Tag Archive | Statues

Adrián Villar Rojas’ The Theater of Disappearance On The Roof of The Met

Theater of Dissappearance
All Photos By Gail

The cooler, more inclement weather that comes with Fall is slowly encroaching, which means that the annual Roof Garden exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is about to close. So, if you’ve not yet made a visit to see Adrián Villar Rojas’ fantastic installation, The Theater of Disappearance, you have until October 29th, 2017 to check out (weather permitting of course) this unique exhibit that strongly resembles the post-apocalyptic aftermath of a very fancy dinner party.

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

For this site specific-installation, Argentian artist Adrián Villar Rojas (b. 1980) used the Museum itself as his subject material; drawing on objects in the collection and the history of collecting practices. To realize the extensive work, the artist immersed himself in The Met, and with its staff over many months, held conversations with the curators, conservators, managers, and technicians — 3-D scanning and imaging experts —  across every department, who all contributed to the realization of this installation. Conceived as a holistic environment, The Theater of Disappearance transfers the space of the Roof Garden into a performative diorama.

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Sixteen black and white sculptures incorporate nearly one hundred detailed replicas of objects from The Met’s collection – selected from a wide variety of time periods and cultures, and reconfigured as amalgamations, The Theater of Disappearance encompasses thousands of years of artistic production over several continents and cultures, and fuses them with facsimiles of contemporary human figures as well as furniture, animals, cutlery, and food. Each object — whether a 1,000-year-old decorative plate or a human hand — is rendered in the same black or white material and coated in a thin layer of dust.

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Architecture is folded into the fabric of the work. Villar Rojas’s intervention includes two radical new flooring systems – one checkerboard and the other a reflective metallic surface – as well as a redesigned bar, benches, new plantings, and an extended pergola overhead, creating dramatic setting that transforms the panoramic views of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline into theatrical backdrops for the installation.

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

The total effect of sculptures and environment is a dazzling, disorienting scene where all senses of the interpretive history associated with Museum objects has vanished, making way for and alternative history for art.

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

This project is dedicated to the memory of Ronald Street, The Met’s first head of digital imaging. Please enjoy more photos, which I shot during two separate visits this past summer!

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Dissappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

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FAILE: Savage/Sacred Young Minds at the Brooklyn Museum

Faile Poster
All Photos By Gail

FAILE: Savage/Sacred Young Minds is a crazy fun exhibit that you should make an effort to see before it closes in just under a month. For those who are unfamiliar, FAILE is a Brooklyn-based collaboration between artists Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller. Through their bold and provocative artworks, they raise questions about our relationship to consumer culture, religious traditions, and the urban environment, by blurring the boundaries between fine art, street art, and popular culture. This exhibit covers a broad scope of Faile’s impressive resume.

Girl with Skate Board Statue
Fantasy Island

The works on view include multimedia installations, large-scale paintings, and sculptures that appropriate imagery from a wide variety of sources, including American quilts, folk and Native American art, religious architecture, pulp magazines, comic books, sci-fi movie posters, adult entertainment advertisements, and storefront typography.

Faile Paintings Trio

The duo’s colorful and visually engaging paintings are created in the style of comic book/graphic novel illustrations and are extremely dense with images that tell a hundred stories.

Faile Painting 1

Faile Painting 2

Deluxx Fluxx Arcade

The exhibition includes The FAILE & BÄST Deluxx Fluxx Arcade, an interactive environment created in collaboration with Brooklyn artist Bäst that includes video games, pinball machines, and foosball tables that are simultaneously sculptures and functioning games.

Arcade Installation View

The installation is a nostalgic nod to video arcades and punk rock and graffiti culture. Here are few of the custom-designed games you can play!

Pinball Machine

Games of Deception

See Me Touch Me

Death Awaits Me

Everyone really seemed to enjoy playing the games!

Faile Souvenir Token Machine

All games are free to play, but you can buy a souvenir token imprinted with the name of the exhibit for just $1.00. What a bargain!

DayGlo Arcade View

The arcade theme continues in a black-lit anterior room where you can find Day-Glo Foosball tables and people taking assloads of selfies! Check this shit out!

DayGlo Arcade Floor

This what the floor looks like. Geoffrey laid down on it and had me take photos of him.

Foosball Table

Foosball Table game that you can play!

Up on Two Wheels

The walls are plastered with images from FAILE’s many projects.

DayGlo Images 1DayGlo Images 2

It is like being on Acid.

