Mar
31

Rediscovered Masters

00000891Don ZanFagna’s utopian spirit and environmental consciousness were the driving forces behind an extraordinary collection of collages discovered by his family after his death in 2013. His collection is presented here in three highly developed and related series: The Manhattan Project (1969–1973); The Cyborg Series (1968–1974); and, The Pulse Domes (1970–1979). These series reflect ZanFagna’s savvy of the rapid technological changes taking place in the 1960s and 1970s — and they are eerily prescient of current environmental realities.  Together, these compelling collages present a dynamic amalgam of surrealism, futurism, constructivism, graphic design, and psychedelic Pop by an idiosyncratic genius who defied being pigeonholed in any established category.  

Click here to see All Works

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Feb
03

At Projective Eye Gallery, Don ZanFagna’s wild ride of vision and obsession Charlotte Observer

In his lifetime Don ZanFagna wore many hats – scholar-athlete, fighter pilot, academic, architect, environmentalist and prolific artist.

ZanFagna Projective Eye“Pulse Dome Project” at UNC Charlotte’s Projective Eye Gallery represents just a tiny sliver of ZanFagna’s creative output. These works on paper reveal ideas so complex and so oblivious to boundaries that they could be perceived in myriad ways: as visions – or parodies – or the observations of someone who knows more than most of us ever will and aspires to synthesize it all.

The Pulse Dome Project, an exploration in bio-architecture, was ZanFagna’s search for a way to “grow” a house and create a structure in harmony with nature.

 

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Feb
03

The Brilliant, Forgotten Futurist Who Predicted the Kindle Wired Magazine

Don ZanFagna is the most fascinating technological soothsayer you’ve never heard of. Last year, when the artist/architect/engineer passed away, he left behind a basement full of boxes and crates stuffed with ideas that were well ahead of their time.

Sketched into dozens of notebooks and painted onto canvases were concepts for personal computers, scanners, and a little rectangular device whose functionality bears a striking resemblance to a Kindle (“all the world’s books in the palm of your hand” he wrote in the ‘70s). There were eery drawings predicting something going awry at the World Trade Center towers, collages filled with cyborgs and innumerable architectural renderings of sustainable living structures he called Pulse Domes.

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Jun
03

Don ZanFagna – Infra Ultra

Visit this link to view the video that accompanies the traveling exhibition Pulse Dome Project: Art & Design by Don ZanFagna, produced by the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston, South Carolina.

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Don ZanFagna is the most fascinating technological soothsayer you’ve never heard of. Last year, when the artist/architect/engineer passed away, he left behind a basement full of boxes and crates stuffed with ideas that were well ahead of their time.

— via Wired

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Feb
18

ZanFagna in the 1970’s: Cyborgs, Pulse Domes and The Manhattan Project

We are excited to announce Don ZanFagna’s upcoming show in New York, ZanFagna in the 1970’s: Cyborgs, Pulse Domes and The Manhattan Project

Pulse Dome 18The show opens Wednesday, April 23rd from 6:00 to 9:00 pm at Studio Vendome. Studio Vendome is located at 330 Spring Street, New York NY 10013. Studio Vendome presents the exhibition, “ZanFagna in the 1970s”  and will feature ZanFagna from April 23rd through May 9th, 2014.

Studio Vendome, at 330 Spring Street, will present both ZanFagna’s Cyborg, Pulse Dome series and The Manhattan Project.

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Oct
29

Don ZanFagna, inventive artist and renaissance man, dies at 84 The Post & Courier

Don ZanFagna, an artist and teacher whose imagination led to fantastical designs and ruminations on how architecture and nature can better coexist, died last week after years of declining health, including dementia, according to his family. He was 84.

ZanFagna’s “Pulse Dome” series of pictures and notebook sketches was presented as a major exhibition at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in September last year.

