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Art

Nature and Nostalgia Merge in Assemblages Made from Vintage Boxes by David Cass

June 1, 2022

Kate Mothes

All images © David Cass, shared with permission

In the multi-media works of Athens-based artist David Cass, memories and tokens of bygone eras are assembled into compositions that evoke both nostalgia for the past and serve as a reminder of fluctuations in nature due to a changing climate. Cass collects a variety of items like old letters from flea markets, matchboxes, and tins, especially those associated with safekeeping. In some pieces, he accumulates small boxes into larger vessels like cabinet drawers, while in others, the item itself serves as the canvas for original paintings responding to the surface.

An ongoing theme in Cass’ practice is the way attitudes toward nature have shifted in recent generations, describing in a profile about his creative process that “ours is the first epoch in which the natural world has been seen as a problem, as itself in danger.” A recent exhibition called Where Once the Waters, which comprised dozens of tiny painted tins and was shown during the Venice Biennale, focused on a shifting horizon line. Water plays a central role in the connections he draws between past and present, highlighting the changeable nature of the sea and how oceans are rising around the world. A motif of flowing lines signifying the movement of the liquid appears in many of his works, responding to the texture, scale, and patina of each unique object.

You can find more of Cass’ work on his website and on Instagram. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

 

 



Art

The Precious Nature of Water Ripples Through Maya Lin’s Sprawling Installations

May 26, 2022

Gabrielle Lawrence

“Marble Chesapeake & Delaware Bay” (2022), glass marbles and adhesive. Image courtesy of the artist and Pace Gallery. All photos by Echard Wheeler, shared with permission

Water is both versatile and undisguised. Its magnitude is only made possible by its minute, microscopic makeup, and this equilibrium is what carries its message. It’s what makes water so precious, so fluid.

Maya Lin’s A Study of Water mimics these qualities in scale, subject, form, and material. Lin has previously erected public land sculptures from the earth’s materials, called “Wavefields,” that speak to the interconnectedness of natural systems. Through this new exhibition, she takes these motifs even further by focusing on the liquid’s melodious nature.

In fact, Lin’s works are their own kind of harmony. Several of her pieces are made with recycled silver, a precious and reflective natural material, as a counterpart to water that emphasizes its value. In “Flow,” she uses salvaged wood to mimic wave textures. The specific combinations of natural and rescued materials—each imbued with weighted meaning—create a chorus the same way that climate change (the root note), deforestation and over mining (the third), and an increase of water-based natural disasters (the fifth) creates a triad.

 

“Flow” (2009), FSC-certified spruce, pine and fir 2 x 4s. Image courtesy of the artist and Pace Gallery

Lin’s practice is a swirl of decades of research, her architectural background, and poetic expression, and she speaks the language of nature and the human heart. Each piece is made to amplify the gravity of humanity’s environmental impact on this treasured resource and each other. For example, in “Marble Chesapeake & Delaware Bay,” the artist expands notions of connectedness by changing the perspective. The unification of the two waterways as marbles challenges us to think beyond the small, contained bites of our everyday interactions with the liquid and instead, see it as the celestial force that draws us to each other.

A Study of Water, which is on view at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, literally sits between the Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Bay. These bodies are not only central points of Lin’s fascination with the subject, but they also provide a physical locale to ponder the unseen connections humanity often takes for granted. Her career is a bridge between architecture, art, and activism—expanding always like water but never too detached from its simultaneous nature.

For more of the artist’s works, visit her site.

 

Detail of “Marble Chesapeake & Delaware Bay” (2022), glass marbles and adhesive

Installation view of Maya Lin: A Study of Water

Detail of “Dew Point 42” (2016), blown glass. Image courtesy of the artist and Pace Gallery

Installation view of Maya Lin: A Study of Water

 

 



Art Photography

Composed Photographic Works by Kylli Sparre Consider Restriction and Movement

May 2, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Sound of Deniance.” All images © Kylli Sparre, shared with permission

A sense of confinement pervades Kylli Sparre’s most recent photographic works, which center on figures trapped in clear vessels, encircled by narrow pools, or enclosed in empty concrete rooms. These surreal, claustrophobic images depart from Sparre’s otherwise energetic shots that tend to position women and young girls in motion, whether leaping in the air or sprinting through a house trailed by a swath of white fabric. The Tallinn, Estonia-based fine art photographer (previously) tells Colossal that the recurring theme of physically constraining her subjects was unintentional and likely informed by the limitations of the last few years.

