The Brooklyn Wave, Continued

On Monday, April 7, glass was installed over The Brooklyn Wave, our first permanent Wave site, located at 40 North 4th Street in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, New York. After the scaffolding was removed later in the week, The Wave was newly visible throughout the three-story atrium of the 90 unit-luxury apartment building. With its brilliant colors and playful shapes that represent a series of ocean swells, The Brooklyn Wave has begun to engage passersby on the street and has become a focal point for construction workers within the building itself.

The Brooklyn Wave, Elena Kalman and Susan Hoffman Fishman, 2014


The Brooklyn Wave, Elena Kalman and Susan Hoffman Fishman, 2014

 The Brooklyn Wave, Elena Kalman and Susan Hoffman Fishman, 2014


The Brooklyn Wave, Elena Kalman and Susan Hoffman Fishman, 2014

 The Brooklyn Wave, Elena Kalman and Susan Hoffman Fishman, 2014


The Brooklyn Wave, Elena Kalman and Susan Hoffman Fishman, 2014

 The Brooklyn Wave, Elena Kalman and Susan Hoffman Fishman, 2014


The Brooklyn Wave, Elena Kalman and Susan Hoffman Fishman, 2014

 The Brooklyn Wave, Detail


The Brooklyn Wave, Detail

 The Brooklyn Wave, Detail


The Brooklyn Wave, Detail

 

 

 

The Brooklyn Wave

Ode to Scaffolds 

For many centuries, artists have completed large scale paintings, frescos and murals while perched atop precarious scaffolding. A few notable examples: Michelangelo famously strained his neck looking up from scaffolds while he was working on the ceiling of the magnificent Sistine Chapel from 1508 – 1512 in Rome; and 20th Century Mexican artist, Diego Rivero, boldly executed scores of wall-sized murals that routinely involved spending weeks and months on scaffolds.

 Diego Rivera on Scaffolding.


Diego Rivera Working on his Rockefeller Center Mural in 1933

On April 2nd and 3rd, Elena and I climbed onto our own scaffolds at 40 North 4th Street in Brooklyn, New York to create our first permanent installation of The Wave. Located in the atrium of a 90-unit luxury apartment building that Elena herself designed, this version of The Wave spans three floors and overlooks a bar area on the lower level, the building’s lobby on the entry level and a floor of apartments on the second level.  Here are some photos of the work in progress.

 Elena Kalman Working on the Brooklyn Wave, 2014


Elena Kalman Working on the Brooklyn Wave, 2014

 The Brooklyn Wave in Progress, Elena Kalman and Susan Hoffman Fishman, 2014


The Brooklyn Wave in Progress, Elena Kalman and Susan Hoffman Fishman, 2014

 The Brooklyn Wave in Progress, Elena Kalman and Susan Hoffman Fishman, 2014


The Brooklyn Wave in Progress, Elena Kalman and Susan Hoffman Fishman, 2014

 The Brooklyn Wave in Progress, Elena Kalman and Susan Hoffman Fishman, 2014


The Brooklyn Wave in Progress, Elena Kalman and Susan Hoffman Fishman, 2014

 

Homage to Snow in Red

Art Embracing Winter

In my last post, Art for the Winter Weary, I called attention to the sand ‘paintings’ of Andres Amador, created on the warm beaches of San Francisco, California, as a pleasant escape from the winter woes here in New England and in other parts of the world where cold and snow are currently at its peak.

This post, however, is devoted to embracing winter rather than wishing it away. On a strikingly brilliant day last week, Elena and I used the abundant, free, white stuff that had fallen around us as an enormous blank canvas for the fabrication of a river of red or, as we call it, an ‘Homage to Snow in Red.’

This is me, carving the ‘riverbed’ into a pristine field flooded with blue shadows cast from the surrounding trees.

 Susan Hoffman Fishman Carving The Red Sea, 2014 Photo ©Elena Kalman


Susan Hoffman Fishman Carving The Red Sea, 2014
Photo © Elena Kalman 

We filled the riverbed with red polycarbonate film that we normally use as part of our Wave installations.

 Susan Hoffman Fishman and Elena Kalman, "Homage to Snow in Red," 2014  © Elena Kalman


Susan Hoffman Fishman and Elena Kalman, “Homage to Snow in Red,” 2014
Photo © Elena Kalman

 Susan Hoffman Fishman and Elena Kalman, "Homage to Snow in Red, Detail," 2014 Photo © Elena Kalman


Susan Hoffman Fishman and Elena Kalman, “Homage to Snow in Red, Detail 1,” 2014
Photo © Elena Kalman

And then, as most artists do when they are not quite satisfied with what they had originally planned, we began to move the installation to the areas of snow surrounding the riverbed, and then finally to add strands of black cord as a contrasting linear component.

