three summer exhibitions

text and photos courtesy of SMoCA

The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art ( SMoCA) presents three exhibitions aimed at engaging visitors of all ages this summer. The lineup for this season includes a playful exhibition about animals with more than 130 artists, a focused survey of one artist’s dynamic installations and an immersive experience that incorporates light, sound and technology.

“From the analog to the digital, we hope to capture the imagination of every visitor through a wide array of artistic styles and approaches,” says Jennifer McCabe, SMoCA acting director. “SMoCA is proud of its commitment to local, regional and international artists, and that is exactly what we have on view this summer.”

Mayme Kratz, Solo Flight, 1995. Cast resin, found objects, wood, 12 x 22 x 6 inches. Photo courtesy of Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. 

Wild Thing: Adventures with the Permanent Collection is on display through September 30. Featuring more than 130 artworks from SMoCA’s permanent collection, the exhibit celebrates all things animal — a menagerie in print, paint and sculpture. This show explores the relationship between artist and animal and its enduring relevance in contemporary art, inviting visitors to discover works by notable Arizona artists such as Mayme Kratz, Randy Slack and Anne Coe, alongside pieces by William Wegman, Lynda Benglis and Alexander Calder. Guests have the opportunity to see many familiar faces of the Southwest’s fauna and beyond.

Refik Anadol, Infinity Room, 2015. Immersive environment, approximately 12 x 12 x 12 feet. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Also on view through September 30 is Refik Anadol: Infinity Room. In this immersive installation by Turkish-born, Los Angeles-based artist, guests step into a mirrored room that uses light, sound and technology to create a three-dimensional kinetic and architectonic space. The installation uses projection mapping to conceive a constantly changing virtual landscape — an imagined environment that attempts to merge the space between the physical and the virtual. The work is as experiential as it is thought-provoking. The resulting experiment invites viewers to question their own perception of place and self. This exhibit is part of Anadol’s ongoing research that he calls Temporary Immersive Environment Experiments, which refer to the state of consciousness known as immersion. Typically occurring in virtual or artificial environments, the viewer’s awareness of his or her own physical self is temporarily transformed. Originally presented in collaboration with the 2015 Istanbul Biennial, the installation has since traveled around the world before stopping in Arizona.

Lydia Okumura, In Front of Light. First realized at International Biennial of São Paulo, 1977. Glass, paracord and L-brackets. Photography by IMG-INK, courtesy of the artist and Broadway 1602 Uptown & Harlem.

Lydia Okumura: Situations will be on display through October 14. This is the first solo museum exhibition of the Brazilian-born artist that showcases her dynamic installations, indoor and outdoor sculptures and works on paper. The exhibition, spanning two galleries, is a survey of the artist’s career, with work dating from 1971 through the present day. Known in Brazil for her spatially engaging work, Okumura remains under-recognized in her adopted country of the United States. She actively challenges viewers to question their perception of space through works that blur the line between two and three dimensions. Using simple materials such as string, glass and paint, her artworks balance line, plane and shadow.

On display at SMoCA will be the installation In Front of Light for which Okumura won a prize in the 1977 São Paulo Biennial, along with additional installations from the ‘70s and ‘80s. These include the colored-string installation, Prismatic Appearance, from 1975, and several wire mesh sculptures recreated from Okumura’s 1984 solo exhibition at the Sao Paulo Museum of Modern Art, including the installation Labyrinth.