installation

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Art

Interview: Nick Cave Unpacks Silence and Compassion Ahead of His First Retrospective at Chicago’s MCA

May 11, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Speak Louder” (2011), mixed media including black mother-of-pearl buttons, embroidery floss, upholstery, metal armature, and mannequins, 93 ½ × 199 × 123 inches. Photo by James Prinz Photography, © Nick Cave, courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

A portmanteau of forevermore and for others, Forothermore is a prescient title for the first retrospective of artist Nick Cave opening this week at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Cave discusses the career-spanning exhibition in a new interview supported by Colossal Members, starting with his Soundsuits, the captivating costumes of color and fur that are likely his most recognizable pieces. His work consistently confronts racism, homophobia, and other bigotries through the alluring, affecting power of art.

I have to think about the journey and how I get your willingness to explore and go with me. I’m always thinking about ways into the work. Once you’re in, then I tell you what is the root of the work, where is it grounded. At that moment, you have to make that decision. Do I shy away from that and consume myself with the beauty? Beauty for me is optimism. It is the future. It’s me colliding these two forces together and challenging myself, as well as the viewer, to start to dissect, to start to expand on the narrative, to talk about what they’re emotionally feeling and connecting with.

In this conversation, Cave explains how amassing three and a half decades of work in one space has been an enlightening process. He generously shares that he’s no longer allowing tragedy to function as a directive, that his devotion to silence is an essential part of his practice, and that committing 100 percent has the power to produce awe-inspiring results. Read the interview.

 

“Wall Relief” (2013), mixed media including ceramic birds, metal flowers, afghans, strung beads, crystals and antique gramophone, four panels, each 97 x 74 x 21 inches. Photo © Nick Cave, courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

 

 



Art

Bizarre Installations and Figurative Sculptures by Mark Jenkins Upend Notions of Reality

May 9, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Mark Jenkins, shared with permission

“I think my art is at its best when it’s subconscious-driven,” says Mark Jenkins. Veering from the witty and absurd to the disorienting and bizarre, Jenkins’ body of work confronts perceptions of reality through the surreal: a life-sized figure climbs a fire escape upside down, limp legs hang from a dumpster, and toast springs up from a sewer grate.

Whether installed in alleys and urban areas or within the stark, white space of a gallery, Jenkins’ sculptures are theatrical and logic-defying, and each piece mimics “life to the point where it becomes real, to me,” he shares. “Creating an alternative reality has been the solution for my mental health. I find reality a bit depressing with death and all, politics, war, celebrities, etc., and that all the stars are so far away we can never really get to know the universe.”

Jenkins is currently working in Los Angeles and soon headed to Le Havre, France, for his next project. You can follow his practice and explore an expansive archive of his sculptures on his site and Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

A Chromatic Installation by Felipe Pantone Turns a Public Walkway into an Architectural Kaleidoscope

May 6, 2022

Grace Ebert

Photo by Matt Alexander. All images © Felipe Pantone, shared with permission

Argentinian-Spanish artist Felipe Pantone (previously) magnifies the prismatic principles that ground his Subtractive Variability series to a phenomenal scale in the newly installed “Quick Tide.” Whether working in kinetic sculpture or large-scale murals, Pantone investigates the vast realm of color theory and its bottomless potential, in this instance transforming the cyan, magenta, and yellow model into a dynamic display. “The idea of creating a system in which I can create endless color combinations within the visible color spectrum by simply rotating or displacing the same image over and over (in C, M, Y)… the results are always random, unexpected, yet always interesting for me,” Pantone tells Colossal.

The site-specific “Quick Tide” wraps the upper and lower levels of an elevated walkway in London’s Greenwich Peninsula with a vibrant collision of light and pigment—see Liz West’s transformation of the same outdoor space previously on Colossal. Angled blocks hold radial gradients to “make obvious where the different colors overlap and how different hues appear. These details are usually easy to find as chromatic aberrations in prints by looking under the magnifier,” the artist shares, noting that the combinations shift in appearance depending on the time of day and position of the viewer.

Pantone will soon open a solo show titled Manipulable at Tokyo’s Gallery COMMON that invites visitors to interact with the works, and you can follow updates on that exhibition and new works on Instagram.

 

Photo by Charles Emerson

Photo by Charles Emerson

Photo by Charles Emerson

Photo by Matt Alexander

Photo by Charles Emerson

Photo by Matt Alexander

Photo by Matt Alexander

 

 



Art

Loose Threads Dangle in Bright, Bold Gradients in HOTTEA’s Kaleidoscopic Installations

May 2, 2022

Grace Ebert

“John Candy,” Houston. All images © HOTTEA, shared with permission

Suspended from gallery ceilings or strung across an open courtyard, innumerable lengths of yarn comprise the chromatic installations by artist Eric Rieger, aka HOTTEA (previously). He arranges the soft textiles in concentric circles or wide gradients that stretch from wall to wall, creating vibrant fields of color that shift in composition depending on the perspective. Most reflect the artist’s memories or experiences, and in recent years, he’s installed site-specific pieces in cities like Minneapolis, Houston, and Miami.

