Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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Dennos Welcomes Two New Modern Exhibitions

Kristi Kates - August 25th, 2014  

Li Hongbo & Matt Shlian: Stacked and Folded - Paper as Sculpture

One is organic, while the other is architectural.

One is from Beijing, while the other calls Ann Arbor home.

And both artists use paper as structures for their art.

East meets West in this Dennos exhibit, which brings together a Chinese and an American artist and their respectively stunning creations.

Li Hongbo’s work involves the stacking of thousands of sheets of paper, using glue and pressure to hold them together. Sawing, cutting, and later fine-tuning with sandpaper, he crafts the paper into sculptures that mimic marble.

Dennos Museum Center Executive Director Gene Jenneman first saw Hongbo’s work at Art Miami, the international showcase for collectors, curators, and artists.

“At the show, Hongbo was displaying what looked like marble busts,” Jenneman said. “Then, one of the gallery attendants pulled on a pair of white gloves, and suddenly pulled the head open. Jaws dropped! It created a sensation.”

Hongbo’s works will be displayed in several different forms, to showcase their malleability, as will the work of his exhibition partner, Matt Shlian.

As a “paper engineer,” Shlian has been working with the chemists and physicists at University of Michigan to mimic the way chemical structures and bonds look. He translates those experiences into his art.

Some of Shlian’s pieces look spiky and vaguely dangerous, while others evoke a pop-up book. The majority of his works are white, although some are black and a few feature color washes.

“I was fascinated with the way he folded and developed his works, which are more mathematical and geometric than Hongbo’s,” Jenneman said. “Matt’s works really are ‘engineered.’” Some of Shlian’s works pop apart, while others are designed to hang in a certain way. He’s even expanded on their interactive nature by shrinking some of his artworks down and making them available for purchase at the museum store.

“This is so people can buy them and then actually be able to engage with them, folding and unfolding on a smaller scale without affecting the exhibit itself,” Jenneman said.

Dennos Museum Center, Traverse City, Sept. 21 – Jan. 4, 2015

Chul Hyun Ahn: Infinite Space

New work being showcased at the Dennos in September will be that of Korean artist Chul Hyun Ahn, who uses light, color, and illusion to create his works.

Ahn’s art expands even further the efforts of the Dennos’ continued goal to bring in works that are non-traditional.

“Not what you might expect to see at the Dennos,” said Dennos Museum Center Executive Director Gene Jenneman.

For light sources, Ahn pairs fluorescents, black lights, and LEDs with cast acrylic, cast concrete, or plywood. Both regular and one-way mirrors create an artistic glow, with infinitely repeating patterns, tunnels with no end in sight, and gaping pits that appear to have no floor.

Ahn also sees his works as representations of a deeper meaning, his interpretations of the spaces and transitions between worlds such as the conscious and sub-conscious.

Jenneman first caught Ahn’s work at Art Miami in 2012.

“His exhibit was one of those things that people gather around and talk about but the gallery had actually sold all of his pieces at the show, so it took a while for him to build up more works and for us to get him here,” he said.

Jenneman said that Ahn’s “VOID” series may be one of his most interesting to date, as he experiments with bright colors that fade to black. He also has a series of new drawings on mirrors.

“He works with the reverse of the mirror, and scrapes into the backs of them to create pieces that are almost spider web-like,” Jenneman said.

Jenneman said that Ahn’s show will appeal to the public.

“I think his work is going to be very appealing to the public, whether you look at it as ‘just’ light sculptures, or get drawn into it as the artist wants you to, with thoughts towards consciousness and infinity,” he said.

Dennos Museum Center, Traverse City, Sept. 21 – Jan. 4, 2015

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