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Home BLOGS So Hot Right Now Systematic Landscapes

Systematic Landscapes
Written by Noah Hanson   
Tuesday, 25 April 2006 06:54
Maya Lin's "Systematic Landscapes" exhibition over at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle. She's best known for her Vietnam Veterans Memorial in DC.

This last week the Henry Art Gallery finally revealed it's new show of artwork by artist and architect, Maya Lin. Maya is best known for her design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. which she made as an undergraduate at Yale in 1982. Since then, Maya has been exploring with making pieces heavily influenced by naturally occurring phenomena, such as geology, landscape, and natural earth formations. It seems to me that she usually concentrates her efforts on large-scale outdoor works, such as parks and memorials, so her new show, kept indoors at the Henry, ironically struck me as somthing a little fresher.

The show consists of many small works, but also 3 large-scale installations, each filling their own entire room. The main attraction of the show is titled 2X4 Landscape, made up of approx. 65,000 boards set on end, and is 36’ x 53’ x 10’.

2X4-landscape.jpg

2X4-landscape-2.jpg

2X4-landscape-3.jpg

2X4-landscape-4.jpg

Maya Lin's 2x4 Landscape will be available for interaction (you get to walk on it) on Thursday, May 4 from 5–7 PM. Registration is required, limited to ten participants at any given time. Registration must be in person and will be accepted on Thursday, May 4 from 11 AM–4 PM at the Admissions Desk. There are only 80 slots available and entry to the landscape will be first come, first served. You'll also be asked to sign a waiver as well as put on some special shoes to minimize harm done to the artwork. Unfortunately, people will have to keep off the incline to ensure no one breaks their neck. Phooey.

Even though I was given a press badge for the event, I wasn't supposed to photograph everything I saw. In fact, Betsey, the woman in charge of giving me my press privalges, was very clear in her e-mail that I needed to be very well behaved and that I needed to "... follow the rules explicity. Please. OK?" These two pictures down below came along with the press kit I was given, which is a good thing because I didn't photograph the pieces while I was at the show. There were three in all and were all part of Maya's "Atlas Landscape" series.

atlas-2-sm.jpg

atlas-2-detail.jpg

To make these, Maya bought some world atlases and cut into them using an exacto-knife. Pretty simple. Also, there's actually a small portion of an interview on the Art:21 series PBS put out a few years ago, where during a conversation, Maya is cutting away on these guys. I think there might be a bit more of an explanation on there if you're interested ...

This here was the 2nd of the major installation pieces. These first two pictures down below came with the press kit I mentioned earlier, and show the original model and early construction stages of what would become "Blue Lake Pass."

blue-lake-pass-model.jpg

If these things weren't hollow, they'd prolly weigh like 700 lbs. each, or something.

blue-lake-pass-in-progress.jpg

The blocks are all made of Duraflake particleboard, and each block is 3’x 3’ (20 blocks total), 18’x 23’overall. Apparently, when the blocks are all shoved back together, it's a topographic translation of an actual mountain range.

blue-lake-pass-above.jpg

Call me crazy, but I thought they had a really nice blonde color to them. They'd also prolly make for a fun quick game of hide and seek/tag for little kids.

blue-lake-pass-2.jpg

blue-lake-pass.jpg

This seemed a bit silly, but it's supposed to me a 15’ x 16’8" model of the Columbia River made entirely of pins stuck in a wall.

pin-river.jpg

Pin-River-detail.jpg

These I liked though. They are from another series of three called "Bodies of Water" and are made of Baltic birch plywood. Each shows the depth and water volumes of various inland seas, such as the Caspian and Red Seas down below.

