The Chinese maze: See it to believe it
By Anne Tschida
Several fo the Margulies Collection's favorite artists reappear in this year's annual curated exhibit, though represented by newly acquired works. Because Margulies is rightfully known for top-notch artists who create some of the most fascinating work on the world stage, this is always a treat.
For instance, there are the introductory mixed-media pieces from Anselm Kiefer, and the small photographs of the Icelandic countryside from Olafur Eliasson. But before more detail is given on these excellent examples of what this collection has to offer, the amazing elephant in the room must be addressed--as it is indeed elephantine in size and the unmistakable centerpiece of the exhibit.
It comes from Chinese artist Song Dong, who is for the first time being shown here, but who was one of four artists featured at the 2011 Venice Biennale and is represented by Pace Gallery, New York. It is a maze of rooms that takes over the enture center fo the huge ground-floor space. Called Wisdom of the Poor: A Communal Courtyard, this incredible installation is based on the traditional cramped living spaces called hutongs in Beijing, where the poor once lived almost shoulder-to-shoulder and shared courtyards.