Upstate Diary #16 - Down to the Roots

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Upstate Diary #16 - Down to the Roots

The Native American artist, Rose B Simpson, is gaining art-world acclaim for her powerful androgynous figures of clay, often with metal adornments that look like jewelry or armor or both. Simpson belongs to a long line of ceramic artists going back hundreds of years. We visit her 156 sq ft studio on the reservation in New Mexico.

Calling the Suisse architect Christian Wassmann “grounded” is perhaps an understatement. Sensitive as most architects are to the ground on which he builds, Wassmann also commands a concept of site that seems to incorporate his entire home planet, as well as the sun and stars that surround it. Let’s visit his new home!

Casa Kohn is a house lost in time behind walls that divide it from the outside world. In this most personal of spaces, designed by Czech architect Karl Kohn and completed in 1949, it is clear things were conceived to be unique. The client was his family. Everything had to be perfect.

The academy award winning director, Roger Ross Williams appears remarkably calm for a man with so much going on. Deep in the Catskills mountains, the genial director seems positively unfazed by the myriad projects he juggles, from the upcoming Supermodel series with Naomi, Christy and Cindy for Apple, to the much-anticipated Donna Summers doc, and to his first scripted narrative movie about gay Mexican wrestler Saúl Armendáriz.

Alexis Rockman, a so-called “naturalist” who has given us panoramic works that brood over subjects like evolution, climate change, and genetic engineering, Rockman commands as broad a view of the world — indeed, as cosmic a view — as any artist has ever had. Let’s dive into his ocean.

Not unlike his handcrafted home in the high desert, from start to finish, Dan John Anderson’s process is downright primal and reminiscent of a master sculptor who transforms a shapeless block of wood into a thing of beauty.

Francesca DiMattio’s tabletop explorations came about mainly for personal reasons, she’s acutely aware of their relationship to her own paintings and sculptures, and to broader currents in the art world, which has recently changed its mind about ceramics. It’s as her dishes, bowls and cups had magically materialised themselves from a fictional setting; they keep tugging you back towards that land of make-believe.

Let’s step into the magical world of artist Thomas Woodruff and his breathtaking imagination of dinosaurs and a feral child who is raised by magpies and other creatures. His imagination spills over into his wonderful home. And more!