While in Boston last week, I stopped by the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA). I have to confess that I'm more of a modern art person than a contemporary art person, but it's always good to push yourself beyond your comfortability, right?
We saw three exhibits while we were there. The first was Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take.
For the most part, I didn't like his art. It was too much concept without any emotion. His work also seemed very museum-ified -- interesting because of who he is and not based on its own aesthetic merits. That said, there were a few pieces that I really liked and I thought I'd share them with you.
This enormous fabric wall hanging (my Mom is there for scale), reminded me of the way waves are portrayed on ancient Japanese scroll paintings. The piece is actually made from lots and lots of denim. Here are some detail photos:
My Mom took a photo of me taking photos of the wall hanging:
You can see how ginormous it is! Like so much contemporary art, the artist didn't stitch this piece together. It's his concept executed by others. And it is a wonderful collaboration!
There were two other pieces of Hodges work that I liked. This is a collection of paper napkins that he doodled flowers on in various cafes and restaurants.
I thought the way the napkins were displayed (with the single metal pin at the center) was a fun play on how botanicals and even butterflies are often displayed. I'm also a fan of collections and every day objects.
This next piece is text cut from photographs.
This is a technique that we scrapbookers and art journalers love to use too! I think I am always drawn to art with text in it. Text and faces. I can't look away.
The next exhibit we saw was Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg A World of Glass. It's a multi-media exhibition and so photos don't really do it justice.
The claymation videos they had running in the exhibit were weird and wonderful and I really enjoyed them. I stood in that room through two full cycles of the videos. If you have a few minutes, watch this video, which shows some of the exhibit along with an interview with the creators.
Finally, we wandered through an exhibit called, "Expanding the Field of Painting." From the ICA's website:
Since the end of the 19th century, painting has gone through a repeated cycle of death and rebirth in the face of artistic innovations such as photography, conceptual art, installation, and digital-imaging technologies.
At each of these challenges, artists have explored alternative ways of making a “painting” that go beyond the application of paint to a canvas using a brush by diversifying the components of its production and presentation. This exhibition highlights the most recent growth in painting, examining key transformations in the practice since the 1970s. Pushing the boundaries of its definition, the artists whose works are on view have deconstructed and reinvented what a painting is and what it can be. While some have maintained a commitment to traditional materials, others have expanded the genre beyond its limits to take the form of video projections, a pile of advertising posters, altered book covers, and even vintage chairs hung side-by-side on the wall. Through their varied investigations into the history, present, and future of painting, these artists acknowledge and often exaggerate its contradictions to proclaim that painting still is, and will likely remain, very much alive.
—ANNA STOTHART, Assistant Curator
I found several things I liked in this exhibit. I love paint and I appreciate innovation, so it's no surprise that an exhibit that offered both appealed very much to me.
At first I thought this piece was a traditional mosaic.
And then I read the sign:
I think it's interesting that he created the mosaic tiles from paint. Definitely a totally different way of looking at acrylic paint.
These next two canvases are also by an artist using hyper-dimensional paint.
I thought that this piece was an abstract at first:
Then I saw the fingers near the bottom and read the placard.
As soon as I stepped back from the painting, it was easy enough to see what it was. That's one of the things about seeing art in person. It's so different from viewing it on a screen. Scale makes a difference when it comes to perception and the experience of a piece. Texture, too, is incredibly difficult to communicate through photos.
There were some pieces that mixed layers of paint and stitch that I found really interesting.
Each layer is created on a translucent sheet and then the artist sandwiches them together. Very cool looking.
There were two antique chairs hanging on the wall and two replicas on the floor that you could sit in. So, of course, we sat!
All in all, it was a great way to spend an afternoon. The ICA is situated right on the Boston Harbor and has some incredible views.
Definitely worth a visit if you're in Boston!
Thanks for stopping by!