Daily Archives: December 4, 2016

Expo chicago

Expo Chicago took place in Navy Pier. The place was quite spacious, which took about good four hours to look around. Of course, there were many young first-timers, but there were also some works of “masters”, such as Wayne Thiebaud. So, the ensemble was interactive with each other that nothing looked better than the others’.

The space was big. However, each booth was big enough to place the works, but they were not big enough to present artists’ own unique personalities. Of course the fair is designed for a commercial purpose that guests are expected to buy the works of art, or at least to be advertised. Some of the busy divided rooms were pretty packed with art works cramped in together, and it was obvious the artists’ intention that he or she wanted to put as many works as possible. Another problem of the place was that there were no directions anywhere. So, the viewers were busy trying to figure out the ways.

Mounting and representing own art works are an important part of being an artist. There were some drawings or photographs that had problems with mounting them. The papers inside of frames were wiggly, and it was confusing if it was the artists’ intentions. However, nothing looked intentional to me. Also, some paintings were hung on walls, tilted. Proper ways of presenting works should have been considered more.

The atmosphere as a whole gave the impression of being in Costco. The spacious place with many people and works were up everywhere. The walls looked more like displays of merchandise. It gave the thought of, “what if they made the lightings better?”

Artists were enthusiastic. They would answer any questions you have about them and their works. A professor from school had her paintings at the fair, and she was busy giving her business cards. Maybe it was not fully successful in the aspect of commercial. However, communication of the artists and viewers, and between different artists seemed pretty successful.

Lastly, the event was enough to inspire young artists. It as a whole presented the definition on contemporary art. The trend changes fast, especially in artists’ world. It clearly showed what the current art world wants from its artists. Some were very innovative, experimental. On the contrast, there were some art works from who is already famous, and the works done a while ago, such as Wayne Thiebaud’s cakes, and it was very interesting to see how the current world is inspired by those works from the past, and how the two interact with each other as living the current world together.

 

Moholy-Nagy exhibition

 

         As I walked in to the exhibition, the ensemble of how the works are set, and the mood that is created by dreamy imageries amazed me. Lazlo Moholy-Nagy is one of the members of avant-garde artists from early 20th century. He was the most enthusiastic and innovative artist of the time who tried to see photography. His main theme in art throughout his life was to develop the power and the ability of light that creates shapes. He questioned and studied all sorts of different approaches in art, and connections between art and technology.

It was very clear that he lived during the Bauhaus movement, and he was into that form of art. What stood out the most was how he used straight lines and figures in all of his work. The negative spaces on canvases and papers showed his careful decisions that the negative spaces cleverly worked as making the work so much stronger. Also, how he controlled his works not to be overdone. Because Bauhaus was invented after Art deco, and Moholy-Nagy was into Bauhaus, he was clearly following the famous saying “less is more”. For example, “Circle Segments” proves his philosophy in usage of negative space, and controlling himself in making art. The simply painted two hemispheres in black and white, and the clean raw negative space shows how much he cared about materials chosen, and smart decisions in harmonizing the material and art, just like the philosophy of Bauhaus movement.

A little bit later in Moholy-Nagy’s life as an artist, he started to avoid looking at photography as a reappearance of light. Then he stopped using cameras as his main tool, but he drew with light on photographic papers, by actually putting objects then exposing the light. Therefore, Photogram, one of his signature approaches to art, started to flourish in his later works. Also, he invited transparent papers into his art making, and the ‘transparency’ became another main element. Many collages at the exhibition showed how he managed ‘transparency’ and ‘photography’, and put them together in the most effective ways.

The exhibition was set in a mazelike structure. A lady at the exhibition who was seating on a wheelchair said “I can’t take this anymore. It feels like I am lost in a maze, and everything is confusing!” The exhibition sometimes led us to step on a staircase, and stand on a certain spot to look at the work in eyelevel. While spending time in the exhibition, the biggest impression it gave was Moholy-nagy’s intensions not to discriminate or divide a genre.