Sunday, January 15, 2012

Museum Visit: Asia Society: Sarah Sze

Sarah Sze (pronounced Zee), has lots of ideas.  (Isn't that what art is about?) She draws with many different materials, with strings, strips of wood, cut paper, light and shadow, and other materials, always surprising us, reminding us to look, and to see. 

This is Sarah installing her exhibition "Infinite Line" at Asia Society on Park Avenue in New York.

Sarah's exhibition focuses on the idea of "perspective," a way artists show objects in the distance. Note that this installation begins inside the museum and continues on the terrace outside (into the distance).

In this work, Sarah used  "lines of perspective" made of slim rods of wood. In a painting on the floor, she creates "distance" between two pages by adding confetti-like dots to the edges of the pages.  Brilliant. 

Here is a close-up of the artwork. The tiny pieces of color are actually glued to the floor between two pages.

In this installation, Sarah uses a group of cut out letters (like an "eye chart.") The letters grow smaller, reminding us that objects in the distance appear smaller.

Here are some of Sarah's drawings:

This drawing is like one of Sarah's installations in large spaces some two stories tall like the great spaces of outer space. 

This artwork amazed me. When you see it up close, it looks like an ordinary notebook page with light blue lines, like the pages you use in school. But the bottom of the page turns into a very delicate sculpture that looks like it was made of toothpicks. (Sarah actually printed the notebook page. Then she used a laser process to cut out the "toothpick" sculpture.) It is a drawing and it is a sculpture. It is gorgeous.

Try these projects inspired by the art of Sarah Sze:

Cord drawings: Use different thicknesses of cord and thread to create line drawings. Paint a paper with Elmers glue. (Thin it with a little water.) Draw lines with cord on the wet glue. If the glue dries before you are finished, paint some more glue on the paper. You can add some spots of colored paper and other materials.

Erasing boundaries: Glue some colored paper shapes to a page. Cut some small pieces of the colored paper and glue them in the spaces between the shapes to "erase" the edges.

Collage to sculpture: Glue a collage to a page. Turn it into a sculpture with glue, some string and paper shapes you glue to "extend" the bottom edge. Let the string dangle down. 

In the distance: Cut out some letters in 3 sizes, small medium, large. Make a little fold at the bottom of each letter. Arrange them in rows, large, medium, small. Glue them to a page. When you look through the rows, the small letters will seem to be further away.
About the Artist
Sarah Sze was born in 1969 in Boston to Chinese and American parents. She was awarded a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and later a Master of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York. Since the late 1990s she has shown her work in numerous international exhibitions in Kanazawa, Lyon, Venice, Melbourne, and Turin. Her notable solo exhibitions and projects include installations at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2003, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 2002, and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago in 1999. She is a 2003 MacArthur Fellow.

Visitor information for Asia Society

Sarah Sze: Infinite Line
Dates: December 13, 2011-March 25, 2012
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday, 11:00 am–6:00 pm, with extended evening hours Fridays until 9:00 pm (except July 4 through Labor Day). Closed on Mondays and major holidays.
Location: Asia Society Museum, 725 Park Avenue (at 70th Street), New York, NY
Cost: $10; $7 for seniors and $5 for students with ID; free for members and persons under 16. Admission is free to all Friday 6:00 pm–9:00 pm (free Fridays suspended July 4 through Labor Day).

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