Bright games by Johanna Grawunder

published in: Design By Ricardo Hernandez, 04 May 2010

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Image Courtesy of Johanna Grawunder

This imagery presents such a tasteful way to experience the textures and imperfections of the facades of the urban canvas in which most of us live and work.  Featured at various heights and sizes, these swaths of color add a splash of interest and life to the stone and stucco surfaces they cover.  San Diego native, Johanna Grawunder has captured an experience all her own as she re-defines a small portion of a building's exterior. 

Image Courtesy of Johanna Grawunder

Image Courtesy of Johanna Grawunder

There is something to be said about the color selection; her choice of bold, bright colors as a contrast to the neutral environment is the best way to create such a lively conversation of color.  Because the shape of this 'color box' is rectangular, the focus shifts from the boundary instead to a careful study of the highlighted textures and movement occurring within the facade.  There's a calming sense of emotion expressed through the painting; a sense of stillness that softens the mood as one experiences the work of art.  The isolation of color permits the viewer to notice the inconsistencies and character of the texture. The work reminds us of the German-born American artist, Josef Albers geometric abstractions,

Image Courtesy of Johanna Grawunder

Image Courtesy of Johanna Grawunder

What makes her work here so interesting is that the base conditions are left alone; the facade and any other elements- pipes, bricks, stones- are accepted in their existing state.  She doesn't try to change anything, the beauty is that she leaves everything alone and simply finds beauty where it already exists -making it evident only through a paint color.  The canvas she has selected is aging, fragile and weathered; Johanna has been able to bring these materials and textures back to life.  This is special because what would traditionally go unnoticed now becomes a work of art. 

Image Courtesy of Johanna Grawunder

Johanna Grawunder is a designer and architect based in Milan, Italy and San Francisco. She is mostly recognized for her wide range of lighting and contemporary furniture exhibited all over the globe. She was trained under Ettore Sottsass Associati (1985-2001) in Milan. She utilizes simple materials, uncomplicated forms and marries them with bright lighs. She redefines luxury utilizing reflection, simplicity and color.

Image Courtesy of Johanna Grawunder

Image Courtesy of Johanna Grawu

"Luxury, for me, is not about using precious materials or about something looking expensive.  It's not about snobbery or rarity. It's about the intention. For instance, I use plastic and metal, not diamonds or gold, to make things that look luxurious" Johanna Grawunder for Luxuryculture

Her broad work includes interiors, architecture, limited edition furniture and light installations. Producing her pieces with her own artisans in northern Italy and constantly working from Milan and San Francisco,  her work exudes freedom and luxury. Her latest lighting work can be seen at the restaurant atop the MAD-Museum of Arts and Design. She also designs products for companies including, Flos, Boffi, B&B, and Salvati. She holds a bachelor of Architecture from California Politecnic State University.

Image Courtesy of Johanna Grawunder

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Johanna Grawunder

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