Monday, December 28, 2015

Art in Washington DC

An Exhibit at the Renwick Gallery

My family and I decided to visit the recently renovated Renwick Gallery located in Washington, DC. It is about an hour from our home in West Virginia. Although we enjoy our life in the country, it is nice to visit the city.

Nine leading contemporary artists—Jennifer Angus, Chakaia Booker, Gabriel Dawe, Tara Donovan, Patrick Dougherty, Janet Echelman, John Grade, Maya Lin, and Leo Villareal—each display their art in different galleries. 

WONDER was organized by Nicholas R. Bell, The Fleur and Charles Bresler Senior Curator of American Craft and Decorative Art. 

While the nine artists featured in WONDER create strikingly different works, they are connected by their interest in creating large-scale installations from unexpected materials. Index cards, marbles, strips of wood—all objects so commonplace and ordinary we often overlook them—are assembled, massed, and juxtaposed to utterly transform spaces and engage us in the most surprising ways. The works are expressions of process, labor, and materials that are grounded in our everyday world, but that combine to produce awe-inspiring results. 

Wonder what you'll see? 

Jennifer Angus covers gallery walls in spiraling, geometric designs reminiscent of wallpaper or textiles—but made using specimens of different species of shimmering, brightly-colored insects.

Chakaia Booker splices and weaves hundreds of discarded rubber tires into an enormous, complex labyrinth.


Gabriel Dawe hangs thousands of strands of cotton embroidery thread to create what appear to be waves of color and light sweeping from floor to ceiling. 

Patrick Dougherty weaves monumental structures from countless tree saplings.

Tara Donovan constructs looming spires from hundreds of thousands of individually-stacked index cards. 

Janet Echelman explores volumetric form without solid mass, overtaking the museum's famed Grand Salon with a suspended, hand-woven net surging across its hundred foot length. 

Using hundreds of thousands of pieces of reclaimed, old-growth cedar, John Grade builds an intricate structure based on plaster casts taken of a massive, old-grown hemlock tree in the Cascade Mountains.

Maya Lin's deluge of green marbles flows across the floor and up walls, recalling the tides of the Chesapeake Bay.

With 23,000 LEDs—programmed by Leo Villareal to display a code manipulated into endless variations—flash above the Grand Staircase.

I really enjoyed the different mediums and well I am inspired to create some wonder myself! 

“Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.”
― Socrates

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.
Albert Einstein


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