Friday Favorites 1/4/2013

January 4, 2013

Karin Lidbeck Brent, Contributing Editor
Art is meant to create a response. When visiting with painter Marilyn Fiala last fall, I walked into her Connecticut art studio and reacted with heart-pounding excitement. There stood Marilyn, covered in a kaleidoscope of paint and color, surrounded by her art and the aroma of oils and turpentine. I was caught up in a feeling of electric energy and engulfed in an inexhaustible output of work. Within her studio were enormous canvases filled with emotion, excitement and exploration. I just wanted to jump in and explore, too.

Paint: Three; oil and Carrara marble dust on linen; 68†x 72â€; Photos by David McCaughan

Marilyn’s paintings are alive: pulling, grabbing, moving in, moving out and manipulating layer upon layer of texture and pattern. She paints layered textures of amorphous geometric shapes, suggesting an unseen energy drifting over and within nature and her spiritual world while floating in, around and out of our manmade one.

Paint: Fourteen; Oil on canvas; 24†x 24â€

In the photo below, Marilyn was preparing to have a huge body of work shipped west to California for her Life: Short show at the California Street Gallery in San Francisco. The show ran with great success through December 2012.

Fiala preps her work for her recent show in California.

Her work is dynamically composed using a joyful combination of colors, textures and materials. As a designer and photo stylist, I have seen Marilyn’s work grace the walls of homes where they add life and sensual delight: they pull you in!

For more information, find you’ll find Marilyn at marilynfiala.com.

Paula M. Bodah, Senior Editor
I never fail to be impressed and delighted by how many talented woodworkers live in New England. Just a town away from where I live, Corwin Butterworth is turning out interesting pieces inspired by a blend of Scandinavian, Asian, Shaker and American styles. The Wakefield, Rhode Island, furniture maker also crafts tables, cabinets, dressers, cutting boards, boxes and more, but I’m particularly charmed by these two chairs.

This cherry chair with an upholstered seat has a clever pivoting back to let you sit up straight or lounge.

Photo courtesy of Corwin Butterworth Custom Furniture

The musician’s stool, crafted of ash with an upholstered seat, make me want to go buy a piano to act as accompaniment.

Photo courtesy of Corwin Butterworth Custom Furniture

Kyle Hoepner, Editor-in-Chief
It has stuck in my mind ever since I first came face-to-face with it, unexpectedly, hanging on the wall just outside Aurélien Gallet‘s cosmopolitan gentleman’s lounge at the 2011 Kips Bay Decorator Show House. An old shovel, wooden handle worn by hours of toil and bleached by weather, blade rust-coated from years of neglect–and transformed, astoundingly, into a vision of lacy elegance by the artistry of Cal Lane.

Cal Lane: 5 Shovels (2005), plasma-cut steel shovels. Photos from callane.com

Equipped mainly with a welding torch, Ms. Lane has made a unique body of work turning the detritus of industrial civilization into airy filigrees that can recall Persian miniatures in their dense detail and often pointed symbolic content. Has it ever occurred to you to search for beauty in a wrecked car or a discarded oil tank? No? Well, you’ll find it here. Take a look.

Cal Lane: 1000 Gallon Lace Oil Tank and Fabricated Oil Spill (2009), oxyacetylene-cut oil tank

Cal Lane: Detail of Filigree Car Bombing (2007), plasma-cut steel car parts and dirt

Cal Lane: Detail of Fabricate (2002), oxyacetylene-cut steel I beams