Susan Hoffman Fishman and Elena Kalman, Homage to Snow in Red, Detail 2 Photo © Susan Hoffman Fishman


Susan Hoffman Fishman and Elena Kalman, “Homage to Snow in Red, Detail 2,” 2014
Photo © Susan Hoffman Fishman

 Susan Hoffman Fishman and Elena Kalman, "Homage to Snow in Red, Detail 3," 2014 Photo © Susan Hoffman Fishman


Susan Hoffman Fishman and Elena Kalman, “Homage to Snow in Red, Detail 3,” 2014
Photo © Susan Hoffman Fishman

 Susan Hoffman Fishman and Elena Kalman, "Homage to Snow in Red, Detail 4," 2014 Photo © Susan Hoffman Fishman


Susan Hoffman Fishman and Elena Kalman, “Homage to Snow in Red, Detail 4,” 2014
Photo © Susan Hoffman Fishman

 Susan Hoffman Fishman and Elena Kalman, "Homage to Snow in Red, Detail 5, 2014 Photo © Susan Hoffman Fishman


Susan Hoffman Fishman and Elena Kalman, “Homage to Snow in Red, Detail 5, 2014
Photo © Susan Hoffman Fishman

 

The Pumpkin Wave

A Bit of Orange Whimsy

Sometimes we go off on a tangent from our primary Wave installations to experiment with other applications of the polycarbonate film or to react to a particular visual inspiration that one or both of us has imagined.  We did that when we created our brilliantly-colored ‘Snow Wave‘ that lay in gay contrast against the stark white of the winter landscape, and again when we installed our dramatic, vertical Rain Wave at a height of 25′ and suspended by cable across an early spring woodland setting.

This time, with a bit of whimsy on our minds, we responded to an artists’ call to create a three-dimensional interpretation of a pumpkin for an exhibition devoted solely to this iconic, orange vegetable at the historic Van Cortland Museum in Croton-on-Hudson, New York.  The exhibition was developed to coincide with the museum’s wildly popular, annual event called The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze that traditionally attracts tens of thousands of visitors over a five week period of time and features over 5000 carved and lit pumpkins spread throughout the grounds. The 2013 Blaze and exhibition run from October 5, 2013 – November 11.

The finished Pumpkin Wave was constructed out of eight aluminum strips that are attached to a large, central cardboard sonotube and form the structure of the sculpture  The individual orange Wave pieces were originally created by visitors to the Wave installation at the National Aquarium in Baltimore on June 8, 2013.  Check out a few of these young participants using the vibrant, orange film below.

 Visitors to the National Aquarium in Baltimore on World Ocean's Day Cutting Pieces of the Wave From Orange Polycarbonate Film


Visitors to the National Aquarium in Baltimore on World Ocean’s Day, 2013: Cutting Pieces of the Wave From Orange Polycarbonate Film

And here is the striking Pumpkin Wave, lit from within and casting mysterious shadows onto the ceiling and walls.

 The Pumpkin Wave at Van Cortland Museum, Croton-on-Hudson, NY,  Polycarbonate Film, Plywood, Aluminum, 2013


The Pumpkin Wave at Van Cortland Museum, Croton-on-Hudson, NY, Polycarbonate Film, Plywood, Aluminum, Sonotube, 2013

‘Rain Waves

April Showers

It’s April and, as a tribute to ‘April Showers,’ Elena and I created a Rain Wave. Rain never looked so stunning or so hopeful. The installation emphasizes the brilliance of rain, which provides vital moisture for the land, fills our reservoirs, ponds, rivers, lakes and streams for human and animal consumption and nourishes our lives.

 Rain Wave Photograph Courtesy of Elena Kalman


Rain Wave,  Susan Hoffman Fishman and Elena Kalman, 2013
Photograph Courtesy of Elena Kalman

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Rain Wave,  Susan Hoffman Fishman and Elena Kalman, 2013
Photograph Courtesy of Elena Kalman

 Rain Wave, Susan Hoffman Fishman and Elena Kalman Photography Courtesy of Elena Kalman


Rain Wave, Detail, Susan Hoffman Fishman and Elena Kalman, 2013
Photography Courtesy of Elena Kalman

 Rain Wave, Detail, Susan Hoffman Fishman and Elena Kalman, 2013 Photograph Courtesy of Elena Kalman


Rain Wave, Detail, Susan Hoffman Fishman and Elena Kalman, 2013
Photograph Courtesy of Elena Kalman

 

 

Homage to the Square (Wave)

The Appealing Square

There’s something about the square, the elegant geometric shape with four equal sides and four equal angles, that has always fascinated artists as a simple but challenging format for two dimensional works of art.

