untitled at what pipeline
Farah Al Qasimi, Elizabeth Englander, Bruno Zhu
What Pipeline presents an international exhibition of three artists whose unification is admiration by gallery owners Alivia Zivich and Daniel Sperry. I advise my clients to choose work they are attracted to because as we naturally gravitate toward particular palettes and genres, whether in art or furniture, it will automatically integrate with their home design. Turns out good art can match your sofa. Or in this case, make a visually cohesive show.
Al Qasimi is deeply invested in her Arab roots, often exploring gender roles. One of her relatives—grandmother?—worked at the Kimball Hotel. Composed bedding folds, strawberries and shrimp in a delicate palette read feminine as much as the job itself. I had to get up close to this piece to verify it was all photography and not multi-media.
American Average (or Medium) strikes immediately as a clothing pattern, an avocation in which Zhu is formally trained. This pattern indicates right and left testicles. I didn’t know trousers were that specific. Zhu has constructed a design pattern that when assembled creates an average sized penis of the country in which these works are exhibited. You’ll have to make this to find out how Americans fare.
Englander melts a Stuart Weitzman shopping bag onto an armature in a cobalt blue homage to consumerism. Anyone familiar with Weitzman’s shoes knows they’re beautiful but wildly uncomfortable—like having too much stuff? I love the abandonment of the standard white-block display pedestal. Just not sure how I feel about a discarded Frozen toy box as the alternative. I’ll let that go for now.
I may like a show or I might not, but I always admire a gallery or artist who pushes that line between what is considered good art and what’s garbage. Really great artists and galleries will forgo the commercially viable to challenge the expected, prompting the viewer to consider something they hadn’t before. Providence does indeed shine on those who have the courage to take the unbeaten path in order to open our collective minds so we don’t wind up one of the Borg.
On view through June 4th at What Pipeline 3525 Vernor Hwy, Detroit
*images are mine unless otherwise noted
SHOWS OPEN THIS WEEKEND