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Jun
12

Don ZanFagna, Visionary Artist-Engineer-Architect Jumpsuits and Teleporters

“Somewhere among standing stones, animal architecture, myths, mounds, holes, miniaturized conceptual systems, conceptual earthworks, conceptual architecture, benign low-energy technology and a bio/endo/exothermic idea of shelter and energy as one, a new art and new architecture + associated value systems will emerge.” —Don ZanFagna

Stumbling upon Don ZanFagna’s lifework is like falling down the rabbit hole into Wonderland, only ZanFagna’s fantasies are realer than Lewis Carroll’s. On Friday, October 19th I went to the Halsey Institute

of Contemporary Art (HICA) to the opening reception of Pulse Dome Project: Art & Design by Don ZanFagna. Since then, I haven’t stopped researching ZanFangna. The experience was incredibly moving. It was like being offered a one-time portal into the mind of a visionary artist-engineer-architect — a comprehensivist, as Buckminster Fuller would say. But who is Don ZanFagna and why haven’t I heard of him before?

Mark Sloan, HICA director and curator, says ZanFagna is “equal parts mad scientist, engineer, architect, and visionary.” Charleston Magazine explains:

Don ZanFagna’s resumé seems improbable: West Point cadet, college jock, Boston Red Sox draftee, ditto the Dodgers, ditto San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis Cardinals, Fulbright scholar, fighter pilot, artist, professor, university art department chairman, environmental activist, architect/designer, father, husband, uncle.

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Oct
30

Graham Foundation: Pulse Dome Project: Art and Design by Don ZanFagna Graham Foundation Website

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 11.31.35 AMPulse Dome Project: Art and Design by Don ZanFagna presents the artist’s groundbreaking designs about the futuristic concept of “growing your own home.” In the 1970’s and 1980’s, the artist imagined a home designed, constructed, and maintained with all organic processes and in harmony with natural systems.  Building on the pioneering research of Buckminster Fuller, William Katavolos, and many others, ZanFagna charted his own path to sustainable architecture. The Pulse Dome Project is something of a cry in the dark, a proclamation to all people, especially those charged with shaping our built environment, to wake up to the reality that our current architectural design systems are at odds with nature and therefore unsustainable. While this position is the accepted orthodoxy today, when ZanFagna was making these statements he was not following a trend, he was helping to establish one. This exhibition and catalog reintroduces ZanFagna’s visionary design work and verbal provocations to a new generation of artists, architects, and designers while reviving a long dormant, yet increasingly relevant, body of work.

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Oct
21

Don ZanFagna, visionary artist, reimagines way we live; ‘Pulse Dome’ series on display at Halsey Institute The Post and Courier

Don ZanFagna is an adventurer, a climber of the mind’s mountain peaks, a man who skydives through the imagination.

He is the inventor of the “Dome of Ultimate Possibilities,” the “Echo-Locator of Splendor,” the “Pillar of Life Retro-Erecto.”

He is more than an artist, said Mark Sloan, director of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art. He’s a visionary whose work pushes boundaries and probes big questions. It’s not meant to serve as an explicit blueprint for a sane new world, Sloan said. It is ZanFagna’s way of channeling profound concerns.

“I would say it’s metaphorical,” Sloan said.

It’s also beautiful. Big ideas might be embedded throughout, but many of the works stand on their own aesthetically as well-composed expressions of color and form. They can be appreciated individually as well as collectively.

A portion of ZanFagna’s massive output, the “Pulse Dome” series, is on display at the Halsey through Dec. 8.

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Sep
17

Pulse Dome Project: Art and Design by Don ZanFagna Charleston City Paper

What if you could grow your own house? That mind-boggling idea was first explored by artist and architect Dan ZanFagna decades ago. Mark Sloan, executive director at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, says a persistent concern and idea of ZanFagna’s over the course of his long and very interesting career was that humankind is living in disharmony with the environment. “He wanted to create something that would allow us to sustain ourselves,” Sloan says. By studying patterns that develop in nature, ancient civilizations like the Mayans and the Egyptians, and even insects like bees, he came to develop the idea of a “pulse dome,” or a structure that was not just a shelter but a source of energy for the people living inside of it. Think about that concept for a second. What if, instead of greening our buildings and maximizing energy savings, we came up with a whole new approach to building that turned our homes into living, sustainable organisms?

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