LEDs, toys as art

November 16, 2006

A Collection of Photographs by Abby Greenawalt

What happens when you put 19 grandmas and a great-grandma in one room? An industrial-sized tea and scones party? Abby Greenawalt’s new photo exhibition shows that grannies are good for more than just baking pies. Her 20 large-scale portrait studies of older women seek to explore the beauty of wisdom and tangible intimacy.

On show at the Homebody Gallery, the works were personally selected by Erin Mara, the boutique’s co-owner.

“Abby’s work is very special,” Mara said. “It has a feel of Annie Leibowitz—very arresting portraits.”

Origin by Leo Villareal

In a stark white room with a wall of flashing LEDs, lights blink with dizzying speed and no apparent logical sequence, making sections of the wall appear to move. Sound like a set for a stereotypical sci-fi movie? Actually, this is Leo Villareal’s newest digital sculpture installation, currently on show at the Conner Contemporary Gallery.

The seemingly simple Origin explores the interactions between the sequences of movement of primordial stellar bodies and the biological connections within the human organism.

“I am very inspired by essential questions like ‘How does life begin?’” Villareal explained. Origin may not provide an answer to the beginnings of the world, but the hypnotizing qualities of the manic flashing bulbs should prove inspiring to even the most uncreative.

Navigating the Imagination by Joseph Cornell

The Smithsonian Museum of American Art showcases Navigating the Imagination, Joseph Cornell’s largest retrospective and one of this season’s most anticipated contemporary American exhibitions. Cornell is best known for his assemblage box pieces, reminiscent of handmade wooden toys. Bringing together 177 of his works, the collection is the most complete overview of Cornell’s prolific career. The show encompasses the artist’s films, collages and box construction, including 30 works never shown before to the public. This extensive compilation is not to be missed.

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