More stories

  • in

    A ‘Staircase to Heaven’ Installation Ascends into the Sky as a Trippy Optical Illusion

    
    Art

    #installation
    #public art
    #sculpture
    #site-specific
    #stairs
    #steel
    #video

    November 12, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    All images © Strijdom van der Merwe, shared with permission
    South African artist Strijdom van der Merwe’s deceptive “Staircase to Heaven” sculpture is designed to make you wonder. When viewed straight on, the towering optical illusion appears to ascend into the sky at an incline, although the 4.5-meter-tall work actually lies on a flat plane. Van der Merwe partnered with Taiwanese artist Chou Sheng-hsien to create the trippy sculpture for the Nanhui Art Project in Taiwan, which commissioned 14 public works to be installed throughout Taitung County.
    Built with steel square tubing that weighs about 240 kilograms, “Staircase to Heaven” is modeled after van der Merwe’s 2016 project, “Sculptures on the Cliff.” For more of the artist’s site-specific works and sprawling land art, check out his site. (via Laughing Squid)

    [embedded content]

    #installation
    #public art
    #sculpture
    #site-specific
    #stairs
    #steel
    #video

    Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!

     
    Share this story
      More

  • in

    A 14-Foot Box Truck Transforms into an Intimate Glimpse of Domestic Life in Swoon’s Mobile Sculpture

    
    Art

    #family
    #installation
    #painting
    #sculpture
    #trucks

    November 10, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    All images by Lauren Silberman, © Swoon, shared with permission
    Exploring trauma and addiction through intricate paper cuttings, pasted murals, and mythical stop-motion animations is at the heart of Caledonia Curry’s practice, and the Connecticut-born artist, who works as Swoon (previously), extends that approach in a mobile sculpture that peers into the intimacy of family life. Produced last year in collaboration with PBS American Portrait, “The House Our Family Built” transforms a 14-foot box truck into a roving domestic scene comprised of a cab cloaked in patterned wallpaper and a trailer split open to reveal a house-like environment.
    Within the vehicle are objects synonymous with home life, including framed photos, children’s toys, and furniture, while a fence lines the perimeter in front of the truck. A family of two-dimensional painted figures from multiple generations occupies both the indoor and outdoor spaces, and  Swoon says the outdoor installation “asks viewers to consider the legacy of ancestral histories—whether through traditions, trauma, or repeated narratives—and the ways in which they inform how we understand and talk about ourselves.”
    “The House Our Family Built” is on view this week at Nasher Sculpture Center as part of the Dallas Art Fair, and you can follow Swoon through the making-of process on PBS. Find an archive of her imaginative projects on her site, YouTube, and Instagram. (via Artnet)

    #family
    #installation
    #painting
    #sculpture
    #trucks

    Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!

     
    Share this story
      More

  • in

    Hundreds of Ceramic Marine Creatures Radiate in Gradients to Show the Effects of Coral Bleaching

    
    Art

    #ceramics
    #climate crisis
    #coral
    #installation
    #porcelain
    #sculpture

    October 26, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    Detail of “Revolve” (2021), glazed stoneware and porcelain, 168 x 335 x 35 centimeters. All images © Courtney Mattison, shared with permission
    Two new site-specific pieces by Courtney Mattison (previously) position ceramic sculptures of corals, sponges, and anemones in a swirling cluster of ocean diversity. Titled “Revolve” and “Our Changing Seas VII,” the wall reliefs are the latest additions to the Los Angeles-based artist’s body of work, which advocates for ecological preservation by highlighting the beauty and fragile nature of marine invertebrates.
    In both installations, Mattison contrasts the vibrant, plump tentacles of healthy creatures with others sculpted in white porcelain to convey the devastating effects of the climate crisis, including widespread bleaching. Her recurring subject matter is becoming increasingly urgent, considering recent reports that estimate that 14 percent of the world’s coral population has been lost in the last decade alone.
    Each of the lifeforms is hand-built and pocked with minuscule grooves and textured elements—she shares this meticulous process on Instagram—and once complete, the individual sculptures are assembled in sweeping compositions that radiate outward in shifting gradients. “Water connects us all, from the lush banks of Lawsons Fork Creek to the icy glaciers of the Arctic and glittering reefs of Southeast Asia. Life on Earth is dependent on healthy oceans,” she shares about “Revolve.” “The swirling design of this work is inspired by these connections and patterns, with revolving forms repeated in nature through hurricanes, seashells, ocean waves, and galaxies.”
    Mattison’s solo exhibition Turn the Tide is on view at Highfield Hall & Gardens in Massachusetts through October 31 before it travels to the New Bedford Whaling Museum, where it will be through May 1, 2022. You explore a larger archive of the artist’s marine works on Behance and her site.

