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Rice Gallery is the only university gallery dedicated solely to site-specific installation art. Artists from around the world are invited twice a year to create temporary, large-scale environments that Houston visitors can enter and explore.
With each installation, the Gallery publishes catalogs to document the artist’s work. This particular booklet focuses on Garden Object, a work by the London-based studio, El Ultimo Grito. The catalog is a graphic design project led by Gallery directors and includes interviews and essays with both the artist and local art critics alike.
“To design a public installation in the middle of a city is very different from designing one in a gallery context. In the city, the functionality of the object is justified by its context; people continuously confront it. In a gallery, functionality is deprived of real context. There is no need for a functional object in an art gallery, people do not go to a gallery to have a coffee or read the newspaper. For Rice Gallery, however, we wanted to make sure that visitors would come in and spend time in the installation, exploring and using it rather than just consuming it as an image behind the glass wall.
“Garden Object is an abstract structure that is a crossover between the traditional English garden and Hieronymus Bosch’s famous painted triptych, Garden of Earthly Delights (1500-1505). This painting, which hangs in the Museo del Prado in Madrid, has been forged into our subconscious minds since childhood, as much for its eerie atmosphere as its detailed scenes, which we could look at for hours. For Garden Object we appropriated the paintings pallet of colors, reinterpreting the pinks and the blues into graphic patterns. To create a kind of triptych, we made an installation with three different kinds of spaces: one light and airy, one dark with projections of ever-flying birds, and one in which a phosphorescent water feature lends a feeling of the surreal.” – El Ultimo Grito
Courtesy of Rice Gallery. For more information on the artwork, please visit:
Advisor: Joshua Fischer