Albuquerque, New Mexico
LEDs, custom software, electrical hardware
Port cochere ceiling
This signature work, commissioned for the exterior of the ART, a hotel was created by embedding over 22,000 white LED nodes into the ceiling of the building’s porte cochère. Visitors are welcomed to the hotel with an ever-changing light display of abstract patterns controlled by Villareal’s computer programming that regulates their opacity, speed and scale.
Other renowned works by Villareal are BAY LIGHTS and the installation of ILLUMINATED RIVER over River Tames in London. Another of his renowned installations is the 2013 BAY LIGHTS, a site-specific 1.8-mile display of LED patterns that never repeat themselves on the cables of the north side of the San Francisco-Oakland suspension bridge.
WALL DRAWING #397, 1983
Plaster and paint
116 in x 257 1/2 in
Painter, sculptor, conceptual artist, LeWitt believed it was more natural to work directly on the wall than to paint on a constructed canvas and then hang that on the wall. Inspired by the frescoes of Giotto and other Florentine painters, he created his first “wall drawing” in 1968.
Consistent with the principle that his works could be executed by others who would precisely follow his instructions, this drawing was conceived of by LeWitt in 1983, but produced on the wall here in 2014 by a team of artists, including several art students from the University of Denver.
COOSJE VAN BRUGGEN & CLAES OLDENBURG
Groningen, Netherlands, Stockholm, Sweden
BIG SWEEP, 2006
Stainless steel, aluminum, fiber reinforced plastic, painted with polyurethane enamel
52 in x 40 in x 60 in
Oldenburg and his wife, Coosje van Bruggen, created some of the most beloved and witty public sculptures in America by supersizing everyday objects.
This scale model of the thirty-five-foot-tall BIG SWEEP nestled beside the Denver Art Museum was part of their DUST BIN OF HISTORY series and was inspired by seeing city workers sweeping Denver’s very clean streets on a typically windy day. The tilt of the dustpan mimics the shape of the mountains in the distance, and the slits on the pan echo the window slits on the Museum’s Gio Ponti building.
San Mateo, California
GUYOTAT’S CROSS, 1988
Acrylic on canvas
144 in x 96 in
Though he was a generation younger than Clyfford Still, Mark Rothko, and Jackson Pollock, Sam Francis was the first American abstract expressionist to make a reputation overseas. After leaving the Army Air Force in 1944, he lived, worked, and exhibited in Paris, Bern, New York, and Tokyo.
Never easy to classify, Francis became best known for his splashy, abstract, energetic, light filled, joyous paintings. The title of this darker and more emotional painting alludes to the controversial French author Pierre Guyotat, who suffered a breakdown in the early 1980s. Made when Francis was losing his own battle against the poor health he suffered most of his life, the painting explodes with an intensity reminiscent of Clyfford Still, one of Francis’s early mentors in San Francisco.
He is much admired for his very large paintings at the San Francisco International Airport.
ODILI DONALD ODITA
EXPAND, FLASHPOINT, WINDOWS, 2014
Acrylic on canvas
30 in x 40 in each
Sometimes uninterrupted, smooth and lyrical, and others times jagged and dissonant, the shifting rhythms in Odita’s works are always dazzling and more thought provoking than mere abstractions. He often uses music as the basis of the conceptual and emotional structure of the work. The colors he uses are very personal, reflective of visions experienced through his global and local traveling. He believes that “Color in itself has the possibility of mirroring the complexity of the world.” His palette, drawn from his African heritage emphasizes this belief.
These modestly sized works only hint at his ability to create works that encompass entire rooms, such as the installation he created for the prestigious 52nd Venice Biennial or the huge murals he completed for the United States Mission for the United Nations.
MOLTEN METEORITES, 2014
Raised in Los Angeles in a family closely connected to the glory days of Hollywood, Mary Ehrin comes naturally to the world of fantasy and illusion. Striving for “fabulousness” her work is hallmarked by the use of unusual and luxurious materials.
Ehrin resided for many years in Colorado. In this work, Ehrin tailors river rocks with metallic leather to transform them into molten meteorites that resemble giant gold nuggets and that may even bring to mind the role of the gold rush in Colorado history.
St. Louis, Missouri
Vintage souvenir beaded belts
60 in x 48 in
Bender’s art has been described as a search and recovery operation since he collects, arranges, and makes art from an almost unbelievable array of decidedly non-art materials, including, but certainly not limited to, crushed aerosol cans, hubcaps, pitchforks, salt shakers, photos of Princess Di, happy birthday paper plates, tennis racquets, bathtubs... the list goes on and on.
These vintage souvenir beaded belts, arranged from very large to very small and bearing the names of many states and the patina of many uses is a reminder of past times and past waist sizes.
Croydon, United Kingdom
I CAN FEEL YOUR SMILE, 2005
25 in x 60 in
Tracey Emin is known for wearing her heart on her sleeve, for sharing her feelings and thoughts through her work. It’s tempting to think she might have created this work in anticipation of the pleasure you would take in the surprises of the ART, a hotel.
Throughout her career she has used all sorts of skills to create sculptures in unexpected mediums that are often confessional in nature, but it is in her bright neons, written in her own hand, that she most directly communicates with her audience.
MIGUEL ANGEL RIOS
PIEDRAS BLANCAS, 2014
Like most great works of art the meaning of PIEDRAS BLANCAS (WHITE ROCKS) is ambiguous. The artist himself suggests various interpretations as he writes “Are we witnessing some kind of game, or is it a catastrophe in the making? Do the white balls represent people caught in a migrating frenzy? Are these rolling stones the supply of drugs coming from the South into the North across the US-Mexico border?” The questions raised by their powerful descent cannot be simply answered.
As in his painting, drawing, photography and photomontage, his videos of the past twenty years rely solely on his hand, eye and labor. He and his assistants actually created and threw more than three thousands balls down the side of a mountain through a landscape of existing trails and gully’s to create the visual sense of breathtaking urgency to run from or toward something.
UP DOWN UP, 2017
It’s no surprise that a retrospective exhibition and catalog for William Wegman was titled FUNNY/STRANGE.
In the early 70’s, Wegman, a significant contributor to the development of conceptual art, did something few artists dared. He used humor, really funny and strange humor, to express his vision. Utilizing various means — painting, drawing, video, photography, and book making for both kids and grownups — he has achieved international acclaim for his work which often, though not always, uses dogs to portray common situations in which we sometimes find ourselves.
For example, have you ever noticed when you are in an elevator with one or a few other people, no one knows quite where to look? So it is with Wegman’s dog Flo, as she self-consciously looks up, down and sideways, everywhere but directly at you, as the elevator travels from floor to floor.