Installation Art Examples

Installation art is a form of sculpture that you would see mainly in a gallery. There is a lot of history with this type of art, and it can be called different things in different countries. It’s quite the experience of going to a gallery with installation art. You will see many people talking about their opinions and having conversations about them. So let’s take a look at what exactly is installation art and what are some Installation art examples.

Installation art is any work of visual art that interacts with a building or landscape. The result can consist of many different materials and techniques, but it usually involves an installation on the building site that can be re-interpreted or moved after the inaugural exhibition ends. The power of seeing something which takes advantage of space and light is difficult to ignore. Throughout this article, we have examined some of the best installation art examples from museums around the globe.

What Is Installation Art?

installation art in italy

Painting delicate landscapes with watercolors is a popular artistic technique. Another popular medium is marble sculpture. Some artists create scenes that encompass whole rooms or spaces. An installation is one such piece of art.

Often referred to as ‘installation art,’ installation art refers to large-scale or large works of art in which the entire space is considered a single work of art. It is different from a gallery room that contains works from multiple artists or an exhibition space that features one artist’s creations. There is no distinction between the two.

The installation art movement began in the 20th century. In the 1950s and 1960s, conceptual art was being created by artists who focused on ideas instead of aesthetic qualities. Several artists began curating gallery spaces, creating physical environments, or organizing events to take place in the real world. The work of such artists influenced the idea of room-sized installations. Since the 1970s, the term ‘installation art’ has become more prevalent.

Since the 1970s, installation art has been used to describe works that are sensitive to the spaces they occupy and the viewing process of their audience. The art world underwent a period of experimentation during this period of social, political, and cultural upheaval. A growing number of installation artists are looking to create works that utilize the viewer’s whole senses and which engage the viewer in unconventional ways.

When Bruce Nauman created claustrophobic works during the 1970s, for example, he sought to deliberately create an uncomfortable, out of sync experience for the audience. He created staged corridors and rooms that gave visitors the feeling of being locked in or abandoned as they walked through them. As art, Vito Acconci took advantage of the discomfort of his audience in order to engage with them.

Characteristics of Installation Art

There are certain elements that most installation art shares. Many artists use mixed media in their work. The term “mixed media” implies more than one artistic medium. These artworks may include traditional arts such as paintings, sculptures, textiles, words, texts, and practical materials. Most installations make use of found objects or ordinary materials repurposed for art. Various technologies appear in some installations, including audio, video, light, and other elements.

Installations tend to be site-specific because of their size. Their purpose is to fit into and surround a specific space, such as an exhibition space in a modern art museum. Some installations incorporate the artist’s actions as part of the overall artwork. Since both factors play a role in most installations existing for a limited period of time, most are temporary. Afterward, the physical work disappears unless pictures or videos document it. Due to this, installation art is usually categorized as time-based media. Which refers to art that is described by a period of time rather than by conventional measurements such as height, width, and depth.

A work of installation art focuses on the experience of the person experiencing it. By walking into or through these works, audiences can experience them as they surround them. It’s possible to experience installations through sight, sound, smell, and sometimes even touch.

Inherently, installation artists rebut the monetary focus on art usually found in galleries. Creating installation art is a conscious way to create non-monetary art in a world where astronomical prices increasingly command some art at auctions. This type of art is impossible to collect. Its value comes from exposure to it.

Examples of Installation Art

Installation art is a diverse and unique discipline. It involves carefully placing objects or ephemera within a space, whether a gallery, warehouse, or even a kitchen. Installation artists experiment with ideas of space and perception by creating installations with their own artistic language. In this section, we’ll look at some installation art examples.

1. Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away by Yayoi Kusama

installation art mirrored room
Credit: Yayoi Kusama

Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away, 2013 by the Japanese artist, is one installation art example of the many. In galleries everywhere that have captured the attention of people worldwide. Kusama creates his exhibitions in small, enclosed spaces by installing mirror panels around the walls, ceiling, and floors. Then filled with colorful lights and objects that refract through the space and create the illusion of endless, endless space.

