On Friday, I braved the cold to go to the opening reception for the Intuit center's exhibition, Welcome to the World of Mr. Imagination. Needless to say, it was worth the trouble.
Hopefully before the exhibition closes, I will spend more time with the art and write more, but for now I'll keep my comments brief. To that end, if you'd like more information on the show, see the statement on the Intuit website.
After letting the show percolate, there are two main ideas resonating with me at this point.
The first is the importance of accumulation, not just in each individual work, but as a body of work and exhibition. This created a nice micro/macro dynamic between the art and the gallery. I had never seen more than a few works by Mr. I in one place, and I was impressed by the affect of so many pieces together. The works were organized nicely into different lines of material investigations, but not separated so as to lose the gestalt of the exhibition as a whole. The obsessiveness of the work is bolstered by the amount on display.
A second, and related, thought I was left with is the importance of Mr. I as a character. Not only was he exceptionally prolific, but his persona and studio seem to have been an extension of his practice to a greater degree than with many artists. The exhibition addressed this by displaying a number of excellent portraits of the artist and his studio by various photographers. These images are good in their own right and do much to convey the charisma and dedication of Mr. I.
The exhibition, which features diverse works spanning many years, will be a useful antidote for those who have only seen one or two pieces by Mr. Imagination.
Welcome to the World of Mr. Imagination will be on display until April 25, 2015. The exhibition was curated by Martha Henry.