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Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art Debuts Lydia Okumura: Situations

Nicholas+Meere+stands+inside+Okumura%E2%80%99s+Labyrinth%2C+which+invites+viewers+to+experience+the+piece+from+not+only+the+outside+but+from+within+it+as+well.
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Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art Debuts Lydia Okumura: Situations

Nicholas Meere stands inside Okumura’s Labyrinth, which invites viewers to experience the piece from not only the outside but from within it as well.

Nicholas Meere stands inside Okumura’s Labyrinth, which invites viewers to experience the piece from not only the outside but from within it as well.

Nicholas Meere stands inside Okumura’s Labyrinth, which invites viewers to experience the piece from not only the outside but from within it as well.

Nicholas Meere stands inside Okumura’s Labyrinth, which invites viewers to experience the piece from not only the outside but from within it as well.

Brandie Bosworth, Staff Writer

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This summer, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMOCA) opened a new exhibit, Lydia Okumura: Situations. The exhibit serves as artist Lydia Okumura’s first solo museum exhibit accompanied with catalogue in the United States.

Lydia Okumura, an artist from Sao Paulo, Brazil, has been in the art scene since the 1970’s. She has gained recognition from her hometown in Brazil, but remains highly unrecognized in her adopted country, the United States. At the beginning of her art career, Okumura looked to Bijutsu Techou, a Japanese art magazine, for her style inspiration. From this magazine she learned about conceptual art, land art, and minimalism which all influence her pieces into modern times.

Her artwork is not only visually appealing but is resourceful with its components. For example, one piece called In Front of Light was created with materials she scavenged from the place that would house the exhibit. She gathered seven matching pieces of glass along with string and adjusted her piece, focusing on its balance and geometry until it was to her standards.

“She basically takes any material she has available and creates geometric sculptures with it,” said Pia, a museum docent.

Another famous piece by Okumura is Labyrinth, which is made of painted wire mesh to create a maze-like effect. From the outside, the mesh creates not only the hard geometric shape of the sculpture but also offers a translucent view into the piece accompanied with bright colors. As viewers enter inside the piece, they become an addition to the layers of mesh. The world around them is seen through the bright mesh walls, creating a different experience from the same piece.

“Keep in mind to look at the pieces from different perspectives,” said Lane, a museum volunteer. He recommends viewing Okumura’s pieces from different positions and places around the room in order to experience the depth of her sculptures.

Both Labyrinth and In Front of Light are on display at SMOCA. The museum offers free admission on Thursdays and after 5pm on Fridays and Saturdays. To plan a visit or view current and future exhibits at SMOCA, you can visit their website smoca.org

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Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art Debuts Lydia Okumura: Situations