Wednesday, March 2, 2011

~~~It is what it is~~~

So yesterday I went to the National Gallery to see

which features contemporary Canadian art, 
showcasing a selection of the Gallery's most recent acquisitions: 
over 70 works created by more than 50 artists.

It was amazing.

SO I decided that I would feature some of my favourite works from the exhibit today.

The Holes, 2007

wood, mirror, glue, plaster, foam, metal wire, epoxy clay, epoxy resin, paint, horse hair, synthetic branches, synthetic flowers, pine cones, glass beads, quartz, quail eggs, glitter, and snail shells
291.5 x 883.9 x 518.2 cm installed (approx.)

David Altmejd has used the recurrent motif of the werewolf as a symbol to convey aspects of life, energy, and metamorphosis that are dominant themes in his work. His fascination with these creatures stems from their basis in folklore as interstitial beings occupying a space between man and animal, good and evil, nature and culture. In "The Holes", Altmejd presents his favoured creation as a body that contains everything. As the hapless beast meshes almost completely with its environment, the multitude of mirror fragments represents the transfer of energy taking place simultaneously between the two. The werewolf emerges here as a symbiosis between humanity and nature, irrevocably combined in a kind of haunting post-apocalyptic harmony.
(via: Cybermuse)

This giant sculpture/landscape was the first to catch my eye.  It is of a very large werewolf corpse turned folky/mythical landscape. 

I was completely captivated by the mixture of grotesque and beautiful.

Bejeweled Double Festooned Plus Skull for Girls, 2009

acrylic emulsion, styrene, plastic, ink, string, and metal
110.5 x 134.5 x 501 cm installed

Artist Statement:
“Plays the part of double adds on girl’s skull short oar by the jewellery to produce the young married woman extra special pleasure plastic sensitive head toy. The satisfying function will have with it, and it is plays the part of by jewellery’s accessory. The feather plays tricks on it. Ban Danna the flowered silk enables it to have the big city survivability. The crown causes it to be luxurious. Glitter produces it to look like unicorn’s magic attribute or narwhal sparklingly. Stares at the eye to pull strings in yours friend’s laughter. In our website’s log and from defines our skull toy to your specific individuality and the feminine disposition. We will mail our province or the country (zone). Here located in Heilongjiang Province, above China’s low altitude, we pulls out these super neat skull toy dozens of years. Double deserves you enough luckily whether is? Requires daddy. Mother will oppose. The call requests the free factory browse. Quite date meeting. Collects them completely. Warning: The product possibly encompasses the California known chemical product to cause the profound pleasure!”

The "factory" relief area adjacent to a petit kitchen
I'm not really sure what to take from the Artist Statement 
but when I entered the room that contained this crazy piece I was immediately drawn to it.

Detail 1: The decorated skulls on their way to festoonery

"Employing the aesthetics of comic books, Chris Millar's paintings exemplify an unorthodox willingness to extend beyond the confines of his stretchers and blend a keen observation of pop and pulp forms with a heightened interest in the history of art. "Bejeweled Double Festooned Plus Skull for Girls" is a complex amalgam of paint and plastic that looks like some kind of fantastically absurd factory. All of the items were created by hand out of strips of acrylic that Millar pours, dries, cuts, and moulds, using a plastic or metal armature for support where required - an exercise in cluttered organic decoration, frivolity, and painterly indulgence. The overall effect is a visual feast, where the viewer assumes the role of a private sleuth - scanning the scene for any clues to the happenstance that leads to the creative debacle occurring within the factory."
(via: Cybermuse)

This imaginative "factory" has so many different rooms, each with a different purpose and filled to the brim with intricate detail, that I could have probably spent a lot longer than I did inspecting it.
I was there with my husband so I limit my time with each piece so that his sanity stays in tact...

provisions for the workers not present

and the method in which it is supported (the narrowing spiral staircase incased in a glass cone) makes it even more whimsical and otherworldly because of the inability for it to exist in the "real world".

Plus it reminds me of a house I had for my barbies long ago....

Sugar and Spice, 2006

217.6 x 217.6 x 2.7 cm installed


"Wolstenholme's production is set apart by her attempt to combine formal strategies of minimalism with craft techniques associated with women's work. In "Sugar and Spice", the repetition of the sixteen composite elements hung geometrically creates an evocative pattern, reminiscent of Islamic ornamentation and Tibetan mandalas. Up closer, we can see that the sculpture is made up of hundreds of individually cast human bones, nail-polish bottles, powder compacts, and a toy figurine of pop singer Posh Spice. At once a heavy modernist grid and a delicate lace-like curtain, the sculpture alludes to stereotypes of femininity and to society's institutionalized construction of gender. By juxtaposing representations of human bones with the implements of fashion, Wolstenholme comments on the ultimate futility of the "beauty" masquerade in the face of death."
(via: Cybermuse)

Detail 2
Sugar and Spice is the type of work that makes initially makes a decorative first impression when you see it from afar.  Then as you get closer you realize that this quilt-like aesthetically pleasing "curtain" is actually making quite the statement.

Neighborhood Demolition, #41 Lane 590, Weihai Lu

c-print, 48 x 60 inches

"After the Communist takeover in China in 1949, urban development was halted. In its architecture and structure, Shanghai retained its colonial past for over four decades, but as the city transformed itself into a modern metropolis, demolishing the old sectors became a priority. Given the rapidity of the transformation, Girard wished to preserve the cusp of this change. The "Phantom Shanghai" series reveals the threatened old world as well as the "glowing beacon" of modernity. The series also demonstrates Girard's interest in form and structure as well as his mastery of light and colour. The photographs operate as aesthetic expressions and documents of the historic changes taking place in a city undergoing the omnivorous processes of modernization."
(via: Cybermuse)

Last but not least I was captivated by Greg Girard's Photography.
The colours and the tone are just unbelievable...
I will keep what I have to say about him short because I intend on dedicating an entire post to his amazing body of work....

So thats it.  The best of the Special Exhibition in my opinion.
It is on until April 24, 2001

PLEASE go see it while you still can!

1 comment:

  1. Looks very cool! I will be sure to go. Thanks for the head's up.


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