More American Photographs

On April 26th I went to the MCA Denver to see the show More American Photographs.  The show has over 100 photographs taken during the Depression Era, and works by twelve contemporary photographers.

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Exhibition Keeping It Real CU Art museum

Kevin O’Hara


Exhibition Review

Keeping It Real is a group exhibition of contemporary Korean Artist at the CU art museum.  The show collects videos, sculpture, photographs and installations by Korean Artists and offers a unique view into contemporary Korean society. Continue reading

Exhibition – YSL – Lane Mitchell

Lane Mitchell


By some streak of fate, the Denver Art Museum was the only museum in the United States to exhibit Yves Saint Laurent’s groundbreaking fashion. After discovering this exhibition I was very excited and pleased because of the many arguments I have had with people in the past over weather fashion is art or not. Thank you DAM for making that fact a little more concrete. Continue reading

Chihuly Exhibition

Nathanial Goodman Contemporary Art Prof. Kira vanLil

Exhibition Paper : Dale Chihuly

Dale Chihuly is a world class, renowned glass artist. Chihuly was born in Tacoma, Washington in 1941. In 1967, he received a degree in interior design from the University of Washington, and went on to study at the University of Wisconsin, and the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) where he received a Masters of Science in Sculpture, and a Master’s of Fine arts respectively. Following the completion of his Master’s degree from the Rhode Island School of Design, Chihuly went on to build the glass program there.

Chihuly is a very successful glass artist. In 2005 the Seattle Times estimated his earnings at twenty nine million dollars.  He has been invited to numerous exhibitions, become apart of over 200 collections, writes and instructs on the topics of glass and contemporary art,  and still makes work. In 1976 Dale was involved in a serious automobile accident in London, as a result of which he lost his left eye. In 1979 while body surfing he dislocated his right shoulder rendering him unable to handle the tools necessary to blow glass. After this Chihuly stepped back, hired assistants, and started working from a more administrative standpoint, directing the tradesmen making his work. Continue reading

Viviane Le Courtois

Danielle Tomasetti


Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition extra credit madison dye

Madison Dye Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition at the Denver Art Museum May 1, 2012

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More American Photographs

More American Photographs is currently an exhibit on display currently in the MCA Denver. I travelled down to Denver over this last week to visit this very interesting exhibition. The exhibit was filled with various artists who all took a different take on how the think American photographs can be captured. Continue reading

Exhebition review–Keeping it Real


Andrew Odlin

Exhibition Review: Keeping it Real


ArtH 3539

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Exhibition Paper

Exhibition paper

Keeping it Real: Korean Artists in the Age of Multimedia Representation

Lucas Grund

The gallery at the CU art museum, Keeping it Real: Korean Artists in the Age of Multimedia Representation, struck me as something out of a Alice in Wonderland esque world. Everything was turned on its head and seemingly counter intuitive. It was a new, distant, crazy world that I had just stepped into but a welcome one. The pieces, while seemingly quite different from each other gave the whole gallery space a perplexing, yet not unwelcome feeling. Assaulted with visual images of louis armstron and a cartoon from my childhood, astroboy left me in a confused and almost surreal state yet it pleaded with me to come closer and inspect the wild machinations of this wonderland.

The piece by Kiwoun Jin was by far the highlight of this exhibition for me, Astroboy being perpetually grinded. I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself as I thought, when will I ever see something like this again, the destruction of a child’s plastic toy action figure. What a surprise when the video began to run in reverse and I was enthralled to watch this boy super hero is destroyed and rebuilt again and again with an almost devious sense of glee. All the while Lois Armstrong sets the mood of the past being destroyed but of a hopeful future. After my initial glee wore off of watching the figure get destroyed it was an almost sad spectacle. A beloved Icon destroyed by the machines that created him lost to dust. But even that wore off as it began to rebuild itself. It was as if this dumb little plastic toy had more power than the grinder. It made me angry and furious. I almost wanted it to stay dust. It was as if it were an embodiment of consumer culture no matter how far you tried to slip away from it, it just kept coming at you, in your face, no matter how hard you tried.

Other pieces that peaques my interest where the giant sabretooth tiger that was made from the old and discarded, recycled tires as well as other industry materials. Its visage was ready and fierce it was leaping forth from the trash born anew and with greater ferocity than it ever could have possessed before. This was  Jaguar 4, made by Yon-Ho Ji. Its fiersome demeanor was almost a warning, as yon-ho puts it, “about the dangers of our obsession with science, technology, and industrialization” the materials that we as humans create, and discard can be and are a great threat to us as a species, physically and socially. They can destroy our relational ties as we get more and more removed from one another by putting electronics in front of our interactions. And they can hinder our future physically as we pollute the world with our waste.

The largest piece in the exhibition was Sun K. Kwak’s Untying Space. This piece stretched from the entrance far along a curved wall. This piece remined me of surreal paintings by dhali if they had happened to have been painted in the traditional Japanese ink painting style. Large flowing lines twisted and turned as they floated rather rhythmically across the gallery space. These lines were plastered on the wall with tape of all things, and as a viewer examines it more closely the lines become rigid, as if created by polygons in a 3d model. The rigidity of the piece as with 3d models disappears as the viewer backs away from it and observes it as a whole.

The entire gallery space was a sight to see. Its many, many different styles of works all forged a sort of unity when they were displayed together and worked well in expressing the theme of technology and the surreal. It was a walk through a wonderland of industry and technology fused into a singly hyper-realistic hybrid of reality. It will be an experience that won’t soon be forgotten.

Exhibition Paper, Rachel Olguin

Rachel Olguin

ARTH 3539

Kira van Lil

30 April 2012

Exhibition Review: Robert Therrien Continue reading

Exhibition review: Viviane Le Courtois: Edible?

Danielle Austin

Exhibition review: Viviane Le Courtois: Edible?




Viviane Le Courtois was born in France i Continue reading

Viviane Le Courtois: Edible? Review

Aly Nack

ARTH 3539-001

Exhibition Review: Viviane Le Courtois: Edible?


Viviane Le Courtois has been working since 1989 creating installations based off process and conceptual ideas. She creates these installations using collected materials, sounds, videos, animation, light, interactive elements, and series of sculptures, all of which are inspired by her surroundings and consumer culture whether it is from where she is living to where she has traveled. She received her MFA in sculpture and installation form the International School of Art and Research in Nice, France in 1992. Continue reading

Exhibition Visit 2- James Stahl


Viviane Le Courtois: Edible?–Lauren Anderson

Viviane Le Courtois: Edible? Exhibition Review by Lauren Anderson

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Ed Ruscha: On the Road

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Viviane le courtois-lopezkr

Kristie Lopez

April 28, 2012

Arth 3539

Exhibition Paper

Viviane Le Courtois

When I went to the Boulder Museum I was very surprised with what I saw. I have never been there before so I was surprised that it was bigger than I had anticipated. I have also not been to many museums in general to really make a judgement. When deciding which museum to visit I first did a little research and on who the artists were to see what might interest me. I ended up wanting to go see “Edible” and more importantly it was close and fit into my schedule as well. I was excited to go to this exhibition because I have recently started to learn about art and am trying to learn more about a little more unconventional art because currently it is hard for me to think of art initially as more than a painting by an artist. I have learned a lot within that realm but thanks to this class have been introduced to a lot of things that I did not know of previously. It has also been the most interesting art that I have seen because it is different and unique. The kind of stuff that many people who are not as into art would find fascinating. The kind of stuff that you go home and tell your friends about this giant cheeto that you saw which could lead to them asking who and maybe even wanting to see them as well. This exhibit was right up my alley. I knew from looking at her website at some of the things that she has done before and what she tries to accomplish with her art that I would definitely find something worth mentioning to someone else. From this experience I have developed a new found appreciation with art that I would normally not think of as art and wanted to learn more.

