Your eyes and ears on the world of art and culture. We remind you that 16 years of back issues of eMusings can be found on our archives page.
Can you imagine an exhibit consisting of two people and two horses? The Tate did, and the result was this powerful display in 2008 by Tania Brugera. Think control. Think coersion. Think divide. And that's only the beginning.
Artist Cecil Kemperink thought about the humble circle, brought in ceramics, and produced what she calls moveable sculpture. At her website she writes of connecting and growing, wearing and carrying. The result is a fascinating body of work.
Red Pilot Photograhy brings us the best online view of "Burning Man 2019" that I have seen. My only issue with it is that the names of individual artists are not shown. Viva attrubutions! But the artworks, orphaned or not, are spectacular. (Thanks to JS for sending the link.)
Two exhibits, one called Tree Hugger, the other "In the Eyes of the Animal", offer a virtual reality take on the relationship of Humanity to Nature. Designed by the Digital Art Collective (or so they describe themselves) Marshmallow Laser Feast, the group uses aerial 360 degree drone film making in an imaginary forest to highlight rare and endangered tree species in an attempt to raise awareness of the fragile natural environment calling out for our help.
Frankie Gardiner paints indistinct images of sometimes unknown subjects. Her brushstrokes remind me somewhat of Francis Bacon's, albeit not focused on Popes and not grotesque. Gardiner tends to favor muted greens and yellows, refective perhaps of the forests encroaching on her overgrown yard. Think of mystery, mood, and solitude.
Loie Hollowell takes unadorned geometric shapes and suffuses them with intense sensuality. They speak to you individually and yet their conversation as a group becomes abundantly clear. She focuses on penetrations and intersections, deceivably simple yet drenched with suggestion. A fascinating body of work.
They may be scribbles, but the brooding complexity of Adam Riches' pen and ink drawings draw you in for a closer look. His deft handling of his tools adds immensely to the depth annd complexity of these unnamed subjects.
Nancy Graves died of cancer at the age of 54. Widely acclaimed during her lifetime, she moved from sculpture to painting, frequently using unusual materials like burlap, bone, latex and wax. Science formed the basis of her research, in whatever medium she chose, including the large fiberglass camels now in the collection of The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.
The brightly patterned paintings of Eddy Ilunga Kamuanga burst forth in spite of the repressive regime that characterizes his homeland of Kinshasa. Texture, color, and depth fill his canvases. Kamuanga's backgrounds are composed of ancient and contemporary writings, adding the voices of past and present to his vivid portrayals.
David Smith beautifully marries steel and abstraction in his sculptures. In 1951 he wrote, "Sculpture is as free as the mind; as complex as life." Assigned to assemble M7 tanks and trains during the war (in spite of his pacifism), he joined the United Steelworkers union. This exhibition combines a contemplative softness with, as the Guardian reviewer said, "a subliminal rattle and clang that to me is the sound of the 20th century."
The New Yorker brings us "Portrait of Womanhood in Middle Age". The intimate close-ups in the photography of Elinor Carucci defy the common myth that middle-aged women should be invisible. Indeed I once had a gynecologist who said in a national publication that women over 40 should be shot (and this not long after he had delivered one of my children). The photographs are compelling and defiant: "My Uterus" alone is devastating. If you have any doubts, continue here.
I have always felt that the paintings of George Baselitz were far stronger than the presentation of them upside-down. That propensity still strikes me as a one-off gimmick. But his work otherwise is well worth a long look. Baselitz has things to say and he says them well, as these images indicate.
It is not often that I get to see the work of William Blake in profusion. Here is an opportunity to join me in a visual feast.
Take a look at a young designer who uses seaweed in her couture. Jasmine Linington, an MFA candidate at the Edinburgh College of Art, has fashioned clothes made of seaweed and wood that are said to be 100 per cent biodegradable and carbon-neutral. They are also quite lovely.
c. Corinne Whitaker 2019