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Famous Modern Art Installations – Part 2

  • Posted on: August 20, 2018
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Art installations have been with us for quite some time, and although some are shrouded in controversy, this newest form of art has been taken to by art lovers and the general public. Art installations challenge us in different ways that conventional art does not and makes us look at everyday objects differently.

The fact that most art installations are only available to view for a limited time adds to the attraction as the viewer is experiencing something transitory. In part one of our search for the best art installations that have ever been, we saw an intriguing installation in Paris and another in Antwerp, and in this blog post we continue our search for even more.

The Happy Ending of Franz Kafka’s America

In 1994, Martin Kippenberger placed an eclectic collection of office furniture including desks, tables, office chairs and random lifeguard platforms in an open space as an installation. The installation was a proposed ending for the popular book Amerika, by Franz Kafka.

Amerika was not finished because of the death of the author, but surprisingly Kippenberger claimed that he had never read the novel. In the book a firm claims to find employment for everybody, and the office furniture represents an employment agency. The different kinds of furniture featured represents the diverse people that would partake in interviews, and Kippenberger takes it to another level with beach chairs and the lifeguard platforms.

Peep Show / Endless Love Show

This highly controversial installation is by Yayoi Kusama and it was created way back in 1966. Kusama created a hexagonal space with the walls covered in mirrors. The floor was illuminated by pulsating lights and there were two peepholes that viewers could look into the installation from.

Strewn on the floor of the installation were semi-naked ladies, and the work exhibits unbound space that has been a part of the artist’s work since she began. Kusama started her career in New York where she soon found fame and fortune as a renowned artist. Her art has always suggested that instead of looking for any meaning in the work itself, the viewer should seek to understand the mental processes of viewing the art as the main point.

Asphalt Rundown

This outdoor installation was first created in 1978 by Robert Smithson and is classed as Land Art. At the top of a gravelly hillside is a large dumper truck full of dark asphalt, the hillside is the color of light brown and when the dumpster tips its load down the hillside, a black stain sporadically pours down the hillside.

Smithson’s previous work had included Minimalist sculptures, but Asphalt Rundown was a break from his previous creations. The installation site was specific, and other land installations were relying on that aspect too. Since the locations are mostly in far flung locales, not many viewers actually see the work live, and the art is seen through the medium of photography.

All these art installations are very different in the thinking of presenting art as an installation and all that entails. They are very challenging and make the viewer think outside the box as their brains try to understand what the art is trying to achieve.