Chicago-based artist Paula Crown's creative exploration of the earliest man-made symbols has led to a new series of sculptural works in production at Factum Arte. Spiral (2019) elaborates the basic spiral into a highly complex structure, asking the question – how far can the basic sign be taken before it becomes illegible?
The sculpture was digitally modelled and 3D printed in one piece. The secondary nickel electroplating process resulted in arborescent nickel formations whose fractal qualities evoke organic protrusions from the hyper-stylised 3D modelled form.
Rachid Koraïchi is currently building a non-denominational cemetery and memorial in Zarzis, Tunisia for migrants who have drowned while crossing the Mediterranean. Jardin d'Afrique will open next year, although 56 anonymous bodies have already been buried in a temporary grave at the site.
Image: Construction of Jardin Afrique - Courtesy Rachid Koraïchi
Following the opening of Marina's exhibition at Wilde Gallery in Basel, she returned to Madrid to continue developing a new body of works. After the production of Marina's five alabaster portraits that formed Five Stages of Maya Dance (exhibited at Masterpiece Presents last year), the artist continues her exploration of the image-making possibilities of relief carving, that merges the ephemeral and the permanent, performance and light.
Marina's work has always been concerned with performance and pushing boundaries. The new works continue this but with a sense of time that looks forwards and backwards.
A new film by Óscar Parasiego made with Mariana Cook while she was working in Factum's workshops earlier this year.
This is one of an ongoing series of films with artists as they engage with Factum's team in different ways.
Risco Caído and the Sacred Mountains of Gran Canaria Cultural Landscape, a complex of troglodyte settlements in the biodiverse mountains of central Gran Canaria, was added to UNESCO's World Heritage List on July 7th 2019.
Risco Caído is a great example to demonstrate how new technologies for non-contact digitisation can contribute to the preservation and monitoring of a cultural heritage site, as it is now being carried out by the Cabildo de la Palma. Factum Arte has been working with the Cabildo on the creation of a facsimile which will make the Canarian sanctuary accessible to the public and permit wider dissemination and visibility.
The objective of this project is twofold: the exhaustive photographic documentation of the internal space and its surface, including a valuable solar calendar, that will result in the production of an exact facsimile at 1:1 that can be visited. This project will also contribute to the preservation of the original cave, under threat from natural causes due to its location.
The digitisation of Risco Caído took place in March 2019 and UNESCO's exciting announcement comes as a team of specialists at Factum's Madrid workshops undertakes the production of the facsimile, which will be on permanent view at the new Interpretation Centre of Risco Caído and the Sacred Mountains of Gran Canaria, in the municipality of Artenara. The reproduction of the cave will open to the public before the end of 2019.
More information on the digitisation and facsimile production coming soon.
From 27 June to 3 July 2019, Factum Arte participated in Masterpiece London, one of the world's leading cross-collecting fairs. Factum's stand, designed by Charlotte Skene Catling, recreated the feeling of creative excitement that exists in Factum's workshops. Works by artists including El Anatsui, Marina Abramović, Mariana Cook, Paula Crown, Adam Fuss, Boris Savelev, and Rachid Koraïchi were shown alongside a digital restoration of an equestrian statue by Canova and interpretative re-creations of artworks by Dürer and Monet.
The emergence of computers and the opportunities offered by diverse types of digital mediation in C21st required a radical rethinking of the layout of a creative workshop and the way that contemporary artists work. Factum Arte is a direct response to this need. Its workshops have developed to create an experimental and open environment to meet the needs of artists from around the world.
Over 50 people work together in a space of 8000 sq meters. Their skills are diverse; architects, product designers, scientists, moulders and casters, welders, conservators, fine and applied artists, printers, electrical and physical engineers, machine operators, accountants, photographers, film-makers, 3D scanners, textile specialists, typographers, sculptors and furniture restorers all work together. Teamwork is at the heart of this C21st renaissance and the workshops are only the tip of the iceberg. They connect to precision engineering, CNC milling, foundry work in many materials (at every scale and level of detail), waterjet cutting, laser technologies of various kinds, structural engineering, architecture, museum collaborations, printing, exhibition design, 3D printing, electro-forming and electroplating, wood carving, stone carving, computer programming, film-making, anthropology, scientific innovation... the list responds to needs. The aim has been to create a ‘playground’ for artists who can work supported by skilled and creative digital artisans.
Cover: Ahmed Matter's Mitochondria: Powerhouses installed at Galleria Continua in San Gimignano, 2017
Adam Fuss' new works were on display at the Baldwin Gallery in Aspen (21 June - 21 July 2019).
Over the past months, the artist worked with Factum's print studio on the creation of multiple unique multi-layered pigment prints of compressed flowers on gesso coated aluminum. The crushed petals appeared to leave the surface of the gesso and seemingly gain volume, displaying the innovative results of high-resolution scanning as well as multi-layered printing.
Image courtesy of Adam Fuss Studio
A pair of new works have emerged from the ongoing collaborative project ‘Benchmarks’ between El Anatsui, the October Gallery and the print studio at Factum Arte. The Gold on Black takuhon has been exhibited at the October Gallery’s El Anatsui: Material Wonder (28th February - 6th April 2019). A second Black on Gold was displayed at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition where El Anatsui is an Academician, from 10 June - 12 August 2019.
The imprint is first taken by a method called "Takuhon", which was developed in ancient Japan.
Factum Arte continues the collaboration with Danish designer Mathias Bengtsson to produce a unique Chaise Longue. Since 2013, Bengtsson has been working with Factum to push the boundaries of traditional furniture through expressive forms and advanced techniques.
