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

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.

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.

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.

Exhibition Review: Terry Campbell “No Longer in My Hand”

Alicia Baca

ARTH 3539-001

Kira Van Lil

BMoCA at Macky: Terry Campbell “No Longer in My Hand”

For this final exhibition paper I decided to visit the mini-exhibition that was being put on by the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art in collaboration with the gallery at Macky Auditorium on the University of Colorado at Boulder campus. The exhibition that they are currently showing is “No Longer in My Hand”, a series of oil paintings by local Denver artist, Terry Campbell. The exhibition itself was quite small and only consisted of five pieces total. However, these pieces were all very large in size. What was interesting was that the majority of the works seemed to all be portraits and it was a little confusing as to what to make of them after mulling over the title of the exhibition. However, after a good deal of browsing, analyzing, outside research, and interpretation, the exhibition began to come together.

Continue reading

Show Review- More American Photographs (Mary Robbins)

Mary Robbins

Show Review 2

MCA More American Photographs

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

Keeping it Real: Korean Artists in the Age of Multi-Media Representation – Anna Cook

 

On February 23rd, the exhibition Keeping it Real: Korean Artists in the Age of Multi-Media representation was opened. The entire exhibition displayed artists ethnically and culturally Korean, but it displayed highly technological works as well. It was nothing like traditional Asian art in the sense of medium, though there were several symbols and meanings that were more traditional such as the use of cherry blossoms. However, the most relevant dynamic of all the pieces was the concept of reality, what is real, what is an illusion, and what we perceive. We are forced to look closer at the art we see and construct it, and reconstruct it. These pieces challenge our modern world and what is means to exist, what existence holds and what enigmas keep us wondering.

The exhibition was sprawled out. The exhibits had a decent amount of space from each other. Our attention was first drawn to the center wherein stood a giant Jaguar (2008) made of used tired and stainless steel. The piece looked like a mass of black rippling muscle, with giant fangs and glowing green eyes. It was as though we were stepping into an old werewolf movie, but rather than a werewolf, the beast was a Jaguar. This animalistic and realistic representation easily catches our eyes as soon as we walk into the room. For a moment, we can be easily startled by it, as though the creature were standing right in front of us.  However, upon looking closer at the creature we are struck by how unreal it is. It is much like the creatures of myths. It’s fierce some form is absurdly large, muscled, with fangs that are at least two feet long. It looks vaguely like a jaguar, but there is something unreal about it. On the other hand, the piece is described as a “poetic and lucid statement about the dangers of our obsessions with science.” The futuristic nature of the piece gives it more of a mutated monster feel, a futuristic fiend.

The other pieces of Yong-ho Ji play a similar role. Each piece is animalistic, listed on his site from “mutant,” to “arthropods” to “human,” (Yong Ho Ji, Works). All of the works are made from the same process, using recycled tire. All of them have a distinct muscle-like structure, creating a powerful and bold creature. At times the beasts appear as though they are aliens, as if a new breed. Not much is said about the pieces on Yong-ho Ji’s site other than their names, and from this information we can only look at his creation. It as though Yong Ho Ji means to play God, or better yet, making a statement about playing God. These edgy animals are a physical representations of what is real, or what can be real in a soon-to-be future.

As we looking at Jaguar, I became quickly involved with another piece, Approach the Truth-Astro Boy (2006) that I was hearing from behind. “What a Wonderful World,” played on the system in a constant loop. I turned around and saw an industrial sanding machine grinding down an Astro Boy toy I stood and watched the video as this creation was burned down to dust. Still, I could not help but feel a calm as the music played. When the piece was finally completely obliterated, the video played backwards as if the object were being completely rebuilt from dust. It was as if I were stepping into an HD version of The Destructors1, as if the toy was simply being destroyed and remade for no specific reason, remove just to build and destroy and rebuild.  The piece was hypnotic, addictive to the eyes and ears. Rather surreal, the toy stood with confidence even as it was ground to plastic dust. According to the information at the side of the piece, this presentation shows both “respect and contempt towards material.” In this respect, we can see a contradiction, as if the concept is confused. We are unsure whether or not we want it to be destroyed or created, but either way we are intrigued. Even without a distinct purpose, we watch the image intently, satisfied with the complete destruction of this commercial object. Moreover, it plays on what it means to be real, or so to exist. It is essentially relating to the pointlessness, the consistent repetition that is life, that is humanity. This type of repetitive existence happens everyday, even in our “sensorial world.” Perhaps it relates to what a modern worker is, or perhaps it relates to how we treat our day-to-day lives, as if time is slowly degrading us. The meaning of this piece can easily be debated, with a heavy influence on personal meaning.

As I strolled over the room, I became enticed by Yeondoo Jung’s Adolescence (2010), a work that documents the camping trip of a large group of grad students from CU Boulder. At first glance, I felt the pieces were mediocre, merely a document of a happy time. As the group sat around the campfire many of them looked happy. However, while looking at the pictures, there was something distinctly somber about their expression. Many of the artists posing for the camera seem posed to look a certain way. There seems to be something unsettling about the image, a certain intensity, which brings us to gather more information from them. In all of the pictures used in this series, there is an elusive use of space which can come off as not only unsettling, but also mysterious and curious; as though it were a Pandora’s box2. We are inticed by the mystery of this piece, curious as to the real meaning to the expressions and wait awaits us in the darkness. We wish to explore this surreal camping trip further and unfold the mystery within. The darkness forces us to focus on person posing for the picture, each of them wearing an expression more and more somber. We are challenged in how we perceive the world, and also, how we perceive the world compared to a photographic image. We cannot tell if the models are genuinely posed to look tense, or perhaps if they actually had something hiding in the darkness. It is the enigma of what is really happening, what modern day photos mean when looking closer and what is real and what is not.

