‘New Dimensions’ explores modern art

CLAES OLDENBERG | with permission Oldenberg’s “Profile Airflow” is a molded polyurethane relief over color lithograph depicts an old car. CLAES OLDENBERG | with permission

CLAES OLDENBERG | with permission Oldenberg’s “Profile Airflow” is a molded polyurethane relief over color lithograph depicts an old car. CLAES OLDENBERG | with permission

Shirley Yang
Reporter

An ever-stirring, eye-catching yellow nylon skirt inflates, deflates and swirls about as a humming sound resonates from it. The piece, “Ice bag – Scale B,” is one of the sculptures at the currently on display at the de Young Museum’s “New Dimensions” exhibit.

The show features works from Gemini G.E.L., a Los Angeles-based company that publishes limited editions of artworks and sculptures.

“I am for an art that imitates the human,” Claes Oldenberg, creator of “Ice bag — Scale B,” said in his “I am for an art” manifesto in May 1961. “I am for an art that takes its form from the lines of life itself.”

CLAES OLDENBERG | with permission Oldenberg’s “Profile Airflow” is a molded polyurethane relief over color lithograph depicts an old car.
Oldenberg’s “Profile Airflow” is a molded polyurethane relief over color lithograph depicts an old car. CLAES OLDENBERG | with permission

Oldenburg’s “Profile Airflow,” a cast polyurethane relief that encases a two-color lithograph of the Chrysler Airflow car made in 1969, which inspired and encouraged Gemini to expand its publishing criteria to include multiples, is also displayed in the show.

“These pieces represent a time where pop culture was against the norm, and looking back at this era, I can connect to the theme,” Sharon Templeton, a woman who lingered at the show said. “The art has a duality between simplicity and complexity, and it completely depends on the viewer to interpret the simplicity or complexity of the theme.”

The exhibit also includes “Modern Head” by pop artist Roy Lichenstein, who collaborated with Gemini G.E.L.

Lichenstein was inspired by the Russian-born expressionist artist Alexei Jawlensky while visiting the Pasadena Art Museum in 1968 and decided to make his own versions of these portrait heads.

“Modern Head” is a series of head sculptures, reliefs and prints of heads fashioned from wood, paper, steel and brass. Most of them were decorated with Ben-Day Dots — a commercial graphic device used to help cartoonists create texture to their compositions.

“The different styles and techniques that are used in the show really appeals to me,” Sarah Lynch, 17, visiting from Vermont said. “It feels like everything is unified by a common abstract theme.”

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