The chair began as a 3D model sent by Bengtsson which was 3D printed in TetraShell by Materialise. The result is a complete merging between 3D printing technologies and traditional casting techniques - another successful collaboration with the Madrid-based foundry, Fademesa. Learn more on the techniques involved in the production of this unique piece of furniture.
We are delighted to participate in the edition of Masterpiece Art Fair. Last year, Factum Arte was present at Masterpiece Art Fair with two different booths. In the central area of the Fair, Masterpiece Presents featured the first body of work produced at Factum Arte´s studios in Madrid: Five Stages of Maya Dance by Marina Abramović. The complete series of works was displayed in a site-specific space designed by Skene Catling de la Peña, in addition to Factum's own booth, showing works by Paula Crown, Shezad Dawood, Bernd Nicolaisen, Rachid Koraichi, Mat Chivers, El Anatsui, Ahmed Mater, Hrair Sarkissian, Boris Savelev, Grayson Perry and others.
On 20 March, Rachid Koraïchi's amazing show, entitled This Long Journey into Your Gaze, opened at Casa Árabe in Madrid. It is an exhibition that is a personal and intimate celebration of the way light animates different materials, making the complex shadows a vital part of the forms.
The exhibit has been moved from the Neo-Mudéjar building, located at the heart of Madrid, to Casa Árabe's exhibition space in Cordova where it will run until 27 Oct. Don't miss the artist's several series of bronze sculptures, corten artworks and alabaster tablets all produced at Factum's workshops.
Factum Arte has produced a series of 25 furniture pieces designed by acclaimed English designer Jasper Morrison, all formed entirely out of recycled cork. The pieces are on show at Kasmin Gallery as part of 'Corks', Morrison's first solo show in North America (09 May - 29 June 2019).
Factum Arte has collaborated for the first time with Danish-Palestinian artist Larissa Sansour on a monumental fibreglass sculpture to form part of 'Heirloom', a powerful reflection on the key themes of memory, history and identity that represents Denmark at the 58th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia 2019.
First, a cast was made using fibreglass and resin mixed with black powder in order to establish the deep black tone of the sculpture from the beginning; this was the first step in trying to capture the mattest possible black commercially available.
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The Whitechapel Bell Foundry was the oldest continuous manufacturing business in Great Britain until its closure in 2017, a history of traditional bell casting that stretched back almost 450 years to 1570, counting Big Ben and the Liberty Bell amongst its extraordinary legacy.
Sold to Raycliff Capital due to financial pressure in an industry on the decline in the modern age, the US property developers have submitted plans to turn the historic foundry into a ‘bell-themed boutique hotel’; a complete disregard for the rich heritage of one of the UK’s finest cultural and historical assets, and for its rightful function as a bell foundry. More details on this shameful proposal can be found here.
Our sister organisation Factum Foundation have partnered with the United Kingdom Historic Preservation Trust on a plan to re-open the foundry, re-equipped for the production of bells and art casting once again, which can be read in full here. You can help save the Whitechapel Bell Foundry by taking a moment to submit an objection to the boutique hotel proposal to the Tower Hamlets council. Information on how to do so can be found here.
In 2018, Factum Arte, developed and coordinated with Jan Hendrix the production of a series of tapestries depicting the mythological landscape of Yagul, in Southern Mexico. These tapestries are on display at the Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporaneo (MUAC) in Mexico City from May 05 to Sept. 22 2019 and will become a touring exhibition in the following year.
Factum Arte was involved in all the steps of the process, from the creation of digital high resolution files and tonal adjusts based on the original drawings to textile artistic advice on the fibre composition and the finishing of the manufactured piece.
Click here to read more about it.
Factum has collaborated with Sarah Sze on a two-part sculpture entitled ‘Split Stone (7:34)’, comprised of a natural boulder split in two like to a geode. The cut reveals a vivid image of the sky embedded into the surface of the stone.
By recording images in pixels and then fixing them in stone and pigment, Sze explores the fragility of time passing and our desire for weight and permanence in the face of both overwhelming natural forces and the ubiquitous images that surround us daily.
This work was installed at the National Roman Museum (Crypta Balbi) in Rome to coincide with Sze’s solo exhibition at the city's Gagosian Gallery (21/11/2018 - 27/01/2019) before being part of the 20 sculptures exhibited for the launch of Frieze Sculpture at Rockefeller Center, until June 28 2019.
An important exhibition on Dürer’s graphic corpus is currently on show at Palazzo Sturm in Bassano del Grappa, running until 30/09/2019. Curated by Chiara Casarin, the exhibition features more than 200 works by Dürer, including his celebrated Rhinoceros woodcut.
Dürer’s Rhinoceros woodcut recorded the exotic creature’s arrival in Europe, where it was exhibited in King Manuel I’s menagerie in Lisbon. As its fame spread Dürer drew the image we know, combining invention, folklore and an idiosyncratic zoology to concoct a fantastical creature that surpasses any observational study.
Factum Arte’s 3D sculptor has continued this beast’s strange and magical journey, transforming it from idea and image into form. Using organic modelling software, Irene Gaume sculpted the animal’s form, over which she mapped the lines of the woodcut giving them volume and relief in a style resembling a netsuke - the famous Japanese ivory carvings.
The workshop team materialised its intricate shape through 3D printing, silicon moulding, casting and hand finishing with bitumen. While the resulting sculptures appear to be carved in ivory, they act as a commentary on the fragility of the relationship between the human and the natural. An edition of 100 Rhinoceros sculptures accompany the exhibition and their sales will support the Museum of Bassano del Grappa.