Neon Sign

Temple Exterior 1

Also on view is FAILE’s Temple, a life-size structure reminiscent of a ruined religious temple. Made of iron, ceramic reliefs, and painted ceramics, and incorporating prayer wheels and popular-culture imagery, Temple imagines a reaction against commercial development and consumer greed.

Temple Exterior 2

The exterior of the Temple reminded me very much of a subway station entrance, albeit much cleaner!

Temple Entrance

Here’s what it looks like inside!

Horse Head Alter

Prayer Wheels

FAILE’s take on the Prayer Wheels found in Buddhism and other spiritual followings.

As you can see, there is a lot to take in at this exhibit and you could easily go twice and notice different aspects of the artworks on each visit.

FAILE: Savage/Sacred Young Minds will be on Exhibit Through October 4th, 2015 in the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Gallery, 5th Floor, at the Brooklyn Museum.

Taku Obata’s Bust a Move at Jonathan LeVine Gallery

Taku Obata TakuspeFAD, Takuspe B-Girl Down Jacket
Figures Left to Right: TakuspeFAD Jersey, TakuspeFAD, and Takuspe B-Girl Down Jacket by Taku Obata (All Photos By Gail)

Jonathan LeVine Gallery is currently hosting Bust a Move, a series of new works by Japanese artist Taku Obata, in his debut solo exhibition in the United States. Bust a Move features Obata’s dynamic wooden sculptures, drawings and lithographs of b-boys, or break-dancers, with a distinctly interpreted fashion style. A b-boy himself, the artist has a precise understanding concerning the forms of the human body and how they move, creating works that are bursting with the kinetic energy found in this urban dance form.

Taku Obata Takuspe (ALTERNATE)
Takuspe (ALTERNATE, Foreground), Takuspe B-Girl Runner (Rear)

The life-size (and larger!) sculptures in Bust a Move are captured in freeze stances, poses that complete every breakdance battle, and are adorned in brightly-colored jumpsuits with accessories sampled from the old-school b-boy style. Surreally elongated hats, glasses and gloves create the illusion of movement, in contrast with the stagnant demeanor of Obata’s subjects. The works have a dominating presence and by portraying modern dance through the ancient technique of Japanese wood-carving, the artist effectively merges popular culture with his cultural roots.

Obata fully immerses viewers in the environment of this subculture through his 3-D works, with the goal of enhancing our awareness and physical senses. In his own words, “I am not simply creating a b-boy, but I aim to create an atmosphere, a cool space with a certain strange and interesting tension.”

Taku Obata Installation View

LeVine is also displaying a collection of Obata’s drawings of b-boys in action, wearing bright, neon colored outfits.

Taku Obata Drawing

Taku Obata Drawing

Taku Obata Drawing
Drawing Detail

Taku Obata’s Bust a Move will be on Exhibit Through December 20th, 2014, at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Located at 529 West 20th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Taku Obata Bust a Move Signage

Modern Art Monday Presents: Figurengruppe (Group of Figures) By Katharina Fritsch

Group of Figures
Photo By Gail

From Moma Dot Org:

A brilliant yellow Madonna, a set of skeleton feet, a grey giant leaning obdurately on his club, a green and boyish-looking St. Michael slaying the dragon, a pitch-black snake—these and other figures make up a curious cast of characters currently on view in MoMA’s Sculpture Garden. Figurengruppe (Group of Figures) is a tightly arranged ensemble of nine sculptures by the German contemporary artist Katharina Fritsch, first conceived in 2006–08 in painted polyester and recast in 2010–11 in durable lacquered copper and bronze for outdoor display.

Group of Figures

Fritsch is best known for fastidiously crafted figures, animals, and everyday objects placed in unexpected arrangements and juxtapositions, uncovering new, sometimes unsettling meanings about our past and present histories. Often painted in striking colors, her work invariably commands attention — and MoMA’s Figurengruppe does not fall short of that. The figures’ polished, silky surfaces, beaming colors, and choreographed arrangement are spellbinding and puzzling, their mute stance and inscrutable veneer tempting us to search for some larger narrative.

There are hints and clues about what inspired certain characters, but ultimately any fixed meaning remains stubbornly elusive. The artist has explained, for example, that the Madonna is based on cheap souvenir figurines sold near church pilgrimage sites in Germany and France, albeit without the lemony dress. Religious symbolism is present, but the dazzling color unhinges the worshipped item from a prescribed context, de-familiarizing her into an object that can bear other potential storylines or associations. (Fritsch also produced the Madonna as a small-scale multiple, creating a more widely available, high-art doppelganger of the commercial souvenir.)