I walked into the museum and was immediately taken back with feelings of what I expected competing with what I saw. It had that museum feel, which I would hope it was considering that is what it is but it also felt like I was somewhere else. The first work that I want to talk about is more of a whole room and the experience that goes with it. This room had a main focus of the herbs and the plants in the center and what was definitely the focal point but at the same time had a lot of pieces that felt like decoration but was still drawing your attention. The tables, the lamps, the rugs, even seating were all things that I could see being anywhere else in the aspect of what they actual are. Maybe something like a waiting room where you could find these items. The big difference to note is that it would not be the same. There were frames all over the walls that commanded there own individual time but they were also put together as part of a larger whole. In the same respect it is probably the area that most people spent most of their time doing their waiting and figuring out what to do next. The room itself was pretty simple but I spent a large amount of time there as well. Even though it was pretty simple it also made me ask questions and wonder what the point of some of the pieces were for and why things were situated in the way that they were. I think the rugs themselves with the single center piece were the most simple thing there but at the same time it was the one that I had the most questions about but did not really know why.


The second piece of art that I thought was interesting was the “Cheetovore.” I like this piece because once again it is so simple but probably took so much work that is taken for granted. A cheeto is something that everyone knows what it is and what it looks like. A cheeto is so small and miniscule but is now art and is going to be looked at by many. It takes things to a whole new level when something like a cheeto that people eat as a cheap snack is now being thought of as a well crafted piece of art which it is. The fact of it being a cheeto is taken away even though the essence of a cheeto is still there. It is also the kind of piece that resembles what it is suppose to but at the same time if it did not say what it was I might have guessed cheeto but may not have been sure. I might have guessed many other things as well before I stopped on cheeto. What I liked the most was just the mere fact that you can take something so small and turn it into something so big and full of exhausted effort.



The third art work that I focused on was one that I thought that many others focused on as well, “The Venus of Consumption.” The reason that I chose it was because I am oddly drawn to it because I am confused. I kept telling all my friends to come look to answer why it is here and why it is presented this way. For one it is a deformed human that is just lying there in a position that does not even make sense. The only way that this body is realistic is when it comes to its extremities. The legs however look backwards and uncomfortable. The right leg even looks like it would be broken. The same goes for the left arm it looks broken. I stand there staring at the piece trying to figure it out and get no where I understand that it is a representation but I just keep analyzing which I think is a good thing and many time the point of art, to ask questions.



I really enjoyed the exhibit and would go to see it again not to mention that fact that I was telling people about all of the different things that I saw. I also appreciate that I have been opened up to a whole new type of art and make me look at more conventional pieces in a different light.

Exhibition Paper, CU Art Museum

Laura Marshall.

Exhibition Paper 2, CU Art Museum

Taking advantage of our campus’ fantastic museum, I decided to visit the exhibit, Keeping it Real: Korean Artists in the Age of Multi-Media Representation. This exhibit is especially relevant in the contemporary world because it showcases non-Western artists without highlighting their cultural identity Continue reading

Georgescu-Exhibition Paper

Dora Georgescu

Exhibition Paper

Viviane Le Courtois: Edible?

The aptly named Edible? by French artist Viviane Le Courtois, explores the world of what we can, do, and probably should not, eat. Currently showing at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, the exhibition features a wide variety of pieces, which are both inspired by and often created out of food. Central among the themes explored by Le Courtois are the rituals of preparing and eating food, the contrast between natural and synthetic food, and austerity and gluttony.

Edible? opens rather intuitively, with a look at food at its source. In a room full of locally sourced herbs, the audience is invited to pick and prepare their own cups of tea, brewed in primitive, low-fired clay cups supplied by the artist. The interactive piece, collectively titled The Garden of Earthy Delights, serves to introduce the audience to Le Courtois’ exploration of our relationship with food. The herbs on display are all potent and distinct, and aside from simply being fun, the piece succeeds in highlighting the natural origins of food, and its interactive nature lends itself well to the intimate and at times base connection between food and man that Le Courtois’ examines throughout the collection. After finishing their tea, the audience is invited to hurl their clay cups against a wall, and the resulting pile of broken earthenware emphasizes the organic nature of food. The pile of shattered cups resembles soil, red from the unglazed clay, and the ashes to ashes, food back to mulch motif isn’t lost on the audience who helps to create it.

At the other end of the room that houses The Garden of Earthy Delights, is a series of etchings that Le Courtois produced by using stains of Kombucha, a mushroom used in brewing a type of fermented tea that shares the fungi’s name. The rusty brown etchings recall images of cells seen through the microscopes in high school biology courses, both random and intensely intricate in their growth. A large jar of the fermenting tea, its top thick with the mushroom cultures, sits at the end of the series of etchings and reminds the viewer again of the natural, living element of what we eat and drink.

As you progress through the exhibition you can notice a shift in Le Courtois’ focus from where the food originates, to how it is prepared. A video installation titled Generations of Peelings presents what appears to be an endless loop (although in reality, it lasts only 30 minutes) of potatoes being peeled. Below the screen, several sacs contain an impressive accumulation of potato peelings. The piece is a riff on the theme of tradition, as Le Courtois looks back to the generations of women in her family that spent so many hours peeling the humble tuber. Much like the accumulated potatoes peels before us, history is thick with the rituals and traditions of families, especially in relation to the preparation of nourishment. 

Another shift takes us to the process of food consumption. A number of different pieces center on the act of chewing food, including a dozen chewed up licorice sticks prepared (with what one imagines is considerable effort) by the artist herself, a film of her chewing said sticks, and a number of metal castings taken from apple cores left behind by different individuals. The works illustrate the immediacy of consumption, and the intensely personal, and somewhat grotesquely intimate act of eating. The food being eaten is simple; licorice sticks and apples rather than finely prepared cuisine.  None of the subjects exhibit the glamour or beauty of food, and the lack of such qualities allows Le Courtois to reveal the ritualistic and rudimentary act of consumption. The apple castings show the teeth marks and varying appetites of the different people who ate them, evoking the crunching, mashing, sloshing; the crude and humble process that is eating.

While consumption is a concept familiar to all viewers, Le Courtois delves into the less familiar with her eclectic collections displayed in an adjacent room. Upon two sets of shelves, rest numerous jars containing a bizarre assortment of toys, foods, and other every day items.  These items are not simply contained, however. They have been altered by the fluid in which they swim. Food is molded and objects are disintegrated; these are no longer every day objects, but rather seemingly hazardous metamorphoses. Le Courtois created this collection with her mother, who had always held on to useless items, in mind. Aside from this personal influence, Le Courtois also aimed to comment on contemporary society, specifically perhaps on the degree of wastefulness existent in this consumer world (“Exhibitions Resume Statement”).

These collections reminded me of the French-born American artist, Arman, that I studied and whose works I had the privilege to see while in Paris.  Arman is perhaps best known for his “accumulations”, which are endless collections of various objects. A subset of these accumulations is “Les Poubelles” (meaning The Trash in French), which are containers packed with debris. In order to create “Les Poubelles”, Arman systematically scoured the streets of Paris to collect trash left behind by others. By displaying the trash that he found, he reveals the hidden and the personal symbols of humanity. Furthermore, he makes a powerful statement about the material world in which we live. Seeing every-day items that we all use, put together in their most raw form is shocking and lends questions of the materialism in today’s world. Taking the collections to another level, he found a way to contain food in a specific substance and display it in glass containers. It is with these displays, that his works are especially tied to that of Le Courtois. Both artists capture an expression of the degradation of life and a reminder of the biological, chemical, and physical condition of the human condition, while reminding us of the extent of materialism in today’s society.

Le Courtois’ jars are just the beginning of a collection of works representing human gluttony and food gone wrong. Venus of Consumption is an ironic twist on the classical ideal of beauty. A reclining oversized figure made of orange yarn is the idealization of excess, rather than of beauty as a title with the name Venus might initially imply. This Venus reclines in the center of the room much as the Venuses of old do in their paintings, but the androgynous grotesque form, not unlike a pile of half stuffed sausages, reminds us that consumption is not always a beautiful thing. While the Venus is not made of food, the dayglow orange yarn reflects the oversaturated colors of the artificial sugary treats that Le Courtois uses in some of her other pieces. A thick clear plastic coating furthers the impression that the Venus itself is made of candy; it is what it eats.

