Tag Archives: art

Worlds Apart

Worlds Apart is a book I wrote a couple years ago, printed by Blurb.com for a photography class I took. I really enjoyed the ability to discuss and write about my work and process in detail and I feel like the book is a great representation of who I am as an artist. So, if you’re curious about the ideas in my head and why I photograph what I do, check it out.

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Interacting with Art

It’s always amusing to me to see how people interact with art in the gallery space. Some stand and stare, others move around, and then there are the strange cases. At Clark’s recent senior studio art thesis opening, I took some shots of some interesting interactions. See for yourself…

Reaction is a very personal thing. How does the public setting of the gallery affect this?

One piece in this show, Nina Haglund's "What's Your Worcester?" invited responses to what makes the city special.

Another piece by Amanda Kidd-Schall was a storybook world of sorts and also invited viewers to step into the scenery.

All photos by Ashley Klann. Not to be reused without permission.


A Visit to the Williams College Museum of Art

When a new exhibit opens in the Schiltkamp Gallery in the Traina, it’s hard to imagine it in relation to the outside art world – as something more than a space outside classrooms that happens to be a gallery. It’s hard to imagine someone from the greater community visiting our campus and not thinking of the Traina as a building for students, but exclusively as a building in which to enjoy art.

WCMA. Photo by Ashley Klann.

Recently, I had the opportunity to have such an experience at the Williams College Museum of Art in Williamstown, MA. It’s not fair to compare their museum with our quaint Traina Center, but it does invite one to imagine what other schools are doing with their arts programs.

According to their website, the school’s museum has an impressive 13,000 pieces and 14 galleries. Their collection spans many periods and places, including Egypt, India, and Africa. One of their exhibits, A Collection of Histories, takes on a meta-commentary concerning museum art, making the venue of viewing art its focus. There is also more contemporary work including photography and works by Georgia O’Keefe and Gregory Crewdson, among others.

The architecture of the museum itself was also noteworthy. Upon entering, a large display of Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawing #959 runs along the staircase, and windows and skylights appear throughout the galleries. Outside, the surrounding landscape has also been dotted with art. Louise Bourgeois’s outdoor sculpture, Eyes, watch as you approach the building. It is a permanent piece commissioned for the museum’s 75th anniversary, celebrated in October 2001.

Eyes by Louise Bourgeois. Photo courtesy of WCMA.

Another piece on display at the Williams College Museum of Art was a stunning photomanipulation by Dionisio Gonzalez. The artist took photos of the dilapidated structures and homes of Sao Paulo and Río de Janeiro and pieced them together with disjointed, modern architecture, creating a very odd and perplexing environment that combines clean futuristic facades with decaying shanties. The whole series of panoramic shots is titled Cartografías para a remoçao. For more about his work, visit http://www.dionisiogonzalez.es/.

Nova Heliopolis by Dionisio Gonzalez

To see more about the various exhibits and collections at Williams College Museum of Art, visit http://wcma.williams.edu/.


Looking back at LeWitt

All photos by Ashley Klann.

Mass MoCA’s nod to an artist who sometimes never touched his own work

For something so subjective, art has always been a highly debated topic. What constitutes art? How much does artist’s intent affect the work? Is the medium really the message?

For modern artists in the mid to late twentieth century, these questions continued to be stretched. Artists such as Warhol and Pollack tested the boundaries of what was considered art. Their replications of commercial symbols and seemingly haphazard flecks of paint would continue to spark debates for decades, leaving questions still unanswered.

Sol LeWitt was another artist to push the definition of art. His work is a complex geometric system. Bold lines, streaks, perforated waves, shapes, circumlunar patterns, points, and arcs all spread across the wall of the rehabilitated mill factor at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. Some of the pieces are brightly colored blocks, some are in grayscale, and others resemble an extreme close up of a piece of graph paper used in a high school geometry class. Often simple in their appearance, it’s not until one beings to think about the system behind the art that the meaning comes off the wall.

