Nolli’s Orders & Multiplicity

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I’ve been going to a lot of local art and music events lately. It helps to have friends who are connected within the local art scene. I’m trying to get more involved and I find that going to these events and meeting new people is the best way. Today’s blog post is about the opening party of contemporary artist, Diana Al-Hadid‘s Nolli’s Orders and the Multiplicity exhibit.

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Here’s a little bit about Al-Hadid and her main piece: “Kent State University graduate Diana Al-Hadid’s monumental sculpture Nolli’s Orders intermingles landscape, architecture and the human figure. Hovering between architectural ruin and figurative sculpture, the thirteen-foot high sculpture is constructed of steel, polymer gypsum, fiberglass, wood, foam and paint. Nolli’s Orders was inspired by sources ranging from Italian and Northern Renaissance painting to Gothic architecture and Hellenistic sculpture. Its title refers to the eighteenth century Italian architect and surveyor Giambattista Nolli, who is known for the iconic map of Rome that he completed in 1748. Al-Hadid was born in 1981 in Aleppo Syria and currently lives and works in New York City (Source).”

My thoughts: This was my first and last stop when visiting yesterday’s exhibits. It is just awe-inspiring. This 13-foot, gravity-defying sculpture commands attention. You don’t immediately see the human figures laid across some of the platforms, but when you do it adds another dimension to this incredible piece. It’s surreal and I’m absolutely in love with it. I can clearly see the Gothic and Italian Renaissance influences, but I’m not very familiar with the Northern Renaissance to say one way or the other.

I also enjoyed the several other large pieces that surrounded the room. She took a very interesting approach with one piece where she laid down something that could be painted on but pulled away in parts afterward creating a sort of void.

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Here’s a little bit about the Multiplicity exhibit: “Multiplicity showcases more than 80 prints by modern and contemporary American artists working in an exciting variety of media. Drawn from the outstanding collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the exhibition demonstrates how artists today engage with the unique qualities of printmaking processes.

Paintings and sculptures by a number of the artists featured, including Chuck Close, Helen Frankenthaler, Al Held, and Kiki Smith will be on view in the museum’s Haslinger collection galleries, allowing visitors to better understand the scope of those artists’ creative output. The variety of innovative approaches artists use to create prints is apparent in works by such artists as Louise Bourgeouis, Jim Dine, Barbara Kruger, Julie Mehretu, Ed Ruscha, and Kara Walker (Source).”

My thoughts: I’m a HUGE Chuck Close fan if you didn’t already know from my gushing about him in an earlier post. I adore his photorealistic paintings and I am dumbfounded by the way he created his pieces later in life. This has led to my heart swooning anytime he’s mentioned. After checking out his piece, I moved on to the others and I enjoyed a vast majority of them. Although, my screen printing experience and use of a printing press is extremely limited, I love prints. It was a really great exhibit.

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On the lower level, there were Akron University and Kent State fine arts students and teachers creating prints for our viewing pleasure. One of those teachers just so happened to be my favorite high school teacher, Micah Kraus (above).

I enjoyed how interactive that area was. Guests were able to see the printing process and some could even work the printing press they had.  There was music (current songs!), food, drinks, and one girl was dancing her little heart out. Overall, it was an enjoyable time.

I also came away with a couple really cool prints. I like how the Multiplicity poster uses an offset CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black) screen printing process to create the image.

IMG_1747 IMG_1745If you get the chance, I would highly recommend you all check it out. Both exhibits will be up at the Akron Art Museum through March. 16, 2014.

Peace,

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*Sorry for the somewhat blurry photos. I took the wrong lens to the event.*

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