Small Worlds: Artworks That Create an Intimate Spaces
Ohio's Toledo Museum of Art challenges us to look at the world from new perspectives through its Small Worlds exhibition on view through March 25, 2012.
Five contemporary artists in the exhibition offer works that create an intimate space or environment or show scenes which are familiar but perhaps slightly askew. Intricate and intriguing, the drawings, relief paintings, photography and sculpture explore the realms of the home, the studio, the neighborhood, the city and the natural world, stated Amy Gilman, curator of contemporary art, associate director of the Museum and organizer of the exhibition.
The artists encourage the viewer to consider space and perspective in different ways, said Gilman. "We may feel oversized when peering at Gregory Euclide’s miniature ecosystems, yet small and disoriented when we are surrounded by the video installation by Tabaimo."
Tabaimo, who represented Japan at the 2011 Venice Biennale, is one of her homeland’s leading young artists. Her surreal, technologically sophisticated video installations of hand-drawn animation reference the aesthetic of traditional ukiyo-e woodblock prints of the 18th and 19th centuries and the modern phenomenon of Japanese anime cartoons. Her installation danDAN, shown at its full size for the first time in the United States, provides the experience of being in a home where the rooms shift, the walls become the ceiling and reality is turned upside-down.
Visitors can walk through Gregory Euclide’s site-specific work, Take it with You — Toledo, to enter the Canaday Gallery, where approximately 40 small worlds are rendered in various media. Euclide’s installation incorporates sticks, dirt, wooden creates and other recycled items found at the Museum and its environs to create miniature worlds viewed through peep holes in a structure that cascades from the second floor gallery area to the Museum’s first floor.
Rich in detail, the dioramas of Joe Fig’s artist studios and Lori Nix’s photographs of post-apocalyptic scenes she created in miniature are breathtaking in their realism.
There’s also a fully functional, 65-square-foot house on the terrace of the Museum on Monroe Street that is part of the exhibition. The smallest home designed by Jay Shafer of the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, the extra-efficient house illustrates the current trend of downsizing.
The Toledo Museum of Art is a nonprofit arts institution funded through individual donations, foundation grants, corporate sponsorships, and investments. The Ohio Arts Council helps fund programs at the Toledo Museum of Art through a sustainable grant program that encourages economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.
1. Lori Nix, Library from The City series. Chromogenic print, 2006. Courtesy of the artist © Lori Nix
2. Gregory Euclide, Capture #9. Acrylic, buckthorn root, cedar needles, foam, grass, paint can, sedum, sponge 47 x 24 x 17 in. 2009. Courtesy of the artist and David B. Smith Gallery © Gregory Euclide, 2011
3. Joe Fig, Jasper Johns 1963. Wood, polymer clay, oil, acrylic paint, metal, plastic, paper, canvas, fabric, and pencil, 2008. Courtesy of the artist and Cristin Tierney Gallery © Joe Fig
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