Early in his career, LeWitt likened his art to musical or chorographical compositions; individuals, ensembles, or orchestras carry out the original material after it is designed and written. LeWitt took this concept and applied it to his work, allowing other artists to take his compositions and play.

Mass MoCA’s exhibit, Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective, features 105 of LeWitt’s designed walls, executed by  The pieces fill the 27,000-square-foot interior with screaming stripes and dynamic pairs of color that push the latex paint, India ink, acrylic, and water colors off the wall. Other wall drawings appear less finished and have been sketched with graphite.

LeWitt’s work took concepts from music, science, and mathematics, tying them together with vibrant designs to create a style ironically unique yet highly formulaic and able to be recreated.

These concepts beg the question of ownership. Although dozens of “executers” (as titled in the exhibit’s pamphlet) were involved in making the art on the walls of the museum, Sol LeWitt’s name is still the only one associated with them. They are his designs. Despite the fact that the original artist was giving up his idea, where does the execution come into play? When does it become the art of a specific individual? LeWitt said in 1967, “The idea becomes the machine that makes the art.” We’re just not used to having the individual with the concept be someone other than the individual making the art.

Moving through A Wall Drawing Retrospective, one can see how LeWitt expanded throughout his career. According to the exhibit’s pamphlet, LeWitt initially chose to work with only four colors, yellow, blue, red, and gray. His line were also limited to four basic types, horizontal, vertical, and diagonal left to right, and right to left. It wasn’t until the early 1980s that he began experimenting in their density and application to the wall.

So, how does an artist leave instructions to ensure his assistants reproduce the exact ideal piece every time? LeWitt’s used a system of abbreviated colors in his diagrams. For instance, an intense single color (yellow) would be YYYY, and a mixed hue might be RRBGG (red, red, blue, gray, gray).

Compared to all the trouble some artists will put forth to ensure the security and protection of their art, music, or writing in today’s world of easy access technology, it’s funny to think that LeWitt didn’t try. While some are obsessed with the idea of keeping their work to themselves, LeWitt was willingly giving it away.

A Wall Drawing Retrospective will remain at Mass MoCA for a 25-year period and is broken up into three floors in chronological order, spanning the artist’s career from the 1960s until his death in 2007.

An awesome blog about the preparation that went into the exhibit: http://edwardlifson.blogspot.com/2008/06/do-it-yourself-sol-lewitt-wall-drawings.html


Psychedelic Styrofoam: Katharina Grosse’s contemporary installation at Mass MoCA

All photos by Ashley Klann.

Take every hue of spray paint you can imagine, add some Styrofoam icebergs large enough to sink the Titanic, and place it on the surface of the moon. That’s as close as you’ll get to Katharina Grosse’s installation, one floor up more highly. The exhibit is currently on display at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams.

Grosse’s work is a trip into another world. At the base of the electric, painted masses of faux-rock is a layer of equally colorful dirt, spread around the giant structures. This attention to detail only heightens the realism and potential of the artist’s synthetic landscape. Splatters of paint are also on the edges of the area – on walls and windows. Clearly the artist was not afraid to make one floor up more highly exactly how she wanted.

A wooden bench sits partially covered by some of the painted dirt, giving a sense that this colorful land mass has swallowed up a civilization in its trickle across the cement floor. Random painted and tattered pieces of clothing are also strewn about the area, hidden in the Styrofoam nooks. These artifacts in one floor up more highly evoke thoughts of space travel and new worlds, or perhaps an old world with no survivors.

The only difficulty with one floor up more highly is fighting the urge to leap into the enticing world in front of you.

Amidst the rocky landscape and towering peaks of white Styrofoam is a giant concave wave of glass fiber-reinforced plastic covered in drips of fluorescent acrylic paint. The potential motion of the curved piece is illustrated through the paint, making it look like it was created while in motion, rocking back and forth.

The museum provides a unique atmosphere for this equally unique work. The museum is located in a rehabilitated factory building, meaning wide, open floor space, high ceilings, and little distraction. Windows fill the walls on both sides of the installation, allowing natural light to flood the enormous room.

