Monday, November 11, 2013

deCordova/Red, Yellow and Blue

Installation by Orly Genger
Link to the Installation Website:

The PR Buzz: "The miles of crocheted and layered rope articulate the topography of the sculpture park, reference the familiar low-lying stone walls that line the New England countryside, and offer fresh opportunities to engage with the landscape."

This installation was originally commissioned by New York City's Madison Square Park Conservancy and was on view there, in a very different configuration, during the summer of 2013. An in-depth review of this work, and Orly Genger's career, can be found here.

Recommended For:  Red, Yellow and Blue is a weighty, delightful, adventurous work that is well worth the journey to Lincoln.

The Experience: 
I went to see the Red, Yellow and Blue installation by Orly Genger at the deCordova in Lincoln.  It was a crisp November afternoon with bright watery sunlight.  The drive to Lincoln was lovely as always and turning into the park, I could see the red of Red, Yellow and Blue running up the hillside behind the stylish entry kiosk. We parked and headed back through the grounds to the site of the installation.  I say we, because I brought my children along with me, something I encourage anyone with children to do. It strikes me that Genger’s work has an implicit child-like impulse to it and experiencing the adventure of Red, Yellow and Blue vicariously through my children added greatly to the experience. “Follow it!” called one of my children, and follow it we did up from the lower grounds, over the rocky outcropping at the top of the ridge and down the other side to where the blue end tailed off near the forest. 

The installation did not “reference the familiar low-lying stone walls that line the New England countryside” for me, but there was a wonderful gnarled tactility of the massed of rope that did feel very true to the New England aesthetic.  The vivid colors of the installation referenced by the title, harmonized interestingly with the colors of the Massachusetts foliage- an echo made particularly poignant in the fading natural colors of late autumn. This drives me to mention that Red, Yellow and Blue will be on view at the deCordova for a year and I am eager to make return visits in other seasons. 

Genger’s choice of rope as a medium gave the added appeal that the installation rewards experience from close up as well as from far away.  From a distance, the work flowed softly and organically across the grounds. However, when I stood close, the stiff and fibrous texture of the rope gave a spiky counterpoint to the smooth curves of the overall work. Moreover, as I got close, the sheer weight of the deliberately piled walls made its presence felt- particularly in the red section where the barrier rose high over my head.

-Vident Omnes

While You're There: While there, take in the 2013 deCordova Biennial.  However, be warned that this is far less child friendly.  My hopes of viewing this in the same trip were dashed as one of my children started to de-install Laura Bracialle’s whimsical Rods and Cones. Deciding to quit while ahead, I gathered us up and headed back to the car after a very satisfying visit.

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