Images of the week: Sylvia Plath's hair, Edison electric pen and more
A new segment looking at the most startling, compelling and imaginative visuals - some of them, provocative and controversial - from galleries and art shows around the world.
A picture can mean different things to different people. Indeed, it can speak a thousand words, or more, in any number of languages. At best, a compelling work of art can leave one spellbound, entranced even, in its limitless prospective interpretations. But that's just the magic of art. In this new segment, we take a look at some of the most startling, compelling, and imaginative visuals - some of them, provocative and controversial - from galleries and exhibitions around the world.
"Mandala Horse No.2" (2014), Yang Maoyuan
Horse specimens, leather, rubber bags, etc (235x185x185cm)
Beijing-based interdisciplinary artist Yang Maoyuan reimagines forms and misshapes animal structures, creating artwork from metal and wood. Maoyuan's animal sculptures are arguably his most controversial works. The provocative collection includes a horse transformed with an extremely rounded abdomen, while another piece is a headless camel, resembling a rounded leather stool. For more of Maoyuan's works visit yangmaoyuan.com.
"Burka Balloons" (2014), Scarlett Hooft Graafland
C-Type Print, 101 x 128 cm / 39 ¾ x 50 ⅜ in, Edition of 6
Scarlett Hooft Graafland’s dream-like photographs provide the lasting record of her site-specific sculptural interventions. The exhibition Discovery draws together more than a decade of exploration, from the salt desert of Bolivia to the Canadian Arctic, the island of Madagascar and the remote shores of Vanuatu. This is her first solo exhibition with Flowers Gallery. Courtesy of Flowers Gallery, London. Until Apr 29, 2017. Visit www.flowersgallery.com.
Performance still, Sahej Rahal
Mumbai-based artist Sahej Rahal's "Walker" series is inspired by mythical beings from different cultures. His performances make use of an assortment of materials, including polyester fur, branches, and mixed media. As a part of Here, There and Everywhere, supported by the Art Council England and the cultural exchange programme, Reimagine India, Rahal will be in conversation with Primary Curator Niki Russell, and also host a screening of selected past works at the gallery Primary, Nottingham, UK. On April 10, 6 pm. Visit www.weareprimary.org.
"Untitled (Bicycle)", David Butler
Steel, paint, and mixed media
Born in Saint Mary Parish, David Butler (1898–1997) lived in New Hope, near Patterson, Louisiana. In his early sixties, he suffered a work-related accident and was forced to retire. With time on his hands, Butler began to fill his yard with all manner of cutout sculptures. Using the most basic materials and tools, he crafted wildly imaginative and kinetic sculptures that formed the basis for a ”yard show” — an African American tradition common in the South — around his modest home. Colorfully painted and patterned exotic animals, sea creatures, farm animals, and imaginary forms populated his yard. Leslie Umberger, curator of folk and self-taught art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, draws comparisons between Butler’s environment and the improvisational quilts made by African American women across the South. "Shelter: David Butler" is on display as a part of The Road Less Traveled Exhibition at John Michael Kohler Arts Center, May 21 - Sep 10, 2017. Visit www.jmkac.org. Ends September 2017.
Sylvia Plath’s childhood ponytail with her mother’s inscription (August 1945)
Hair with ribbon (courtesy the Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana)
One Life: Sylvia Plath, opening June 30 at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, presents a visual biography of Plath’s life, bringing together for the first time objects from the Sylvia Plath Collection at Smith College, her alma mater, and Indiana University’s Lilly Library.
Along with manuscripts showing her writing process, photographs, and even Plath’s ponytail saved by her mother, are examples of her little-known artwork. One Life: Sylvia Plath runs June 30 to May 20, 2018 at the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC.
Thomas Edison, Electric pen (1876)
Nickel-plated flywheel, cast iron, steel stylus, and electric motor (collection of Brad Fink, Daredevil Tattoo NYC)
The inventor Thomas Edison pioneered the electric pen in 1875, which is now on display as a part of Tattooed New York, a show hosted by the New-York Historical Society, exploring three centuries of tattoo traditions through vintage images and live demonstrations. At the New-York Historical Society, Upper West Side, Manhattan, until April 30.
