The Museum of Modern Art’s second floor atrium has been home to some monumental pieces in the past few years, from Martha Rosler’s Meta-Monumental Garage Sale of patrons’ junk to Marina Abramovic’s The Artist is Present. Just days ago this same atrium was enlivened with an intense splash of vibrant yellow pollen in Wolfgang Laib’s piece "Pollen from Hazelnut". Over the weekend, the artist brushed pounds and pounds of collected pollen across an oversized platform to create an installation that a honey bee would call heaven.
Each spring, flecks and granules of pollen dot the air and our clothes and smatter themselves across our windshields — their brilliant color unnoticed in such miniscule amounts. But Laid’s sprawling installation brings to light the boldness of the hazelnut pollen’s hue, reflecting its luminosity and bouncing it off the white room.
Spanning 18 feet by 21 feet on a low platform in the center of the room, the powdery pollen is brushed flat into an even coating of pigment. Since the mid 1990s, Laib has been collecting the pollen from the area around his studio and home in Germany, amassing the epic amount that is on show in the museum today.
Visitors can circle the installation in the atrium, or climb to higher vantage points from different floors to look down on the piece, which appears like a Rothko color field painting from the highest floors. Affixed in place, visitors can experience the pollen until March 11th.
Images ©Lori Zimmer for Inhabitat