Some of the better works in ArtPrize (Part 1)

So last night I made my way  through  a dozen or so ArtPrize venues in downtown River City: galleries, bars, restaurants, industrial spaces. It went rather quickly given crowds but then I had the list. So far, I have not been too far off the mark and find myself making it shorter as I go–but that is for another post.

Here are a few remarks, made on location. I want to encourage Connoisseurs and Fans alike to take in the following works these next few days as they deserve more attention than most:

Matthew Kluber at the Grand Rapids Art Museum

So Much Water So Close to Home

It’s a little after 9. We’re looking at an animation projected on to the south side of the Education Center becoming part of the Museum’s architecture. The image itself is highly graphical, only black and white, very low resolution, very slow frame rate.

Just enough information to make out a woman swimming, treading water. At times disappearing into the waves/forms and then re-emerging. How much do we need to know before we know and what are we going to do with it once we have it? It’s probably one of the most successful pieces I have seen so far. Listing, ethereal, quiet.

Young Kim at 47 Commerce Ave SW

I saw this piece around 8 o’clock, at twilight and it’s really quite remarkable. Walking into the space, you see a large grid, 10 by 8 or so,  of salt mounds 3″ tall, flattened with  a single image of a person on each silk screened with red clay. Illuminated with  20 watt incandescent lamps and street light coming through the large industrial windows to the north.

The serene images of people eyes closed, horizontal–at rest, sleeping? I am unsure but I find it peaceful. What  I also appreciate is the rigor applied when using materials–an unusual quality when looking at most work in ArtPrize. It disappears the individual materials as it transforms the space.

Mar­i­anne Menger at Beta Design

When I first walk up I see only 5 white panels with silhouettes of vines running vertically. After a moment or two, the ground begins to activate with subtle hues of blue, magenta.

The viewer eyes  rest as these fields of color emerging to give ground to the structure and hard edge of the plant forms. It gives a sense of rising up and a scale larger than its physical dimensions. Given the overall  minimal nature this work is installed with much consideration of the spacing between the panels and their alignment. The wall color does not distract too much and Beta Design has provided professional lighting to complement all  works in this space. A favorite venue so far.

Overall Presentation

I want thank Beta Design, GRAM and 47 Commerce for the quality of presentation of their ArtPrize entries. You show your Artists well. Clean, considered, made to part of the fabric of the venue, in short no visual distractions to take away from the work. Well done.