Saturday, June 21, 2008

Andrea Merrell at BAM: A rant

I like the fact that the Boise Art Museum has exhibits from two Idaho artists in right now, Andrea Merrell (whose exhibit, Measure of Man, closes Sunday) and Gerri Sayler (whose instillation Ad Infinitum opened recently and will remain open until October).

But I was a little disappointed in the amount of space they gave to Andrea Merrell. Gerri Sayler got the entire back room, the one that leads out to the sculpture garden, with good reason: Her sculpture is simply enormous, and it needs the high ceilings of that room. Merrell got three smaller rooms, but frankly, I think she only needed the one small center room that leads from the lobby to Sayler's exhibit. Merrell's best work is on a small scale. There's nothing wrong with that. I found her tiny wall-mounted wooden squares with painted line carvings of absurdly contorted human forms to be quite charming. And her paper creations that sit in glass cases were also quite nice. They brought to mind the origami ladies my college roommate from Japan made for me from brightly patterned paper and toothpicks. That's a happy memory.

No, my problem is with the room to the north that I walked through to get to that part of Merrell's exhibit. That room was filled entirely with circles and squares. They weren't even particularly interestingly arranged circles and squares, in my opinion.

The circles and squares were also part of Merrell's exhibit, but I wondered how many of the special brownies Boise Art Museum staff had to consume before they deemed them to be great art.

Why, Boise Art Museum? Why did you fill an entire room full of circles and squares? Were there no other emerging artists in Idaho or outside the state who could have filled that room? I find that hard to believe. It made me angry because gallery space is precious, and I know a lot of talented emerging artists would give their eye teeth for that kind of exposure.

I cooled down enough after leaving the circle-and-square room to get a little enjoyment out of Merrell's contortionist carvings and paper cutouts. Then I poked my head into the third, southern room of her exhibit. More geometric shapes.

Bloody hell.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

you think the cicle and squares are lame... wait till you see this kooky artist copied exactly Rubik's cube!! it is on another web site. deep art