Tag Archive | Sculpture

Tanglewood By Shayne Dark at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Tanglewood Distance
All Photos By Gail

If you haven’t been to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden yet this summer, you really must go while the Lily Pool Terrace is still in bloom, which is through September. Also new to the Garden (since July) are three large-scale installations by Canadian artist Shayne Dark, who brings his work to Brooklyn Botanic as part of a yearlong sculpture exhibit.  The first one you’ll see, when you enter at 150 Eastern Parkway, is a group of bright blue-painted poles, which is called Tanglewood. The sculpture sits in the center of the Osborne Garden lawn, which allows viewers to approach it from a distance.

Tanglewood 1

In the excerpt below, from a conversation with Dark, the artist talks to Garden staff about the inspiration behind this work, how he chose his materials, and how he goes about installing such large, complex pieces in a public space.

Tanglewood (2014)

This work was inspired by Dark’s childhood growing up along the Ottawa River, in Ontario. “In the spring, logs coming down the river would get tangled up in the bend, and the men would come running out to break up these log jams. As a child, I was fascinated by this.”

The sculpture is constructed of cedar poles normally used as fence posts, painted a vivid blue. “For me, color is one of the easiest things to respond to and enjoy.” Dark used a matte theater paint that he discovered years ago while working with his brother on set designs in the Ed Sullivan Theater. “It’s also the same color used to create a blue screen effect. When you use it, there’s an optical illusion, a blurring effect, which is kind of surreal.”

Tanglewood 2

“Other pieces you might place so as to hide and reveal, but for this particular piece, it’s crucial that there be space around it so that your perspective changes as you come closer…so that it becomes monumental,” says Dark.  Each installation of Tanglewood is unique, and Dark added individual posts to the sculpture once it was placed on-site.

Installation in Progress

Tanglewood Detail
Tanglewood Detail

Tanglewood with Planter

Tanglewood will be on exhibit at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden through July, 2017.

Modern Art Monday: Dan Flavin, Untitled (to the “Innovator” of Wheeling Peachblow)

Untitled to the Innovator of Wheeling Peachblow
All Photos By Gail

Dan Flavin (1933 – 1996) began to use commercially available fluorescent light tubes in 1963. This work marries color and light, bringing them into three dimensions. In dialogue withe surrounding space, the vertical and horizontal tubes both illuminate and obscure the corner — a location not typically used for displaying art. Though the emitted light transcends its physical encasement and transforms the surrounding space, Flavin avoided characterizing his work as sublime and instead considered his light installation as “situations” or proposals. “One might not think of light as a matter of fact, but I do,” he stated. “And it is…as plain and open and direct an art as you will ever find.”

Untitled to the Innovator of Wheeling Peachblow

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Spectrum Specter By Soo Sunny Park

Spectrum Specter
Photo By Gail

American artist Soo Sunny Park continues her exploration of light and its impact on physical space and architectural design with Spectrum Specter — a small scale installation from her Unwoven Light series. Spectrum Specter is a curvaceous structure, suspended in the air and shaped from sections of chain link fencing. Within each open spaces hangs a shape made of iridescent acrylic Plexiglas. Each shape reflects and refracts the natural and artificial lighting, making sure the room and art never appear the same way twice.

Photographed in the Waterfall Mansion on NYC’s Upper East Side.

Soo Sunny Park Installation View

Modern Art Monday Presents: Alberto Giacometti, The Palace at 4 a.m.

The Palace at 4 a.m.
All Photos By Gail

According to artist Alberto Giacometti, The Palace at 4 a.m. (1932) relates to “A period of 6 months passed in the presence of a woman who, concentrating all life in herself, transported my every moment into a state of enchantment. We constructed a fantastical palace in the night — a very fragile palace of matches. At the least false movement a whole section would collapse. We always began it again.”

The Palace at 4 a.m.

The woman in question is often identified as one of Giacometti’s lovers, known only by her first name, Denise. In the summer of 1933, Giacometti told Andre Breton, the leader of the surrealist movement, that he was incapable of making anything that did not have something to do with her.

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

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Modern Art Monday Presents: Paul Thek, Hippopotamus Poison

Hippopotamus Poison
All Photos By Gail

Hippopotamus Poison (1965) belongs to a series of Technological Reliquaries, which Paul Thek (1933 – 1988), began in New York after a summer spent in Sicily. The work engages the Roman Catholic tradition of venerating saintly bodies that Thek had observed first-hand in the catacombs near Palermo, and simultaneously offers a critique of the art of the time, Pop and Minimalism in particular.

