We’re changing out the exhibition!

Here at the Forsyth Galleries we are in the process of changing our exhibition.  We’ve been working feverishly to pack away the 4th Annual Juried Art Exhibition, patch and paint walls, and make sure everything is perfect for the new exhibition!  The new show will feature highlights from our permanent collection of Steuben and Tiffany glass, as well as paintings from our permanent collection.  It promises to be an awesome show!

Transition at the Forsyth Galleries!
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Art Spotted: The Fremont Troll, Seattle, WA, USA

In the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, there lives a strange and monstrous creature.  It makes its home under the north end of the George Washington Memorial Bridge (also known as the Aurora Bridge) and stands 18 feet tall (5.5 meters).  Weighing in at over 13,000 pounds (6,000 kg), it waits for unsuspecting cars to pass a little too close…

The Fremont Troll by Badanes, Martin, Walter, & Whitehead (1990)

The Fremont Troll, completed in 1990, is a mixed media statue constructed out of steel rebar, concrete, and wire.  The concept for the statue, also known as The Troll and Troll Under the Bridge, was submitted as an entry in a contest created by the Fremont Arts Council to clean up and rehabilitate the area under the Aurora Bridge.  In 2005 the Fremont Neighborhood renamed the street passing by from Aurora Avenue North to Troll Avenue.

The Fremont Troll (1990) clutching a Volkswagen Beetle

It is interesting to note that the Troll is grasping a real Volkswagen Beetle.  Reportedly, the Bug had California license plates until they were stolen in 1998.  Every year on October 31st the neighborhood hosts a “Troll-a-ween” art party where people gather at the Troll and then moving on to visit other public art sites and events in the area.  If you’re ever going over the George Washington Memorial Bridge, be careful not to wake the troll unless you have three very clever billy goats to distract him!

Art in the News! 14th August 2012

Lichtenstein Painting, “Electric Cord” 1961, turns up in a New York warehouse after being missing for 42 years.  Click here!

Indian Art Exhibition makes a historic stop in China.  Click here!

Influential comic book artist and founder of the Kubert School, Joe Kubert dies at age 85.  Click here.

Weird art abounds in Philly!  Click here for a list.

The National Gallery of Art has announced its recent acquisitions.  Click here!

This is an interesting exhibition on modern art forgery.  Click here to learn more.

Artist creates a unique take on street art with a wall that lights up when exposed to water.  Click here.

 

Art Spotted: Tri-Nimbus Chrystallis, College Station, Texas, USA

Today’s art spotted is a modern glass and steel sculpture located on Texas A&M University’s main campus.

The Tri-Nimbus Chrystallis at Texas A&M University, by Kebrle & Stone.

The sculpture Tri-Nimbus Chrystallis, located on Texas A&M’s campus next to Rudder Tower and the Memorial Student Center, is commonly known as the “Crystal Tree.”  It is the collaborative work of two Texas artists: John Kebrle Jr. & Hilliard M. Stone.  John Kebrle Jr. is well-known worldwide for his stained glass work (Kebrle Stained Glass Studio of Dallas, Texas) and produced the 2,500 pieces of glass for the piece.  Hilliard M. Stone is a Texas artists who has worked in multiple media and is known in Texas for his painting and metal-work sculptures.

A view of the upper section of the “Crystal Tree” by Kebrle & Stone.

Each of the 2,500 large pieces of glass are individually attached to the steel frame and sparkle when the sun is shining (as it always does here in Texas).  The Crystal tree is the tallest of the many sculptures located on Texas A&M’s campus and the benches around the base are a favorite spot to take a break and enjoy a coffee.

A view of the trunk of the “Crystal Tree” by Kebrle & Stone.

A few of the campus sculptures are listed on the following page: click here!

A self-guided walking tour of the sculptures at Texas A&M is downloadable here.

Featured Artist: Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama is largely considered one of the most influential living artists produced by Japan and is one of the artists to give birth to the pop art, minimalist art, and feminist art movements.  She was born the 22nd of March, 1929, to an upper middle class family and began to paint at the age of 10.  However, she experienced resistance from her parents to her wish to continue pursuing art as a career rather than marry and start a family.  Her mother even took away her canvases and art supplies.

Yayoi Kusama as a child.

In spite of the familial opposition she experienced, Yayoi Kusama went to study art in Kyoto at the age of 19.  She became increasingly frustrated with the constraints of the traditional art taught there and in 1957 moved to New York City, USA, after becoming interested in the European and American avant-garde art movements of the time.  She quickly became influential in the pop art movement and her work was both shown alongside and helped influence Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, and George Segal in the 1960s.  She came to the public’s attention for organizing body festivals in the late 60s where the nude participants were covered in polka dots.

Kusama in polka dot body suit with horse, 1967.

In 1973 Kusama returned to Japan.  The art movement and culture there was much more conservative and she had to completely rebuild her career as she was unknown in her native country.  While still practicing art, she became an art dealer, but her business ultimately failed.  In 1977 she voluntarily admitted herself to a psychiatric hospital after experiencing increasing episodes of mental distress.  She continues to live at the hospital, but every day works in her studio with her assistants and continues to create art.

Kusama creating dot art in her studio.

Kusama is well known for her polka dot art, both in the forms of paintings and installation art, but she has also experimented with film and writing.  The film “Kusama’s Self-Obliteration” (1968), which she produced and starred in, won prizes at two international film festivals.  She has produced one book of poetry (titled “7”) and eight novels.  Kusama is probably best known for her surreal, interactive installation art which continues to be shown in galleries and museums worldwide.

From the “Look Now See Forever” exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia, 2012.
Infinity Mirror Room, exhibition at the Tate Modern, London, 2012.
Ascension of Polka Dots on the Trees, Singapore Biennale, 2006.
Flowers that Bloom at Midnight, 2009.
One of Kusama’s many polka dot paintings.
“I Want to Live Honestly, Like the Eye in the Picture” 2009

To visit Kusama’s website Click Here!

To see a short film on Kusama Click Here!

Art Spotted: Sutton Hoo Shoulder Clasp, Sutton Hoo

Shoulder clasp from the Mound 1 Sutton Hoo burial. Housed at the British Museum, London, England. 

In honor of London hosting the 2012 Summer Olympics happening right now, our Art Spotted post are the shoulder clasps from the Sutton Hoo burial chamber.  Though the Anglo-Saxon cemetery of Sutton Hoo actually contains many burials and cremations (including a number of execution burials where individuals died of hanging or decapitation), the most well known burial comes from Mound 1.  The burial is thought to be associated with the death of King Raedwald dated to circa 625 Common Era (CE).

Image showing the pin hinge and underside of one of the Sutton Hoo shoulder clasps. Photo courtesy http://www.flickr.com/people/robroy/

The shoulder clasps, made of gold with blue glass and garnet inlay, are the only Anglo-Saxon artifacts of this type to ever be documented.  Current research posits that the clasps are generally thought to have been attached to lightweight leather body armor or a textile based chest protector layered over a mail coat.  The curved ends are decorated with entwined wild boars, possibly to depict the wearer’s strength, courage, and ferocity.

Sutton Hoo Cemetery burial mounds, located in Suffolk. Photo courtesy of archeurope.com

There is no other Anglo-Saxon burial that has captured the world’s imagination like the remains from Mound 1.  If you even visit the British Museum in London, England, make sure to stop and view these one of a kind objects.

For more information visit the British Museum’s page on the Sutton Hoo shoulder clasps.  Click here!

An article written by Noel Adams details the debate over what type of material to which the clasps were attached.  Click here!

The British Museum also has an interactive “tour” page detailing some of the Sutton Hoo finds.  Click here!