This decorative installation artwork at the Converse concept store in Santa Monica, in Los Angeles, is a spooky and clever visual conceit. At a distance and without the context of the store, the viewer would likely be unable to perceive that the artwork is comprised of hundreds of Converse sneakers in various monochromatic shades. Up close, the viewer might fail to perceive that the composition of the sneakers forms a creepy human skull-like image. It’s briliant, if a little dark, but edgy and totally “on brand” for the fashion shoe company.
We never tire of revisiting this minimalist masterpiece by artist Robert Irwin at LACMA in Los Angeles. The colorful installation of fluorescent lights has a permanent home in a large ground-floor gallery at LACMA’s Broad Contemporary building. The title of the artwork is “Miracle Mile” and it is specific to its location.
The museum is on Wilshire Blvd. at the heart of an area named Miracle Mile, which was originally planned as an alternative urban district to Downtown LA in the 1920s. Wilshire eventually became one of LA’s main east-west traffic and business corridors and the “mile” area has since become a kind of “museum row” for the number of other large galleries and museums nearby.
Irwin’s artwork, in its length, geometry and brightly illuminated presence, is a visual metaphor for the commercial strip and aptly is displayed on a wall that faces and runs parallel to Wilshire Blvd itself. A long floor-to-ceiling window in size and proportion similar to the artwork separates the gallery from the boulevard and makes “Miracle Mile” a kind of symbolic mirror.
The late Paris-based Venezuelan artist Jesus Raphael Soto made a career of painting, sculpture and optical and kinetic art. It was the last of these for which he’s perhaps best known, such as this interactive, immersive “Penetrable” installed in the plaza in front of the Ahmanson building at the sprawling Los Angeles County Museum of Art, or LACMA.
A couple of weeks ago, we stumbled upon the magnificent “RGB Colorspace Atlas” (Volumes 1, 2 & 3) by New York-based California artist Tauba Auerbach at LACMA in Los Angeles. The artwork contains paper-page cubes and a book or “atlas” of digital offset prints of all the possible color variations in the RGB color model system. The work was recently acquired by LACMA as part of its permanent collection. We’re hearting it very much.