Art

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Art

Translucent Textile Sculptures by Do Ho Suh Explore the Familiarity of Quotidian Objects

September 15, 2022

Gabrielle Lawrence

Detail of “Jet Lag” (2022). Photo by Jeon Taeg Su. All images © Do Ho Suh, courtesy of the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London

Rather than portray the everyday objects that make up the routine of our lives as immovable or simply structural, Do Ho Suh (previously) captures their sentience. This is not to say that the objects around us are alive but that perhaps our familiarity with them holds a kind of energy to reflect on. In “Jet Lag,” for example, a light switch or a door is made of potently colored translucent fabrics. This invites the viewer to consider the feeling of and the attachment to these small, insignificant companions.

In “Inverted Monument,” Suh similarly captures the energy beneath the eye’s limits of a common object through the structure. What would typically be formed from concrete or some stubborn, weather-proof metal is comprised of adventurous red lines that better capture the materials’ complexity, and in this case, also its context. Again, Suh constructs a radical shift of perspective. An object characteristic of place, history, and the communities it’s formed around is constructed according to the messiness of memory and is turned upside down. The pedestal reaches for the ceiling, and the head sweeps the floor. This subtlety introduces enormous questions about not only the significance of the object and how we interact with it but why it got there in the first place.

See more of Suh’s time and geography-bending sculptures through October 29 at Lehmann Maupin in New York.

 

Detail of “Jet Lag” (2022)

Detail of “Jet Lag” (2022)

Detail of “Jet Lag” (2022)

“Inverted Monument” (2022)

Detail of “Inverted Monument” (2022)

“Jet Lag” (2022)

 

 



Art Craft

Ancient Design Motifs Meet Contemporary Ceramics in Maxwell Mustardo’s Glowing Sculptures

September 14, 2022

Kate Mothes

All images © Maxwell Mustardo, shared with permission, courtesy of Culture Object and Jody Kivort

Gadrooning, an ornamental motif consisting of a series of tapered convex or concave curves, is derived from the decorative exteriors of Roman sarcophagi and antiquities. Renaissance artisans revisited it in the 16th century, and it re-emerged in the neoclassical revival of the 18th and 19th centuries. Referencing ancient designs and what he describes in a statement as the “broad, reverential notions of the vessel,” Maxwell Mustardo playfully examines the function of containers and earthenware over time.

In his gourd-like Gadroons and pudgy Anthropophorae—a series of bulging amphorae—a range of stippled lava glazes complement shocking hues or shimmering PVC coatings. Vibrant colors and swollen forms resemble balloons or 3D renderings displayed on a bright screen, and the resulting perception-bending, flocked-like surfaces make the pieces appear to be floating, wobbling, and glowing.

You can see Mustardo’s work at Culture Object through October 28 in a solo exhibition titled The Substance of Style. More information can also be found on his website and Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Hyperrealistic Portraits by Arinze Stanley Glorify the Resiliency of Nigeria’s Next Generation

September 13, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Portrait of Resilience #1″(2021), charcoal and graphite on paper, 47 1/2 x 36 inches. All images © Arinze Stanley, courtesy of Corridor Contemporary, shared with permission

In Deconstruct, Lagos-based artist Arinze Stanley (previously) acknowledges the children and teens who will come to define Nigeria’s politics and culture in the next few years. “I believe the youths are the building blocks of every nation,” he says. “I feel most compelled to project the positive image of our youths through this body of work in my attempt to dismantle the stereotype around the Nigerian youth. I believe our leaders of tomorrow are the biggest assets of today.”

Working in graphite and charcoal on paper, Stanley renders hyperrealistic portraits of earnest figures often with faint lines bisecting their faces. Portions of their torsos reveal a brick backdrop, suggesting that their consciousness and presences in the world are still taking shape. More dense works like “Fruits of Labour” draw on art historical motifs traditionally associated with power and resiliency, portraying figures in glorified poses with weapons and arms raised in protest. The incredibly detailed portraits rail against the turbulent political landscape of Nigeria, the world’s perception of the country, and its issues with police brutality, the latter of which the artist generously speaks to in a 2021 interview with Colossal.

Deconstruct is on view now at Corridor Contemporary in Philadelphia. Stanley often shares clips of his works-in-progress, which you can find on Instagram.

 

“Portrait of Resilience #5” (2022), charcoal and graphite on paper, 65 x 55 inches

“Unwritten Memoir” (2022), charcoal and graphite on paper, 47 5/16 x 41 7/8 inches

“Portrait of Resilience #3” (2022), charcoal and graphite on paper, 46 3/4 x 47 1/16 inches

“Fruits of Labour” (2022), charcoal and graphite on paper, 72 x 54 1/2 inches

Left: “Portrait of Resilience #4” (2022), charcoal and graphite on paper, 49 1/2 x 31 7/8 inches. Right: “Portrait of Resilience #2” (2021), charcoal and graphite on paper, 41 x 29 1/2 inches

“Portrait of Resilience #6” (2022), charcoal and graphite on paper, 17 1/2 x 17 1/2 inches

“Portrait of Resilience #7” (2022), charcoal and graphite on paper, 17 1/2 x 17 1/2 inches

 

 



Art Photography

Photographer Zanele Muholi Finds Empowerment Through Bold Black-and-White Portraiture

September 12, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Isiqhaza” (June 10, 2018, Philadelphia). All images © Zanele Muholi, courtesy of African Artists’ Foundation, shared with permission

The striking portraits of South African photographer and activist Zanele Muholi (previously) are easily recognizable. Shot in stark black-and-white, the images utilize heavy contrast and center on single subjects dressed in elaborate garments. These wearables are sculptural in construction and made from commonplace objects: clothespins are strung together as a necklace, dried grasses splay outward like the brim of a hat, and rolls of toilet paper cascade over a figure’s shoulders.