In her practice, Sparre continues to explore the possibilities of the medium through digital manipulation, collage, exposure time, and movements that reflect her background in ballet. You can find more of her conceptual photos on her site and Instagram.

 

“Family Portrait”

“Advantages”

“Approach”

“Inhale”

“Moment of Soothe”

“Moving Forward”

“Revival”

“The Calling”

 

 



Art

Marked with Pattern and Texture, Hula’s Murals Appear to Emerge from the Sea

December 28, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Sean Yoro, shared with permission

To paint his murals, Sean Yoro, aka Hula, yields to the shifting tides of the ocean. The Los Angeles-based artist (previously) paddles out to underpasses and concrete barriers only accessible by water where he balances on a surfboard with a minimal number of supplies—all paints, brushes, and other materials have to fit within the 10-foot space. There he renders portraits of women half-submerged in the sea and singular hands that appear to burst from the surface. “I had to learn not only a faster and more efficient way to paint while on a surfboard but also blending layers together needed to be able to adapt to the tides and other variables that might restrict certain areas of the wall,” he shares.

The visibility of Yoro’s large-scale works shifts depending on the water level, allowing the celestial patterns that mark his subjects’ faces or splotches of paint on their backs to peek through. “I loved incorporating more surreal elements to my painted figures—always trying to balance the water and concrete aesthetics,” he says.

In addition to his seaside murals, Yoro also paints smaller works on canvas and occasionally sells limited-edition prints in his shop. You can follow his latest projects on Instagram.

 

 

 



Photography

A Hazy Stream Drifts Across a Spring Landscape in an Enchanting Series of Long-Exposure Photos

November 18, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Jennifer Esseiva, shared with permission

Back in spring, Swiss photographer Jennifer Esseiva visited the remote forests of Vallorbe, Switzerland, as the trees and rugged, wooded terrain emerged from their winter stupor. There she captured the lush mosses and foliage that cloaked the area in a thick blanket of greenery and the recently thawed stream flowing through its midst. Now compiled in an enchanting series aptly titled Fairyland, the ethereal, long-exposure photos depict the trickling body of water as a hazy fog that clings to the landscape.

Esseiva plans to revisit the dreamy location this winter after snowfall, so keep an eye on her site and Instagram for updates. (via Moss and Fog)

 

 

 



Art

Reality and Imagined Meditative States Converge in Tomás Sánchez’s Tranquil Landscapes

November 16, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Light: Outside, Inside” (2021), acrylic on linen, 100 x 80 centimeters. All images © Tomás Sánchez, shared with permission

Through serene, idyllic landscapes, Tomás Sánchez visualizes his long-harbored fascination with meditation. The practice, the Cuban painter says, is “where I find many of the answers to questions that transcend from the personal to the universal. Meditation is not always a fleeting time. Meditation is not a punctual exercise; it is a constant practice.”

Rather than conceptualize the exercise as a temporary state, Sánchez views mediation as a lens to interpret the world, a recurring theme that has foregrounded much of his work during the last few decades. His acrylic paintings and hazy graphite drawings, which take months if not years to complete, highlight the immensity and awe-inspiring qualities of a forest thick with vegetation or a nearby waterfall and offer perspective through a lone, nondescript figure often found amongst the trees. Distinct and heavily detailed, the realistic landscapes aren’t based on a specific place but rather are imagined spaces available only through a ruminative state.

If you’re in New York, stop by Marlborough Gallery to see Sánchez’s solo show, which is on view from November 18 to January 22. Titled Inner Landscape, the exhibition encompasses multiple pieces never shown before, including the pristine scenes shown here. Until then, explore more of his works on Instagram.

 

“Inner Lagoon…Thought-Cloud” (2016), acrylic on canvas, 200 x 199.3 centimeters

“La batalla” (2015), acrylic on linen, 200 x 250 centimeters

“El río va” (2020), acrylic on linen, 121.3 x 99.1 centimeters

“Aislado” (2015), acrylic on canvas, 199.7 x 249.9 centimeters

“Diagonales” (2018), conté crayon on paper, 30.5 x 40.6 centimeters

 

 

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