Candida Höfer in Mexico, NC Art Museum

German photographer Candida Höfer has been exhibiting her large-scale photographs of building interiors since 1975.  In 2015, she toured Mexico, photographing beautiful spaces of iconic Mexican buildings including the National Museum of Art in Mexico City, Teatro Juarez in Guanajuato and UNESCO World Heritage Site Hospicio Cabañas in Guadalajara.  Her photos constituted the Candida Höfer in Mexico exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of Art.

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Hospicio Cabañas, in Guadalajara, 2015, by Candida Höfer

An interesting aspect of Höfer’s photographs is that the interiors are usually devoid of people.  Considering that the buildings are very busy public structures, she’s presenting an unusual view of them.  Another aspect of her photography is that she usually shoots the interiors straight-on rather than from an angle.  This provides a formal a formal composition to the spaces.

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Teatro Juarez, Guanajuato, 2015, by Candida Höfer

Not all of her photos are large format or large scale.  This photo of a simple doorway is a great counterpoint to the majesty of her larger photos.

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Passage II, 2015, by Candida Höfer

As a photographer, I find a lot of inspiration in Höfer’s work. Being a bit of an introvert, I’m much more comfortable photographing buildings than people.  I also started college as an architect student before changing direction.  Höfer’s photos give me a quality and beauty that I can strive for in my photography.

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National Museum of Art, Mexico City, 2015, by Candida Höfer

The exhibit was organized by Galería OMR in recognition of the Mexico-Germany Dual Year and is touring the United States.  While the exhibit is over at the North Carolina Art Museum, it moves next to the Sean Kelly Gallery in New York City, where it will be on exhibition from February 2nd through March 16th.  If you’re interested in photography, you’ll like the exhibit.

 

 

Cynthia Daignault, Light Atlas, NC Art Museum

We had the opportunity to view Cynthia Daignault’s wonderful large-scale artwork, Light Atlas, as part of the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit, the Beyond, at the North Carolina Art Museum.  Daigault is an American painter known for multi-part installations of paintings that follow a theme.

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Light Atlas by Cynthia Daignault

Light Atlas began when, during a conversation, Daignault realized that she could name the works of 100 men whose work defines America, but couldn’t think of a single woman whose work did the same.  In 2014, she started off on a year-long journey to explore America and to create a record of her experience.  She traveled along the outside border of the country, stopping every 25 miles to document, through sketches and photos, what she saw.  The trip covered 30,000 miles and created a virtual 360-degree portrait of the United States.

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Detail of Light Atlas by Cynthia Daignault

Daignault used her sketches and photos to create 360 small paintings that show all aspects of America, both the beautiful and the, at times, mundane.  It’s an interesting work of art and one the proves the adage that the whole is greater than the parts.  Light Atlas could easily keep your attention for hours, which, in these times of short attention spans, is not an easy task.  If you have the opportunity to view Light Atlas, it’s well worth the time.

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One section of Light Atlas by Cynthia Daignault

Ogromna, NC Art Museum Park

Ogromna is a wood sculpture by American artist Ursula von Rydingsvard.  Starting with cedar blocks, von Rydingsvard creates works of art that are both abstract and natural. Interestingly, her works start as 4″ by 4″ cedar beams, which are then cut into blocks before being assembled, chipped and carved into the final sculpture.  Her works feel natural, rather than man-made.

This twenty foot tall sculpture reminds me of a tree turned upside down, or the face of a cliff.  It appears to have been formed by nature. Ogromna is a beautiful work of art.

Ogromna

 

Rodan Garden, NC Art Museum

When the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation donated 30 works by french sculptor Auguste Rodan to the North Carolina Art Museum in Raleigh, it gave the museum the largest collection of works by  Rodan between Philadelphia and the West Coast.

The Rodan Garden, outside the West Building, is a beautiful place to sit and enjoy the sculptures.  The reflecting pond, with its lily pads, are quite beautiful.  An added benefit is the garden rarely has more than one or two people, so you can enjoy the day in peace.

Rodan Garden

Gyre, NC Art Museum

Gyre is a sculpture by North Carolina artist Thomas Sayre.  The three huge rings were created on site in 1999, using reinforced concrete.  Circular trenches were dug, the reinforcements were placed and the concrete was poured.  Once the concrete was dry and cured, the rings were lifted into place by crane. You can still see the circular depressions where the rings were formed before being raised in place.

Gyre is one of the centerpieces of the NC Art Museum Park.  The sculpture is especially striking when, beginning at sunset, the rings are illuminated by flood lights.  It’s quite a sight.

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