    Detail of “Our Changing Seas VII” (2021), glazed stoneware and porcelain, 213 x 350 x 40 centimeters
    Detail of “Revolve” (2021), glazed stoneware and porcelain, 168 x 335 x 35 centimeters
    “Our Changing Seas VII” (2021), glazed stoneware and porcelain, 213 x 350 x 40 centimeters
    Detail of “Revolve” (2021), glazed stoneware and porcelain, 168 x 335 x 35 centimeters
    Detail of “Our Changing Seas VII” (2021), glazed stoneware and porcelain, 213 x 350 x 40 centimeters
    “Revolve” (2021), glazed stoneware and porcelain, 168 x 335 x 35 centimeters

    #ceramics
    #climate crisis
    #coral
    #installation
    #porcelain
    #sculpture

    Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!

     
    Share this story
      More

  • in

    12,000 Sheets of Wrinkled Rice Paper Drape Around a Monumental Installation by Zhu Jinshi

    
    Art

    #bamboo
    #installation
    #paper
    #sculpture

    October 15, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    “Boat” (2015), Xuan (rice) paper, bamboo, cotton threads, 18 x 7 meters. All images courtesy of the artist and Pearl Lam Galleries, shared with permission
    More than 12,000 sheets of delicate Xuan paper form the ruffled exterior of Zhu Jinshi’s suspended “Boat” sculpture. The renowned artist, who’s currently living and working in his hometown of Beijing, is widely regarded for pioneering Chinese abstract art, and this monumental installation from 2015 is a reflection of his conceptual, meditative practice.
    Spanning 18 meters long and seven meters wide, “Boat” is comprised of wrinkled paper layers draped around bamboo frames. Countless thin cotton threads hold the individual components in place and intersect the curved, tunnel-like form with straight lines that extend vertically to the ceiling. Bisected with a central space for viewers to pass through, the metaphorical work considers the passage of time and space and is an extension of Zhu’s 2007 installation “Wave of Materials” (shown below), which features a single, halved form anchored to the gallery floor with stones.
    The artist is exhibiting at West Bund Art and Design 2021 next month and is opening a solo in Shanghai at the end of the year. Until then, explore an archive of his works at Pearl Lam Galleries and on Artsy.

    “Boat” (2015), Xuan (rice) paper, bamboo, cotton threads, 18 x 7 meters
    Detail of “Boat” (2015), Xuan (rice) paper, bamboo, cotton threads, 18 x 7 meters
    Detail of “Boat” (2015), Xuan (rice) paper, bamboo, cotton threads, 18 x 7 meters
    “Wave of Materials” (2007), Xuan paper, cotton thread, bamboo, and stones
    “Wave of Materials” (2007), Xuan paper, cotton thread, bamboo, and stones

    #bamboo
    #installation
    #paper
    #sculpture

    Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!