The tri-colored “Strangers” is HOTTEA’s largest outdoor work to date and was designed for Breve Festival in Belo Horizonte. Drawing on his encounters in the Brazilian city, the massive, uplifting work measures 100 feet long and 30 feet wide, with the individual yarns extending 13 feet. “The word ‘stranger’ often times has a negative connotation,” he shares on Instagram. “I liked the idea of referring to a stranger as a positive thing.”

Currently, HOTTEA is working on several installations for locations in Los Angeles, New York City, and Far Rockaway, New York. He’s also organizing a flash fashion show and collaborative project to create temporary pieces throughout his community in the Twin Cities.

 

“Algebra,” SCOPE, Miami

“John Candy,” Houston

Detail of “Haus,” Minneapolis

“Haus,” Minneapolis

“Strangers,” Belo Horizonte, Brazil

“Serape,” Minneapolis

Detail of “Serape,” Minneapolis

 

 



Art

Web-Like String Installations by Chiharu Shiota Hold Tension Between Absence and Existence

April 28, 2022

Grace Ebert

A profound sense of curiosity and a search for answers consumes Chiharu Shiota’s practice. The Osaka-born, Berlin-based artist is known for her massive installations that crisscross and intertwine string into mesh-like labyrinths. Simultaneously dense in construction and delicate and airy, the site-specific works rely on negative space and a recurring theme of “absence in existence,” Shiota tells Louisiana Channel in a new interview.

Chronicling the artist’s evolution and surveying her works across decades, the short film visits her Berlin studio, where a suspended boat hangs from the ceiling and Shiota shares some childhood paintings. She describes the latter medium as limiting her expression, prompting  her first interactions with string and the concept of “drawing in the air.” The film then follows Shiota to Cisternerne in Copenhagen, where she weaves a web of white string across the pillars filling the eerie space for her ongoing Multiple Realities exhibition, which is on view through November 30.

 

Shiota works with what she terms “philosophies of the moment,” creating sprawling installations designed to elicit visceral reactions from those in their presence. The colors are symbolic, with red conveying relationships between people, black the universe, and white the beginning and purity. “Strings break, get tangled or tied together—just like people cut relationships, get tied together or tangled. It’s very much the same,” she says.

Travel and being “on the move” are when she typically gathers ideas for works, which aren’t sketched before she realizes them fully in their intended space. When an exhibition closes, the strings are cut and discarded, further embodying the conceptual aspects of her practice that meditates on life and death. “What world will there be after your body has disappeared? When I die, and my thoughts and ideas are gone… I wonder what will become of me. I create my works searching for these answers.”

Shiota has pieces on view in cities around the world at the moment, including Paris, Essen, Germany, and Aomori, Japan, and you can see the full list on her site.

 

 

 



Art

Monumental Installations by Henrique Oliveira Explore the Eerie Nature of Architecture

April 27, 2022

Kate Mothes

“Desnatureza” (2011). All images courtesy of the artist and shared with permission

Erupting from floors, doorways, and furniture, artist Henrique Oliveira’s artworks (previously) are a remarkable comment on the relationship between the built environment and the power of nature. In installations that explore the relationship between reality and otherworldly spectacle, enormous wooden limbs and vine-like forms emerge from walls and ceilings that have been cracked, broken, and twisted around the emerging growth, unable to contain it.

Oliveira uses various readymade and organic materials such as bricks, wood, PVC, tree branches, mud, and other found items. He has incorporated tapumes, a Portuguese term for “enclosure” or “boarding,” which is typical of the plywood fencing installed around his home city of São Paulo that becomes weathered and varied in color and texture.

Pieces range in size from a few feet, such as furniture works like “Chest of Drawers,” to immense installations that sprawl across expansive exhibition spaces. Some of his largest works, such as “Transarquitetonica,” have been experienced by walking around the exterior or venturing inside. In this piece, the opening of a tunnel mimics the contemporary architecture of the Museu de Arte Contemporânea building in São Paulo. It then gradually transforms into a series of woody paths, giving the impression of exploring different routes inside a giant tree’s tangled limbs.

Many of Oliveira’s works are permanently on view around the world, and you can find more information on his website and on Instagram.

 

“Dead Fire,” (2012)

“Chest of Drawers” (2013)

“Transarquitetonica” (2014). Image by Everton Ballardin

Interior of “Transarquitetonica” (2014). Image by Everton Ballardin

“Corner Prolapse” (2009)

“Sisyphus Casemate” (2018)

“Xilonoma Chamusquius 2” (2012). Image by Everton Ballardin

Foreground: “Desnatureza 2” (2014). Image by Nash Baker

“Xilonoma Chamusquius 3” (2012)

“Baitogogo” (2013). Image by André Morin