The exhibition features some compelling artwork, but it falls into the same traps and stereotypes that have plagued many museum exhibitions featuring outlier artists (if that’s what we’re supposed to call them now).
It never reached the 5,000 inhabitants its creator dreamed of or produced much more than decorative wind-chimes, but the utopian city of Arcosanti may have just been ahead of its time. Designed by Italian architect Paolo Soleri, the compact metropolis was the embodiment of his idea of “arcology” — a fusion of architecture with ecology.
Against a backdrop of artistic, technological, political and social developments, the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) in Baltimore is presenting Human, Soul & Machine: The Coming Singularity! Timely and full of surprises, it is an exhibition that exudes a sense of urgency unlike that of many other museum shows of, say, the past decade in the US.
It’s easy to get obsessive around the holidays, what with the frantic shopping and cheerful imbibing and decorations to be placed. But some take it a long step further.
If you aren’t already quaking with anticipation for the latest installment of Art Basel Miami Beach, you obviously don’t matter.
All visitors to the American Visionary Art Museum get their hands stamped with a singe gazing blue eye, the logo for the museum that focuses on self-taught artists who use their work as an avenue for their personal vision. But while it’s an institution devoted to the inner voice, the museum is hardly an introverted place. In fact, its exterior is an overwhelming jumble of mosaics, strange sculptures embedded in the garden or riding motorcycles on the roof, and even a gold “hand of god” reaching out from one side. I visited on a recent rainy afternoon and even though the weather was dreary, the art inside and out of the museum was a flurry of whimsy and gleeful, almost manic, creation.