Tag Archives: Gagosian Gallery

Damien Hirst’s Dot Paintings & Eyebeam Art+Technology Center: Lumarca

This Thursday night was a dot filled evening given the fanfare surrounding the Damien Hirst openings at the Chelsea Gagosian Galleries.  The exhibition spaces on 21st  and 24th streets were packed with people.  Rather than a retrospective of unexpected works,  the abundance of dot paintings underscores the corporate attitude of this Hirst series.   Rather than a groundbreaking conceptual show,  the simultaneous exhibitions prove to be an art marketing coupe (which seems to be Hirst and Gagosians’ objective.)   I can’t help but have a soft spot for the mini dot paintings in the 21st street gallery.

The most innovative art I found of Thursday night is in the main room of Eyebeam Art+Technology Center.   Lumarca is an interactive combination of a video game and a light installation.   The viewer stands in a cube taped on to the floor and follows instructions given by a chandelier-like installation of electric light tubing.   The electric tubes form a cube shape that mimics the space where the person interacting with the installation stands.  The computer senses the movement of the person.  The outline of the person is reflected in the tubing structure and stylistically alludes to early video games or anime characters.  The tubes light up designating the hands, feet, and head of the player.

The participant is then expected to move their body to capture lit up parts of the electrical tube matrix.  Acting like video games projected with a green screen,  Lumarca produces a similar effect and even provides people with final scores.  Apart from the general interactivity of the installation,  the electrical lighting is especially aesthetically pleasing.   The person playing with the installation is illuminated, flooding the small square with light which contracts the expansive dark room that houses Lumarca.  This makes the player appear majestic and like the person is literally fighting the machine.  Lumarca proves to be a mesmerizing installation,  drawing a large crowd and illiciting cheers from the crowd when the installation issued a high score.

The unique installation is a collaboration between Albert Hwang and Eyebeam Resident Matt Parker and is on display until February 14th at Eyebeam Art+Technology Center.

Here is a video of Lumarca at SIGGRAPH Asia 2009:

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Richard Serra: Junction/Cycle

Richard Serra’s show “Junction/Cycle” at Gagosian Gallery displays familiar curved steel plates and smooth curves.   Unlike the underwhelming drawing exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum this summer (Richard Serra’s Drawings: A Retrospective), “Junction/Cycle” reveals the continuation of the sculptures art audiences love.   The gallery is dominated by two oversized sculptures, expanding outward from Serra’s distinctive Torqued Ellipses.   Each of the sculptures had multiple pathways, entrances, and exists.  Unlike many of the Serra sculptures I am familiar with, the two sculptures allow the viewer to choose his/her own path through the work.  The element of choice allows Serra to organize the movement of people around the gallery space, but allows a personalized encounter with the sculptures.

Junction and Cycle almost invite the viewer to weave in and out of the sculpture.  The welcoming attitude of the sculptures is a marked difference from Serra’s more abrasive early work, for example Tilted Arc.  The rust of the steel made the sculptures appear more tactile, less cold.  The color of the rust provided the viewer with a less sterile experience.

The sculptures were so gigantic that they dwarfed the cavernous Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea.  The ceiling hovered above the sculptures making them seem more claustrophobic than usual, making me think that Serra based the height on the gallery space.  Despite the cramped quarters, it was a treat to see Serra’s new offerings.

Richard Serra’s “Junction/Cycle” will be at Gagosian Gallery until November 26th.

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