Tag Archives: installation

Ai Weiwei’s Suspended Bamboo and Silk Beasts Highlight Ancient Chinese Mythology Inside a Paris Department Store 

Ai Weiwei‘s (previously here and here) first exhibition in France is not staged at the Centre Pompidou nor the Palais de Tokyo, but within Paris’s Le Bon Marché, the city’s oldest department store founded in 1852. At its center the exhibition includes 20 illuminated silk and bamboo creatures that float above the cosmetics department, a contradiction of subject matter that Ai embraces as he allows the two vastly different worlds to collide momentarily during his store-bound exhibition.

The show, titled “Er Xi” or “Child’s Play,” is in many ways tied to the artist’s family and childhood. His father, the Chinese poet Ai Qing, passed on stories to Ai of his time spent living and studying art in Paris in the 30s. Thinking about his father’s history within the city, Ai also contemplated his own background with the art of kite making, enlisting 12 kite makers from the Shandong Province in China to build the sculptures from similar materials he used to make his first kite at the age of ten.

In addition to these hanging sculptures, Ai also installed work in the department store’s front windows and throughout the store, including a 65-foot dragon on Le Bon Marché’s ground floor. Weaving together 2D and 3D works, Ai illuminate’s the mythology found in the 2,000 year-old “Shan Hai Jing” (Classic of Mountains and Seas), a series of traditional Chinese children’s fables that reference birds, fish, and dragons.

“Introducing the fantastic within a retail space strikes the imagination of customers, visitors, passersby,” said Ai in a statement. “We all lead parallel lives in this other world of dreams, fantasies and feats. We must learn to coexist with them as they are an integral part of our humanity; to embrace our mythology. Children know how to do this naturally. This exhibition speaks to our inner child,” the artist said in a statement.

Er Xi” runs at Le Bon Marché in Paris through February 20, 2016. (via Designboom)

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Dense Mixed-Media Sculptures Depict a Poignant Collision of Urban and Natural Worlds 

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From This Distance: Sound Pearls, 2014. Edition of 30, Signed/Numbered, Heavy 308 gsm photo rag paper, 12″ x 12″.

In a fantastic collision of natural and human-made elements, Minneapolis-based artist Gregory Euclide explores aspects of nature, impermenance, and the human experience in unusual relief artworks that seem to grow and drip from vertical surfaces. Some sculptures are framed inside boxes, contained worlds of topographical chaos incorporating plastic, foam, paper, model elements, architectural and geometric elements, paint, ink, and a host of other mediums. Other artworks are mounted atop standard whiteboards found in classrooms, a nod to his role as a teacher where he’s been known to paint elaborate sumi ink landscapes during his lunch break—all of which are subsequently erased.

Several of the pieces seen here will be on view later this April as part of Euclide’s solo show at Hashimoto Contemporary. You can also explore much of his recent work on Behance.

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From This Distance: Sound Pearls, detail.

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From This Distance: Sound Pearls, detail.

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Something Condensed From Whole, 2015. Painting created on a whiteboard with relief elements.

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Something Condensed From Whole, detail.

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Something Condensed From Whole, detail.

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Something Condensed From Whole, detail.

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Anywhere Kept the Frame Around Wanting, 2015. Relief painting containing found and natural objects.

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Anywhere Kept the Frame Around Wanting, detail.

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Anywhere Kept the Frame Around Wanting, detail.

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Anywhere Kept the Frame Around Wanting, detail.

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Thin White Bend Through Treetop and Twisting, 2015. Relief painting containing found and created objects of nature and man.

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Thin White Bend Through Treetop and Twisting, detail.

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Thin White Bend Through Treetop and Twisting, detail.

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Deep Tunnels and Caves of Suspended Torn Paper by Angela Glajcar 

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Depth is not a concept immediately sparked when we think of thin pieces of paper, however artist Angela Glajcar gives the typically 2D medium a new sculptural life—stringing together dozens of sheets to create cavernous works often lit from their core. The trailing sculptures are ripped haphazardly from within to create narrow pathways through their centers, yet their outer edges stay crisp and streamlined throughout space.

Although her sculptures vary in position—the works hang above the viewer’s head, at eye-level, or protrude from a wall—each is always comprised of white paper and textured rips. Channeling caves or mountains, the pieces incorporate light and space just as equally as their material form, works feeling voluminous despite their airy compositions.

