I was in Savannah Georgia last weekend and every time I go, I always visit the SCAD Museum of Art. SCAD is the acronym for Savannah College of Art and Design. There are also campuses in in Atlanta, Hong Kong and France. The college is integrated into the historical town of Savannah with most buildings having been renovated or repurposed for classroom facilities, dorms, student centers and most notably the Museum of Art. The university’s commitment to historic preservation and adaptive use is most evident in this facility. The oldest part of the building dates to 1853 and was once part of the oldest surviving antebellum railroad depot in the country. In 2011 with an addition designed my architect Christian Sottile, a SCAD alumnus and dean the School of Building Arts, it has been transformed into a premier contemporary art facility, mounting an exhibition each academic quarter.
One exhibit that is currently showing absolutely blew me away. I have never seen anything like it and felt compelled to share. The piece is by artist, Dustin Yellin, titled The Triptych, 2012, glass, collage, acrylic, measuring 46.5” x 208” x 27”. Yellin lives in Brooklyn, NY and is best known for his sculptural painting. Multiple glass layers are individually embellished then combined to create an intricate three dimensional collage. The Triptych is his largest most complex work to date. It weighs twelve tons and is comprised of three panels, of roughly 58 panels of glass each. It is a three dimensional viewing experience. Walking in the dimly lit room on closer inspection the glowing mass, depicts a surreal mythical spectacle embodying Yellin’s vision of the world and consciousness.
This is one of those pieces that you could never take in with one viewing and I wish I could have the chance to see it again. Layer upon layer of images, mostly antique found images and others that may have been created by Yellin, collaged together on each panel of glass. There are also appears to be areas articulated with ink and or paint. When the panels are sandwiched together the images come to life in a three dimensional manner, that harken back to what could be a glorified View Master view or multi-plane animation effort.
Not only is the work so intriguing to look at and study, but I couldn’t help wondering, as I usually always do, about the logistics of creating such a monumental piece. If you live near Savannah or are visiting, this is worth seeing.
Next week I’ll share another intriguing art installation in Savannah.