Bodies-of-Water-Series-2.jpg

Bodies-of-Water-Series-1.jpg

Here's another one I don't think I can quite grasp... They're supposed to be plaster reliefs of imagined landscapes embedded straight to the wall. They actually seem a bit hokey to me, and remind me of a time in middle school when, out of anger, I kicked a hole in my bedroom wall. To avoid conflict, I tried patching the wall myself and never told my parents about it. My spackle job looked very similar.

plaster-2.jpg

plaster-3.jpg

plaster-4.jpg

Another weird series I'm not so sure about. Maya Lin talked about these at a lecture she gave the night before the opening, and mentioned that she was interested in the power and individuality of a singular line. She showed a slide show of different parks she designed all over the world in which she modified the land to be raised up like the picture below. I found them to be a lot more impressive than the 11” x 17” x 2” cast bronze versions of the same thing. Still, maybe these were just early ideas and models for what became the parks.

Sketch-Tablet.jpg

There were a quite a few other things in the show, but this last one I have to show you is of Maya's last huge installation, "Water Line." It's made of painted aluminum tubing measuring 34’10” x 29’2” x 19’, and can be walked under or looked at from above. Similar to her other pieces, it is a topographic surface based on an undersea formation.

water-line.jpg

During my visit, this was the first thing I was able to photograph using my first ever press badge. About six times or so while I was taking pictures, different members of the Henry staff pounced on me to let me know photography was NOT permitted. Flashing the badge was an interesting experience since I've always had to go undercover in the past. It was kind of fun in a weird way, but it also made me feel over-privileged and like I was working instead of casually preparing stuff for my blog ... Hopefully people will decide to keep giving me special passes and I'll get used to the feeling. Also, mentioned on the list of rules I was given on how to behave, I was told I had to ask everyone included in my photos if it was okay with them. I did happen to see Maya at the show, but decided to lay off and to forget about trying to get a photo. She seemed kinda busy and was always talking to three people at once anyway.

water-line-1-above.jpg

water-line-up-and-over.jpg

water-line-above.jpg

All in all, the show was a pretty good success. It was booming with rich old people, quite a few yuppies, and even a few youngsters. I definitely had a good time at the show, sorta wandering around by myself, checking out the stuff. The lecture Maya gave the night before over at UW was interesting too, although the projection could have been WAY better. Thanks to Betsey Brock, the Communications and Outreach Manager (AKA press manager) for giving me all the free access and all the hook-ups. I should also mention that Richard Andrews is the Director of the Henry Art Gallery, and that he curated the whole thing. I think I remember him being introduced at the lecture hall as a "fearless hero," which I thought had to have been an overstatement, but thanks to him just the same.

Also, just so you know, the show runs April 22 – September 3, 2006, and the day to go walk around the 2X4 installation is May 4th. Thursdays are free, but every other day you gotta shell out $10 for general admission. Also, keep in mind that the gallery is closed on Mondays. Oh yeah, there's also a really interesting show on the other end of the gallery of Roy Lichtenstein's prints from 1956-1997.

Roy-Lichtenstein.jpg

Yes, that's Chinese Chairman, Mao Zedong in the backround...
Anyone interested in comics or that super bizarre 80's pop art movement that went on would prolly enjoy the show. I really wish I could have made it out to that opening too, cuz I prolly could have written up something neat for it. There's some really cool pictures of living rooms that some how manage to show a ton of depth using the flattest imagery possible. I dunno. Just go check it out. You'll be surprised at how well Maya is able to alter the Henry's space, and at how well Roy is able to create space out of near nothing.

{moscomment}

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"Arrangement" by Michelle Fleck
Friday, 18 April 2014 10:23

This morning we take a closer look at this beautiful painting by San Francisco based Michelle Fleck now showing at FFDG.

Arrangement measures 24"x30", acrylic and aerosol on panel - inquires: info(at)ffdg.net

Michelle Fleck is a painter living in San Francisco. Her work focuses on the relationship between man and the landscape, and the marks we leave on it. Influenced by everyday life in the city, her paintings serve as snapshots of an ongoing intersection of the natural and man-made world. She strives to make work that has a sense of relevancy in a culture driven by a need for change and newness.

