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Posted inOpinion

Cai Guo-Qiang’s Explosive West Coast Debut

LOS ANGELES — We were all gathered outside the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Geffen Contemporary space near the Arts District, waiting patiently for the show to start. We’d lined up around the block, and I quietly wondered when things would get going and suddenly it seemed like a giant fireball was hurtling toward us. The whole crowd panicked, then screamed, then hooted, then cheered. Another fireball burst, and then it finished almost as quickly as it had started.

Posted inArt

Beautiful Dirt

The art in Swept Away: Dust, Ashes, and Dirt in Contemporary Art and Design at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) has some of the best material lists I’ve ever seen: city dust and pencil on silk; soot on organic cotton canvas; dryer lint and cotton; blown glass and ash from burned books. It’s label text that borders on poetry.

Posted inOpinion

Cai Guo-Qiang Is Running on Empty

PROVIDENCE, RI — Cai Guo-Qiang’s Move Along, Nothing to See Here opened last Friday at the Cohen Gallery at Brown University in Rhode Island. The inaugural event for Brown’s “Year of China,” the exhibit includes work common to Cai’s oeuvre. The main sculptural work of the show, “Moving Along Nothing to See Here” (2006), has a title comprised of a phrase hear commonly used by policemen at a crime scene. It consists of two life-sized crocodiles, supported by wooden stills, their jaws wide open and writhing in pain.