The room housing the Venus is full of other pieces that both critique and pay homage to our invention and corruption of what we eat. The opening to the room is framed by Candy Curtains, which as their name implies are strings of brightly colored sweets, fashioned into hanging curtains like those that enclose the scenes of Persian pleasure gardens in classical paintings. On the other side of these candied shrouds hangs Cheetovore, a faux carcass constructed from the puffed cornmeal snack. Cheetovore depicts our replacement of the natural with the artificial in a more violent way than the candy pieces. The image of a blood red animal carcass hanging from the ceiling evokes feelings of domination, and the spoils of the hunt, but the material used to create the piece is more readily associated with orange stained fingers and the great American couch potato. In the same room as Cheetovore and the Venus of Consumption, are a number of other figures that are also made out of what might be called synthesized food. Shane is a lumpy and once again androgynous figure constructed out of pastel colored marshmallows. While the figure is quite large, it is not as big as the Venus, and its from is more angular and rigid than the reclining fatty. Shane’s angles might indicate that he was carved from stone rather than mallow, and he conjures up images of titans, golems, and other monolithic mud-men.  Little Fat Kids is a series of well… little fat kids. Made from rubberish candy poured into molds in the form of chubby young children, the group of figurines stand about six inches high. Grouped in neat rows, the rotund figures remind one of the terracotta Chinese warriors, more likely unearthed from a box of Mike & Ike’s than an emperor’s tomb.

Le Courtois both highlights and contrasts the theme of materialism present in these pieces with Offerings for the Homeless, a series of small plates containing dried

rice, lentils and spices upon orange Indian fabric. Unlike the jars, there is no variety and no abundance upon these plates. They are symbolic of a world which most of us do not know, a world in which scraps of food and other “useless” items do not exist because everything matters. With this simple offering, Le Courtois reminds us of those who share neither our possessions, nor our gluttony.

With her wide variety of mediums and techniques, Le Courtois address more than just the superficial aesthetics of culinary artistry and edible delights. She uses something that is familiar and essential for all human life to explore topics that are equally fundamental to understanding of life and what sustains it. I was not sure what to expect when I went to see Edible? but I was pleasantly surprised by Le Courtois’ insightful ideas so creatively expressed. I didn’t leave the exhibit hungry but I certainly got some food for thought.


“Arman.” Le Site De Robert. Web. 15 Apr. 2012.

“Exhibitions Resume Statement.” Viviane Le Courtois Art. Web. 15 Apr. 2012.

Keeping it Real

Elleree Fletcher

Keeping it Real: Korean Art in the Age of media Representation

The contemporary Korean exhibit currently being shown at the University of Colorado Art Museum confronts the duality of the real versus the surreal. Each work questions the reality of our life and how we interpret it. Continue reading

CUAM Keeping it Real

Jeffrey Lubbers

April 30th

Exhibition Paper

CUAM Keeping it real

Keeping it Real an exhibition of Korean artists at the CU Art Museum, has developed a connotation around the subject, as being the “Korean Art Show.” When meandering through the exhibits and discussing it with the people I was with, we came to the conclusion that there is nothing inherently “Korean” about the exhibits.  Continue reading

Exhibition Paper: Edible? Viviane Le Courtois

Wesley Grover

ARTH 3539

Professor van Lil


Viviane Le Courtois’ installation exhibition Edible? is a unique experience that showcases the artist’s work with food over the past 22 years. Before seeing Edible? at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, I was unfamiliar with Le Courtois’ work and, to be perfectly honest, had never really seen an installation art exhibit firsthand. I was not sure what to expect and the only knowledge I had going into the museum was that food was the medium. Immediately upon arriving I realized that Edible? was not merely constructed of food, but incorporated almost every facet of human interaction with it from the beginning of production to post-consumption. The exhibit defined the entire building’s atmosphere and created a friendly environment that invited the audience to engage with and even become a part of the work. After leaving Edible?  I felt it was a successful exhibition because it appealed to a diverse audience, effectively communicated a message, and created a unique experience that cannot be replicated.

In order to fully understand the depth of this exhibit it is important to remember that it is comprised of Le Courtois’ work over the past two decades. When she began working with food in the 1990’s Le Courtois was still living in France, where she was born and began her career before moving to the United States ( By viewing her artistic development over a period of time, the audience was able to track Le Courtois’ evolution as an artist as she explored new mediums. This included plants, sculpture, photographs, video and audio recording, drawings, and food, among others. The wide range illustrated how the entire exhibit has been constructed over many years, as technology and food production has evolved. Many of these pieces have been exhibited around the world, but this specific installation was created for BMoCA. As described on, this was “the first opportunity to experience a large selection from this body of work in context.”

It is a daunting task to describe everything that Edible? had to offer and do it justice. This is partly due to the broad range of subject and material, but also because there was a certain ambiance that cannot be explained, what Walter Benjamin referred to as the “aura of art” ( However, I will do my best to describe the exhibit and my experience with it as accurately as possible. As I entered the exhibit I was immediately offered a porcelain mug (made by Le Courtois) and invited to pick my own tea from The Garden of Earthly Delights, which was cultivated by the artist and setup in the middle of the room. As I helped myself to a cup and sat down on the rugs and pillows that made up a seating area around the garden, I realized that I had already become a part of the exhibit. I was not just engaging with it, but consuming it as I sipped my tea. It was a very cozy setup in The Garden of Earthly Delights and I mingled with other visitors on the pillows for a time. It was not until after leaving that I noticed it was the artwork, and more importantly our interaction with it, that brought the audience together. Without my knowledge, Le Courtois used food to get me acquainted with strangers and engage with them. It was an effective method to demonstrate the power of food and get the audience comfortable, but this was just the beginning of the artist’s social commentary.

After a few minutes on the pillows I ventured out to the rest of the exhibition. As I walked through Le Courtois’ various projects I was overwhelmed by the depth and complexity of her work. She did not simply gather a bunch of materials, throw them together, and call it art. Rather, she undertook procedures that require time and knowledge, such as growing vegetables or brewing kombucha. She took pictures, shot videos, sketched drawings, sculpted clay, and even created new techniques using junk food. One of my favorite parts of the exhibit was the Pickles series, which was inspired by Le Courtois’ mother who “had a tendency to keep pickle jars long after the contents had been consumed” ( These jars did not contain pickles, but random objects that she associated with her mother. I really enjoyed this series because it was the most personal and conveyed an intimate memory. The purpose of “pickling” foods is to preserve them; however, Le Courtois was doing it to preserve a memory her mother, specifically, how her mother interacted with food. I felt that this piece was important to the exhibit as a whole because it humanized the artist and offered incite in to her own experience with food and consumption. Furthermore, the repetition in this series was representative of the entire exhibit. Le Courtois uses repetition to illustrate the mass amounts of consumption and waste that is created in the world. People are usually unaware how much they really consume, but by juxtaposing all of the jars the artist forces the viewer to recognize it. Observing the long process and many stages of food production, I could not help but contemplate my own habits of consumption afterward.

Another piece that I particularly enjoyed was a group of small statues made from candy, titled Little Fat Kids.  Though her materials were unconventional, Le Courtois used a traditional method to create these “little fat kids”; she melted the candy and would then cast it in a mold. All of the statues were identical except for their color. I believe this was meant to demonstrate that although they appear different at first glance, they are not really. They are all just “little fat kids” being mass-produced. In my opinion, Le Courtois chose candy as the material for this project for several reasons. First, it suggests that we all become consumers at a very young age. Candy implies happiness, youth, and immaturity. The statues indicate that we become a product of our own consumption and it overtakes our bodies; it is deeply rooted within our society. Furthermore, the arrangement of the statues in rows also comments on the means of production. The large corporations that produce candy do not view their customers as people, but as “little fat kids”. The statues are consumers lining up for candy and appear fresh off the assembly line themselves. This illustrates how people become obsessed with consumption to the point that it defines who they are.