Joseph Albers (1888 – 1976), a German-born, American abstract painter and educator, is probably the one artist whose body of work is most commonly associated with the square. Starting in 1949, Albers devoted decades to exploring the interaction of solid planes of color and the optical effects of color in his series of square paintings, entitled, Homage to the Square. A professor of art at Yale University from 1950 – 1958, Albers published a book in 1963 entitled, Interaction of Color, which documented his ground-breaking theory of color. Joseph Albers completed hundreds of Homage to the Square paintings and prints in his lifetime.

 Joseph Albers, Homage to the Square, 1965


Joseph Albers, Homage to the Square, 1965

The Square Wave

Elena and I have long been ‘into’ the square format.  In 2010, we worked separately but concurrently on a large series of square, mixed media paintings on paper that we called Sea Squares.  The give and take of completing these 18″ x 18″ paintings as we sat side by side was most likely the determining experience that propelled us to collaborate on future projects and, ultimately, on The Wave.

 Red Rocks by Elena Kalman, Mixed Media on Paper, 2010 Courtesy of Elena Kalman


“Red Rocks” by Elena Kalman, Mixed Media on Paper, 18″ x 18,” 2010
©Elena Kalman

 Sea Square by Susan Hoffman Fishman, 2008 ©Susan Hoffman Fishman


“Sand and Waves” by Susan Hoffman Fishman, Mixed Media on Paper, 18″ x 18,” 2010
©Susan Hoffman Fishman

It was only a matter of time before we would eventually experiment with using the square format in some way with The Wave. The fact that the whole concept of a square wave is an oxymoron was all the more appealing to us. What is the best way to confine the undulating pieces of The Wave within a rigid geometric square so that the final image actually reads square wave? Here are a few samples of what we came up with.


“Blue Square Wave”
Photograph courtesy of Susan Hoffman Fishman

 Square Wave Courtesy of Susan Hoffman Fishman


“2 Square Waves”
Photograph courtesy of Susan Hoffman Fishman

 "Square Wave Corners" Courtesy of Susan Hoffman Fishman


“Square Wave Corners”
Photograph courtesy of Susan Hoffman Fishman

 Blue Square Wave and Colored Square Wave Courtesy of Susan Hoffman Fishman


“Blue Square Wave and Multi-Colored Square Wave”
Photograph courtesy of Susan Hoffman Fishman

 'Multi-Colored Square Wave" Courtesy of Susan Hoffman Fishman


‘Multi-Colored Square Wave”
Photograph courtesy of Susan Hoffman Fishman

 

The Snow Wave

Snow as a Medium for Public Art

Although water is a substance found almost everywhere on Earth, snow, its frozen equivalent, is not.  Those of us who live or have lived where snow makes its presence felt every winter, have all created public art with this medium at some point during our lives: snow people of all sizes and shapes, snow castles, snow totems, snow forts and other more elaborate snow carvings. A number of contemporary artists use snow to express their awe of nature, the vastness of a pristine, snow-covered landscape or simply the intrinsic beauty of the material. French artist, Simon Beck, fabricates enormous, complex patterns in the snow by stomping in snow shoes over his ‘canvas.’

simon-beck-snow-art-6


Snow Art by Simon Beck
Photograph Courtesy of Simon Beck

Simon Beck's Wave


Snow Art by Simon Beck
Photograph Courtesy of Simon Beck

The Snow Wave

On February 8 and 9, 2013, Blizzard Charlotte, a storm of historic proportions, dumped almost three feet of snow in my figurative and literal backyard.  Using the white material as a ‘canvas’ of our own, Elena and I created a Wave installation in the snow. All of the pieces that have been created to date by visitors at Wave sites, minus the ones currently hanging at the Gaffney Elementary School in New Britain, CT, went into the sculpture that cascaded down the side of the house, meandered into and over the brook and flowed around the garden plantings.  We were exhausted from tromping through knee-deep snow for three hours, but gratified by the results.

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The Snow Wave, 2013 by Susan Hoffman Fishman and Elena Kalman
Photograph Courtesy of Elena Kalman

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The Snow Wave, 2013 by Susan Hoffman Fishman and Elena Kalman
Photograph Courtesy of Elena Kalman

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The Snow Wave, 2013 by Susan Hoffman Fishman and Elena Kalman
Photograph Courtesy of Elena Kalman

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The Snow Wave, 2013 by Susan Hoffman Fishman and Elena Kalman
Photograph Courtesy of Elena Kalman