Grosse’s work also benefits from the space’s three different vantage points, allowing the viewer to get a better understanding of this enormous display. From the two balconies on the upper floor, the crags of foam and dizzying multicolored patterns can be seen in their entirety.

Toward the back of the long main room is the staircase to the rest of the installation.

The stairway leads to a room covered floor to ceiling with more electric spray paint designs. The only white space that remains are vertical doorway-sized patterns across one wall, giving the feeling that perhaps the space continues beyond what we can see. More tattered, painted clothing is left on the floor. Gleaming rays of paint lead into the next room where the lower floor is visible.

Farther from the edge of the upstairs is another board of brightly colored fiberglass, this time lying convex on the hardwood floor. The piece resembles a wing and juts out from another flamboyant pile of painted rocks and Styrofoam boulders. This mass runs into the edge of the overlook, continuing into the formation on the other side, giving the entire installation a sense of growth and motion to the upper floor. One floor up more highly is unlike anything you’ve seen before.

Grosse’s other work is just as explosive and colorful, exploring unconventional mediums and testing combinations.

For more information on the artist, check out her equally contemporary website, katharinagrosse.com.

one floor up more highly will be at Mass. MoCA until October 31, 2011.


Out of the Woodwork: New Gallery Opens at Clark

Check out the latest cover story of The Scarlet – Clark University’s student newspaper: Woodwork.


Toying with Memories of Childhood: The exhibit all about toys

The Show About Toys. Exhibit compiled by Clark University students Amanda Kidd Schall and Stephanie Richardson. Traina Center for the Arts, 2nd Floor Gallery. Worcester, MA. All photos by Ashley Klann.

Victoria Krinsky
Shoe Lace Pendant

With time, our once prized toys get put away and forgotten, because we feel we’re too old. Barbies are nostalgic, as are their fake smiles and flimsy accessories, but it’s nice to give them a new life, to recreate them within a new arena. This is an old shoe from one of my dolls, and I like to keep it close around my neck to remind me of simpler times.

Molly Burman
Ruffles

It’s interesting the things that w hold onto throughout our lives. When I look back, Ruffles is the thing that’s been in my life the longest. Despite her appearance, Ruffles is a dog. She’s been living with me since I was bor. I now see her as a wizened old lady who came to college with me. She is threadbare and ripped all over. It was important to me to show how 21 years aged the stuffed animal. It was also crucial that I photograph her in her natural habitat – my bed. I hope that this piece reminds everyone to get in touch with their roots.

Stephanie Richardson
Hello Dolly

Sure, she’s kind of creepy and naked, but why? What’s her story? Where did she come from? Was she loved and cared for, or was she prematurely replaced by a Malibu Barbie and donated to Goodwill? I’m interested in stories such as these and what they mean in a lager social context.
This photo was one of the first photographs I took with my toy camera. Working with plastic cameras requires a spontaneity and surrendering of control that I have difficulty realizing in other aspects of my life. It is both liberating and exciting to create these beautifully imperfect images.

Sampson Wilcox
Space Zamboni

To me, toys are living objects to engage with, and help one detach from reality. They are a vehicle that puts me in a self invented world of reflection. I have always identified with ships and vehicles in general, and the endless imagination behind fantasizing them into existence. This piece touches on a few specific points of nostalgia for me, as well as a more recent theme of cleansing I have tired to bring into my work. Zambonis rejuvenate a rough surface of ice, leaving a smooth plane to glide on.

Hugh S. Manon
Le Regard

Steel, Plastic, Spray Paint
Unmodified found object of unknown origin. Possibly a factory mold used in making toy owls.

Phoebe Cape
Building Block Building

This piece looks at the world through the simplicity of a child’s perspective. It also alludes to the ever-growing complexity of our adult lives, as simple childhood building blocks become part of a multifaceted structure.

Olivia James
Untitled

This piece is made from a combination of various wires, clay, leather and thread. I let the materials guide my creation, working with the limitations and abilities of each. At the end, these is an element of surprise that emerges after seeing what developed out of these materials that once were disjointed but now depend on each other.

Gifted Children
By Messy