As I continued walking through the exhibition I could not help but observe the audience and their reaction to it. There was a diverse group of guests comprised of different ethnicities, ages, and social statuses. Everyone seemed to have a positive response to the exhibit, but what I found most interesting was how they expressed it. A group of people in their twenties sat around The Garden of Earthly Delights, discussing the work for most of the time I was there. Eager to demonstrate their knowledge they were in the in the thick of it, right in the very heart of the installation. Older couples cautiously worked the perimeter, occasionally venturing in to the garden, as they took in the exhibit. They were not as quick to touch and engage with the work as the younger generation that demands constant stimulation. And then there was the group of little kids, dragged to the museum by their parents, who appeared to get a sugar-high from the mere sight of candy, as they ran through the exhibit full of naïve excitement. The kind that can only be described as “a kid in a candy store”. As I observed this I could not help but feel that we were all truly a part of the exhibition. It would not be complete without us going through it: using, consuming, and at the end of the day, when the tea exits our bodies, producing more waste from it. We are all conditioned to ignore our patterns of consumption, however it was impossible to do so at Edible?. For the fifteen minutes, half-hour, or however long that a visitor spends in the exhibition, they are forced to confront their own personal consumption and reflect on how it has shaped them.


Exhibition Paper – Viviane Le Courtois – Elizabeth David

Libby David

Viviane Le Courtois

  Continue reading

Keeping It Real

Keeping It Real

Korean art is comprised of many different influences, motifs, and mediums, which is what the exhibit “Keeping it Real. Korean Artists in the Age of Multi-Media Representation” at the CU Art Museum really conveyed to me. Continue reading

Art Exhibit #2- Paige Lowe

Paige Lowe

Art History

Contemporary Art

30 April 2012

Art Exhibit #2


I attended the an art show on American Art over spring break in Atlanta, Georgia at the High Museum of Art. The show was amazing.  The show contained artist from Jasper Johns to Jackson Pollock.  I really enjoyed seeing the evolution of American art through the years.  The show was called “From Picasso to Warhol”

The museum is a large white building designed by Richard Meler and Renzo Piano. You walk into a large three-floor atrium that is encircled by a switch-backed walk up on one side.  After getting your ticket, you then take an elevator to the top floor to see the exhibit.  The floor plan in constructed of open rooms with fake walls to help move the crowd through the show.  There are still alcoves with multi media additions as well. The most innovative thing about the High Museum is its dictation to technology.  When you visit you can download a free app onto your smart phone. The app contains the exhibits artwork along with interesting information about each piece of work. The app is called, “High Art Clix”.  Even after the show you can still look and refer back to your favorite paintings to share with friends.  The connection between artist and viewer is linked through this app. making the experience more personalized and informative.

The exhibit contained work from Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Constantin Brancusi, Piet Mondrian, Fernand Leger, Marcel Duchamp, Giorgio De Chirico, Joan Moro, Romare Bearden, Alexander Calder, Jackson Pollock, Louise Bourgeois, Jasper Johns, and Andy Warhol.  It was wonderful to see all of these famous artists all in one place.

The very end of the exhibit contain Andy Warhol’s work. Specially, a few of his Campbell Soup paintings.  The pictures were larger then I had imagined. It was great to see some of the painting of the iconic Campbell soup cans in real life.

Jasper Johns was one of the first to use neo dada in the form of every day icons. I like that he used an ever day object to describe the contradictions of American society.  He use of icons that were once previously used just as symbols is now translated into.  Johns is expressing himself through parts that are seen as icons and as not yet complete.  He is expressing the human body as an appearing object in daily life.  The idea that the American flag is complete and seen as significant in our society.  Johns wanted to see if the audience could remain indifferent to reading message of the American icon of the American flag.  How objects interact and what these object mean in our culture.  His work title, Map was also being shown. It was wonderful to see all the colors of the USA states blending together.

I also enjoyed seeing Heni Matisse’s painting, Dance (1), 1909. The painting is interesting because he had originally drawn six figured but instead decided to only include five. Forcing two to stretch and reach for each other. Placing a ghost like figure in the lower left part of the painting.

Another important Dada influence was the discovery of the self through Rauschenberg.  His work takes the notion of the subconscious self and the environment.  Through his use of mixed materials of the textures and object that are seen in life.  The use of showing works of art through day and night. And sometimes through the expression of time and change.  His work is essential to the idea of the self in American art work.  That one can express him or her through multiple mediums.  This theme is continued through the exhibition.

The works by Pisccao were from him blue period and smaller sketches. I liked that the exhibit included art from him that was not normally expected.  For example, Nude Woman before a Statue, July 4, 1931. His sketches were interesting to see how he starts paintings and his through process.

Autumn by Jackson Pollock was in the exhibit as well.  I had never seen the work in life before;  I was blow away.  Pictures in books do not do the piece of work justice.  It was a breathtaking to experience.  The style of Pollock’s Autumn is planned random lines that go all the way to the boarder of the piece.  Enhancing the idea that the his work has no boarder.  Giving emphasis to a chaotic feeling.  Since the work of art is large, it forces the viewer to feel anxiety over the chaos of the painting.  Overall, Pollock’s Autumn painting was my favorite to experience while at the exhibit show.  I was amazing to finally get to see in real life the painting that has so much excitement around it.

By the end of the exhibit show, I was left wanting more. If I did not have to leave for a family dinner, I like to think I would of gone through the exhibit one more time before leaving. The show defiantly made me appreciate art more.

Exhibition Review // Ed Ruscha // Ricci

Attached is my paper on the Ed Ruscha exhibition at the Denver Art Museum

Ricci – Ruscha Paper

More American Photography

More America Photography

The exhibition “More American” photographs is an innately intriguing exhibition as it highlights the unique relationship between the current economic state of America and the Great depression. The exhibit highlights some of the greatest American photographers of the 1930’s and 40’s such as the iconic Dorothea Lange, and Russell Lee. Continue reading

Ed Rushca- On the Road.

Bryce Johnson

ARTH 3539

Ed Ruscha: On the Road

Exhibition review

Continue reading

More American Photography At MCA Denver Madeline Dungan

american photography

BMoCA Review – Viviane LeCourtois

Jackson Ellis

ARTH 3539

Exhibition Review: Viviane Le Courtois’ Edible?

            Viviane Le Courtois’ exhibition, Edible? presented  a contemporary exploration of mediums that are as old as human civilization and impact every single person on the globe. This medium is of course, food. A series of prints, sculptures, collections and installation, the exhibition spanned over 20 years of work of this French-born, Denver-based artist. Using post-modern concepts of material and social involvement, she transformed the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art into a space of social contemplation and interaction through the shared experience of consumption. Working with themes of mass culture consumerism and the industrial production required to sustain it, I found myself both repulsed and strangely hungry throughout the exhibition.

Having never seen the inside of the BMoCA, I was surprised at how efficient the historic building was for presenting any number of artworks, as there was ample room for the installation Garden of Earthly Delights to fill the entire front wing of the gallery. Despite my initial curiosity towards the low-hanging grow lights and greenery, the receptionist advised me to begin my visit in the back, beginning with work from the past 20 years of Le Courtois’ studio practice. A pseudo-retrospective, Edible? contained a wide range of mediums that demonstrated a personal evolution of the artist, culminating in the installation I had walked past initially. The first work that really caught my attention was Chewed Licorice Sticks (1990) with its simple display of deformed roots that appeared as a coded message. Presented in a vertical fashion, my first thought upon seeing the work was that it spelled something out, as the slight bend and frayed ends of the natural licorice sticks mimicked the typography of English letters. Almost abstract in their form, the sticks were physical evidence of the repetitive motions involved with consumption, becoming in essence “action sculptures,” akin to Jackson Pollock’s action paintings. If Chewed Licorice Sticks had me thinking about the process of consumption, Forages (1992) blatantly showed me. A short film of the artist eating various foods, it reinforced the importance of process in Le Courtois’ work, demonstrating that even the act of eating can be an artistic endeavor.

As I continued to work my way up to Le Courtois’ more recent work, her art began to explore the universal processes behind consumption as opposed to the individual’s relationship to them. Making my way through a candy curtain, I first stumbled upon the work Cheetovore (2002), hanging from the ceiling like meat hung out at a butcher. Comprised of an ambiguous organic form covered with the iconic snack food eaten by so many Americans, the piece also emanated the sound of this very food being eaten. I couldn’t help but smile at myself for recognizing and agreeing with Le Courtois’ choice of medium in using the “Flamin’ Hot” version of the snack food due to its artificially blood-red color. This color, combined with the suggestive structure of the sculpture carried a powerful warning about how we perceive the food we eat. Like the snack food, Cheetovore is artificial, a direct contrast to the perceived “naturalness” of the meat it masquerades to be, questioning the distinction people make between industrially produced food and what is considered to be natural. Cheetovore brilliantly plays off the fact that this conflict is further muddled by the production of meat in a similar fashion to our chemically enhanced snack food. Rounding the corner, the disconcerting sculpture, Venus of Consumption (2010) greeted me, as if in response to the whole idea of junk food’s transformation into our natural world.