The next piece I came upon was titled Cherry Blossom (2012), created by local artist Jaye Rhee. When looking at the piece from across the room, all I could see was bits of pink falling onto the ground. Naturally, when I read the title, I figured that the pink speckles were in fact petals of cherry blossoms. Cherry blossoms were and still are culturally significant in Korea and Japan, but in the West we stereotype this symbol along with the samurai, sushi, and the like. In the simplistic sense, the cherry blossoms are a symbol of celebration for spring; however, they also represent change and the fleeting nature of life. It is generally understood as a positive thing, many people celebrate spring by holding festivals in light of the cherry blossom. Regardless, after taking the time to watch the video more closely I came to notice something far less romanticized than cherry blossoms. Rather than being cherry blossoms, the pink objects falling were chewed up pieces of gum. The piece was surprising, startling. If I had not looked closer at it, I may not even have noticed this unusual representation of the cherry blossom.  It seemed the piece was more so a symbol of a modern day society, not caring or understanding the nature of traditionalism and it’s value. As the “petals” fell, I could hear the unnerving chiming a pipa, a Chinese type of string instrument, with highly contrasting tones. Like the other pieces from this exhibition, this work relates to the modern day world. In a sense it is a statement about what we perceive as valuable. Often we are bombarded with city spaces and scraps of gum, with a reality that is mundane. Perhaps though, this is a statement about the beauty of the metropolis, relating to how our existence today is still a beautiful thing. In a world driven by productivity, creating opportunities for people of lower class, perhaps letting go the traditional imagery is good for society.

Though I have only touched on these pieces, I have begun to understand how they create technological drama, and the doubting of reality. Upon glancing at each of these pieces, I was challenged to ask myself what was real and what was not. Moreover, I was brought to ask about the value of what exists and what could exist. In our future, we can see the possibility of mutant creatures, of a colossal emphasis on objects and materials, we can see the possibilities of enigma, and the change of cultural values. We the come to ask ourselves what existence truly is, or what we exist for. It seems in a society driven by production and service, we are driven to mass production and throw away traditionalism. The exploitation of science within this future will lead to a malformation of societies, such explorations such as the atomic bomb which have already been shown. In some sense, these modern realities are beautiful, magnificent. There is a distinct significance to them, but still the debate: are we real? And so, how do we exist?

 

 

Bibliography

 

“Yong Ho Ji.” Yong Ho Ji. Web. 29 Apr. 2012. <http://yonghoji.com/index.html&gt;.

Greene, Graham. The Destructors. Mankato, MN: Creative Education, 1990. Print.

“Pandora’s Box.” Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, 2012. Web. 29 Apr. 2012. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pandora’s%20box&gt;.


1 A short story from 1954 about teenagers who destroy the house of an older man, burning it down for no material gain, rather for the purpose of creating and destroying.

2 a box, sent by the gods to Pandora, which she was forbidden to open and which loosed a swarm of evils upon humankind when she opened it out of curiosity

 

Annie Davis – Exhibition Paper

Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective is graciously presenting in three cities across the world: Paris, Madrid and Denver. It came as a surprise to many that the United States exhibition was taking place in Colorado, rather than the fashion capital of New York City. The exhibition was presented by the Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent and collected around 200 of his pieces. The French designer’s work is displayed as haute couture, or high fashion.

Continue reading

Viviane Le Courtois: Edible? Exhibition paper

Viviane Le Courois held a collection of works at the Boulder Contemporary Art Museum. The title of this work is called “Edible? Twenty Two Years of Working with Food.” Continue reading

Viviane Le Courtois’ Edible?

Kara Gordon

4/29/2012

Viviane Le Courtois Edible?

Having grown up in Boulder, I’ve been going to BMOCA since I was a child and their exhibits have had a significant influence upon my perception of contemporary art. However, Viviane Le Courtois’ exhibition Edible? was by far my favorite exhibition that I have ever seen there. Continue reading

BMoCA at Macky

Terry Campbell: No Longer in My Hand

When I first found out about the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Arts (BMoCA) at Macky gallery I got excited. It is always a plus as a poor studio art major having the opportunity to see art for free. So I headed out to Macky in the morning to go see this artist’s works. Once there I noticed I had no idea exactly where the foray was and began to wander about in hopes to find it. Continue reading

YSL Exhibit Paper – Dasha Silva

Dasha Silva

ARTH 3539

Exhibition Paper – YSL at the Denver Art Museum

4/23/12

“I have always placed respect for this profession above all else – it is not all together an art, but it requires an artist to exist.” Yves Saint Laurent, born Yves Henri Donat Mathieu-Saint-Laurent was born on August 1st, 1936 in Algeria to parents Charles and Lucienne Andrée Mathieu-Saint-Laurent. Continue reading