Weekend Heller: Lustig Cohen and Chong, Old Made New, Empathetic Pics

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Elaine Lustig Cohen at P!

P! will open a two-person exhibition (May 4 – June 15, 2014) with Elaine Lustig Cohen (b. 1927) and Heman Chong (b. 1977). Both Lustig Cohen and Chong have pursued “multivalent careers that upend typical categories and fixed titles such as ‘artist,’ ‘designer,’ ‘dealer,’ ‘curator,’ and ‘writer,'” states the exhibition statement, curated Curated by Elaine Lustig Cohen and Heman Chong, with Prem Krishnamurthy and Ruba Katrib. “This diversity manifests itself in the organization of artworks for the exhibition.”


Elaine Lustig Cohen (left) and Heman Chong (right).

Chong selects works from Lustig Cohen’s body of paintings, which parallels her celebrated work as a graphic designer of books and printed material. Lustig Cohen commissions Chong to create nine new paintings from his ongoing series, Cover Versions (2009–present).

These fictional book jackets represent a visual bibliography for Chong’s varied forays into installation, performance, and literature. “Presented together in a manner that evokes footnoting and comparative systems, the artists’ work engages in a conversation around abstraction in painting.”

P! is at 334 Broome St., New York, NY 10002.

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Fabulous Transformations

Kevin O’Callaghan, SVA’s resident miracle worker, has marshaled his MFA Design / Designer as Author + Entrepreneur students to transform obsolete objects (high and low tech) into viable new housewares at OBSOLETELY FABULOUS (SVA Chelsea Gallery, 4/28 – 5/17). See how designers transform vintage telephone booths, switchboard operator panels, typewriters, marbles, a grandfather clock and more. Play with the abacus clock and telephone parts dinnerware.


Illustration With Varoom

My favorite magazines devoted to illustration are 3×3 and Varoom. The latter is the offspring of Association of Illustrators in London. It’s a large format tabloid commenting and discussing the contemporary illustrated image in depth, and features interviews with illustrators, image-makers and designers as well as featuring critical articles on different aspects of contemporary illustration by leading commentators. The current issue is devoted to empathy — and it’s smart, pithy and empathetic.


2014 Regional Design Annual is OpenDon’t miss the chance to enter your work in the prestigious Regional Design Annual, which showcases the top design work from across the nation. Submit your best design work today.


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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.View all posts by Steven Heller →