Muholi often works in self-portraiture and is known for photographing Black queer subjects as a way to explore the radical nature of identity and as a means of celebration and respect. “The work that I produce is meant to be for every person,” they say in an interview. “It could be a teacher. It could be a mother whose child is queer and wants to have a reference point to show their kids and say that you are not alone. And it could be for LGBTI people themselves to understand their worthiness.” Muholi views all of their works as collaborations with the sitters, who often gaze at the camera with direct, empowered expressions.

Many of the photos shown here are part of the group exhibition Dig Where You Stand, which is on view through October 9 at Savannah Centre for Contemporary Art in Tamale, Ghana. A project of African Artists’ Foundation, the group show engages with questions of decolonization and restitution and will travel to Lagos, Lusanga, and Lisbon in the coming months. Until then, find more from Muholi on Instagram.

 

“Sine II” (Melbourne)

“Bester” (May 2, 2019, New York)

Left: “Sine X” (March 17, 2020, Melbourne). Right: “Muzane I” (May 15, 2019, London)

Detail of “Jamile Face” (May 2, 2019, New York)

“Wenzeni” (2019)

Left: “Vika IV” (September 11, 2019, Cape Town). Right: “Aphelile X” (April 11, 2020, Durban)

“Vika III” (September 11, 2019, Cape Town”

 

 



Art Craft

A Cast of Articulate Cardboard Robots Populate a Growing Sci-Fi Universe Crafted by Greg Olijnyk

September 12, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Neil,” cardboard, LED lighting, and glass domes, 48 centimeters. All images by Griffin Simm, © Greg Olijnyk, shared with permission

Melbourne-based artist Greg Olijnyk continues to add to his troupe of sci-fi robots crafted from cardboard, LED lights, and glass details. The elaborately constructed characters are fully articulate and populate an ever-expanding futuristic world that’s slightly dystopic and always filled with adventure. His latest creations also include a nod to art history, with a sculptural interpretation of M.C. Escher’s stairs that features tiny robots within the mind-bending cube.

For a glimpse into Olijnyk’s process and to keep up with his works steeped in fantasy, head to Instagram.

 

“Neil,” cardboard, LED lighting, and glass domes, 48 centimeters

Detail of “Neil,” cardboard, LED lighting, and glass domes, 48 centimeters

“Escher Cube,” cardboard, 50 square centimeters

Detail of “Escher Cube,” cardboard, 50 square centimeters

Detail of “Escher Cube,” cardboard, 50 square centimeters

“Prototype 1,” cardboard, LED lighting, glass tubes and lenses, 45 centimeters

“Prototype 2,” cardboard, LED lighting, and glass lenses, 45 centimeters

“Prototype 2,” cardboard, LED lighting, and glass lenses, 45 centimeters

Detail of “Prototype 2,” cardboard, LED lighting, and glass lenses, 45 centimeters

 

 



Art Documentary

A Powerful Documentary Captures the Life and Work of Artist Yvonne Shortt Who is Legally Blind

September 8, 2022

Grace Ebert

Retinitis pigmentosa is a rare genetic disease that breaks down the retina and causes vision loss as it progresses. Like many with the condition, Yvonne Shortt was diagnosed as a child when she realized that her sight was different from those in her family when they wandered into dark movie theaters or looked at the stars at night, and she struggled to do the same.

Now legally blind as an adult, Shortt cultivates a visual art practice that involves shaping figurative busts from clay, moss, grasses, and other natural materials. “I make a face of a little girl, and I make that face for hours until I feel her breathing. I thought, if I can’t see, will I have that connection with it?” she says of experiencing her vision slowly diminish. “But there’s the tactility, the wetness of the clay, how it dries. I realized that I can still make objects even with my eyes closed.”

Filmmaker James Robinson dives into Shortt’s story in one part of the documentary series Adapt-Ability, produced by The New York Times. The film chronicles how Shortt experienced the progression of the disease and offers a simulation of what the world looks like from her body as she gradually loses clarity and her peripheral vision. Robinson explains:

Unlike the stereotype of the blind living in a lightless world, Ms. Shortt, like most other legally blind people, lives a nuanced existence between those who see well and those who can’t see a thing… She can see some things some of the time, depending on various factors, including the amount of ambient light, her distance from the object and the object’s location in her field of vision.

Although the condition has necessitated life adjustments like the use of a white cane, Shortt has come to understand her limitations as a benefit to her art, her other senses, and her ability to find compassion for those around her. (via Laughing Squid)