The Rapidian

The human body in all its beauty and strangeness at Frederik Meijer Gardens

26 artists from all over the world tackle the human form for ArtPrize at Frederik Meijer Gardens.
Underwriting support from:

Body Double: The Figure in Contemporary Sculpture

Wednesday, September 19, 2012—Sunday, January 6, 2013

(ArtPrize, Wednesday, September 19—Sunday, October 7)

Extended ArtPrize Hours (Sep 19–Oct 7)
Sundays, 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Mondays–Thursdays, 9 a.m. until 8 p.m.
Fridays–Saturdays, 9 a.m. until 10 pm

For those who are looking for a reason to venture off the beaten path beyond the hub of ArtPrize exhibits in downtown Grand Rapids, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park has a collection of 26 works available. This is the second year in a row that the Gardens have had a themed exhibit for ArtPrize, and the focus this year is on the human body. The exhibit is titled "Body Double: The Figure in Contemporary Sculpture" and it features an assorted mix of sculpture, video, and other art forms.

“There is no question that we have put together a cohesive and engaging exhibition,” says Joseph Becherer, the Chief Curator at Frederik Meijer Gardens. “The theme around the figure in sculpture as either an object or metaphor gives a strong guide as to the world of art today.”

With artists from the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, England, Pakistan, China, South Korea and across the Unites States, guests to the Gardens might notice an international flavor to these literal and abstract depictions of the human form.

In some cases the artwork obviously represents the human form, like the traditional lifelike nude sculptures (including an arresting depiction of a male figure hanging upside down from the ceiling in the gallery) but some are more symbolic. Artist Deanna Morse’s installation is a 4 ½ minute experimental film incorporating 2500 still images juxtaposing close-ups of scarred tree bark and wrinkled human skin.

“In this exhibit most of the pieces are pretty literal in terms of actually seeing a human form and my piece stretches it a bit because it’s more metaphorical,” says Morse. “And what I am trying to do is to consider how the scars on the human body or on the trees are an archive of stressors, environmental stressors or other kinds of stressors and to consider how we get through those stresses and negative experiences and still stay upright.”

In addition to video, clay, plastic bags, glass and articles of clothing are just a few of the materials utilized by the contributing artists to depict the human experience in all its beauty and strangeness.

The venue's location on the northeast side of Grand Rapids means that it is much less congested than the higher traffic art spaces in the heart of the city.

“You have more time to really look at the piece and because it’s not so crowded. You get to see all of the pieces on your own time as opposed to, ‘quick move to the next one,’” says Andrea Wolschleger, Public Relations manager at the Gardens.

The Body Double exhibit will be showing until January 6, 2013.

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