August 31, 2016

DC inspiration: Renwick Gallery (part 1)

I have the most pleasant memories of visiting this museum. I squeezed it in on the morning we flew out so it felt like a bonus treat! The print piece I picked up touted "the new Renwick Gallery" but having no experience with the old Renwick I can't really make a clear comparison. My understanding is that this beautiful, classic building once housed beautiful, classic art (and Civil War generals for a time) but has switched focus to house new and innovative art. And that, my friends, is what makes this place so special. The juxtaposition (ah, that is a college word for me!) of the old/new and classic/modern is what makes experiencing art in this place an adventure.

Furthermore, my visit here made me realize how much good stuff I get exposed to in my hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Between the world-class Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park to the autumn insanity of ArtPrize I had previously experienced almost all of the artists who had work on display there. They felt like familiar friends that I was delighted to spend time with once again.

Many favorites:

Shindig by Patrick Doughtery
Delightful, whimsical, swirling, whirling, spinning, twisting spaces made of twigs and branches woven together. Peek-a-boo portholes and sculpture you can wander in and out of made me miss my kiddos. I know the Meijer Gardens had an exhibit with him – yes, back in 2007. Please visit his website and enjoy! Playful, nature-inspired, and unlike anything I've seen before – this is an artist after my own heart!

Plexus A1 by Gabriel Dawe (see first image in this post)
Brilliant and beautiful and made merely of thread. I know I saw a piece by him in the Kendall Building… yes, it was Plexus No. 18 during ArtPrize 2012.

Untitled by Tara Donovan
These mountains that fill an entire gallery are made entirely of blank index cards! For real. Love it. The link brings you to a slideshow of 29 different pieces by her. They are wildly unexpected.

Anonymous Donor by Chakaia Booker
Again, I have both the Meijer Gardens and ArtPrize to thank for my familiarity with this artist. She creates sculptures out of recycled tires. But they don't look like tires anymore. I am seeing a trend in my preferences for art made of unusual or unexpected materials.

I have one more piece I absolutely must share multiple photos of so you are just going to have to come back tomorrow, dear reader!

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