The artwork of Jillian Salik offers up understated surprises. Her new exhibit DUEL TINT features frames, window dressing, and other wall fixtures adorned with baroque ornamentation. However, the typically gilded and gaudy colors that typically accompany such adornments, the reflections and windows that should fit in such frames were no where to be seen. Salik only offers the bare structure of the frames and ornamentation. Also, Salik makes an interesting choice of material: cardboard. She contrasts high-society trimmings and embellishments with a decidedly “low” material and digital production processes.
Katya Grokhovsky‘s series Untitled Heroic is deeply complex and familiarly conflicted. For the series Grokhovsky makes use any medium necessary – photography, performance, video, and even a cardboard cut-out installation. The artist seems to attract and repel. The series is at once confrontational, seductive, and wonderfully volatile. By way of her statement, Grokhovsky says that Untitled Heroic is, “A series of performances for photography and video, culminating in a large-scale cutboard cutout installation, whereby a female artist is dealing with frustrating desire to both attract and reject the notion of a male gaze.” Grokohovsky’s work is also the subject of an upcoming solo exhibit at New York’s Galerie Protégé.
Australian artist Ian Strange‘s ambitious project two year in the making is difficult to pin down. SUBURBAN isn’t quite installation, photography, performance, or video art – its really more than all of these. The project is really Ian Strange’s investigation of and interaction with the idea of suburbia. The sidewalk, front yard, middle class, ubiquitous rows of homes have grown with a generation of young people, and now with a second and third. The neighborhoods and houses themselves have become symbols of something beyond their function that Strange’s work seems to seek and find. Check out the video to get a preview of the upcoming exhibit.
Some of Ann Veronica Janssens‘ work is clearly and singularly about color. For a number of her installations, Janssens’ uses a color film that transforms the light shining through it. She then fills the space with an artificial fog which seems to glow with color. The fog acts as a vehicle to carry the light and spread it into the air of the space; a way to experience color and only color. There is no depth, texture, or line but just color and its saturation. The installations create a dreamy atmosphere when any medium between color and the eye seems to disappear.
The site specific installations Reconnected 1 and Reconnected 2 by artist Philippe Handford can be found on England’s Pendle Sculpture Trail. The pieces are a sort of memorial to the area’s gruesome past. In 1612 Pendle Hill was the site of a witch trail that ended with the execution of ten people. Handford began his work with illegally felled tree. He reconnects the trunk each tree to the stump supported by metal hardware. The trees, though fallen, don’t seem entirely dead or gone. They strangely bend to the toward the earth as if resting.
We’ve seen innovative art made from tape before. The work of Monika Grzymala, though, is ambitious, seemingly chaotic, and even violent. Using over three miles of black tape, Grzymala inundate’s the gallery space. The tape wraps around corners and seems to splatter on to the wall as if it were liquid. Grzymala’s work adds dimensionality to a usually flat material in a way that is surprising and nearly disturbing. By appearing to forcibly occupy the gallery space, the installation compels the viewers to interact with the space in a new way.
The conceptual installations of artist Ole Ukena have a certain subtle humor. However, the installations don’t seem intentionally funny as much as the surprising innocence of a young insight. Each installation seems to pose a simple question that isn’t easily answered. Appropriately, Ukena is also the founder of a foundation that organizes collaborations between artists and youths worldwide. Ukena says of his process;
“I am not limiting myself to one medium. I simply can’t. It’s a constant adventure, finding new materials in the countries in which I travel, encountering objects or phrases that can be transformed into specific, meaningful pieces. While my work often displays a strong conceptual nature, I am also very drawn to the intuitive.This balancing energy forces me to step out of my mind and just create. These forces are like my left and right hand. My works try to create a map of the human mind, in an attempt to tell a tale about the very nature of it with all its possibilities, limitations, irritations, and hopes.”
As a part of his latest solo exhibit, Robert Barta‘s new installation CROSSING HALF A MILLION STARS is impressive looking as an installation. Barta means the number literally. The floor of the gallery space is filled with 500,000 ball bearings – that’s half a million eight millimeter steel balls. However, the installation is also a means to a performance and audience engagement. Visitors are invited to walk across the field of bearings…very carefully. The visitors pay extra care and attention to the typically simple task of walking. CROSSING HALF A MILLION STARS allows visitors to consider the space, their actions, and each other just a bit differently. Really, this theme persists through the exhibit in its entirety.