"The Endless Renaissance: Six Solo Artists Projects" at the Bass Museum of Art Through March 17
This provocative exhibit, boasting six solo shows under one roof, corrals an impressive cast of talent from the United States, Finland, Germany, Thailand, and the United Kingdom to explore how historical works and concepts transform across time and morph through the eyes of diverse audiences. "'The Endless Renaissance' links art from the past and the present, each artist in his or her own way, directly or indirectly," says Silvia Karman Cubiñá, the Bass's executive director and chief curator. Take Barry X Ball's sculptures, which twist classically inspired busts by using bleeding-edge computer technology to carve unusual materials. To create his whiplash-inducing Matthew Barney/BXB Dual-Dual Portrait Ensemble, Ball started with Mexican onyx, stainless steel, and various other materials. Then he employed an arsenal of equipment — including 3-D digital scanning, virtual modeling, and computer-controlled milling — to create a hyper-detailed face. Ball finished the pieces by hand-carving and polishing the uncanny visages. Another notable artist is Germany's Hans-Peter Feldmann, who collects, orders, and re-presents amateur print photographic reproductions, toys, and trivial works of art. His painting of what appears to be a 19th-century aristocrat wearing a red clown nose is full of humor while smacking the starch out of tired notions of traditional portraiture. Thailand's Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, meanwhile, considers art through an outsider's eye with her series Two Planets, in which she presents classic European paintings to villagers in remote Thai towns and then films them discussing the works. Her enchanting digital print Two Planets: Manet's Luncheon on the Grass and the Thai Villagers upends traditional Western notions of viewing and interpreting artwork and helps viewers see these famous paintings anew. Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Walead Beshty, and Ged Quinn round out the roster.
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