“Nature/Artifice” at the RISD Museum
From my review of “Nature/Artifice” at the RISD Museum:
"Nature/Artifice" feels summery, but it's not like lite beach reading. I think it has to do with the one-room show's crisp, fresh feel and the platform full of flip-flops.Read the rest here.
Tony Capellan's “Mar Caribe (Caribbean Sea)” (1996) aims to suggest the difficulty of life in his native Dominican Republic by collecting hundreds of sea blue and green flip-flops that washed up along the banks of the Ozama River in the Santo Domingo. He carefully arranges the foam sandals so they all face the same direction, suggesting fish scales or waves. Then it gives you a shiver when you notice that the toe straps have been replaced with barbed wire. You can feel it biting between your toes.
The show's title suggests a rumination on natural versus artificial, but mostly it's a broad name that allows RISD contemporary art curator Judith Tannenbaum to pull out a loosely linked grab bag of 13 works from the museum's collection, mostly recent acquisitions that have not been shown here before. There are some international stars (Damien Hirst, Joseph Beuys, Christian Marclay) and some local talent. With the RISD Museum scheduled to close during August to save money during our Not-So-Great Depression, perhaps now is the time to check out what you'll be missing.
“Nature/Artifice,” RISD Museum, 224 Benefit St., Providence, April 25, 2009, through February 2010.
Pictured from top to bottom: Tony Capellan, “Mar Caribe (Caribbean Sea)” (1996); Duane Slick, “Oration at Dawn,” 2005, © Duane Slick; Sue McNally, “Kings Beach, 2007,” ©Sue McNally; Joseph Beuys, “Capri Battery (Capri-Batterie),” 1985. © 2009 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn; Jeanne Silverthorne, “Dry Mouth,” 2003. © The Artist, courtesy McKee Gallery; Paul Morrison, “Rhizophore,” 2006, ©Paul Morrison, courtesy Cheim and Read, New York, and Alison Jacques Gallery, London.