Hippopotamus Poison Side View

Within a visually seductive display case made from colored Plexiglas sits what appears to be slab of rotten meat, realistically rendered in wax.

Hippopotamus Poison Quote

Inscribed on the vitrine is a paranoid quote that nods to a generation’s underlying fears. “The world was falling apart, anyone could see it,” Thek has explained. “I was a wreck, the block was a wreck, the city was a wreck; and I’d go into a gallery and there would be a lot fancy people looking at a lot of stuff that didn’t say anything about anything to anyone.”

Hippopotamus Poison Side View Front

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

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School’s Out Summer Group Exhibit at Mike Weiss Gallery

Thrush Holmes, Landscape Series
Thrush Holmes, Landscape Series (All Photos By Gail)

School’s Out Bitches, and the Mike Weiss Gallery has a new group exhibition that captures summer’s sense of freedom – of playfully breaking from the ordinary and letting the imagination run wild. The show, which is, fittingly, also called School’s Out, includes works by gallery favorites like Deborah Brown, Thrush Holmes, Jerry Kearns, and Liao Yibai. We saw it on opening night, which ended up being the most crowded Thursday night in the Chelsea Gallery District that we have yet seen! It was just a crazy night, and lots of fun.

Thrush Holmes, Landscape Series

The only bummer of the evening is that I had forgotten my camera at home, and so was forced to shoot all photos with (gasp) an iPad — which is less than optimal when dealing with a very crowded gallery and very big pieces of art. A perfect example is the fact that I had to shoot this Thrush Holmes piece in multiple parts to really show it off without a bunch of people taking selfies in front of it getting in the way.

Thrush Holmes, Landscape Series 1
Landscape Series, Continued

But I love Thrush Holmes’ work — and you should as well — so why not cut it up into as many detail shots as possible, is what I say. Yes, more Thrush Holmes!

Thrush Holmes, Landscape Series 3

The panels of Holme’s take on the tradtional landscape painting are realized in shimmering neon fixtures and crude oil stick, each work containing the rudimentary elements of landscape – foreground, background, and horizon.  His work reminds me of cross between Andy Warhol and Keith Sonnier.

Thrush Holmes, Landscape Series 5

Deborah Brown, Erda
Deborah Brown, Erda

I only got one semi-usable shot of Deborah Brown’s blatantly Picasso-esque oil paintings, because of people and their damn smart phones, which they must look at while standing directly in front of the art.

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Jerry Kearns, The Big Dipper

Jerry Kearns is awesome and we’ve loved many of his previous exhibits at Mike Weiss. Here is what the Gallery says about the painting above, which I believe is called The Big Dipper:
Jerry Kearns’ multilayered “psychological pop” painting presents a panoramic view of modern culture with a very specific set of images. While the work seems ripe for a narrative interpretation, it is difficult to pinpoint if any relationships actually exist between each element. There is something disconcerting and dangerous about the Kearns’ entropic amalgam of characters – one in which square double-cheeseburgers, a levitating gun, and toucans play as prominent a role as the bikini-clad women and a joker-headed bodybuilder.” That’s right: Awesome.

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Jerry also painted these little hummingbirds, or whatever, on the walls around the gallery.

Liao Yibai, Panda Step, 2013
Liao Yibai, Panda Step

Liao Yibai’s intricately hand-welded stainless steel sculptures focus on the tangled social, political, and cultural state of modern-day China. Straddling a line between flippancy and seriousness, the dynamic figures merge the insider’s and outsider’s view — pandas and dragons tie together the artist’s own experience growing up in China and, at the same time, play with the Western (mis)conceptions of China he has experienced while living in the United States.

Liao Yibai, Wrong Food, 2013
Liao Yibai, Wrong Food

This is a pretty cool-looking sculpture of a snail. I wish I had gotten a better photo.

School’s Out! will be on Exhibit Through August 6th, 2016 at Mike Weiss Gallery, Located at 520 West 24th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Schools Out Signage

Thrush Holmes, Balcony
Thrush Holmes, Balcony

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Telephone By Randy Polumbo

Phone Booth
All Photos By Gail

Telephone is a sculpture made from a re-purposed phone booth filled with blown glass, aluminum, silver and LEDS. Anyone familiar with local artist Randy Polumbo from Previous Posts here on The Gig will recognize his work immediately.

Phone Booth Detail
Telephone Interior Detail

Photographed at the Portal Art Fair, held at Federal Hall National Memorial in NYC, May 2016.

Update: Randy informs me that this piece is on exhibit at The Hollows, located at 151 Bedford Ave. (between N8 and N9) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for most of the Summer, too!

Phone Booth