getting a formal invite. Someone always knows someone in the art world.

    art installations miami

    To get your hands on a piece of art work, you can expect to pay as much as $1 million, but the window shopping is free and as good of a reason as any to attend an art fair. And for that, we recommend taking in Design Miami. There was no shortage of eye candy at this year's event (December 5-9, 2012), from the inflated tube foyer by NYC-based Snarkitecture pictured below... 

    design miami foyer

    ...to the design installations inside: 

    art installation at design miami

    design miami sculpture installation

    design miami vignette

    A stark yet composed contrast was the name of the game at Design Miami, which got me thinking about how to get this same effect at home. Use throw pillows with bold patterns. Contemporary wall sconces with raw bronze finishes and rustic wood furniture. Graphic, text-based wall art. Effective pop of color such as red or orange modern table lamps.  

    Modern Design

    Zuo Haxby Walnut and Glass Modern Coffee Table, Set of 2 Black and White Zig Zag Toss Pillows, Possini Lighting on the Square Bronze Modern Bath Wall Light, Splash Modern Coral Ceramic Rectangular 26-Inch-H Table Lamp, Family Rules White on Black 20" High Motivational Wall Art

    Of course, if you've got some extra wall space and are in the market, art fairs are an excellent opportunity to find original art too. Remember, dealers are there to sell artwork and to that end, many are willing to offer payment plans and even discounts on your first piece of artwork. It's also possible to find work from emerging artists at a very reasonable price. So while it's too late this year for Miami, head to Southern California in January and February. The sun will be out and the art will too.

    Images: The Saunders Blog, No Artificial, Backstage At, Ur Design, Paperblog, The Decorating Diva 

  • Merry Christmas!

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    From our Euro Style Lighting family to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas!

  • Modern Christmas Tree Design

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    Modern Christmas Tree

    In the spirit of Christmas tomorrow, we found some trees that fit perectly with a modern Christmas... Just in case you're running behind on your decorating. Or, they're also great ideas for next year! 

    Do you love the warmth and coziness of a real tree, but hate the mess? Well look no further; we have some of the best creative solutions for your modern Christmas! The Infinite Indoor Tree by Johannes Molin (above) is definitely a favorite. There are infinite ways to display it, hence the name, so I have no doubt you'll find one that works perfectly for you. And of course if you get tired of it after a few days, you can always change it up!  

    Plywood Christmas Tree

    This plywood Christmas Tree (above) is so much fun. It's like a gorgeous modern sculpture that you just might not want to take down after the holidays! It's a perfect accent to your modern home decor and would glisten with some modern lighting shining brightly on it.

     Minimalist Christmas Tree

    I know there are quite a few minimalist out there and this tree (above) is the perfect one for you. The solid walnut base and core is very streamlined and allows the modern decorations to stand alone. This would be perfect in a room filled with mid century modern furniture.

    Modern Dining Chair

    Pascall White Plastic Side Chairs

    Rustic Modern Christmas Tree

    If you love rustic modern interiors then this is the perfect idea for you (above)! These tree branches are cut to perfect proportion to create an oh so balanced tree.  The decorative lighting drapes across each branch and make the ornaments glisten, giving such a happy and peaceful feeling  

    This tree pairs perfectly with the industrial side chair (below).

    Industrial Modern Chair

    Elio Gunmetal Dining Chair

    Artful Christmas Tree

    And here's one final idea! Just do away with the actual tree and create a tree on the wall with the actual ornaments.You could sit and stare at this tree for hours!  It's such a work of modern art!

    No matter how you're decorating for the holidays, be sure to have fun with it! Happy Holidays to you all!

    Images: Moco Loco Design Milk If Its Hip Its Here We Heart It Dottie Angel 

  • Cool + Collected 1.12

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    Central Park

    +You should head over to My Modern Met and check out the beautiful photos of Central Park. We decided to show the one that most resembled the Holidays of course. 

    +Speaking of NYC, the beautiful NY Library might get even cooler. Dezeen shared that Foster + Partners announced plans to add a contemporary lending library where the unused reading rooms are.

    +And speaking of the Holidays, Matchbook Magazine has some great entertaining tips for you.

    +For all the over-achievers out there, why not try making some 3-D printed Christmas cookies this Holiday season?

    +We send you off for the Holiday weekend with a fun video of Wallace + Gromit.

    Image: My Modern Met

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