Examining ‘The Arrangement’ behind the art at One Colorado in Pasadena

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When you look at a piece of art, what do you see?

Maybe you stand away from the work and admire its shape and form. Maybe you move closer and focus in on brush strokes or chisel markings, the movements that betray its creation.

But what if the work itself was invisible? When, then, would remain?

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New to The Artist Studio at One Colorado is Carly Steward, who deconstructs “The Arrangement” and puts the unseen elements of an art exhibition under examination.

They are the pieces that hold it all together. (Our staff writer Stacey Wang describes them as “the supporting cast” in the art world.)
“Take away the artwork from a museum exhibit and you’re left with reminders of what was once there — a pedestal, some wood covered in fabric, maybe a metal prong,” Wang writes.

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The most simple and seemingly unobtrusive elements — such as mounts, lighting, wall color, scale and arrangement choices — come into play.
“When you really start to look at these display tools, they can be really elaborate and quite beautiful and intricate,” Steward says. “They’re often the objects that are supposed to be invisible or not looked at.”

And Steward intends to further bend the traditional rules of artistic engagement between gallery space and viewer. Wang reports:

… The museum rule of “don’t touch” doesn’t apply. Patrons are encouraged to contribute to the artistic process by rearranging the installation as they see fit, then documenting their work with a provided digital camera.

Steward’s residency in the One Colorado studio follows on the heels of a stay by artist Christina Pierson, who presented a complementary, if wildly different, installation that focused on another “invisible” motivator. (That’s Pierson, at right, taking photos in the studio.)

Pierson’s “Solar Catch” was powered by the sun’s energy using photographs printed on light-reflective and light-magnifying materials. And, as the sunlight faded each day, the harnessed energy went to work, lighting up the installation from within at night.

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Read the full story on “The Arrangement” in our arts and culture issue.

“The Arrangement” is on view through Jan. 10 at The Artist Studio at One Colorado. The studio is a partnership between the Armory Center for the Arts and One Colorado. Mon. and Tue., 10 a.m.-noon; Wed., noon-7 p.m.; Sat. and Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 24 E. Union St., Pasadena. (626) 564-1066, onecolorado.com

(Photos by Sarah Reingewirtz and Watchara Phomicinda / Staff)

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