*This is Part II of my 2 part series about the ICA Museum in Boston, MA. To view the first part please click here*
In addition to the works of Nari Ward, the ICA displayed art exhibits from a variety of other artists. One of these artists is Dana Shutz’s.
Dana, an American artist based out of Brooklyn, is widely known for injecting humor into her gestural paintings. She has studied art extensively , even studying abroad at the Norwich School of Art and Design in Norwich, England. While not all of her work had a description of their meaning or intent, I think many of them are fairly self-explanatory or, at the least, left to our own interpretation.
Elevator On Canvas, 2017, oil on canvas. This work is part of a series of paintings of an imagined struggle between larger than life figures and giant insects glimpsed between the gleaming doors of an elevator. Besides addressing people’s claustrophobia, the art may speak to the current heated debate, inner struggles or struggle for attention within the public arena.
Conflict, 2017, oil on canvas. This work portrays a quarrel, possibly between lovers, The couple in the painting are both embracing and fighting at the same time.
To Have A Head, 2017, oil on canvas.
Shame, 2017, oil on canvas.
Shaking Out The Bed, 2015, oil on canvas. This 18 foot wide canvas recalls the Western tradition of history painting. This painting differs from most history paintings in that it does not highlight noteworthy men and women in our history. Rather, her painting consists of everyday items that revolve around people in bed. All of the things we use and, dare I say, rely upon on a daily basis. A calendar, an alarm clock, day old pizza (a must) and a glass of water are some of the items Dana included in her painting. Dana said she “wanted the whole painting to feel like a book that was being opened, like you were shaking out of bed and all of the objects contained within are falling and suspended in front of the scene.” She went on to say she wanted to convey the feeling that “you just missed the alarm and the world is coming back to you in pieces.”
Flasher, 2012, oil on canvas.
In addition to Shutz’s work, there were a number of other artist’s work being displayed at the ICA.
Trace, 1980, by Nancy Graves made of bronze, steel, polychromed patina and paint. Trace depicts a dynamic, wind-blown tree with its bright-green forked trunk rising from a red and brown ground and curving toward the top. The amorphous crown of leaves is composed of layered, multicolored sheets of steel grating punctuated with geometric lines and grids. Graves likes to inject nature and the natural world into her works.
Hidden Relief, 2001, by Sarah Sze made of a halogen work lamp on tripod stand, rulers, spring clamps, levels, plastic, styrofoam, bamboo, toothpicks, branches, bottle caps, string, artificial plants, artificial moss, T-square, Alligator clamps, T-pins, cotton swabs, pushpins, dried plants, paint and glass (or pretty much everything but the kitchen sink).
Sarah uses everyday items, like the items included in this display, to create site-specific sculptures and installations that take on the character of landscapes, architecture and improvisational systems. She used a sample palette of white, orange, yellow, blue and black throughout the work which is brightened by work lights. Sarah also drew diagram-like lines using pins and string in this work of art.
Depose II by Keith Sonnier made of nylon sailcloth, metal. This inflatable design balanced a ready made aesthetic with painted geometric elements. The inflatable part of the sculpture assumes an anthropomorphic form that, when mixed with air from the blower, suggests a living being. Initially a limp sack, the sculpture must breathe and expand to assume its final form. The title references the act of being deposed, wherein a person is required to give oral out-of-court testimony. The person being deposed is often asked exceedingly personal questions. Perhaps the pinched or pressed inflatable alludes to the feeling of duress that might arise from having to tell the truth in a compromising situation.
Untitled (Topanga, CA, Umbrella 17) by Sam Falls made of nylon. Untitled displays the fabric of an umbrella without the support and pinned to the wall. Sam exposed some of the umbrella’s nylon panels in the California sun for a prolonged period of time. Then, he interspersed the faded panels with panels that had been kept out of the sun causing a contrast in the colors of the sculpture. Sam’s work of art invites speculation about the elements of time and change in art and nature.
The intermediate-Inceptive Sphere, 2016, by Haegue Yank made of artificial straw, steel stand, powder coating, artificial plants, artificial fruits, plastic twine, Indian bells and casters.
The Intermediate-Inceptive Sphere is an anthropomorphic sculpture that belongs to a series of woven straw works titled The Intermediates. The sculpture is adorned with items such as bells that are meant to hang from the necks of cows in India and Korean bridal headpieces. The work of art also invokes Asian folk cultures, shamanic figures and their rituals. Haegue used plastic straw to foreground the tension between the organic and synthetic in contemporary life.
Ashes, 2017, is a video by acclaimed director Steve McQueen.
Ashes presents footage on two sides of a freestanding screen. One of the sides, originally shot on soft, grainy Super 8 film, shows a young, carefree fisherman named Ashes balancing playfully on a boat. The other side shows a second projection, shot in 16 mm film, that shows Ashes’s unexpected fate. The videos conjure an easy vitality and a vivid description of place against the darker forces of society and fate.
The last, but not least, attraction at the museum is the view. Full length glass windows give stunning views of Boston Harbor. I bet it must be spectacular during sunsets.
On the way to the train station, we met these dogs taking a stroll along the boardwalk at Fort Port Channel.
Emmerson, a 13 year old Shetland, was very comfortable in his stroller
Archie, a 10 year old Yorkie peeking out from behind Emmerson, decided to get out and walk around.
There were also some pretty views of Boston at night along the way.
Today’s featured blogger is The Culture Club. The Culture Club visited the ICA recently. I thought his post would be a good companion to my post since he may have photographed pieces I may have missed or weren’t on display when I visited the museum. You can find his post here. The Culture does reviews, writes about music and entertainment and he’s got a cute dog!