Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Studio Visit: Tom Slaughter

Tom's delightful children's books bring sophisticated modern art to children. Here are some pages from his amazing book, "Eats."

This is Tom.

This is Tom's studio. His bright, white loft looks a little like a Soho art gallery.

 Tom's art is everywhere. Framed ...

and unframed...

 Here are two wallpapers Tom designed.

Tom's desk displays favorite artwork, children's books, a print of his flip-flops, a photo of his daughter's great dive into the water, his monkey...

This bookcase displays Tom's painting of a hat, and a portrait of his hero, artist David Hockney...

Tom creates the brochures and posters for the New Victory Children's Theater. He keeps them carefully organized in large map drawers, like this...

Here is a billboard with Tom's art, advertising the New Victory Children's Theater.

Tom's children's books are filled with gorgeous modern art for children. They can be found (where else?) at the Museum of Modern Art.

This is Tom's ABC book in 3 languages...

Here are two of the pages...

This is Tom's special fold-out book...

This is Tom's new book "Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow?" The book asks fun questions like, "If a duckling grows to become a duck, can a car grow to become a truck??" 

Tom often works with paper cut outs. He paints his own papers.

Tom likes to paint. He finds beauty in the simplest things... a pair of sunglasses... a sailboat in the wind... a sneaker... a bicycle.

During the summer, Tom likes to paint watercolors...

This is Tom's watercolor paintbox...

Tom is a passionate photographer. He always has his camera nearby, ready to snap new pictures that will inspire his art.

Tom's art was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art PS 1. You can visit Tom's website at:

Tom's Project for you.

Create an ABC book using your pictures. Draw this page and print it 26 times, one page for each of the 26 letters of the alphabet. Draw, or paint, or cut shapes out of paper. 

Tom did this one. I'm sure you can do one or two letters a day. How long will it take you to complete the book? Staple the pages together, and you will have an ABC book.

Tom Slaughter

Tom Slaughter: American. (B 1955) was born in New York City, where he now lives and works. He has had more than 30 solo exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Vancouver, Germany, and Japan. He is a printmaker. His prints are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art. He has published over seven children's books. They have been translated into five languages.

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).