It’s been a crazy two weeks. I just wrapped up coverage on West Baltimore’s one year anniversary since last April’s protests following the death of Freddie Gray. It feels so surreal that it was only a year ago, yet it also feels like it was a lifetime ago at the same time. Funny how time feels. While there was a lot of bad stuff that followed that time period, a lot of good stuff came from it too.
Yesterday I finally got to go check out the Renwick Gallery’s new exhibit “Wonder”. I’ve seen a lot of photos of the exhibit from friends on social media but I had no idea how large it was until I saw it in person. It’s one of those art exhibits that completely take up your entire line of sight no matter where you look.
The museum’s website reads, “Nine leading contemporary artists—Jennifer Angus, Chakaia Booker, Gabriel Dawe, Tara Donovan, Patrick Dougherty, Janet Echelman, John Grade, Maya Lin, and Leo Villareal—each took over different galleries in the building, creating site-specific installations inspired by the Renwick. Together, these installations turned the building into a larger-than-life work of art. WONDER was organized by Nicholas R. Bell, The Fleur and Charles Bresler Senior Curator of American Craft and Decorative Art.”
My favorite exhibit was by Janet Echelman. According to the museum website, “Janet Echelman explored volumetric form without solid mass, overtaking the museum’s famed Grand Salon with a suspended, hand-woven net surging across its hundred foot length.”
Following all of those colors, “Gabriel Dawe hung thousands of strands of cotton embroidery thread to create what appear to be waves of color and light sweeping from floor to ceiling.” It was almost like the tangible version of the light you see from a prism.
Another exhibit was a room full of marbles that spread across the floor and climbed up the walls. “Maya Lin’s deluge of green marbles flowed across the floor and up walls, recalling the tides of the Chesapeake Bay.”
Another was a bunch of twigs and branches shaped into circles and tunnels. “Patrick Dougherty wove monumental structures from countless tree saplings.”
“Jennifer Angus covered gallery walls in spiraling, geometric designs reminiscent of wallpaper or textiles—but made using specimens of different species of shimmering, brightly-colored insects. ”
Lastly, “Tara Donovan constructed looming spires from hundreds of thousands of individually-stacked index cards.”
If you haven’t been to check out the Renwick lately I highly suggest it! It’s *FREE*. These exhibits run for a few more months still.
Installations by Jennifer Angus, Chakaia Booker, John Grade, and Maya Lin are on view through May 8, 2016.
Installations by Tara Donovan, Gabriel Dawe, and Patrick Dougherty are on view through July 10, 2016.