Crafted from yarn, stuffing and silicone, the Venus figure recalls poses rich with an art historical context, only this sculpture grossly distorts the ideal proportions and conceptions of this classic reclining nude. Still containing graceful curves reminiscent of Titian’s Venus of Urbino (1538) or Ingres’ Le Grand Odalisque (1814), the nude figure’s bloated body recalls the changing image of beauty and the body in our mass-produced world of food. Glistening as if covered in sugar crystals, Venus of Consumption plays off our society’s need for a sensuous female figure. Presented as if for male visual consumption, the sugar aspect reflects a process used in the candy industry to make products even sweeter and more appealing to consumers. Beckoning with its own sugary charm, Shane (2010) stands only a few feet away, appearing naked at first due to an optical illusion of a multitude of pastel colored marshmallows blending to a flesh tone. Like Venus of Consumption, this work addresses the modern predicament of body image and its relationship to the food we consume and produce.

My favorite works on display in Edible? were a series of cast iron food objects, some rotten and some appearing almost edible. Casting these shapes emphasized their quality of shape, as every viewing angle resulted in a completely different form. Combining mass-production methods with natural processes such as decay and consumption, the resulting works reflected our increasing reliance on industrial methods of food collection and preservation. In one work, Moldy Sculptures (2001) the artist had cast in iron the rotten remnants of apple cores, noodles and other random items found in her fridge. Barely recognizable, the shapes were incredibly complex in their form, seeming figurative at times, and completely abstract in others. Le Courtois had also taken to casting other food objects with works such as Apple Cores (2007) and Artichoke (2011) forever preserving the processes by which we consume food.

Culminating in the interactive installation Garden of Earthly Delites (2010) Viviane Le Courtois aimed to unite her audience through a natural cycle of consumption. Low hanging grow lamps surrounded by rugs made of recycled t-shirts offered small gardens of various tea plants for viewer consumption. After picking up a small handmade terra cotta cup, I made myself some simple mint tea and lost myself in the Kombucha Etchings (2010) lining the walls of the installation. Sitting on the rug without any other visitors, I could image how lively the gallery would be on any given Saturday during the course of the exhibition, when the artist would visit to have tea with her audience. As a culmination of her exploration of the social and artistic connotations of food, Garden of Earthly Delites (2012) was a social happening in every sense of the word. As a closing gesture, the terra cotta cups were returned to dust by flinging them into the wall, a much more enjoyable action than throwing something away. Allowing people to come together and experience art as an interaction between the foods we eat, the people who eat it and the people who grow it. Seen through this lens, the tea leaves and all the combinations that could be made with the different plants are works of art themselves, with different compositions being as individual as the cast iron Apple Cores.

Overall, Edible? was a thorough exploration of the social implications and aesthetic value of the food we eat. It’s clear that Viviane LeCourtois has been contemplating the artistic value that food has to offer for a long time. Her work was both exciting and informative for me as a viewer as it blurred the lines between studio practice and the finished work that is labeled “art.” Now next time I drink a cup of tea, I’ll think about the effort that went into its production and contemplate how it could be considered an art in its own right.

Denver Art Museum

Yesterday I visited the Denver Art Museum.  It is always a refreshing experience, but yesterday it was kind of dull because of the temporary exhibits that they were featuring.  On the first floor, they were exhibiting the pins from previous Secretary of State Madeline Albright.  I did take a quick look around the exhibit but did not pay too much attention because of lack of interest and it really wasn’t the kind of medium that I wanted to talk about.  On the second floor, there was the main temporary exhibit that was attracting a large crowd, which was displaying the fashion from Yves Saint Laurent.  I was a little disappointed with the selection of temporary exhibits because I am not a fashion person in the least, and I don’t want to write about pins.  Even though the selection of temporary exhibits was not up to par in my opinion, admission to the museum was free so I could not complain.  I proceeded up to the third and fourth floors where they held their contemporary art galleries.  The pieces that I chose were not from the same galleries, but rather I selected ones from several galleries.  I did this because there were several pieces that struck me and grabbed my attention right away.

This piece was the first painting that caught my attention.  It is titled “Surveying the Siberian Explosion” by Roger Brown.  I was entranced right away.  The way he paints the perspective is really intriguing because it feels like the viewer is looking right down on the subject in the middle.  The collapsed trees encircle a perfect canvas of destruction around the subject.  The contrasts from the black trees to the white, snowy ground is remarkable.  The vibrant colors of the horizon also add a new texture to the piece as well.  The symmetry of the way the trees have fallen down was an interesting and simplistic way of depicting the actual event.  The simplistic nature of the painting gives off the vibes of a cartoon to me, but the artists pulls off the devastation as well.  I really like this piece because to me it is easy to comprehend, and gives off an almost nonchalant charisma to a serious event.  In this piece, there is no suggestion as to what caused all of the trees to collapse, but the main theory is an asteroid exploded over one of the remote forests inside Siberia.  My love for astronomy feeds into this piece, as well as the next piece I will discuss.

This piece is called “Four Sons in Space” by Vance Kirkland.  I feel like the artist really captured the feeling of glancing at actual stars because the colors of the dots and fluidity of them really play with your eyes when observing from a distance.  There is a fluidity to this piece, and the dots appear to move when one glances at the piece, almost making it hard to look at.  I feel like this is intentional because it is very difficult to view our own sun, which translates well into this piece.  As the viewer begins to step closer to the painting, the image is easier to see and you can see the artist’s technique as to how he created the image.  I almost feel like the space between the stars is the gravity that is pulling them or pulling them to their ongoing paths through the cosmos.  The gravitational pulls are represented by the dots, hence their fluid like nature.  It is an overall great piece, which was only one in several pieces in his collection.  This one was the largest and the one that demanded the most attention in the room, since a viewer could see it from a far distance away.

This piece was in the African Art Exhibit, and was one of the few contemporary pieces.  It was by an artist that our class looked at.  His name is El Anatsui, and this piece is called “Rain Has No Father?”.  This is the only installation piece that I am featuring, and it was also my favorite in the museum.  He made the piece by collecting bottle caps from liquor bottles, and then flattened them and stitched them together.  I think what this piece accomplishes is that the artist proves that there can be a liquid nature to anything.  In this case, it is metal.  I think this is the best photo that I took from my visit because the way the light hits this piece really shows in the picture.  There are many different aspects of this piece that all show up at once.  The way some parts shine, and the dark crevasses in other spots are two different places that are competing for attention.  Some parts are really smooth, and other lids have more space between them, creating a net like presence.  I also wonder if there was a distinct reason why he used liquor bottle caps and not water bottle caps.  Maybe it was chance.  Maybe he had a certain motivation.  I find it interesting he makes his piece out of liquor bottle caps and then the subject in the title is water.  Maybe the caps from the bottle doesn’t mean anything except that any kind of bottle can contain water, which then makes it its’ father or master.  This is a really great installation which can create a lot of conversation.

This piece is without a doubt my favorite painting in the entire museum.  It is called “Second Day Nothing” by Jonas Burgert.  It is a massive painting and probably one of the largest in the contemporary collection.  There is just so much going on in such great detail it is almost hard to analyze everything.  What is really interesting is that in this entire piece, there is only one character that is looking at the viewer.  This is not the best photo taken, but he is visible on the bottom middle, to the left of the guy who is showing his back to the audience.  I’m not sure if this character is a self portrait, but it definitely comes to mind since he is the only one that is addressing the audience.  What confuses me about this piece is the theme, or the story behind it.  Everybody in the middle is working with this glowing goo that is a bright gold color.  I’m not sure if they are trying to clean it up or move it outwards.  I don’t know if this goo is an accident or something that was planned.  No matter how hard I look into this piece, I do not find any answers to my own questions.  I feel like that is the purpose of this piece; to confuse any and every observer who looks at it.  I have seen this piece many times and still I can never find any kind of resolve.  The mystery behind this piece will always remain a secret I feel.  The man in the plaid pants is holding some sort of bar, and he appears totally clean of the goo.  He could possibly be the one who is controlling the event that is taking place.  It is not present in the photo that I took because this piece is way too big, but in the back there is a huge man that is laying lifeless on his back.  He is much bigger than anyone else in the picture, so maybe there is some kind of revolt against him.  Every time I look at this painting, there is another question that pops into my head.  Maybe the artist has released a statement of what his meanings were behind this piece, but I don’t think I would want to know.  It is the mystery behind this piece which holds all the intrigue.  If I knew exactly what was going on in this painting, than I feel like a lot of the beauty would vanish from this piece, as the magic dies when a magician reveals his trick behind the illusion.

