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Gallery Installation Proposal:


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The basis of this installation would be to arrange a number of the endless stairway paintings around the gallery walls salon-style, and then connect them to each other by extending the stairway strings from the various pictures onto the wall itself and follow the stairways as they meander throughout the wall space between the pictures and then reintegrate with the stairways in other pictures.  


The effect creates an entire environment of moving pulsating stairways to engage the viewers and enhance their experience of the energy of the individual pictures.  The selected pictures themselves would be stretched as usual on wooden stretcher frames, but the pictures remain without formal frames in order to create the illusion that the images are emerging from the walls.  Stairway strings in the pictures are then extended out from the images and around the stretcher frames and onto the walls, slowly maneuvering themselves in the vibration designs until they come up against other pictures and merge with strings that are part of the new pictures (see general example fig. 1).


The specific pictures chosen (stretched on two-inch deep wooden stretchers) would then appear to be emerging from out of the background stairway vibration fields, as if the very process of escaping from the walls was crystallizing them into more focused and more intensely colorful images. The sections of the bare wall that are not part of the connecting vibration strings would be filled in with a complex network of additional stairway vibration strings in black-and-white to create an enclosing environment around the gallery viewers, as if they were themselves caught within a complete field of endless stairways, and so experience the immersion in the visual cosmic vibrations.  How much additional filling-in of the spaces is still to be determined (fig. 1 shows an example of very minimal string connections, just to give an idea of the plan; the paintings in the figure are not necessarily the ones to be used in the exhibit).


The mock-up of figure 1 below is only a rough cut of how the pictures may be displayed on the walls with a small number of strings connecting the pictures, just to present a general idea of what is intended.  Images for each wall, all stylistically similar, have been carefully selected, which will be created with the pictures intended for display.  A virtual reality composite of the entire room of the gallery can be constructed to allow one to “walk” through the exhibit allowing a viewer to see and feel the virtual space as it would appear once the  pictures of the vibrations environment are installed.


Figure 1

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Once the primary pictures are selected, there are several options for covering the wall space between the pictures where the connecting strings are to be drawn:

Draw the connecting strings directly onto the walls.  This would have to be done in the gallery itself and is rather time-consuming; I am unsure of the time needed to cover the walls as described (obviously, the more detailed and dense the designs, the longer it would take).  This strategy would probably require setting up a mock wall in the art studio to see how long the freehand covering might take.  This effect is probably the most impressive, but the gallery walls would have to be repainted afterwards and the new additional overall designs on the wall space would be lost.

Draw the connecting strings on wall mock-ups in the art studio on paper, linen, or canvas, and then transport them to the exhibition gallery and install them the week before the show opens.  This may not look as impressive (although this does permit a textured surface on the wall itself for effect), but more time would be available for creating the added designs, and the designs themselves are preserved and may be used for much larger canvases to create more individual paintings.


For either of the two above prospects, the gallery measurements need to be exact, and one must consider gravity’s effect on the possibly drooping background canvas, paper, or linen.


The last and in someways the least satisfactory prospect involves drawing the separate connecting strings on paper, linen, or canvas, cut them out, and use adhesive to apply them directly to the gallery walls between the pictures, linking the separate paintings on the wall with fewer, but perhaps more dramatic, individual vibration strings. These separate strings could then be reused for additional painted canvases, or applied in another environmental settings.

A certain flexibility is allowed depending on the gallery structure.  For instance; if the main gallery is divided into six walls, three connected to each other and three independent from each other; three spaces or gaps (entrances to gallery offices) break continuity between an overall design which, ideally, would connect all walls together as one very long unbroken landscape, not unlike a giant Japanese or Chinese landscape scroll painting.   To compensate for these interruptions of the design and enhance the feeling of a complete installation, other elements are added to the interior gallery space to reinforce a three-dimensional experience:

In the back of the gallery, some large pictures would be completely wrapped around several rectangular columns (maybe 20" x 10" x 20" x 10" = 60 inches, total width and 7 feet (84”) tall--these particular dimensions were chosen because there already are some pictures that are 56" x 84", and with a 2” white borders on each side which I will connect to each other and then draw on to make seamless images around the columns). Positioning them near the back wall as a single unit is inspired by the November 2013 WWG installation of Shiho Fujuwara’s Prayers for Peace (fig. 2), three rectangular columns wrapped and arranged carefully in front of the back wall.  The images on these columns will stylistically connect with the particular painting or paintings on the back wall, and serve as a visual counterweight to an arrangement that deepens the impact of the designs on the front left three connected gallery walls, the second interior aspect of the installation.

Figure 2

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In addition, the three columns are connected to each other by clear thick Plexiglas or its equivalent.  One sheet will connect the side of one column to the side of another close by; stairway strings will be drawn on the plastic sheet mimicking the wall designs, where strings from one column will be elegantly connected to the other like the strings connecting the wall paintings.  A second sheet of thick acrylic plastic will lie on the floor joining the third column to the closest of the other two columns, also extending strings from column to column (we assume gallery attendees will not step, slip, or trip on the floored acrylic plastic, perhaps identified by being somewhat indiscreetly roped off).  This back unit of wall and columns realizes a multi-dimensional effect for the rear of the gallery.


For the development of the space of the three attached walls on the left when you enter the gallery, clear acrylic plastic is placed on the floor extending maybe a foot or two from the wall.  The strings emerging from the paintings over the walls will continue with connecting stairway strings along the floor to further enhance the viewer’s feeling of being enclosed by the paintings, as if the walls were dribbling the forms, or the strings themselves were snaking along the floors, and thus adding another three-dimensional effect to the installation.  The left side wall-and-floor unit then visually balances the columns near the back wall, particularly if all this is carefully arranged.

The primary intent of this installation is to showcase the individual endless stairways paintings, and generate publicity--art-world interest, on-line and magazine reviews, media coverage--for the gallery itself.  Also, presenting the images in this manner could provide more significant outside exposure for the pictures and, by extension, for demand for the art in other venues.  Documenting the installation with video is also be a good idea, creating a permanent record for future reference.  Since quite a lot of work will be required for this project, the time frame for the exhibition should allow for four to six months, thus allowing sufficient preparation and execution to offer the finest expression of the installation for maximum effect.  The more careful planning dedicated to the presentation and success of the exhibit, the greater the impact and benefit to the gallery involved.  

Other ideas included possible ceiling projections, video images, stairway sculptures, etc., but, on the other hand, too much other installation material distracts from the paintings themselves, which, of course, should dominate the exhibit in order to sell them.  The installation could be spectacular if executed properly.  Many years ago there was an exhibit of Louise Nevelson’s work, a wall assemblage that offered sections for individual sale, and this might be successful along similar lines.  Also, the Gubbio Studiolo room at the Metropolitan Museum, another encompassing environment that surrounds the viewer with an impressive display of perspectival illusion.  Both these exhibits could be described in the exhibition catalog as precursors of this installation.

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