 

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Wednesday, 16 June 2010 16:39


Nychos Friday @Fifty24SF
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SAN FRANCISCO --- You've seen the murals pop up around town the last week from this Austrian street artist as he prepares for his solo show at Fifty24SF opening this Friday, 4/18.

GET THE SHOW DETAILS --- a bunch of NYCHOS

 

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Wednesday, 25 April 2012 10:56

 

Banksy's Mobile Lovers
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I love you, dear.... Huh? Wut?

 

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Check photos from his last San Francisco solo show in 2012, and mark your calendar for August as his next solo show opens at FFDG.

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Have you been to the Headland Center for the Arts in the Marin Headlands?

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This Sunday's Open House runs 12-5pm - FREE & DETAILS

 

Is It Curtains For San Francisco's Art Scene?
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Some galleries have been forced to close due to 300% rent hikes. Many artists have fled to Oakland, LA and NYC in search of affordable housing and a more vibrant art scene... But we wanna know what you think of how it's going here in San Francisco. How are you making it work? What's your take on the art scene or lack there of? Do you think things are on the up and up or down and out here in San Francisco? Are artists a bunch of complainers and every thing looks great or is it curtains for San Francisco's artistic community? Thoughts

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Wednesday, 25 August 2010 11:50


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Ferris Plock - Online Show, April 25th

FFDG is pleased to announce an exclusive online show with San Francisco based Ferris Plock opening on Friday, April 25th (12pm Pacific Time) featuring 5 new medium sized acrylic paintings on wood.


GOLD BLOOD, MAGIC WEIRDOS

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John Felix Arnold III on the Road to NYC

Well, John Felix Arnold III is at it again. This time, he and Carolyn LeBourgios packed an entire show into the back of a Prius and drove across the country to install it at Superchief Gallery in NYC. I met with him last week as he told me about the trip over delicious burritos at Taqueria Cancun (which is right across the street from FFDG and serves what I think is the best burrito in the city) as the self proclaimed "Only overweight artist in the game" spilled all the details.


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Ever Gold opened a new solo show by NYC based Henry Gunderson a couple Saturday nights ago and it was literally packed. So packed I couldn't actually see most of the art - but a big crowd doesn't seem like a problem. I got a good laugh at what I would call the 'cock climbing wall' as it was one of the few pieces I could see over the crowd. I haven't gotten a chance to go back and check it all out again, but I'm definitely going to as the paintings that I could get a peek at were really high quality and intruiguing. You should do the same.


Mario Wagner @Hashimoto

Mario Wagner (Berkeley) opened his new solo show A Glow that Transfers Creativity last Saturday night at Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco.


Serge Gay Jr. @Spoke Art

The paintings in the show are each influenced by a musician, ranging from Freddy Mercury, to Madonna, to A Tribe Called Quest and they are so stylistically consistent with each musician's persona that they read as a cohesive body of work with incredible variation. If you told me they were each painted by a different person, I would not hesitate to believe you and it's really great to see a solo show with so much variety. The show is fun, poppy, very well done, and absolutely worth a look and maybe even a listen.


NYCHOS Mural on Ashbury and Haight

NYCHOS completed this great new mural on the corner of Haight and Ashbury in San Francisco on Tuesday. Looks Amazing.


Sun Milk in Vienna

With rising rent in SF and knowing mostly other young artists without capitol, I desired a way to live rent free, have a space to do my craft, and get to see more of the world. Inspired by the many historical artists who have longed similar longings I discovered the beauty of artist residencies. Lilo runs Adhoc Collective in Vienna which not only has a fully equipped artists creative studio, but an indoor halfpipe, and private artist quarters. It was like a modern day castle or skate cathedral. It exists in almost a utopic state, totally free to those that apply and come with a real passion for both art and skateboarding


"How To Lose Yourself Completely" by Bryan Schnelle

I just wanted to share with you a piece I recently finished which took me 4 years to complete. Titled "How To Lose Yourself Completely (The September Issue)", it consists of a copy of the September 2007 issue of Vogue magazine (the issue they made the documentary about) with all faces masked with a sharpie, and everything else entirely whited out. 840 pages of fun. -Bryan Schnelle


Tyler Bewley ~ Recent Works

Some great work from San Francisco based Tyler Bewley.


Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery

While walking our way across San Francisco on Saturday we swung through the opening receptions for Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery in the Mission.


Jeremy Fish Solo Show in Los Angeles

Jeremy Fish opens Hunting Trophies tonight, Saturday April 5th, at the Los Angeles based Mark Moore Gallery. The show features new work from Fish inside the "hunting lodge" where viewers climb inside the head of the hunter and explore the history of all the animals he's killed.


The Albatross and the Shipping Container

Beautiful piece entitled "The Albatross and the Shipping Container", Ink on Paper, Mounted to Panel, 47" Diameter, by San Francisco based Martin Machado now on display at FFDG. Stop in Saturday (1-6pm) to view the group show "Salt the Skies" now running through April 19th. 2277 Mission St. at 19th.


The Marsh Barge - Traveling the Mississippi River from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico

For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to quit my job, move out of my house, leave everything and travel again. So on August 21, 2013 I pushed a canoe packed full of gear into the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Lake Itasca, Minnesota, along with four of my best friends. Exactly 100 days later, I arrived at a marina near the Gulf of Mexico in a sailboat.


Flavio Samelo's Downtown Sao Paulo Murals

Our buddy Flavio Samelo down there in Brazil does all kinds of great work including this recent mural project in downtown Sao Paulo in front of one of the most important modern buildings of Oscar Niemeyer from the 60's, THE COPAN.


John Trippe, FFDG and Fecalface.com Founder, Stepping Down From Daily Operations

John Trippe, founder, owner and curator of FecalFace.com and the Mission District art gallery FFDG, announced today that he will stepping down from daily operations of the two ventures to seek new career opportunities.


High 5s - Get Your Feet Wet

I purchased one of the first digital cameras when Fecal Face went online in 2000. It was a massive Kodak with 2 mega pixels


"Touching Base" by Schuyler Beecroft

San Francisco based Schuyler Beecroft emailed over the great new series of paintings he's completed entitled "Touching Base", 16x20in on mounted wood panel. Like them.


Flume - Space Cadet (ft. Ghostface Killah & Autre Ne Veut)

Buddies Jay Howell & Jim Dirschberger did this great video produced by Forest City Rockers.


Fire Shelter for Papay Gyro Nights 2014

Last year we posted photos from another one of Simon Hjermind Jensen's Fire Shelters he's made in Copenhagen. This time around the Copenhagen based artist/ designer created one for the Papay Gyro Nights 2014 way up in on the Orkney Islands in Northern Scotland.


"Portrait of a Slugger 19" by Hiro Kurata

Beautiful painting by NYC based Hiro Kurata now on display at SF's FFDG through April 19th as part of the group show "Salt the Skies".


"Veins of Octulen" by Curiot at FFDG

"Salt the Skies" opened on the 21st at FFDG and features this great piece by Mexico City based Curiot (Favio Martinez) whose sold out 2013 show Age of Omuktlans ran at FFDG. His forthcoming solo show is slated for March 2015.


Rome's Alice Pasquini ~Mural+

Rome based multimedia artist Alice Pasquini emailed over a recent mural completed in the historic working class neighborhood of Rome called Tufello.


Project M/3 in Berlin curated by NUART

BERLIN --- Project M is a temporary art project with the objective to improve the neighborhood, to push creativity and to connect people. At regular intervals Urban Nation with director Yasha Young invites a group of internationally reclaimed contemporary urban artists to re-design the facade and shop windows of a prominent residential building in Berlin, while it is being reconstructed.


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