23 November 2009

Spiral Jetty and Time

Almost all of the photography projects I'm ever involved with deal with time in some way. This, paired with my desire to visit Spiral Jetty in Utah by myself one day, made How to Conserve Art That Lives in a Lake? a pretty great find last week.

I had a dream about a year ago in which I found Spiral Jetty leading off of a beach on a tropical island, and walked to the end of it in a vast silence. It took me a few hours of creative Googling the next day to figure out whether or not this place actually existed, or if I had quite literally dreamed it up. It turns out that I learned about it in my AP Art History class in 2000, and it chose eight years later to show up in my subconscious. Ever since, I've wanted to buy a plane ticket to Utah and walk out to the middle of it by myself. Bud almost gave me a heart attack when I half told him this story a couple of months ago and he responded with, "I don't think that actually exists anymore."

Well, he was half right, it turns out. Apparently it was submerged for decades, and droughts caused it to resurface recently. Robert Smithson (the artist) was always into what the passage of time did to his works, and it's too bad he didn't live to see it come back out of the water. It looks a lot different now; salt and silt have whitened it considerably, and over the years people have also taken pieces of it with them as souvenirs.

The photography part of it comes in with Dia, the art foundation that owns the piece. They wanted to find a way to photograph Spiral Jetty longitudinally to see how the passage of time's effect on it could influence conservation efforts in the future. Because it's so huge, it was hard to figure out a way to do this without blowing through thousands (millions?) of dollars. They finally got there with a latex weather balloon, helium, fishing line, assorted tools, and a point-and-shoot. Pretty awesome, no? Anyway, I was happy that the article brought it back into my consciousness. I still want to go, too. Does anybody know if people are even allowed to walk to the end of it?

22 November 2009

Fall 2009 Art in Chelsea

I went to Chelsea today intending to visit one gallery, and ended up going to more than ten. It's a really, really good time to make the trip there, and I stumbled upon a few things that delighted me so much I was hopping in place.

Luke Smalley @ Clampart

It started with Luke Smalley. He passed away this past May, and Clampart is hosting a memorial exhibit of his Sunday Drive series. I haven't been this impressed with photography since I discovered Jeff Wall's light boxes by accident. The pictures are pretty big, and the colors and lighting are beautiful. The story is that three girls are taking a road trip to a prison where their boyfriends are incarcerated, and the boys are killing time until they arrive.

[images from clampart.com]

Chiharu Shiota @ Goff + Rosenthal

I think I was in disbelief when my friend Joe and I walked by Goff + Rosenthal and I saw the tangle of black threading through the door. I just found out about Chiharu Shiota two or three months ago, and have thought about her every few days since then. Her work has a lot of thread tangles (black and red), windows, pianos, and long dresses in it. This exhibit featured some sprawling black corners and boxed-in tangled objects (my favorite was a hardcover pocket book) suspended in black tangles. This was the most pleasant surprise of the day.

[images from chiharu-shiota.com]

Dan Flavin @ David Zwirner

I visited this one a couple of weeks ago with my friend Dan because I love light installations and I love Dan Flavin. I loved it so much that I had to go back today. I might make a fake one of these for my apartment one of these days. There's a huge room with pink and gold lights, and another part of David Zwirner with multiple rooms (each for a different color or color combination). My favorite might be the white room, even though the blue one is probably the most striking.

Dan Flavin @ David Zwirner

Dan Flavin @ David Zwirner

[white and pink & gold from davidzwirner.com]

Basquiat @ Stellan Holm Gallery

Wow! Walking by Stellan Holm and seeing this made me gasp like a complete creep. It's a small exhibit of some large Basquiat drawings. Made me smile and want to pour syrup all over a tabletop.

[image screen capped from stellanholm.com]

Andy Warhol @ Danzinger Projects

Double wow! This one at Danzinger Projects is called Greatness, and is a collection of Polaroids Warhol shot of famous athletes in the 1970s and 1980s. Think Muhammad Ali, Dorothy Hamill, and (yikes) OJ Simpson. Here's a good slideshow on The Moment.

@ Danzinger Projects

Other highlights of the day included Kim Cogan @ Gallery Henoch (really pretty oil paintings of NYC scenes); Hockney @ PaceWildenstein; and John Wesley @ Fredericks & Freiser (Googling John Wesley only to find that there was an Anglican cleric by the same name is the most hilariously ironic thing in the universe. Click through only if you dare. NSFW.)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...