Originality Shines in Akron Art Museum’s “Intersections”
Since the opening night in October, I have made repeat visits to Intersections: Artists Master Line and Space at the Akron Art Museum. This show features six contemporary sculptors who use paper as an essential aspect to their practice – from experimental techniques like hand-corrugated paper sculptures to abaca paper pressed into carved wood, the playful nature to this exhibition has kept me coming back for multiple viewings.
The show is an excellent example of what artists can accomplish when given freedom to explore and innovate in their fields. Each gallery has a new surprise waiting within and there is a sense of curiosity to each process because the work is exciting and unexpected. The range of experimentation is refreshing and encourages visitors to look closely to the materials used.
Nathalie Miebach spent years collecting weather measurements as content for her artwork. Every piece is constructed carefully as they plot and map out coordinates to related data from storms. The energy from this information translates perfectly in the work as she explores new sculptural possibilities with wood, rope, and reed. Nathalie was active in theater prior to being a sculptor and considers the gallery as an ideal stage for her visual experiences.
Another highlight is the breathtaking cotton strands sprawled across the gallery by Anne Lindberg in her piece Inside Green. The Egyptian cotton thread creates an optical illusion that is both magical and awe-inspiring. You’ll witness fellow visitors attempting to capture this sensation via their smart phones. Sadly, disappointment sets in when they realize the experience must be savored first hand because it does not translate to Instagram.
Mark Fox found a way to transform one of his vices into a virtue. His studio was littered with abandoned “ugly” drawings that he decided to systematically construct into hand-corrugated paper. His approach is both precise and playful, which seems to be closely related to his history as a puppeteer and filmmaker. Other experimental methods include cutting droplets and surgically adhering them to a larger composition or rolling “bad” drawings into paper branches that are used to create stylized sculptures. He brings an important and thoughtful point of view to Intersections.
One of the most overtop and intricate installations is Judy Pfaff’s Turtle, which is a visual playground of lively materials unified through complex architectural structures. There are spiraling digital images mounted to discs that are intertwined with glass, wood, fluorescent tubes, Plexiglas and much more. Mouths just drop open as viewers gawk at the manifestation she has engineered in one of the more intimate gallery spaces. Prepare to be engulfed by both chaos and beauty while strolling through her presentation. I left her space wanting to know more about her life experiences and how they had led her to such unbridled creativity.
This show is a pure delight and shouldn’t be missed. The artwork has been brilliantly arranged in each space by curator, Janice Driesbach. The amount of detail that has gone into preparing the galleries by the installation staff is incredible. If you have family visiting for the holidays, I highly recommend taking them to the Akron Art Museum.