By: Whitney Ford-Terry

Sep 29 2009

Category: Uncategorized, Vortexhibition Polyphonica


Focal Length:24mm
Shutter:1/0 sec

Vortexhibition Polyphonica Opus Two
Curated by Sara Krajewski, VP OII is a part of the Henry’s ongoing exploration of how the permanent collection can support our mission of being an institution devoted to the innovative art and ideas of our time.  Opus two is Elizabeth Brown’s curatorial response to Opus one – the second phase in the unfolding and enfolding dialogue that is created between objects. It follows in the tradition of exhibitions like 150 Works of Art, Viewfinder, and the Short Stories series along with the several artist projects centering on the collection including Josiah McElheny, Akio Takamori, and Dawn Cerny.

Mixing Messages explores various forms of language and allegory in art with Allen Ruppersberg’s Poster Objects at its core. This irreverent selection takes on politics, morality, and the human condition through works by William Hogarth, John Baldessari, and Gary Hill as well as West Coast Funk ceramics and ukiyo-e prints.

Suspend focuses on Paul Kos’s Not If, But When, a conceptual art work ruminating on time and belief.  The works in this subgroup venture into a more intangible realm and include prayer rugs and tankas; prints, photographs, and paintings; and sculptures that defy gravity.

At the center of Transform is E.V. Day’s Cherry Bomb Vortex providing ready connections to pieces in the Henry’s costume and textile collection that speak to the ways we dramatically change the human form through fashion. It also connects to contemporary works by Cindy Sherman, Lucas Samaras, Christian Holstad and several others that depict shape-shifting and metamorphosis.


2 comments on “VORTEXHIBITION”

  1. In respect to Tony Feher’s peice on display. I would like to discuss the choice of knots. Why not tie more beautiful and functional knots? Also on the E.V. day cherry bomb vortex, why the swages? Why the turnbuckles? The lack of use of elegant knots just makes the peices look like they lack craftsmanship. Especially the line flaked randomly in a tangle on the floor, and the huge waste of turnbuckles on the E.V. day peice. The works would both be much more interesting with some attention in these areas. Surely they would take more time and effort to create, but after all, this is art, not an industrial project where skilled labor limits the use of effective and beautiful craftsmanship. The huge number of turnbuckles just appears to be an abuse of technology. The huge number of swages likewise. The childish use of line in the Feher peice is disrespectful, wasteful, it says incompetence, ignorance. I have heard a million arbitrary defenses of such faux pas in art, but is there any original and compelling one?

    I have always held a very conservative view on art, and if something seems to be of poor craftsmanship, I will not accept some intellectual cop-out. It simply displays an inept creator.

    • Thank you for looking so closely at these two works. It’s my impression with the EV Day dress that the turnbuckles allow each line to have tension that then maintains the entire shape. Do you know of other ways to achieve this effect? I’ve also encountered many contemporary artists who try to disregard the perception of artistry so as to reveal the illusion of how a work was created. Both of these works suggest that to me that even though they were made of everyday materials, they were transformed into a work of art, but in the end they still remain everyday materials. They say a lot to me about how we interact with things around us and what they mean, or say, to us.

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