When I first walked into “Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of Hi-Fructose,” I was taken back by the “Maddest Hatter,” an installation created by Mark Dean Veca. I had previously seen pictures of Veca’s installation on Hi-Fructose’s website and knew a little background on the installation. I had read that Veca did a whole new installation for the Crocker Museum. The installation’s colors pop out and transport viewers to a new world. I felt as though I was not even in a museum. The sensation of being in another world is done so by the interaction the audience has with the installation, which includes the use of beanbag chairs on the ground. Like Veca’s installation, the beanbag chairs are white and bubbly, inviting the audience to become part of Veca’s work by sitting and chatting with friends, or by relaxing and enjoying Veca’s work.
Mark Dean Veca Maddest Hatter (2017), installation at Crocker Museum.
To the left of the room was the rest of the exhibition and, just like the previous room, it felt as though I had been transported somewhere else. The walls were alive with contemporary works. The use of dim lights in the room allowed the colors and characters in each piece of work to playfully pop out. The whole atmosphere in the room was playful and keeps the audience attentive.
Hi-Fructose Curators Alison Byrne and Heather Hakimzadeh did an amazing job selecting the fifty-one artists throughout the Hi-Fructose volumes; all of the featured works aesthetically complement one another, yet the underlying concepts vary for each work.
Brian Dettmer (b.1974), one of the artists featured in “Turn the Page: The First Ten Years,” uses old books to create his works by hollowing out the insides of the books and “revealing the illustrations buried within the texts.” Another artist, Gehard Demetz (b.1972), uses woods carvings to create his sculptures, using religion as a theme and creating a sinister outlook on the human race. Demetz outlook allows him to make a connection with the audience by showing the good and bad side that we all hold within us. He uses the stance of religious saints and the concept of evil of the human race within his titles.
Gehard Demetz, “One Eye Sees, One Eye Serves” 2012. Wood.
Female artists included are California natives Tiffany Bozic (b.1979) and Audrey Kawasaki (b.1982). Bozic draws from her observation at the California Academy of Science in San Francisco, as well as her travels to exotic locations. Bozic takes her observations of nature and combines them with her personal life, incorporating both into her works. Kawasaki (b.1982), who hails from Los Angeles, brings anime-like characters to life, while depicting innocence and sexual desire throughout her works. Her use of neutral and pastel colors, in addition to wood paneling that extends across her works, reflect the traditional Japanese style of woodblock print. Kawasaki puts a contemporary spin on her works by creating life-like characters with eyes that tell stories by boring into the observer.
Kawasaki, Bozic, Dettmer, and Demetz are a few of the artists who pulled me into the exhibition. “Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of Hi-Fructose” is an exhibition all curious people and art-lovers should see considering there is everything from sculptures, painting and certain interactive works as well. Its aesthetic beauty, accompanied by multiple platforms of concept and content are unique. Each visitor will find something that they like within the exhibition. “Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of Hi-Fructose” is a treat to have in Sacramento and will be running until Sept. 17.
From left to right: Brian Dettmer Log 2, (2007) altered book. Top right: Gehard Demetz How Do You Feed Spirits? (2012) limewood and acrylic paint. Middle right: Tiffany Bozic Metronome (2007) acrylic on maple panel. Bottom right: Audrey Kawasaki It Was You (2014) oil and graphite on wood.
Where: Crocker Art Museum “Hi-Fructose: The First Ten Years” is running until September 17th 2017.
Some more great work from the show: Beth Cavener, “Trapped” 2015. Stoneware, paint, 18 k gold, rope, wood.
Tara McPherson, “Wandering Luminations” 2013. Oil on Linen.
_Jennybird Alcantara, “Creatures of Saintly Disguise” 2012. Oil on wood.
Cover photo by Garrett Daniells