1.17.2011

Artists Do It Best

What, exactly, do they do best? Everything. Like this transcendent living room:



Rooms this sublime can only be created by true genius. Can you guess which one? Who does it belong to, dear readers?

(And if you are familiar with this house and know of a source of high res images, I would be forever grateful. I looked in vain for two hours yesterday.)

9 comments:

Meg Blocker said...

O'Keeffe, perhaps?

Nick Heywood said...

oh, good guess! Let's see what everyone else says.

mrsneutronsgarage said...

I have no idea whose house that is and I don't like it AT ALL. I don't see one place where I could be comfortable!

Nick Heywood said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nick Heywood said...

Gracious, are we looking at the same room? Perhaps the presence of the home's master and creator, Georgia O'Keeffe, would make it more comfortable for you, but I doubt it.

Aesthetic purity is not for all, but others take comfort in it -- and I am one of those.

We forget that vernacular Southwestern architecture and modernism didn't always walk hand in hand, and that it took the pluck of someone like O'Keeffe to see the formal purity and affinity between the two. I also admire how she presages minimalism in her uninterrupted planes (Judd, anyone?), color field painting and wonderfully nontraditional hidden skylights (James Turrell-esque, no?).

The room becomes a study in material that I suspect would delight the senses -- adobe ledges and floors, cool to the touch during the burning days and retaining heat during the frigid nights.

And I have always wondered if eschewing overstuffed furniture is the key to lasting posture -- she was said to be bone straight to the end. I have always associated upholstery with not simply physical, but also moral laxity. I tellingly have a penchant for club chairs.

mrsneutronsgarage said...

You are right Nick, it wouldn't. To me it looks like an old Holiday Inn room that someone retrofitted with furniture picked up at a garage sale. The "formal purity" one is accustomed to seeing in a dorm room.
As far as moral "laxity" being associated with upholstery, please!
It's a shoebox with some logs and 2 skylights. And, where are these "uninterrupted planes" ? I count 5 different kinds of chairs, some slip covered seating and drapes that could have been a tad longer. True Genius? The lady did great work, but, I think you are way out on a limb calling this room genius.

Nick Heywood said...

We just see it differently. On all points.

Comparing it to a dorm room is not necessarily an unflattering comparison, considering the wealth of superbly designed and formally pure dorm rooms, from Steven Holl and Alvar Aalto at MIT, to those rooms that are essentially dorm rooms in that they offer modest, high density housing, like LeCorbusier's monastery at La Tourette and the housing by Gropius at the Bauhaus (which you might guess I have an affinity for, given the name of this blog). I doubt you would like those very much either, but that does not discount their quality on artistic or utilitarian terms.

Uninterrupted planes in the sense that there are no seams -- the floor becomes the seating, with no distinction in material. No trims break the unity of floor to wall to ceiling (which has as much to do with the nature of adobe as any choice of O'Keeffe's, though her decision to live in an adobe house was in and of itself somewhat unconventional).

Clearly laughing at myself over upholstery, Antique Roadshow has at proven to mainstream America that garage sales cannot be knocked, and if this is what Holiday Inns look like these days, I'm booking one for long term stay.

Daniel-Halifax said...

I'm gazing at the picture and trying to figure out what's not to LOVE about it?

Nope...nothing.

Let me know how the L'Holiday Inn goes, I might follow your example.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see this place with a color photograph. That would be cool.

-Zane of ontario honey

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