Over the weekend I finally got to go to the Renwick Gallery in DC. I have been wanting to go for a while since it was renovated, but the line was always crazy long. After getting up early and getting some coffee, my boyfriend and I went for it.
It was truly inspiring to see some of the works there. It makes me miss having a large studio to create pieces & installations in. Maybe I can do something fun this summer in my garden or backyard. The common thread through all the artwork was how the artists used smaller things to form large impactful installations. Individually a string or a note card is only so interesting, but together they created something far more wonderful.
The first installation was by Patrick Dougherty. He tangled sticks together in large nest like creations that you could walk under and inside of.
He let the sticks guide the shapes with how they bent and formed.
After we continued to see an piece by Gabriel Dawe. These were thousands of little strings wound around hooks at the top and bottom of the room that contained them.
The colors woven into a second set of strings that ran next to it.
These tall stacks were created by Tara Donovan.
My favorite parts about these creations were when two single columns started merging into one as it grows taller.
They were created from tiny index cards stacked upon each other. I would love to see what these guys look like on the interior or flipped upside down. It was interesting to me how you could see slight color variations in the index cards, hues of green & blue that popped out when they were amassed together.
The lights that were above the stairs were made by Leo Villareal. He does a lot of LED light sculptures. I told my boyfriend that I just wanted ONE of these strands in my house. They were like tiny reflective mirrors. I captured a beautiful time lapse of them that I will share on instagram one of these days!
Look how they hang! The structure is so secure but the lights so dainty. The contrast in the strength and the glimmer was lovely.
In the large room upstairs hung a piece by Janet Echelman. I would love to throw a party in this room underneath the large net sculpture. We laid on the ground as the lights on the wall changed the coloring in the net.
Here is the same net location 30 seconds apart.
There were kids running and playing all around us in this room. There were even some people napping underneath the vast colors. I could have stayed there another hour watching it shift so slightly.
This tree wooden piece was created by John Grade. You started at one end gazing through the center and then traveled around to the outside.
It was created by tons of little wood pieces that were placed together and sanded as one pice.
Limbs and the trunk were strung together from the ceiling. As people moved around the tree likewise moved ever so slightly.
The tree was followed by a folded Chesapeake Bay watershed by Maya Lin.
She used hundreds of little glass marbles glued together to create the pattern of the water in an entire room. The marbles extended onto the walls, air vents, ceiling and glass windows. Just like the fingers of the waterway, no area wasn’t touched.
The Octogon Room was inbetween. It contatined the “Slate Green and Amber Tipped Chandelier” by Chihuly. It looked like plenty of the pieces of his I have seen before but smaller and more coordinating with the space almost. Underneath was Hiram Powers’ “The Greek Slave.”
This room felt more permanent and I think it will stay past the Wonder exhibit’s close.
Chakaia Booker created the next piece out of old rubber tires.
This room smelled amazing! I loved how you were captured by the piece not only with your eyes but by the scent of the place. The tires created a tire tread pattern to me.
You could see so many textures in the details of the rubber – even the Michelin Man!
The final room was formed by Jennifer Angus. The walls were intense patterns formed by the skeletons of thousands of beetles and bugs. I thought the juxtaposition of the dead bodies making a human like skull shape was interesting.
The butterflies spinning up high were very impressive.
I cannot wait to see what other exhibitions come through this gallery in the future. I am thankful that it is back from years of renovations!