Anka Zhuravleva, “Distorted Gravity” (2011)
Image courtesy the artist
This image is the eye of a storm about plagiarism at the recent Sony World Photography Awards. In late February, the Portugal-based photographer Anka Zhuravleva noticed a shockingly similar photograph to her own shortlisted for the 2017 Awards. In Zhuravleva's image, a breathless woman in a green dress floats, grasping a red sphere, in a gently lit hallway. She’s surrounded by other hovering red spheres, drifting like balloons. The photograph shortlisted for the 2017 Awards, titled, “Far from Gravity,” by France-based, Romanian artist Alex Andriesi, features a young girl, also clad in green, suspended in air and holding a yellow sphere in a hallway.
Jes Fan, “T4T” (2016)
Silicone (photo by Jacob Schuerger)
In “T4T” (2016), a pink silicon dumbbell lies limply, defying a typical sense of “masculine” rigidity and strength. In her new works, at the show No Clearance in the Niche, Jes Fan addresses matters of gender, anatomy and biology, exploring the idea of engineering and controlling bodies to serve our needs and desires. Fan calls for a softening of masculine values at a time when feminist movements are largely focussed on female empowerment. No Clearance in the Niche continues at the Museum of Arts & Design (2 Columbus Circle, New York) through April 30. Fan will co-host an event called Feminine Presence with neurologist Dr. Lauren Silbert on April 22, 1–4pm, to teach how estrogen is produced in bodies and in the lab.
"Supermoon", Paige Jiyoung Moon
Korean illustrator and painter Paige Jiyoung Moon's acrylic paintings are based on observations of young people, most frequently depicting them hanging out in public spaces, and interacting with their mobile devices. Explore more of Paige Jiyoung Moon's artwork on her website paigemoon.com and her Instagram page @moonpaige.
"Shhhh", Laura Amphlett
Inkjet print, found text, found paper, ink, thread, stickers, cardstock. 8.5"x11"
Laura Amphlett, an Arizona State University sculpture major, works across a number of mediums, primarily including laser-cut acrylic, found objects, and neon. Amphlett recalls studying at the called Metropolitan Arts Institute, and a collection of poems she came across by the philosopher Rumi. She quotes the following lines -
"Inside me a hundred beings
are putting their fingers to their lips and saying,
'That's enough for now. Shhhh.' Silence
is an ocean. Speech is a river."
These words resulted in the self portrait, "Shhhh."
David Hockney, “Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)” (1972)
Acrylic paint on canvas, 2140 x 3048 mm (Lewis Collection ©David Hockney, photo credit: Art Gallery of New South Wales/Jenni Carter)
From the LA paintings series by David Hockney, who is regarded as the UK’s greatest living painter, since the passing of Lucian Freud. A draughtsman, printmaker, stage designer and photographer, Hockney is considered an important contributor to the pop art movement of the 1960s. On display as a part of the David Hockney at the Tate Britain (Millbank, Westminster, London), until May 29. Visit www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-britain.
Marc Dennis, “Jacob’s Ladder” (2016)
Oil on canvas, 58 x 48 inches (photo courtesy of Cris Worley Fine Arts, Dallas)
From a series of new paintings by Marc Dennis, of classic still life canvases filled with explosions of luscious flowers. On display at the Cris Worley Fine Arts, Dallas, as a part of the annual Dallas Art Fair, at FIG (Fashion Industry Gallery), downtown Dallas, Arts District, until April 9.
Miles Cleveland Goodwin, “Mountains” (2017)
Oil on canvas, 24 x 36 inches (photo courtesy of Valley House Gallery & Sculpture Garden, Dallas)
Valley House co-director Cheryl Vogel says, about the artist Miles Cleveland Goodwin, "One time he said, ‘I don’t talk much,’ and then, after I asked him a simple question about a painting, he went on to speak movingly, for two hours, about art, his ties to the land, and life. It was fascinating.” The Georgia-based Goodwin's portraits and images are predominantly of nature or people in nature. On display at the Valley House Gallery & Sculpture Garden, Dallas, as a part of the annual Dallas Art Fair, at FIG (Fashion Industry Gallery), downtown Dallas, Arts District, until April 9.