James Turrell’s installations are made of empty, titanium white painted rooms where embedded LED and fiber-optic lights project an array of programmed changing colors on the walls. Photography is never allowed. Others, like the one I am bringing you today called Dividing The Light, are constructions with an opening cut-out in the ceiling (skyspaces). Spectators can view the sky by day and night, observing its variable color as time progresses but also as the colors of the inside walls change. And that’s where you almost cannot believe your eyes : seeing the sky a given shade of mid-blue one moment, how can it suddenly look grey and diaphaneous as the walls turn purplish red? How can it shift to a darker blue when the walls go from white to yellow to brown, turning the sky almost black and opaque in the process ?
In the 1960’s, Yayoi Kusama’ s Infinity Nets were her very personal response and contribution to a New York art scene populated by Jackson Pollock’s drips, Barnett Newman’s zips, Rothko’s Color Fields… But as seen in a recent post, Kusama’ s nets were born out of her hallucinatory visions, her Abstract Expressionism being an artistic fighting mechanism against psychological self-obliteration. A self-declared “obsessional artist”, Kusama lives her art inside her own head and seems to breathe it onto canvas and soft sculptures. It was only a matter of time before using small finite rooms became another visual expression and representation of her troubled psyche. It started around 1965. Kusama’ s Infinity Rooms are small yet they open up an infinite sense of space as mirrors reflect lights, objects and viewers in all directions.
Like last week, I am playing with Spark Page to share strong visuals I recently experienced on the Second Avenue Subway line in New York City. Make sure to visit these striking permanent art installations by renowned artists Chuck Close and Sarah Sze (Part 2, this week) and Jean Shin and Vik Muniz (Part 1, last week) when in New York. At 86th Street, I met a member of staff who proudly showed me his picture taken with Chuck Close in front of one of his mosaic work. These art installations definitely made him re-think his appreciation of his working environment…something that should apply pretty much everywhere for everybody’s benefit. Please click the link below and enjoy the ride! https://spark.adobe.com/page/dDwPrItKfsYho/ © 2017 Ingrid Westlake All pictures by Ingrid Westlake, unless otherwise stated.
I often hear my associations of ideas are off-beat or décalé (or off-the-wall, depending on how polite you are :-). So let me throw you at the cross between yoga, running and art and see what you think! To me, breathing is at this intersection on my grid – often underestimated, so underrated yet ESSENTIAL! I practice yoga 3 times a week, no matter what. I am also half way through my marathon training program. So let’s just say I have learnt to pay attention to breathing because my life (an your life) depends on it 🙂 There is a meditative quality to breathing that helps me get through the discomfort of a crescent lunge on my weaker side or the pain that usually comes without a fail after running 17 miles. I made breathing a life tool and a habit but like most things, I refused to make it bland. My wonderful yoga teacher Karoll B. uses the visualisation of a ball of color that I can match with my mood or my needs of the day. It works wonders and allows me to power through most days! So much so that I found myself thinking of my yoga practice, breathing and […]
If you think about Seurat, dots should be the next word popping into your mind. My 5th grade daughter and her class made their own version of Seurat’s The Channel at Gravelines, Evening to be auctioned at the school gala. They used a multitude of dots to recreate local and illuminating colors and paid a brilliant homage to Seurat. He formalised scientific discoveries on color theory as a systematic approach applied to his painting technique. His breakthrough was termed Pointillism and was achieved with just six major paintings that are so familiar to all. He did not have time for more: he died aged 31.
Palm Springs always feels like travelling back in time to a Mid-Century Modern life with the desert as backdrop. Except that this week it was surprisingly green everywhere, (ok, greener). Yes, after almost 6 years in California under severe draught conditions, I have been reacquainted with rain! And a lot of it! Don’t hate me just yet, let me earn your forgiveness with a post full of pictures this week as I give you Desert X, an exhibition of art installations throughout the Coachella Valley.
A large David Hockney retrospective recently opened at Tate Britain. This is not a review of an exhibition I won’t be able to see in person, instead let’s focus on Hockney’s “perspectives”. These should make YOU want to go check out his work, in London before May 29, 2017 or elsewhere. A quick word on depth and perspective. Artists had not figured it out before the Renaissance so they resorted to stacking figures of pretty much equal size in what’s called medieval overlap. Everything looks quite flat and rigid. With the Renaissance came Brunelleschi and Da Vinci. They worked out linear perspective and vanishing point. Have a look at the picture above: even though you know the pier is made of two sets of poles which remain at the same distance from one another, as it recedes in the distance it looks like they shrink and converge into one point, the vanishing point on the horizon line. It’s called monocular perspective. But David Hockney calls it “cyclopic perspective”. Why is that? In his art, David Hockney wants you and him to be “looking with both eyes”. So let’s dive from multiple vantage points. In the 1980’s, Hockney used Polaroid pictures […]
Freshly back to my Art History studies, my friend Lorenza was hoping for a few jewel-related stories into the discussions of our course on Impressionism. Jewelry and gemstones are high on my grid but mixed with Impressionism, isn’t it a stretch? Not in my world: Opal is the Impressionist gemstone par excellence! Look at the range of pastel colors this opal displays: the soft brownish orange turning to a blushed apricot and a hint of coral, the green alternating between moss and forest until it fluoresces neon-like while bright aqua blue is dispersed widely with rare specks of royal blue emerging from the depth. This spectacle is what us gemologists call play-of-color, and it is visually very similar to the open and broken brushstrokes associated with the Impressionists and Monet in particular. Let me take you beyond the surface of opal for a bit of gemology… Erosion can have beautiful consequences. Water runs down, picks up mostly silica and other minor elements and becomes a silica-rich solution which permeates cracks. Once there, such solution deposits as small silica spheres which can vary in size depending on temperature and pressure. As the process repeats itself, a whole structure of tiny […]