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.
English artist Chris Wood creates glass wall-panels that showcase maze-like structures that give the illusion of depth and brilliance through the glass’ interaction with natural and artificial light sources. The artist’s usage of small, reflective, dichroic (meaning “two color”) pieces of glass lets her easily create complex patterns of light and shade; the colors and textures that derive from these structures change in accordance to the position of the viewer and the angle of the light source, making her work an ever-changing, almost magical and intriguing phenomenon.
You no longer have to be a scientist to understand the catastrophic impact of pollution and its friend global warming. In California, we’re facing the greatest drought in recorded history; marine animals are choking on our collective waste amid mass plastic contamination in the ocean; in China last year, 16,000 pig carcasses were spotted floating down Huangpu River. Chinese-born, New York-based artist Cai GuoQiang reacts to global environmental catastrophes with his monumental exhibition, “The Ninth Wave,” currently on view at Power Station of Art, China’s first publicly-funded contemporary art museum in Shanghai. An interdisciplinary show filled with large-scale installations, ceramic works, drawings and even performance, “The Ninth Wave” examines the harrowing after-effects of rampant industrialization with finesse.
A veritable escape from reality, Mandy Greer’s current exhibition, “The Ecstatic Moment” at the Hudson River Museum, immerses the viewer in all of Greer’s diverse artistic practices at once. Constructing a new world through her large-scale crochet installations, Greer uses yarn to link together elaborate costume works, fantastical photography, experimental films, sculptures and collections of objects (both natural and manmade) that she gathered herself or appropriated from the museum’s permanent collection.