Glajcar’s work is currently on display in the exhibition “White is the New Black” at Heitsch Gallery in Munich through Feburary 13, 2016. (via Hi-Fructose and Booooooom)

Image provided by Heitsch Gallery

Image provided by Heitsch Gallery

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Image provided by Heitsch Gallery

Image provided by Heitsch Gallery

Image provided by Heitsch Gallery

Image provided by Heitsch Gallery

Image provided by Heitsch Gallery

Image provided by Heitsch Gallery

Image provided by Heitsch Gallery

Image provided by Heitsch Gallery

Image provided by Angela Glajcar

Image provided by Angela Glajcar

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Image provided by Angela Glajcar

Image provided by Angela Glajcar

Image provided by Angela Glajcar

Image provided by Angela Glajcar

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A Quick Walk Through Chiharu Shiota’s Striking Key Installation at the Venice Biennale 

Earlier this summer artist Chiharu Shiota unveiled her magnificent installation ‘The Key in the Hand‘ at the 2015 Venice Biennale. The sprawling artwork incorporates several old wooden boats, above which a dense cave-like network of red string suspends 50,000 donated keys. Though we wrote about the piece here on Colossal back in May, this video filmed by Sergey Khodakovskiy gives a fantastic sense of what it was like to walk through the artwork if you couldn’t make it to Venice.

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A Giant LED Star Pierces the Floors of a 4-Story Building in Malaysia 

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Malaysian artist Jun Hao Ong constructed this bright LED star that appears to shoot through the floors and ceilings of a 4-story concrete building as part of the 2015 Urban Xchange public art festival. The piece is comprised of steel cables that help suspend a network of over 500 feet of LED lights that grows seamlessly in 12 directions. “The Star is a glitch in current political and cultural climate of the country, it is a manifestation of the sterile conditions of Butterworth, a once thriving industrial port and significant terminal between the mainland and island,” shares Ong.

The Star was curated by Eeyan Chuah and Gabija Grusaite from the Penang-based contemporary art centre, Hin Bus Depot. You can see more of Ong’s elaborate installations using LEDs and flourescent lights on his website. (via The Creators Project)

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New Nail Sculptures by John Bisbee That Twist Across Floors and Walls 

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John Bisbee (previously) has worked with nails as a sculptural medium since he accidentally toppled a bucket of them years ago and was astonished to see how they remained intact, rusted and fused into a single object. Every since, he’s been hammering nails of varying size into complex patterns, using the smallest woodworking nails up to giant 12-inch spikes. Although nails large and small continue to be the focus of his artistic practice, his sculptures remain diverse in their presentation and composition, twisted works making wildly chaotic patterns against walls and neatly arranged nails snaking along gallery floors.

Bisbee currently has two solo exhibitions on view including “Floresco” at the SCAD Museum of Art (through January 3, 2016) and “Only nails, always different” at the PCA&D Gallery (through the end of December). His work is also included in the 2015 Portland Museum of Art Biennial titled “You Can’t Get There From Here” through January 3, 2016.

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The Smithsonian’s ‘Wonder’ Exhibition Fills a Newly Renovated Gallery Floor-to-Ceiling with Artworks 

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Gabriel Dawe, “Plexus A1” (2015)

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Patrick Dougherty, “Shindig” (2015)

WONDER, the first exhibition at the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian American Art Museum since its two-year renovation, brings together nine contemporary artists that each created room-sized installations inspired by the building in which they were produced. Jennifer Angus, Chakaia Booker, Gabriel Dawe, Tara Donovan, Patrick Dougherty, Janet Echelman, John Grade, Maya Lin, and Leo Villareal each work with objects that are often considered mundane, producing large-scale works from everyday objects like toothpicks and hoards of marbles. Each work in the exhibition demonstrates the labor that went into each piece, normalized elements that have been transformed into mind-bending arrangements.

John Grade created a plaster cast of a tree the same age as the Renwick building, rebuilding the tree’s form from 500,000 segments of reclaimed cedar. Tara Donovan also utilized wood in the form of toothpicks to build her mountainous works, building her towering heaps with other trash like straws and Styrofoam cups to prompt the audience to reexamine the daily detritus seen on city streets.

Other works like Gabriel Dawe’s “Plexus A1” and Janet Echelman’s “1.8” are much more colorful, Dawe’s rainbow weaving mistaken for a prismatic stream of light and Echelman’s red and orange sculptural waves brightly expressing the energetic power of one of the most devastating earthquakes in recorded history.

The Renwick Gallery was the very first building in the United States to be built specifically for the purpose of housing an art museum. You can see how WONDER transformed its newly renovated galleries through mid-2016, with a closing on July 10. (via Art Ruby)

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Tara Donovan, “Untitled” detail (2014)

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Tara Donovan, “Untitled” (2014)

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Leo Villareal, “Volume (Renwick)” (2015)

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Maya Lin, “Folding the Chesapeake” (2015)

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Chakaia Booker, “ANONYMOUS DONOR” (2015)

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Jennifer Angus, “In the Midnight Garden” (2015)

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Janet Echelman, “1.8” (2015)

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Janet Echelman, “1.8” detail (2015)

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John Grade, “Middle Fork” (2015), all images by Ron Blunt

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John Grade, “Middle Fork” detail (2015)

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