She displays prismatic reflections of herself amidst colored light throughout her room, a reflection walkway surrounded by mirrors. Nothing quite compares to the experience of entering an Infinity Room, just as when you merge with a planetarium or merge with the digital superhighway.

2. You by Urs Fischer

used dirt for installation art
Credit: Urs Fischer

In You (2007), Urs Fischer transformed a standard New York City gallery space through destruction. Fisher removed the gallery’s concrete floor and filled the recess with dirt, resulting in the creation of a 30 by 38 feet crater surrounded by eight feet deep of dust and dirt. A strange, yet extraordinarily organic, landscape appears in this context, resulting in the sense of danger and the recognition that, where once there was a floor, now nothing exists. The viewer stands at the edge of the work and stands above it, taking in both the fetishized and rejected space of the traditional gallery.

3. Mushroom Room by Carsten-Höller

reveres mushrooms installation
Credit: Carsten-Höller

Mushroom Room, 2000 by Belgian artist Carsten Holler looks like a childhood fairytale. In order to enhance their dramatic impact, Holler intentionally selected the red-and-white agaric fungus for its psychoactive qualities. Which he grossly enlarged, colored, and textured to increase. Visitors have to squeeze and duck their way through them. Because they are suspended upside down from the ceiling. Making this an interactive art exhibition that engages the entire body and mind.

The anti-depressant properties of these mushrooms are analogous to the therapeutic effects of viewing and interfacing with art. Suggesting that both can produce the same mind-altering state of imaginative awakening that serves as the foundation for creative ideas.

4. Noviembre 6 y 7 by Doris Salcedo

installed chairs on side wall
Credit: Doris Salcedo

Colombian installation artist Doris Salcedo memorialized the 17th anniversary of the M-19 guerrillas’ siege of Bogota’s Palace of Justice in 1985 with her monumental installation Noviembre 6 y 7 (2002). Her work highlights the acknowledgment and commemoration of violent deaths. Salcedo has made connections between deaths in Colombia during the civil war and gun violence victims in Chicago. As an artist, she often creates large-scale works of poetry which require her audiences – who are often passersby unknowingly – to reflect on these violent acts and grieve for them.

5. Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View by Cornelia Parker

installation art examples
Credit: Cornelia Parker

The installation artwork Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View, 1991, by British artist Cornelia Parker is one of the most memorable and striking recent installation art examples. A collection of junk, including toys and tools, was stacked inside an old shed. Then the British Army detonated the entire structure in the field.

Her next move was to gather all the leftover pieces and suspend them mid-air as if they were permanently attached to the bang. When these once familiar objects are exposed to eerie lighting, they become abstract and unrecognizable. Parker further refers to “matter in the universe that has yet to be measured” in the title ‘Cold Dark Matter’, which emphasizes a sense of mystery and gothic mystery.

6. Hollow by Katie Paterson, Zeller, and Moye

installation art by using wood
Credit: Katie Paterson, Zeller, and Moye

Katie Paterson, Zeller, and Moye have created a dazzling interactive art installation called Hollow. There are more than 10,000 uniquely shaped trees in the sculpture, which is a compilation of all the world’s forests. According to Katie Paterson’s website, the materials used for this project are petrified wood that originated over 390 million years ago.

Here are some samples from the oldest and newest tree species on earth and some from the near-extinct ones. Visitors can take part in the installation art titled “Showcase the History of Our Planet” by strolling through a walk-in structure. There they can listen to the stories told by all the trees that contributed to the sculpture as the sunlight filters through the sculpture’s roof mimics sunlight entering a forest.

7. The Floating Piers by Christo

a Lake in Italy
Credit: Christo

Iseo Lake in Italy became Christo’s Floating Piers. One of Christo’s greatest pieces of “land art,” the installation consists of 100,000 square meters of shimmering yellow fabric bearing 220,000 floating cubes of high-density polyethylene.  Visitors could walk across the water by a series of yellow paths that floated on the water. The shimmering yellow walkway spans 1.9 miles (3 km) and the floating piers are approximately 13.8 inches (35 cm) high and 52.5 feet (16 m) wide. The bright yellow fabric turned red and gold as the light and water filtered through it for sixteen days.

