Julia Wachtel and Anicka Yi “Death” at Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland
Rising to prominence in the early 1980s, Julia Wachtel focuses her artistic practice on the visual language of mass culture.
This first institutional solo exhibition in 20 years, features the works for which she became known as well as recent paintings. Influenced by her Pictures Generation counterparts and the 1960s protagonists of Pop Art, Wachtel appropriates popular imagery to critique an increasingly media-saturated society. Her use of newspaper and magazine photography has given way to employing images now primarily culled from the Internet, making her paintings more relevant than ever. By juxtaposing grotesque and irritating painted cartoon characters with images of pop stars, nuclear power plants, and masks from so-called primitive cultures, Wachtel’s artwork grapples with the function and significance of images in modern society and the socio-political landscape of our time.
until 17 January 2015
Julia Wachtel installation views at Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, 2014
Courtesy: Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland. Photo: David Brinchford.
© Julia Wachtel
Anicka Yi “Death”
Anicka Yi creates art that poetically speaks to the experience of everyday life and the things that govern it—whether they are major corporations like Monsanto or emotions such as those tied to loss. While her art often takes the form of sculpture, it hardly behaves as such, decomposing before our very eyes or wafting away in the form of a handmade perfume. Running throughout Yi’s work is a deep interest in all of the senses a human body can experience—and thus one can often smell a work by Yi before seeing it in the gallery. Engaging with viewers on an intellectual, emotional, and even sensual level, her work is simultaneously alluring and curious.
In 2013 Yi began a trilogy of exhibitions to explore, as she has written, “the forensics of loss and longing,” creating work inspired by the very human emotions we attach to romance and daily life: “Denial”, “Divorce”, and now, “Death”. Following gallery shows in Berlin and New York, the Transformer Station will host the culmination of Yi’s trilogy, which will analyze the acceptance of what it means to be human.
Presenting artworks from earlier in her career as well as new pieces making their debut in Cleveland, “ Death” will include a unique installation design that will evoke both the sterility associated with death and the flurry of life before the final breath.
until 17 January 2015
Above – Sister, 2011
Anicka Yi “Death” installation views at Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, 2014
Courtesy: Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland. Photos: David Brichford.
© Anicka Yi