     
    Share this story
      More

  • in

    An Exhibition of 50 Piñatas Explores the Cultural Significance of the Festive Object

    
    Art
    Craft

    #installation
    #paper
    #piñatas
    #sculpture
    #social commentary

    October 14, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    Installation view of Roberto Benavidez’s sculptures (front) and Isaias Rodriguez, “resilience” (2021) (back). Photo by Madison Metro, Craft in America. All images courtesy of Craft in America, shared with permission
    A ubiquitous decoration at birthdays and family celebrations, piñatas are conventionally associated with fun, festivity, and of course, their potential to split open and release candy and other treats. Now on view at Craft in America, a group exhibition re-envisions the party staple by connecting it with contemporary practices that extend the playful artform’s capacity for social and political commentary.
    Piñatas: The High Art of Celebration features approximately 50 works from Mexico- and U.S.-based artists and collectives, who explore the evolution of traditional construction techniques and the object’s broad cultural significance that reaches beyond its Mexican heritage. The fantastical creatures of Roberto Benavidez’s illuminated manuscript series, for example, encapsulate questions about race and sin, while Justin Favela (previously) translates the confrontation between American pop culture and Latinx experiences into fringed, abstract landscapes. Other works include a massive COVID-19 vaccine bottle by Lisbeth Palacios, Diana Benavidez’s motorized cars that speak to issues at the San Diego/Tijuana border, and a swarm of tiny suspended monarchs by Isaias Rodriguez.
    If you’re in Los Angeles, stop by Craft in America before December 4 to see the exhibition in person or take a virtual tour on the nonprofit’s site.  (via Hyperallergic)

    Roberto Benavidez, “Illuminated Hybrid No. 3” (2019). Photo by the artist
    Detail of Isaias Rodriguez, “resilience” (2021). Photo by Matthew Hermosillo
    Justin Favela, “Baño de los Pescaditos (after José María Velasco)” (2019). Photo courtesy of the artist
    Left: Lorena Robletto (Amazing Piñatas), “Alebrije Installation” (2021). Photo by Madison Metro, Craft in America. Right: Lorena Robletto (Amazing Piñatas), “Seven Point Star Installation” (2021). Photo by Madison Metro, Craft in America
    Roberto Benavidez, “Illuminated Hybrid No. 5” (2018). Photo by Madison Metro, Craft in America
    Left: Giovanni Valderas, “No Hay Pedo (Canary)”  (2016). Photo by Giovanni Valderas. Right: Lisbeth Palacios (All Party Art), “COVID Vaccine” (2021). Photo by Madison Metro, Craft in America
    Diana Benavidez, installation view of “Border Crosser” and “La Pinche Migra” (from Vehículos Transfronterizos series) (2021). Photo by Madison Metro, Craft in America

    #installation
    #paper
    #piñatas
    #sculpture
    #social commentary

    Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!

     
    Share this story
      More

  • in

    Between Wounds and Folds: Suspended Cow Carcasses and Tree Stumps Reveal Layers of Discarded Fabric by Tamara Kostianovsky

    
    Art

    #animals
    #death
    #installation
    #sculpture
    #textiles
    #trees

    October 11, 2021
    Christopher Jobson

    Photo © Etienne Frossard. All images courtesy the artist, shared with permission.
    Working with the tattered remnants of consumer culture, artist Tamara Kostianovsky (previously) asks us to question the origins, process, and disastrous results of our seemingly unquenchable desire to buy and waste. Four distinct bodies of the artist’s work spanning fifteen years have been gathered at Smack Mellon in DUMBO, Brooklyn to form Between Wounds and Folds. The textile ecosystem of cow carcasses harboring new life, vibrantly hued cross-sections of trees, and colorful birds of prey, are constructed from repurposed fabrics and discarded textiles. In this final state, the soft pieces function as an echo of their concealed beginnings. Smack Mellon shares in a statement:

    Through alternating softness and aggression, her installations identify the nuances of violence that exist between a personal encounter and its normalization on a social and ecological level. Kostianovsky’s work asks for a re-imagination of human rights and environmental redemption models in order to consider the resultant violence as part of a larger, inseparable system.

    Between Wounds and Folds is on view until October 31, and you can explore more of the Brooklyn-based artist’s work on Instagram.

    Photo © J.C. Cancedda
    Photo © Roni Mocan
    Photo © Etienne Frossard
    Photo © J.C. Cancedda
    Photo © Etienne Frossard
    Photo © J.C. Cancedda
    Photo © J.C. Cancedda
    Photo © J.C. Cancedda
    The artist in her studio © J.C. Cancedda

    #animals
    #death
    #installation
    #sculpture
    #textiles
    #trees

    Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!

