With a focus on light and perspective, Olafur Eliasson’s installations have a transformative capacity that allows the viewer to experience the illusion of a supernatural environment. In an interstitial space of the Samsung Museum of Art in Seoul, Gravity Stairs is composed of glowing spheres which, attached to the ceiling and bathed in warm yellow light, resemble the sun. The otherworldly light and a mirror on the ceiling present an impression of floating through space and among celestial bodies.
While one may look at Gabriel Dawe’s installations and call them fantastical and even decorative, the artist considers working with thread an act of rebellion. Growing up in Mexico City, as a boy, the Texas-based artist was discouraged from taking an interest in embroidery. While thread is his preferred medium, he uses it for architectural means. His minimalist aesthetic departs greatly from traditional crafting. Instead, Dawe uses the thread to build translucent, colorful shapes that alter the spaces they inhabit. He calls them Plexuses, a term used to describe branching vessels or nerves. Dawe recently set up Plexus 28, a rich eggplant and crimson-hued piece composed of two concentric circles, at the Virginia MOCA. The MOCA created a time lapse video of the creation of the piece, as well as a short video interview with the artist. Check out more on Plexus 28 below and if you’re curious about Dawe’s other work, take a look at our previous post about the artist here.
This Thursday, Yoskay Yamamoto will debut eighteen new paintings and sculptures at Hellion gallery in Portland, “Rainy Day with a Chance of Sun.” For this show, Yamamoto chose to explore the balance between joy and melancholy. His paintings vary in style, inspired by artists like Paul Klee, Keith Haring, Yayoi Kusama, and Robert Indiana, to name a few. Images of their art are scattered around his Los Angeles studio where we paid him a visit.
Russian artist Yulia Brodskaya creates playful illustrations, installations and paper cut works using a unique method she developed after leaving her graphic design job in 2006. The artist rolls tiny strips of colorful paper into spirals that she aggregates into larger shapes, creating textural works that lie somewhere on the horizon between two and three dimensions. Her whimsical, springy work invites a sense of optimism. While paper cut art is typically a small-scale medium, Brodskaya often creates mural-sized artworks and installations for commercial clients, using paper to transform rigid spaces into fantastical realms.
While he is currently barred from leaving China, renowned artist and activist Ai Weiwei has been working on “@Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz” since his release from prison in 2011. Incarcerated for his politically outspoken artwork, Ai used his experience as fuel for a unique exhibition that fills the historical former prison and military fortress with site-specific installations that draw attention to human rights crises worldwide. Orchestrated remotely with the help of San Francisco-based curator Cheryl Haines and legions of volunteers, the exhibition is as much a spectacle as it is an educational experience.
Officially opening today, Art Prize is a unique art festival and contest — perhaps one of the most democratic iterations of an art fair out there. The unlikely locale of Grand Rapids, Michigan becomes a playground for artists. Any part of downtown is fair game to use as a venue — no gallery endorsement needed — and anyone, regardless of their resume, can qualify as an exhibitor. The art projects are on view for two weeks while the public votes on which artist will be awarded the large cash prize. For her entry, artist Crystal Wagner created two installations in the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts using household items (plastic table cloths and chicken wire are two of her signature materials) to weave two enormous, sprawling sculptures in the venue’s entrance and along the south staircase.