Sunday, October 17, 2010

Gallery Visit:Bonakdar Gallery: Sarah Sze

Sarah Sze (Born in Boston in 1969) is a contemporary artist who lives and works in New York City. She uses ordinary objects and junk, to create site-specific installations. Sze graduated  from Yale University in 1991. She received a MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York in 1997. Sze is 2003 recipient of the MacArthur Fellows Program "genius grant."

While at Yale, Sze studied with Judy Pfaff. Roberta Smith's, New York Times review Roberta of Pfaff's recent show at Ameringer McEnery Yohe, points out that Pfaff's "everything-and-the-kitchen-sink attitude has had its share of influence on current art."

Since the late 1990s, Sze has been creating immense, intricate, site-specific installations that penetrate walls, suspend from ceilings and grasp the ground. Her work is informed by sculpture, painting and architecture. She uses everyday objects in her installations, milk cartons, takeout cups, bars of soap, feathers, lamps, ladders, pebbles, potted plants, pens, plastic bottles, tools, twigs and other objects, arranged like precious artifacts of a lost civilization, on cantilevered platforms in tower-like formations that rise to the top of the gallery space. 

Sze's style is similar to Pfaff's, but Sze's work has more of an emphasis on bravura architecture, while Pfaff's work has a more tender quality, especially in Frio, where she takes a group of "birch trees" right out of the woods and mounts them directly on a wall.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Museum Visit: MassMOCA: Sol LeWitt

I have always loved Sol Lewitt's wall drawings. They are amazingly gorgeous; they are big; and they are conceptual.

They are ideas that come to life on the interior walls of buildings. They are executed by teams of artists who follow LeWitt's meticulous plans, detailed instructions to draw certain types of lines at specified spacing, length, color and thickness,

or to smoosh watery inks in geometric layouts,

or they project the image of curvy lines in order to enlarge it to wall-size.

The wall drawings are truly beautiful. (Did I say that before?) And they are impermanent. They exist for the duration of the exhibition, then (gasp), they are painted over. Happily, this exhibition will remain in place until 2033.

Yale University, MASSMoca, and Williams College have created the largest ever show of Sol Lewitt wall drawings in a recently acquired mill building in Boston. It is truly wonderful. Go and see it!!