     
    Share this story
      More

  • in

    Aerial Net Sculptures Loom Over Public Squares in Janet Echelman’s ‘Earthtime’ Installations

    
    Art

    #earthquakes
    #fiber art
    #installation
    #sculpture
    #site-specific
    #time

    October 7, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    “Earthtime 1.78” (2021), Vienna. All images © Janet Echelman, shared with permission
    Suspended in public squares and parks, the knotted sculptures that comprise Janet Echelman’s Earthtime series respond to the destructive, overpowering, and uncontrollable forces that impact life on the planet. The Boston-based artist (previously) braids nylon and polyurethane fibers into striped weavings that loom over passersby and glow with embedded lights after nightfall. With a single gust of air, the amorphous masses billow and contort into new forms. “Each time a single knot moves in the wind, the location of every other knot in the sculpture’s surface is changed in an ever-unfolding dance,” a statement about the series says.
    The outdoor installations are modeled after geological events that have extensive effects beyond their original locations and the power to increase the planet’s daily rotational speed. All of the titles allude to the number of seconds lost during a specific occurrence, with “Earthtime 1.78” referring to Japan’s 2011 earthquake and tsunami and “Earthtime 1.26” speaking to a 2010 tremor in Chile.
    Containing innumerable knots and weighing hundreds of pounds, the monumental nets are the product of countless hours and a team of architects, designers, and engineers who interpret scientific data to imagine the original form. Each mesh piece begins in the studio with techniques done by hand and on the loom, and the threads are custom-designed to be fifteen times stronger than steel once intertwined. This allows them to withstand and remain flexible as they’re exposed to the elements, a material component that serves as a metaphorical guide for human existence.
    Echelman will exhibit an iteration of “Earthtime 1.26” in Jeddah from December 2021 to April 2022, with another slated to be on view in Amsterdam this winter. You can see more of the prolific artist’s works on her site and Instagram.

    “Earthtime 1.26” (2021), Munich
    Detail of “Earthtime 1.26” (2021), Munich
    “Earthtime 1.78” (2021), Vienna
    “Earthtime 1.78” (2021), Helsinki
    “Earthtime 1.78” (2021), Vienna
    “Earthtime 1.78” (2021), Borås, Sweden

    #earthquakes
    #fiber art
    #installation
    #sculpture
    #site-specific
    #time

    Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!

     
    Share this story
      More

  • in

    Woven Bamboo Installations by Tanabe Chikuunsai IV Sprout from Ceilings and Walls in Tangled Forms

    
    Art

    #bamboo
    #installation
    #site-specific
    #weaving
    #wood

    October 5, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    All images courtesy of Mingei Gallery, shared with permission
    Japanese artist Tanabe Chikuunsai IV threads strips of bamboo together into monumental works that appear to grow from walls and ceilings. His hollow, circular creations utilize a style of rough weaving that his family has practiced for generations—Tanabe’s father, grandfather, and great-grandfather all worked with traditional craft techniques and shared the name Chikuunsai, which translates to “bamboo cloud”—and result in installations that are massive in scale as they coil across rooms, stretch dozens of feet into the air, and loop around support beams.
    Because his family has been steeped in the practice for decades, Tanabe began weaving as a child, and today, he continues to build on the traditions he learned early on, expanding from smaller baskets and pods to larger, site-specific works made with the pliable wood material. “The appearance of my grandfather weaving a basket was very beautiful and elegant. I felt art. Now I feel that bamboo is the most beautiful material, and I believe that bamboo art has endless possibilities,” he tells Colossal.
    Tanabe currently lives in Sakai, near Osaka, and will show his spiraling constructions at the Baur Foundation in Geneva from November 16, 2021, to March 27, 2022. You can see more of his projects on Instagram.

    #bamboo
    #installation
    #site-specific
    #weaving
    #wood

    Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!

     
    Share this story
      More