Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Charles LeDray: workworkworkworkwork at ICA Boston

Sculptor Charles LeDray works in fabric, ceramic, and human bone to create a miniature world of kooky characters and metaphorical clothing, while experimenting with aspects of display. His solo exhibition workworkworkworkwork is showing at the ICA Boston until October 17, 2010, so check it out if you're in the area!

Here's my review: Part One. Part Two.

Party Bed, 2006-2007
workworkworkworkwork, 1991
Oasis, 2002

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Examiner Review: "In The Making" Exhibit at the ICA

Rineke Dijkstra: Two shots from the
The ICA has a practice of re-imagining its permanent collections in special exhibitions, and the fourth of these shows, "In The Making" is currently on view until July 18th, 2010. Read my examination of the exhibit for The Examiner, divided into three parts by medium, as the galleries are arranged by photography, sculpture, and painting.

Part One (Photography, including Cindy Sherman, Rineke Djikstra, and Gerard Byrne)
Part Two (Sculpture, including Tara Donovan, Kader Attia, and Roni Horn)
Part Three (Painting, solely focusing on Marlene Dumas, also includes final opinions of show as a whole)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Examiner Review: Dr. Lakra at the Institute of Contemporary Art

Hello, friends. The ICA Boston is currently hosting a fantastic exhibition for the Mexican artist Dr. Lakra, whose bold and often humorous work fuses tattoo design with found imagery. It runs until September 6, 2010.

Check out my full review at the Examiner.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Apology/ICA Boston

Hello everyone! I know I have let this blog lie fallow for a year, and I can't promise that I'll start updating again any time soon BUT if you are at all interested in my art-based ramblings, please head over to the Examiner page for the Institute of Contemporary Art, where I'll be writing about exhibits and happenings at that fine Boston museum. Please read and subscribe if it interests you!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

International Sand Sculpture Competition

I visited Berlin recently (amazing) and whilst wandering around the area near the central train station attempting to find the Hamburger Banhof Museum for Contemporary Art (it was oddly difficult for me to locate the entrance), I stumbled across an uncharacteristically sandy area labeled "Sandstation". Entering the space for a small fee of 5 Euro, I found a beachy haven with large umbrellas, beach chairs, beer stands (naturally, this is Germany), and a host of fascinating and incredibly impressive sand sculptures from a collection of international artists.

The first section was devoted to animal subjects, and included a little area for kids to make their own sand creations. I dug the elephant by Johanna Landscheidt and two-headed dragon from Lena Tempich the most.

The main portion was the competition itself, with the theme "City of the Future", so many works involved robotic or computer imagery. I really enjoyed every piece- it was consistently astounding to see the level of detail and the scope of the designs (full view on the photos is recommended). There was a good blend of conceptual and literal interpretations of the challenge. I wish I could have seen the artists' building processes, since I'm pretty baffled by how they achieved certain effects. The following is a selection of my favorites (which is the bulk of entries in the competition, really).

Escape from Virtuality by Ukranian artist Irina Taflevskaya was easily my favorite. It's bold and striking, with a fantastic concept and straightforward, uncluttered execution. Caught my eye instantly, even from beyond the area's surrounding fence.

Indian artist Sudarsan Pattnaik imagines an idealistic future with City of Peace, showing Buddha visiting Berlin during its peaceful time, with elements of Indian architecture incorporated into the composition.

Seven artists from different countries worked together on the monumental Berlin in 2222, a sprawling, mountainous piece combining jagged tiers with various figural elements. It was very hard to get a full photo of it due to its size, but here are some detail shots. The artists are: Lisa Buchholz, Johanna Landscheidt, Edwin Spaan, Lena Tempich, Martin Tulinius, Niels Vegter, and Johannes Weckl.

Shift by Toshihiko Hosaka of Japan is an interesting mix of human features with hard, industrial surfaces, and a little bit of outer space thrown in. I like the overall shape very much (he was inspired by Mt Fuji as well as Berlin's Sony Center ceiling) and really appreciate the detail and texture of the hands and figure.

Berlin-based artist Ulrich Baentsch paid homage to Rodin with The Thinker. As I approached I thought it was just his own sandy version of the classic sculpture, but seen from the other side it is revealed to be partially composed of "bricks" cracking through the smooth facade.

Danish artist Maria Eliot Torp brings us One More Beer, a rendering of the "bar of the future". I love the sci-fi elements here as well as the thoughtful design of the space and its characters. It focused more on expression than most of the other pieces.

Belgian artist Isabelle Decallonne envisions a future headed by women, though still inseparable from the male-dominated past in her large piece Past and Future. I'm not enamored of the execution (the female form looks a little awkward in her positioning, shape, and relation to the buildings below her), but I really like the concept.

Will We Let Us Raise Our Own Children? from Netherlandish artist Joris Kivits was my other favorite. In his version of the Virgin and Child motif, he replaces Mary with an android covered in a shroud, connected to large pumps and wires. She "breastfeeds" a faceless human child through a tube. It's a very blatant and slightly disturbing image, but exceptionally executed and quite memorable. Its large size definitely helps it make a lasting impact.

This really interesting event continues through August 30, so if you happen to be in the Berlin area any time before then, I highly recommend it! It was a wonderfully singular experience for me.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Video Sundaes: Animated Music Videos

Hello friends, I know I've been a bit lax, but I promise I have good reasons lying around here somewhere. Many art-related ramblings and photos to post later, but for now here is a collection of music videos I dig that feature animation of some kind. (Chad VanGaalen not included, since he already got his own post.) I hope you enjoy them!

"Knowing the Things That I Know" by The Blow. Adorable. 'Nuff said.

"Flowers" by Emilie Simon. One of my all-time favorite music videos- it's a cute song with gorgeous stop-motion animation with stylization reminiscent of Tim Burton's and Tom Selleck's work.

"Schwarz zu Blau" by Peter Fox. I don't listen to his music, but I saw this video during a class presentation on contemporary German music. I don't really like the monkey thing, but I love the concept of graffiti coming to life and interacting with different drawings and such on the walls of a city.

"Year of the Dog" by The Lovely Sparrows. Again, don't listen to the music, but I dig the look of this video, with its carefully-rendered cut-paper technique. Thanks to the "Best Videos of 2008" list at the excellent Music for Kids Who Can't Read Good.

"Myriad Harbor" by The New Pornographers. They're one of my favorite bands, and they usually make pretty weird music videos. This one's got the band trapped inside of Dan Bejar's swirling, seemingly alive mane of hair. Love the use of color here, and the simple, uncluttered shapes.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Video Sundaes: Bruce Nauman

I visited the Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Basel, Switzerland recently, a small but lovely space for contemporary art. There were a few Bruce Nauman videos on display and I was reminded how much I really enjoy his performance pieces. They're very simple and personal, and often related to his body or movement in some way. Often he is having a bit of fun, just playing around with expectations of what was considered art, or discovering new ways to relate his body to a certain space.

Stomping in Studio (1968). I don't know why, but this is one of my favorite video performances. It's so simple, yet so mesmerizing to me. I think it's the repetitive sound.

Pinch Neck and Walking in an Exaggerated Manner Around the Perimeter of a Square (1967-68)

Violin Tuned D.E.A.D. (1968)

Art Make-Up (1967)

I think next week I'll do some less kooky fare. Maybe some music videos?