Group of Figures Rear

The skeleton feet go back to a childhood dream in which the artist, as a four-year-old, fled a burning house only to encounter a pair of skeleton feet. These in turn relate to a shoe-fitting practice offered in German shoe stores through the 1960s whereby an image of one’s foot bones would be created using an x-ray contraption. Anecdotal memory plays a part here, but seeing the rigorously crafted set of bones can just as easily bring to mind some disembodied creature out of Edward Gorey’s morbid tales or a commonly encountered object from an archeologist’s lab.

The female torso takes its cue from a 1926 Expressionist sculpture by a man named Ernst Conze that used to stand in the garden of Fritsch’s childhood home in Langenberg, Germany; now painted white and reduced in form, it has been lifted from its past into a present-day setting. In fact, mid-century German parks and public gardens have been a recurring theme in Fritsch’s practice, in some works even serving as visual backdrops. In a way this tactic is preserved in MoMA’s current display—the newly re-installed Sculpture Garden makes for a fitting tableau, situating Figurengruppe within a diverse congregation of cohorts that include Auguste Rodin’s St. John the Baptist Preaching (1878–80), Aristide Maillol’s contemplative female Mediterranean (1902–05), Max Ernst’s King Playing the Queen (1944), and Tom Otterness’s sleeping Head (1988–89), among others.

Taking a look at some of the artist’s source material can offer access points into the group’s oblique presence. What I find most captivating, though, is the friction between the sculptures’ smooth, almost generic look and the rich and quasi-narrative worlds that unfold beneath their surfaces. It’s a space where our intellect or attempt to rely on a logical framework loses its tight grip, conjuring instead images from the realms of history, memory, myths, and fairytales. These aren’t necessarily cheerful, but they do make us ask questions — maybe even reveal some of our own skeletons in the closet.

— Posted by Eleonore Hugendubel, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Painting of Sculpture

Group of Figures in the Snow

And this is what the Group looks like covered with snow! (Photographed 1/24/16, the day after Superstorm Jonas!)

Hedy Klineman’s Ancestral Spirits, African-American Portraits at Smart Clothes Gallery

Hedy Klineman Ancestral Spirits
All Photos By Gail

Hedy Klineman’s Ancestral Spirits, African-American Portraits, is a solo exhibition of more than twenty paintings from two series on view at Smart Clothes Gallery through December 20th, 2013.

Hedy Klineman Ancestral Spirits
Detail from Painting Above

The genesis of the African-American Portraits is framed by two significant events. In the eighties, Andy Warhol presented Klineman with a pair of his glasses, which she would incorporate into one of her “Fashion Portraits,” marking her first use of the silkscreen technique. Donning the eyewear, she exclaimed that she ‘saw the world Andy sees.’ Years later, she received an African mask on her birthday. Instinctually, she put it on, repeating the gesture in a silkscreened self-portrait. These gifts and their presentation echo a kind of ceremony, and their performance would give Klineman new perspective on her art.

Hedy Klineman Ancestral Spirits Russell Simmons

Since then, Klineman has been commissioned to create portraits for some of the most eminent members of the African-American cultural community, including Russell and Danny Simmons, Mary Schmidt Campbell, dance choreographer Bill T. Jones and actor Malik Yoba. Her choice of masks reflects a sensitivity to the cultural significance of these objects and their innate beauty. Ancestry is reawakened through the masquerade of photographic superimposition. The earlier sister series, Ancestral Spirits, is a celebration of indigenous sculpture in the tradition of modern art’s fascination with these objects.

Hedy Klineman Ancestral Spirits

If these paintings are in the mode of Pop icons, Hedy Klineman’s spiritual counter-narrative for the process is entirely her own. Employing an understanding of essence influenced by Eastern philosophy, her silkscreened paintings hold the presence of their subjects within. Coupled with colorful grounds that relate tothe artist’s history as an abstract painter,

Hedy Klineman Ancestral Spirits Statues

Ancestral Spirits, African-American Portraits is a celebration of ancestry and community.

Hedy Klineman Ancestral Spirits

Hedy Klineman’s Ancestral Spirits, African-American Portraits will be on Exhibit Through December 20th, 2013 at Smart Clothes Gallery, located 154 Stanton Street (Corner of Suffolk St), New York, NY 10012. Hours are 12:00 Noon To 6:00 PM
Wednesday to Sunday.

Hedy Klineman Ancestral Spirits Signage