Overall, I did enjoy my experience at the Denver Art Museum.  I am aware of the next several exhibits, and they seem to be really exciting and interesting.  I enjoyed involving myself with new art, as it is always a joy to see new creativity.

Le Courtois’ ‘Edible’ Exhibition– Samuel Lane

Perhaps one of my greatest fears while attending a museum or gallery is that a clueless passerby will accidentally knock over or destroy a piece of art, but to my surprise, that was exactly was I was told to do upon entrance at BMoCA this past weekend.   Continue reading

Ed Ruscha’s “On the Road” Exhibition Review by Jordan Dawson

Ed Ruscha’s “On the Road” exhibit felt more like a fervent advertising campaign for Jack Kerouac’s novel than an autonomous work of visual art. At first, it seemed to me like a reasonably artistic fan boy had created an effigy of his favorite American author in the middle of the Denver Art Museum. But it was his sheer dedication to this fan boyish sentiment that made me see his art’s true beauty. Continue reading

Viviane Le Courtois: Edible?

Janeesa Jeffery


Exhibition Paper



Viviane Le Courtois: Edible?


        For the exhibition I decided to attend the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art where Viviane Le Courtois: Edible? artwork was featured. Within this exhibit there were also works from The Garden of Earthly Delight, which is a living interactive installation created for this museum. The center of this part of the exhibit is for people to come and relax, interact, and think. There are herbs arranged around the gallery in little miniature gardens. This is in reference to the ancient process of growing, collecting, and consuming plants.  This exhibit is also is food-related work of the past twenty-two years. She has been using food as a medium or a source of inspiration since the 90’s. Through different forms of art she explores the processes of consumption. By doing this, she focuses on the repetitive aspects of food preparation, ceremonial food offerings, and the social implications of eating.

                        Viviane Le Courtois was born in France in 1969, moved to the United States in the year 1994 and she currently lives here in Denver, Colorado. She earned her diploma in Sculpture/installations from the international school of art and research in Nice, France in 1992. She accompanied her diploma with her MA in Art History from the University of Denver in 2000. Also, she was the recipient of the Colorado Westword’s Mastermind Award in Visual Arts in 2009. In France she exhibited and in the US including at the Passerelle Art Center in France, Mobius in Boston, and at other venues in Colorado. She made her work based on her surroundings and by consumer culture wherever she lived and traveled. She creates her installations using materials that she collected.

I showed a personal interest in this exhibit because I love food myself and I love to eat. It also took me back to my child hood in a sense because I used to make objects out of candy and candy wrappers such as, belts, necklaces, and bracelets.  A series of these types of prints, as well as the mushrooms used to create them, were on view alongside other large-scale sculptures from a series of works created from junk food such as chips, candy, and marshmallows. These works include the Cheetovore, Candy Curtains, Shane The Obese Marshmallow Teenager, a group of Little Fat Kids and others.

The Cheetovore  in 2002 was the first piece of work I came across myself that was most noticeable. It’s a large paper mache, wire mesh object covered in cheetos that are glued on and polyurethane.  All of the little cheetos are glued together to this bigger object to create one huge hot cheeto itself. The first thing I thought to myself was how many bags of cheetos it took to create this massive cheeto.  Hot cheetos are actually one of my favorite bags of chips so I actually thought about trying to bite it for a second. As far as artistically I think it was smart to make the giant cheeto out of regular cheetos.

After I saw the giant cheeto I turned to read the description and I saw the Candy Curtains (2008) hanging. I didn’t notice them the first time that I saw them but when I did I instantly thought of being a kid. The curtains were made of simple candy itself and fishing line so that the curtains can hang and maintain itself. The first strand of the curtain was made up of just gummy worms in a way that gives the curtains some dimension because it is much thicker than any other part of the curtain besides the marshmallows. The next strand was made up of the multi colored twizzlers but they were not normal size. So, they were probably cut into a third of the original size and put in a rainbow color scheme to accompany the two-toned gummy worms next to them. After that, the third strand was also made up of twizzlers but only the original kind, which were again cut into smaller pieces. At the end of each twizzler there was a gummy lifesaver placed in between and then at the end of the next twizzler it was a regular hard lifesaver. The lifesavers then continued and alternate between gummy and hard ones. The fourth and fifth strands were the exact same as the second and third strands. The sixth strand was a striong of gummy bears that were color coordinated between the red, orange, and the yellow gummy bears. The curtain continued to repeat itself to the end but there was one strand added in that was made up of jumbo marshmallows and little marshmallows in between them. I thought this was one her most simple works but creative at the same time to make them into curtains as you walk through this certain section of the gallery.

The next piece of work that I saw that stood out to me was a big crocheted sculpture of an obese, reclining woman.  She was much disproportioned and the sculpture was completely colored in I’d say a more peachy color. I thought this one was weird to look at but I thought it was clever to have the woman reclined in such a way to resemble the fact she is obese and she has eaten too much. I might be a bit farfetched with this but, I feel like the sex of the sculpture was interesting to note that it was a woman and not an obese man. This is because I know that back in the renaissance period being obese and overweight was signs of being wealthy, but among them the women maintained an hourglass shape of a body and even now being a slim woman is the desired standard in today’s society.

Shane The Obese Marshmallow Teenager (2006) is also paper mache, wire mesh, composed of glue and marshmallows. Now having an obese man made a little more sense to me but with this piece of art the body was also disproportionate. The head on the body was much bigger than it should have been compared to the body, the legs were really short and one arm is longer than the other. In a way I guess the object no being that big kind of signified the “teenager” part of its title. There were also not any prominent features other than the physical appearance of the arms, legs and head that would give away that the work was human. There was no nose, eyes, ears, fingers, or toes on this piece of work.

The next piece of work that I came across was the “Little Fat Kids”. These were small figurines made from melted and cast candy. My first thought I had about this piece of work is that these definitely reminded me of the candy the sour patch kids. All of the little fat kids were in different assorted colors but they were identical in appearance with their body shape and placement. They actually looked like a mix of the obese woman and the obese teenager put together with both of their features. I just thought these little fat kids were cool to have.

            As far as edibles go at this exhibit those were my favorite ones. I realize that this next piece was not a part of the edible section but it was too noticeable for me not to mention. As I moved on to go upstairs I noticed that the walls were becoming covered in these card board objects. They were more so pointy objects and they are a different size and of different orientation. As I continued my way up the stairs and turned right the entire room became the object itself as if it was conveying outer space in a sense. When I got to the top of the stairs and looked up I saw a huge Styrofoam object that was hanging from the ceiling as if it was flying throughout outer space called SP4C3CR4FT by Jason Rogenes. The space craft itself was very intriguing. The dimensions and creativeness of it really drew me to it. The Styrofoam was carved into different sections to make the spacecraft look very realistic and there were really intricate details one could tell it took some time to make. This was one of my favorites because it wasn’t just the spacecraft itself the entire room made you grasp on to the idea and concept of this work I was very pleased.

            Overall, I have to say that there were not a lot of works within the edible section of the museum but I really enjoyed what was present as well. I think she’s genius in a way that she took one of the simplest aspects in life, consumption of food, and made it into artwork that some people might see as tedious but I actually find the joy and appreciate what she has done with her edible works. I definitely enjoyed going to her exhibit here in Boulder.

Viviane Le Courtois: Edible?