8. Svayambh by Anish Kapoor

wax and pigment made train art
Credit: Anish Kapoor

In addition to being bizarre and astonishing, Anish Kapoor’s Svayambh, 2007, has been characterized by art critic Adrian Searle as “a fine mess.”. 30 tons of wax and pigment uses to make the train, which moves around a specially designed track between the columns of the museum. It leaves behind a sticky path of gooey, sticky matter in its wake. A colossal 10 meters long, Kapoor’s installation art ‘train’ engages our senses on many levels through its texture, surface, smell, and color. Especially striking is the shade of primitive red he uses throughout his works, which seems destined to connect people to their most primal and instinctive instincts.

9. The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago

dining tabls
Credit: Judy Chicago

The Dinner Party art installation is a tribute to women’s history with a massive banquet table of 39 place settings designed by artist and feminist writer Judy Chicago (1939- ). Every side of the triangle contains 13 settings, representing the number of witches in a traditional coven. A deep understanding of each female figure appears in each deeply personalized and characteristic setting: women artists, academics, goddesses, and activists, with intricately embroidered runners, utensils, chalices, and china-painted porcelain plates.

There are yonic-shapes plates, and the runners follow the style and technique of the time. That led up to The Dinner Party and represents the femininity of the guests of honor. The white tile in front of the table honors 999 more women whose names are engraved in gold. Over 400 volunteers contributed needlework and sculptural expertise to make this piece, which was previously on display as a traveling exhibition and is now in the permanent collection of the Brooklyn Museum.

10. Skyscraper (the Bruges Whale) by StudioKCA

a whale shaped installation art
Credit: StudioKCA

This whale-shaped skyscraper by StudioKCA, which appeared at the 2018 Bruges Triennial, was made entirely from plastic waste. The installation’s focal point was that it was made from 5 tons of plastic waste that were retrieved from the Pacific Ocean. The whale breaching out of the water was the world’s first skyscraper of the sea.

There is an estimated 150 million metric tons of plastic flowing through our oceans each year, as symbolized by the eloquent sculpture that extends over the city’s historic Jan Van Eyck Square. Whales were chosen as the ideal form for the piece because they are the largest mammals in the water. We felt this would show the scope and scale of the issue.” 

11. The End of the Twentieth Century by Joseph Beuys

31 hulking rock
Credit: Joseph Beuys

Just a year before he died, German sculptor Joseph Beuys produced the monumental work The End of the Twentieth Century, 1983-85. This installation art is created from 31 hulking rocks of basalt, each with a distinctive history, weight, and character of its own. A cylindrical hole was drilled out of each rock that Beuys stuffed with felt and clay. Having removed and polished the drilled-away pieces, he reattached them with only a slight reminder of his artistic intervention. He thus collapsed the old and the new, the natural and manmade, and the difference and the repetition. In his comment, “This is the end of the twentieth century,” Beuys also referred to a new century suffocated by history as heavy as his basalt rocks.

12. The Weather Project by Olafur Eliasson

artificial sun
Credit: Olafur Eliasson

The Weather Project, 2003 is an installation art example by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall that simulates the effect of a large sun emerging through a fine mist. By using low-frequency lamps around his artificial sun, he reduced the surrounding colors to magical shades of gold and black, allowing only the golden glow of the sun to dominate.

Eliasson’s glowing orb, made from a semicircle of light with mirrored panels on the ceiling that reflect the light back, has an optical illusion that mimics the real sun’s shimmer. The mirror panels continued across the ceiling, making it appear as if guests were floating in space above them, giving the impression they were weightless in space.

Final Words

In conclusion, it’s time to go through the list of installation art examples and have a look at what inspires you in terms of artistic design. Installation artwork has long been one of the most challenging forms of art. Some modern artists have chosen to embrace this difficulty and use it to their advantage, even adding a certain level of physicality to their installations to make the art more interactive. This act transforms a static work of art into a dynamic, engaging piece that needs and deserves your attention.

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