While I am often traveling through the 6 Train station at Bleecker Street, I am almost never originating or concluding a ride at that stop. That is my excuse for taking four years to write about one of the coolest — if not the coolest – piece of art in the entire NYC subway system, which is called Hive (Bleecker Street). Continue reading Hive Light Installation at Bleecker Street Subway Station
Art and Light — they go together. We were very excited to visit Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery for its new exhibition of new work by Jim Campbell, which opened March 7th, 2014. The show focuses on the pioneering artist’s most recent series of sculptural light installations. Campbell is considered one of the leading artists working today in the field of new media and his work is both fun and fascinating.
Many of Campbell’s works are motion sensitive to the activity in the gallery, so the images displayed will change as visitors move around or in front of the pieces.
This one is suspended from the ceiling.
The exhibition at Bryce Wolkowitz coincides with Jim Campbell’s first New York museum retrospective. Organized by the Museum of the Moving Image, Jim Campbell: Rhythms of Perception, on view from March 21 – June 15, 2014, spans three decades with an emphasis on his early experimental work. I will have to check that out.
New Work By Jim Campbell will be on Exhibit Through April 19th, 2014 at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, Located at 505 W 24th Street, In the Chelsea Gallery District.
According to gallery employees at David Zwirner, last Friday night’s opening of Yayoi Kusama’s I Who Have Arrived in Heaven wasn’t just a Reception: it was an Event, complete with a personal appearance by the 84-year old living legend. And yes, she reportedly wore the bright red wig! We are very sorry to have missed that, but we did make it to the much less crowded Zwirner gallery on Saturday to take in I Who Have Arrived in Heaven‘s sculptures, paintings, video installation and one of two mirrored rooms that made our heads explode. The comprehensive exhibit fills all three of Zwirner’s adjoining spaces on West 19th Street, where a feast for the eyes awaits you in every room. It is high-fives all around for Zwirner on their inaugural Kusama exhibit, and if this marks your first exposure to this artist’s heavily psychedelic creations, you are in for a huge treat.
Kusama’s trademark polka dots are evident on two very fun sculptures of flowers growing out of shoes, which are visible from 19th Street. These pieces reminded me of Minnie Mouse on acid. Each flower has a convex mirror at its center so that, if you can get close enough, you can put your face in the flower and trip out.
This exhibition features twenty-seven new large-scale paintings featuring vibrant colors and repetitious patterns. Most are highly detailed and very whimsical in nature.
This shot above will give you an idea of the scale of these canvases. The images and details from this series of paintings reminded me of the artwork from the first Tom Tom Club album (and video for “Genius of Love”) and also from the hyper-violent cartoon series, Super Jail, of which I am a huge fan.
In yet another room, which is book-ended by 12-foot high infinity mirrors, there is a video installation of Yayoi performing her original song, “Manhattan Suicide Addict.” As Yayoi sings the song, which has very beautiful and poetic lyrics, an animated slide show of her selected artworks moves behind her. Geoffrey and I watched it four or five times. It was just insane.
As if all of the sculptures and paintings and videos were not enough to make you squeal, there are also two Infinity-Mirrored Room installations. Yes, I just typed that. Here is what it looks like inside one of them.
This installation is entitled Love Is Calling, and it is comprised of a darkened, mirrored room illuminated by inflatable, tentacle-like forms, which are covered in Kusama’s characteristic polka dots, that extend from floor to ceiling, gradually changing color. Very psychedelic! Simply put, I did not want to leave this room. Of course, there was a line to enter (I can’t even imagine what it was like on opening night) but even though they only let about 6 or 7 people enter at one time, the line moves pretty fast, and it is so totally worth the wait, so don’t get discouraged!
Sadly, a very packed afternoon agenda would not allow us enough wiggle room to wait in the hours-long line to experience the second room, which is the exhibition’s centerpiece, Mirrored Infinity Room: The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away. This mirrored, cubed-shaped room features a shallow reflecting pool as its floor. Hundreds of multicolored LED lights are suspended at varying heights and they flicker on and off in a strobe-like effect, producing an intense illumination of the space and a repetitive pattern of reflections that suggest endlessness. WOW. I will be making a return trip to experience that head trip, for sure.
Yayoi Kusama’s I Who Have Arrived In Heaven will be on exhibit through December 21, 2013 at David Zwirner Galleries, Located at 519, 525 and 533 West 19th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District, New York.
To be honest, if a work of art also ‘lights up,’ I’m in. So it’s a bit appropriate that I was attracted into the C24 Gallery on a recent Saturday by the light emitting from London-based artist Robert Montgomery’s poetic, text-based installation works as seen from the sidewalk through gallery windows. Random!
The work of Robert Montgomery follows a tradition of conceptual text art that includes artists like Jenny Holzer (love her) and Lawrence Weiner. Montgomery’s work stands out by drawing from examples of public interventionist strategies and brings a poetic voice to the discourse of text art.
The show’s Press Release continues that, “Essential to Montgomery’s work is the tradition of Modernist Concrete poetry, where the visual elements of words are as important in conveying the intended effect as the conventional elements of the poem, such as the meaning of words, rhythm, rhyme, etc.”
For Montgomery’s first exhibit in New York, C24 Gallery is exhibiting texts from billboards that appeared on the streets of Berlin, London and Paris, along with major new light works. There is also one piece featuring a large scale billboard poem that was previously set on fire, and a film of the burning message is on view in the gallery, creating an engaging, yet passive performance piece. Very Fun!
Robert Montgomery will be exhibiting until October 26th, 2013 at C24 Gallery, Located at 514 West 24th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Any Blogger who’s ever tried to photograph an exhibit at The Guggenheim will tell you it’s no easy task: what with their strict “No Photography” rules coupled with the numerous Art Nazis (aka guards) strategically placed throughout the galleries. And that just blows; because, to me, if you can’t photograph the art, it’s like it never existed. That’s why I only managed to capture a few good shots of James Turrel’s epic light installation, Aten Reign, as it transformed the Guggenheim’s Rotunda from various shades of purple to numerous hues of blue on its way through the entire color spectrum. But these few photos probably serve as a sufficient teaser, because this is one of those exhibits that you have to experience in person to really “get.”
For Aten Reign, the entire rotunda has been re-imagined to serve as a canvas for this intensely site-specific work of art. All open space between the rotunda and the museum’s spiraling ramps has been sealed off with white scrim, which reflects the colored lights and creates a meditative, open-sky effect. Visitors can best experience Aten Reign either by sitting on provided seating along the walls of the rotunda’s ground floor, or actually laying flat in the center of the floor on provided mats — though this space seemed to be in fairly high-demand, and was not prone to frequent vacancies.
There are a few other, minimalist exhibits of Turrel’s light work along the ramps and in a few of the upper galleries, but trust me, Aten Reign is the money shot, so spend as much time as you can just enjoying it. Find out more about the exhibit and see a video of how they put this thing together at Guggenheim Dot Org.
James Turrell At The Guggenheim (5th Avenue at 90th Street in NYC) Runs Only Through September 25, 2013, so don’t wait too long before planning your trip!