Shelby Simpson

BMoca Exhibtion Paper

Viviane Le Courtois: Edible

After spending a lovely afternoon, shopping around for fresh locally grown produce, and two rounds of the best vegetable dumplings at the farmers market, I walked into the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art to see what the museum had to offer.  Being the first time I have visited the BMoCA, I was pleasantly surprised by the omnibus of the building.  The museum is only two floors, giving artist the opportunity to really invest in a particular idea.  In this case, I was fortunate enough to experience Viviane Le Courtois’ exhibit.  Continue reading

Ed Ruscha: On the Road. Exhibition Paper by Andy Burns

Document is Attached here: On The Road

Viviane Le Courtois: Edible? (Exhibition Paper, PDF)

Edible (PDF)

Exhibition Paper:Ed Ruscha- Nell Pollak

Exhibition Paper:   On the Road by Ed Ruscha

Nell Pollak

“The marriage of image and word in the contemporary urban environment is only one aspect of a subject which goes back to ancient history and forward to mobile phones.” (Tipping, Richard) Several contemporary artists, artists that produce art presently in time that coexist with us, use text as a means of communication in their art.  Ed Ruscha is an example of one of the many artists that have used this approach. In his exhibition On the Road that was recently displayed at the Denver Art Museum, Ruscha wove together visual images and verbal symbols to produce a masterful body of work. Continue reading

Exhibition Paper, Ed Ruscha – Ashley Ludkowski

Ashley Ludkowski

Ed Ruscha, On The Road

On the Road is an exhibit that boldly confronts the viewer with ‘word paintings’, forcing them to succumb to a gradual connection between the aesthetically pleasing artwork of Ed Ruscha and the written adventure of Jack Kerouac. The California artist, Ruscha, has combined his visual talent with the venturesome composition of Kerouac’s novel, On The Road, more than once in his lifetime. In 2009, Ruscha created a limited edition artist’s book that paired Kerouac’s story with photos he had either taken or found. Now, Ruscha takes on a new ambition and pairs up Kerouac’s words with a body of paintings that removes specific quotes from their surrounding narrative and places them upon large canvases’ where they impressively stand out from their carefully chosen background. Continue reading

Christina “Lanie” Binstock Contemporary Art Exhibition

Christina “Lanie” Binstock

Contemporary Art Exhibition


Yves Saint Laurent’s Designs Continue reading

Vivian Le Courtois, Edibles? – Erin Lorentzen

Vivian Le Courtois, Edibles? Exhibition Review


Vivian Le Courtois currently has a mixed retrospective and site-specific, interactive installation at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. Le Courtois is a French born artist that received her MFA in Sculpture and Installations from the International School of Art and Research in Nice 1992 and then moved to the United States in 1994. She currently lives and creates in Denver and has exhibited in a number of places in the US and Europe. ( The exhibition Edible? by Viviane Le Courtois at BMoCA not only allows the viewer to walk through the twenty-two years that she has worked with food as a medium, but also contains the installation piece that invites the viewer into the piece to interact so far as to actually consume the piece. Continue reading

Kathryn Anderson Edible?

Kathryn Anderson

Contemporary Art

Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art

Viviane Le Courtois: Edible?


Besides the fact that I love food, the way its grown, various preparations and actually eating it, Viviane Le Courtois’ Edible?, really shone as a fascinating exhibit.   Initially running into BMoca for break from working at the Farmers Market, I immediately slowed down and looked around to see lots of green, kombucha and sun lamps shining down onto plants.  The natural colors that surrounded me seemed initially so unnatural in the white box of the museum.  The outdoors had joined me inside and created a structured, planned and detailed mini nature inside.  The green herbs color was so soothing and energetic at the same time.  Not only was the exhibit about greens, herbs and the earth but about waste, over eating, and candy.  It was quite fitting that Courtois explains that many of her works confront the issues around waste and environmentalism.  Continue reading

Terry Campbell: No Longer in My Hands

I visited the exhibition of Terry Campbell at Macky Auditorium on the University of Boulder campus. This exhibition was part of the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art at Macky series. First and foremost, this was a new environment for me to view and interpret art in because I was literally the only person in there the whole time. The room was reverberating with the sounds of my pencil touching paper Continue reading

Mia Sadowsky
Contemporary Art
Final Exhibition Paper
CU Art Museum: Keeping it Real

The CU Art Museum (CUAM) is exhibiting a show titled “Keeping it Real- Korean Artists in the Age of Multimedia Representation.” The exhibit is small but makes an impact on the viewer and leaves one questioning reality. Though all the pieces are of different subject matter they all challenge our perceptions of the world and enable our minds to see the art from different perspectives. The artists featured in this show are Kiwoun Shin, Yong-Ho Ji, Jaye Rhee, and Yeondoo Jung, all whom have cultural ties to Korea. Each artist shows his or her stories and experiences through their work. The exhibition brings to light social commentary about the rapidly changing world and the contemporary state of South Korea. Recently in South Korea, artists have had greater opportunities to experiment with new technological material such as HD video and have had the freedom to express political opinions. Because of globalization and easy access to information through the media and internet, Korean artists speak to a global audience and convey universal messages that can be understood across cultures.
Two large glass doors lead you into the exhibition room. Though the room is small the slate colored floors, tall white walls and high ceilings make the space seem larger than it actually is. As you enter the glass doors into the dimly lit room your eyes are immediately drawn to an oversized, mechanical, saber tooth tiger type creature that looks like its ready to pounce. The creature is the same color as the dark hard floor, yet every muscle is visible through its hard metal exterior. This piece is entitled Jaguar 4 made by Yon-Ho Ji in 2008. The Jaguar is made from used tires and metal scraps. In his artist statement Ji claims that the science fiction monster is “…about the dangers of our obsession with science, technology, and industrialization…” After reading his statement I saw the metal jaguar as a symbol of globalization and the damaging effects that can come when people rely on the internet and technology rather than facing real life and gaining real life experience.
The next piece I was drawn to was an HD digital video instillation by Jaye Rhee titled Cherry Blossom. The piece was made up of five different screens; on each screen was a white background with pink cherry blossom petals falling to the ground. The piece creates a sense of tranquility and calmness with the slow simple motions of the petals falling, and traditional Korean music chiming in the background that is reminiscent of a Zen temple. As the viewer moves closer to the monitors, what was thought to be the pink cherry blossom petals is actually wads of chewed bubble gum that are being spit out by a number of different individuals. The peacefulness of the video is quickly destroyed once you find out that you are looking at chewed bubble gum. The viewers’ eyes and mind are tricked into believing something completely different from reality. Rhee makes the viewer take a closer look at reality and be more critical of the surrounding world.
On the opposite wall from Cherry Blossom is another HD digital video instillation titled, Approach the Truth-Astro Boy by Kiwoun Shin. Shown on a long digital screen is an action figure (Astro-Boy) being ground down and slowly turned to dust by an industrial machine. The video is two minutes and 12 seconds long and plays over and over again, first showing Astro-Boy being ground down and then in reverse to make it look as if he were growing from his own ashes. I was entranced watching the small particles of Astro-Boys’ own body gather at his feet and rise up to form a full figure once again. What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong plays in the background and gives the video a somber melancholy feeling, like the happiness of youth and childhood is slowly disappearing. Unlike many other pieces in the exhibition the message of the video was clear and there were no optical illusions. Shin is commenting on how youth is effected by consumerism. As globalization spreads societies hold value in material products rather than relationships, family, and friends. Material products may fulfill some desires, but they are temporary. Shin also connects Astro-Boys process in the video of rising from dust and turning back to dust, to the existence of all things. In her statement regarding Astro-Boy Shin quotes “Ashes to ashes dust to dust” (Genisis 3:19). She goes on to clarify, “to explain the idea of birth, death, and emptiness is embedded in all the existences in our world…even in plastic toys.”
Taking up the entire right wall of the exhibition there is another work by Jaye Rhee titled Polar Bear. Side by side are two large rectangular pieces one is a video and the other is a photograph of the same scene that is playing in the video. The video shows a woman moving back and forth through a large bathhouse. The woman is facing away from the audience and looking at the back wall of the bathhouse. The wall that she is facing has an elaborate arctic scene with polar bears, icebergs, and frozen mountains painted on the tiles. Directly next to the video is a photograph of the same woman the same bathhouse, the same size as the video. It took me a fair amount of time to realize that the photograph was not a painting. The colors in the photograph are far more brilliant than those in the video, which led me to believe that it was a painting at first glance. The arctic painting on the tiles is reflected on the water of the bath and makes it look like there are brush strokes on the water, it is a convincing optical illusion. Once again the reality of the viewer is skewed.
This exhibition gave a glimpse into contemporary Korean art and left the viewer questioning his or her reality. I believe the exhibit intended to encourage its viewers to be more inquisitive of the world surrounding them, not to believe everything you see, look deeper, and be curious in life. The CU Art Museum is a great resource for art students and calming place to escape from the hectic world outside of its walls.

