If you’re going to be visiting the Whitney Museum, walking on the High Line, or otherwise spending time in the Meatpacking District, make sure to find your way to Gansevoort Plaza, (located between Ninth Avenue and Gansevoort Street) to check out a new Public art installation, Bombora House, by Brooklyn-based artist Tom Fruin. An internationally known sculptor whose work has been featured across NYC, and written about here on The ‘Gig, Fruin’s work can be seen as a celebration of human behavior and everyday life.
“If you really want to understand what makes up the fabric of people and places, you often learn all you need to by looking at the floor,” says Fruin of his approach. Reusing collected fragments of street and retail signage, disposed theater props, plastics and metals, Fruin creates something beautiful from nothing. Fruin refers to this process as “quilting,” whereby discarded items are brought together to create a map of life. With Bombora House, Fruin conveys messages of hope, stability and joy in the sculptural interpretation of a home and a suggestion to look at our surroundings with a fresh perspective.
In the exhibit The Arcades Project, Walter Benjamin challenges the notion that the past is a fixed object, waiting to be elucidated. He calls the present “a waking world, a world to which that dream we name the past refers.” The dream quality of the past suggests that is is mutable, a patchwork of images and symbols that can be understood in myriad ways.”
The late artist Mike Kelley’s work has also focused on the unreliability of memory. His project, Mobile Homestead, a full-scale reproduction of his suburban, childhood home, resides on the grounds of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit. The building’s first floor maintains the floor plan of the original, but its multilevel basement, closed to the public, includes crawl spaces and rooms that can only be accessed through ceiling hatches.
The dreamlike, labyrinthine architecture suggests the slipperiness of the past. Kelley explores the denial of uncomfortable realities of abuse and oppression in domestic life, not in tune with the American Dream as represented by the suburban home, with its white picket fence. This lamp, a miniaturized version of the building, adds another layer of surrealness to the house.
Mobile Homestead Swag Lamp, Installation View
Photographed as part of the exhibit, The Arcades Project: Contemporary Art and Walter Benjamin, on Exhibit at the Jewish Museum in Manhattan Through August 6th, 2017.
If it happens to be a beautiful summer day in the city, and you really wish you had access to a rooftop with a killer view of Central Park, why not head over to The Met and visit Cornelia Parker’s Transitional Object (PsychoBarn), which will be installed at the museum’s roof garden through the end of October, 2016? Yes! Why Not!?
The Psychobarnis, of course, a not-to-scale copy of the iconic Bates House from the Alfred Hitccock thriller, Psycho— a house which itself was inspired by an Edward Hopper painting. How meta.
Downside: It is not easy to get photos of the Transitional Object without people in them. These are my first world problems.
Geoffrey photo-bombed me, because he thinks he is clever. I got him back later.
Surprise! The House/Barn is only built on 2-sides!
But who cares? Look at the beautiful day we were having!
Cornelia Parker’s Transitional Object (Psychobarn) Is on the Roof of the Met Through October 31, 2016!
I passed this attention-grabbing house while walking along Cedar Street in Bushwick, Brooklyn and was, of course, charmed by these goofy, colorful cats adorning its exterior. Hilariously, it was not until I downloaded the picture into iPhoto that I even noticed the bright green “Elvis” tag. True story.
Obliteration Room By Yayoi Kusama (All Photos By Gail)
David Zwirner’s 19th Street space is currently hosting Give Me Love, the New York gallery’s second exhibition with our favorite living artist, 86-year-old Yayoi Kusama. On view are new paintings from the celebrated My Eternal Soul series, new polka-dotted pumpkin sculptures, and the artist’s seminal installation The Obliteration Room from 2002. Whether you are a long-time Kusama fan, or even if you are new to her work, Give Me Love is a Must See Exhibit!
Yayoi Kusama Fan at Opening Reception!
In this show, Kusama continues her recent series of large-format, square My Eternal Soul paintings with a group of canvases conveying extraordinary vitality and passion.
With titles such as Fear of Youth Overwhelmed by the Spring Time of Life, I Who Have Taken an Antidepressant, and My Longing, the Unseen Land of Death, the compositions acquire an autobiographic, even confessional dimension.
The bold brushstrokes and swirly shapes seem to hover between figuration and abstraction; vibrant, animated, and intense, they transcend their medium to introduce their own pictorial logic, at once contemporary and universal.
Detail from Painting, Above
As such, while they continue Kusama’s innovative exploration of form, subject matter, and space, they also represent a connection to her work from the past six decades.
The sculptures on view include new stainless steel pumpkins featuring either painted or perforated dots. Their exaggerated sizes — the tallest being approximately 70 inches (178 cm) high — seem measured after human proportions, and their mirrored surfaces are thus able to contain viewers’ full body reflections.
While pumpkins have appeared in Kusama’s work since her early art studies in Japan in the 1950s, they gained increasing prominence from the late 1980s onwards. The juxtaposition between the lush organic shape and its shiny, steel materiality here creates a psychedelic impression, but ultimately the bulbous forms emerge as celebratory and animated, absorbing viewers and their surroundings in their own image.
In Line to Enter the Obliteration Room
Obliteration Room, Exterior
This very whimsical exhibition also marks the United States debut of The Obliteration Room, an all-white, domestic interior that over the course of the show is covered by dots of varying sizes and colors.
In a departure from earlier iterations of the work, which have involved one or several rooms, the present installation is built like a typical, prefabricated American suburban house.
As visitors are handed a set of stickers and step inside, they enter a completely white residential setting where otherwise familiar objects such as a kitchen counter, couch, and bookshelves are all painted the same shade.
Gradually transforming the space as a result of the interaction, the accumulation of the bright dots ultimately changes the interior until it is eradicated into a blur of colors. A sense of depth and volume disappears as individual pieces of furniture, floors, and walls blend together.
Consider that these photos were taken less than two hours after the exhibit opened to he public. Now imagine how it looks right now, or will look at the exhibit’s close on June 13th? Pretty crazy!
Give Me Love by Yayoi Kusama will be on Exhibit Through June 13th, 2015 at David Zwirner, Located at 519 & 525 West 19th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
OK, here is something you do not see every day in an art gallery: a Glass House. Fans of architecture, minimalism and Mondrian are going to be interested in viewing Rob Fisher’s Good Weather (Glass House), which fills an entire room at Derek Eller Gallery on West 27th Street.
Entry Way, Seating on the Left, Shelf Space on the Right
According to text I took from the exhibit’s press release, Good Weather (Glass House) “is comprised of panes of glass, welded steel and re-purposed wood flooring. The piece contains many of the furnishings of a functional domicile but remains ambiguous about its habitability.”
Kitchen Sink and Stove Top
“Extensively re- configured and evolved from its original manifestation at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, TX, Fischer’s Good Weather (Glass House) vacillates between utilitarian architecture and fine art object, reconstituting industrial-strength detritus with the outward appearance of fragile elegance.”
Stairs Descending from Sleeping Area
Living here in NYC, where everyone is always trying to out-do each other when it comes making the most with the smallest living space possible, I was intrigued by this structure and enjoyed walking through it to imagine what it might be like if you could actually live in it.
Work Area Below Bed
There is no doubt that exploring the structure stimulates the imagination and inspires a sense of adventure. Highly Recommended!
Rob Fischer’s Good Weather (Glass House) will be on Exhibit through April 19th, 2014 at Derek Eller Gallery, Located at 615 West 27th Street, between 11th and 12th Avenues. Hours are Tuesday – Saturday from 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM.