RS 2

a look at the weekly endeavors of research 2

Art Bash

Artbash was a learning experience for me. It was very rewarding getting my work up on the wall, even after all of the formalities involved in making an exhibition, including proposals and technical aspects.

Communication Questions

I feel the works themselves communicated strongly. Though they were meant to be seen from a lower angle, I feel the ability to come up close and see the works was an important asset that we gained by being moved to the hallway. Though our intention was different originally, I feel the way we worked with the space we were given helped us communicate the works.

Installation Questions

With all the installation materials we used to install the work, it still communicates well. The fasteners do not clash with the images. The lighting was a little dim on some sections of the exhibition. There were also other pieces installed between ours in the exhibition, which sort of interrupted our exhibition.  If the lighting situation was better and the other pieces were installed elsewhere, I would have no complaints about this exhibition. The order in which the pieces were installed added coherence. The two pieces that were separated into thirds were installed to the left of the doorway, which added cohesion.

The Work Itself

The work itself would have done well regardless of where it was installed. The works side by side had a sense of cohesion in repetition. It was more difficult than I thought to do a group exhibition and installation because the more people there were, the more forms we had to fill out, and people we had to assemble. The only parts about the installation I would have changed was the random artworks interrupting our pieces and the lighting in some sections. Despite having our pieces moved from the original spot we had, I feel they communicated strongly up close. The size of the pieces opposed to the size of the corridor seemed to be an issue to me at first, but the close nature lent to a

more immersive exhibition of the works.

 

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Hyde Park Art Center and Chase Gallery

Last Tuesday, research went to Hyde Park Art Center and Chase Bank’s Gallery.

At Hyde Park, we viewed Mambo Mountain, an exhibition by Candita Alvarez. Her work consisted of paintings and drawings. Large scale abstractions spanned the walls of the space. Smaller drawings, photos and references were displayed toward the back of the room on glass topped tables. The fields of rich color and contrast worked very well with the space, making it a sophisticated and unorthodox atmosphere. I really enjoyed the space itself. The metal walkways and industrial windows harkened back to the gallery’s origins as a garage. 

Chase Bank’s corporate gallery had a far different approach to exhibition than Hyde Park Art Center. The rich wood wall paneling, furniture, and corporate rooms gave Chase a much more corporate feeling. It was quite the experience being able to see such important and beautiful pieces on the top floor of a Chicago skyscraper. My favorite pieces were the Roger Brown and Karl Wirsum pieces they had installed. As Chicago Imagist pieces, they emphasized the city and roots of the gallery.

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Because of copyright restrictions on the art in Chase’s corporate gallery, I am unable to share pictures of the pieces online. In their place, here’s the view from one of the gallery windows.

Milwaukee trip

Last Tuesday, we went to the Milwaukee Art Museum and viewed the Chipstone Galleries, Cabinets of Wonder, and the Bradley collection. Chipstone was a collection of furniture and curiosities, exhibited in an unorthodox manner. Unusual wall colors and installation methods set the Chipstone galleries apart from the rest of the museum. The Dave exhibit was one of their center pieces, though it was installed in a manner that overpowered the plain tan vessel. The Cabinets of Wonder featured interesting collections of objects and knick knacks, which could be considered kitsch by today’s standards. I was interested though I thought some of the collections lacked cohesion. My favorite part of the trip was the Bradley Collection of modern and contemporary art. The pieces were a nice change from what I usually see at the Art Institute. Though some of the pieces were installed poorly, with distracting features on the wall taking away from the artworks, I was interested more by the pieces themselves.

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This was a table that would have been displayed in the home of a wealthy person. Objects like this often illustrated that person’s interests. The owner of this may have been a sailor or someone of a maritime profession.

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one of the curiosities

Native American imagery often found itself in Roger Brown’s artwork. Much of his work from 1974 was related to the Great Plains and western culture. Indian Summer has elements of iconic western imagery. The luminescent effect of the reticulated patterning is reminiscent of Roger’s Illuminated Super-­‐Chief hood ornament. This Native American influence could draw from Roger’s distant Native American lineage, or his road trips out west. Yokum, an artist who influenced Roger, also drew inspiration from his Native American background.

         I feel that as an artist, one can potentially grow a lot by drawing from his or her own background, whatever that is. In addition, by taking Roger’s approach in curating the objects that surround you, you will find their influence in your work. This trip made me see objects in a different way. The objects that surround my workspace, once seeming mundane now seem to have a more formative role in my practice.

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1. Illuminated Super-Chief Hood Ornament

2. Indian Summer, by Roger Brown 

Field Museum Visit

Last Tuesday, Art, Object, Alive went to the Field Museum to learn more about taxonomy and how institutions display their artifacts, art pieces, curiosities etc. I started out looking through the animal dioramas, noticing the intense detail and effort put into the backgrounds. The museum put a lot of effort into making the displays realistic and immersive. The attention to detail in the background landscapes as well as the precise taxidermy and selection of plants and substrate made each artificial environment realistic, yet genuinely fake. The intentional space left at each edge of the glass made each display less concise. Though I could see the intentional nature of this decision, I felt it made it look slightly unfinished.

Upon going upstairs, I further realized just what lengths the museum went through to make their displays. Whether it was the immaculate glass and wax plants or crystalline systems, the museum took precise care to make sure that each specimen was displayed thoughtfully. This attention to display helped me with the presentation of my piece in Artbash. Seeing how precise

After taking a walk around the museum, the class was invited to check out the back rooms where the taxidermy is done. We saw drawers of stuffed birds, animals suspended in alcohol, and even animals in the decomposition process. It was almost as gross as it was intriguing that the museum was preserving so many formerly living things.

Though the museum seems like a place where one would quietly observe the exhibits, it had a much more relaxed atmosphere than the Art Institute. Kids were free to speak loudly and ask questions about the displays to their teachers, whereas in the Art Institute, one can scarcely hear a word spoken in the gallery. This could be because art is presented in a more open way for the viewer to draw his or her own conclusions. It may not be the case that the Art Institute is more stuffy, it could just be quiet to give people a better environment to think.

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(miniature diorama of a tea plantation)

After taking a walk around the museum, the class was invited to check out the back rooms where the taxidermy is done. We saw drawers of stuffed birds, animals suspended in alcohol, and even animals in the decomposition process. It was almost as gross as it was interesting.

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(Drawer full of dead birds)

Though the museum seems like a place where one would quietly observe the exhibits, it had a much more relaxed atmosphere than the Art Institute. Kids were free to speak loudly and ask questions about the displays to their teachers, whereas in the Art Institute, one can scarcely hear a word spoken in the galleries.

Art Institute Gallery 109

Tucked neatly away in the Japanese wing of the Art Institute is a peculiar gallery unlike any other. Like the galleries around it, 109 displays prime examples of Japanese art. However, 109 exhibits a vastly different, yet stylistically similar body of work in relation to the galleries surrounding it.

            Upon first entering the room, I immediately noticed how dark it was. The only light here came from behind the long, planar glass windows that encased manikins in outfits made of unorthodox materials. Just as noticeable were 16 large rectangular pillars arranged 4x4, which stopped about ¾ of the way to the ceiling. A projector in a corner of the room displayed a moving computerized image that moved across these pillars, which transformed from a circle to a rectangle. From far back, the scene looked arboreal, but with sleek lines and sharp angles. Sitting on the concave benches behind this installation, I could see the material transformations behind the glass display. The way they were arranged in a glass case was done in a pretty predictable fashion, except the transformations involving more obscure materials. The more obscure transformations, like the outfits inspired by baseball gloves and mesh, were turned sideways. It did a lot to draw attention to the original object they were inspired by.

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