Exhibition Paper- Ed Ruscha

Emily Potter

April 24, 2012


Exhibit Paper

Ed Ruscha

At the Denver Art Museum Ed Ruscha’s paintings fill a small area, but expresses much emotion.  His collection On the Road is strongly influenced by Jack Kerouac’s book.  Curators chose to show these pieces in Denver because of its history and atmosphere that fully captured the lines in Kerouac’s novel.  Ruscha’s paintings of mountainous skylines look simple, which is what makes their complexity so interesting. Continue reading

Hugh Hartigan: Keeping It Real Exhibit

“Keeping It Real,” exhibited at the CU Art Museum is subtitled, “Korean Artists in the Age of Multi-Media Representation”, a theme that rings true throughout the exhibit.  Pieces are in conversation with the technology boom, as well as scientific issues, each creating a unique, yet incredibly contemporary meaning.  The first piece one notices when entering the gallery is Sun K. Kwak’s “Untying Space_CU Art Museum.”  The undulating black marks streak across the wall, through the door, and into the gallery.  It is hard not to associate this piece with graffiti, but Kwak’s intention is to remind viewers of East Asian ink painting, already connecting tradition to the contemporary.  While the work exudes a feeling of speed and randomness, it was executed through strenuous efforts and thorough planning for over a month, using masking tape and vinyl bits, which have become her signature media.  The piece is site specific to the CU Art Museum, playing with its architectural space and exploiting it… (continued in document)

Keeping It Real

Cindy Sherman – Exhibition Review

Shayna Weingast

Exhibition Review 2

Cindy Sherman – MOMA

For my exhibition review, I chose to write about Cindy Sherman’s retrospective at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art. Although I have attended many art exhibitions this year, including The Denver Art Museum’s phenomenal special exhibitions such as Ed Ruscha’s On the Road and the Yves Saint Lauren retrospective, as well as and Damien Hirst’s dot domination at New York’s infamous Gagosian Galleries, it was Cindy Sherman’s work that had the greatest impact on me.

After writing an honors thesis on Sofia Coppola, another female artist who deals with issues of femininity and the role of the female in the arts, I was able to approach Sherman’s work with a whole new level of understanding and appreciation. I have been a big fan of Sherman’s work since I learned about her my freshman year of college, and seeing her work all together, in sequence, with copious amounts of supplementary information in the form of a free audio guide and the curatorial write-ups, really made me re-think and evaluate her work in a whole new (positive) way. The exhibit provides its viewers with the unique experience of engaging with her entire canon on a personal and intimate level. In the first room of the exhibit, there is a write-up about Sherman and the meaning and purpose of her life’s work. The introductory blurb, written by the curator of the show, expresses that her work is inherently about “the constructs of identity, the nature of representation, and the artifice of photography.” Without sounding too agreeable, for me these three pithy phrases totally and completely encapsulates the entirety of Sherman’s artistic purpose.

The rooms in the show are arranged chronologically for the most part, allowing a procession through iconic series, including the Untitled Film Stills (1977-80), Old Master Art History portraits, Clowns, Disasters, Fashion Victims, Society Women, etc., while displaying changes in technology: black and white to color, and manually projected backgrounds to digitally created environments. Having access to many photographs from a single series creates unity, whcich allowed me to fully immerse myself in the reflexivity and intimacy of her work. With this comprehensive chronological approach, the viewer is able to see the progression in both ideas and technique that was happening from project to project.

Sherman is also famous for posing for all her own photographs, dressing herself in elaborate costumes, and taking the pictures herself in the privacy of her own studio, without the presence of anyone else. This imitate experience reinterprets the norm of the artist/model relationship that ultimately develops in photography, as well as refigures gender relationships. The role of the viewer is also called into question in her photographs because, in traditional photography, the photographer and the model enter into a dialogue with each other, and this gazer/gazee dynamic functions as the fundamental relationship for which the viewer is invited to experience. However, Sherman’s work challenges this relationship, as all outside “gazers,” specifically that of the male sex, are illiminated and the viewer is then responsible for creating a new kind of meaning to extract from her work.

Another aspect of her work that I found intriguing, which I had never seriously considered before the show, is that she leaves all her works untitled. Sherman states that this is to refuse a narrative, which I think is an ingenious tactic. So often, when looking at any piece of art in a museum or gallery, the first thing I look for is the title. A title is often the crux of the work – it contains the artists’ statement, message, and intention for the work. It can dictate the viewer how to feel, respond and interact with the work. It still amazes me how much power a work’s title has over the audience’s reaction/response. To return to the point, as Sherman’s works have always been left untitled, the experience I had with her photographs relate to the name she gives to the overall series, not the individual works. That is not to say that the individual works are not powerful or important, which they very much are, it’s that I find myself more free to experience each work with my own mode of interpretation: a freedom rarely found in my museum-going past.

Sherman deals with the major obsessions of our time: identity, narcissism, physical transformation through will and artifice. The most salient issue in her work, however, seems to be that Sherman’s formula depends on her disappearance. In a recording from the audio guide, Sherman says that her characters don’t represent her, which is one thing for an actor to claim but quite another for an artist. A work of art, after all, is an artificial extension of its maker. What unifies her work is its reflexivity; what all her photographs have in common in that they call into question the fundamental nature of photography, identity, and artifice. Each series deals with these issues in their own way. For example, her “fashion photograph” series highlights the grandeur of high fashion, but undercuts it but undercutting the grotesque physical appearance of the women draped in the elegant clothing.

By the end of the show, I did come away with genuine respect for Sherman’s craft across the years (especially in the age before Photoshop where her staged constructions were all done by hand), and for her unique ability to hold up a mirror to ourselves. For nearly 40 years, she has consistently and unflinchingly shown us our stereotypes and roles, our categories and clichés, our delusional hopes and shattered dreams. Sherman is a monologist, a gifted storyteller with a canny supply of stereotypes, assumptions and perceptions. Her assets include a fairly ordinary face and body that easily disappear into the story she happens to be telling.

Show Review- More American Photographs (Mary Robbins)

Mary Robbins

Show Review 2

MCA More American Photographs

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Edible? Katie Hitch

Viviane Le Courtois’s show Edible? at the Boulder Contemporary art museum displays an intriguing combination between food and art. She is inspired by her surroundings and creates art that is relatable to both people inside and outside of the art world. Le Courtois also specializes in utilizing a wide array of materials, which includes videos, photos, prints, interactive installations, collected materials, sounds, sculptures, and of course food related materials. “Viviane Le Courtois received her Diplôme National Supérieur d’Expression Plastique (MFA) in Sculpture/Installations from the International School of Art and Research in Nice, France in 1992.” In 1994 she moved to the US and received an MA in art history at the University of Denver in 2000. She has been working in Denver under residency as well as teaching ever since.

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Sarah Tye More American Photographs


Sarah Tye


Exhibition Paper



            For my exhibition paper, I went to Denver to see the show More American Photographs. I decided to go here because I had never been to the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art, or really any museum solely devoted to contemporary art. But I was surprised at how not contemporary this particular show is. So much so, that it was nearly a history lesson. More American Photographs focuses on American identity during times of extreme universal economic hardship. It documents American misery throughout the Great Depression, mixed with contemporary images providing a renewed insight of America in the wake of yet another economic crisis.  Continue reading

Exhibition Paper-Viviane Le Courtis

Viviane Le Courtis has made her mark on the art world by connecting her art to everyday life in a way that is hard to ignore. Viviane has been creating process based and Continue reading