Christopher Jobson, founder and editor-in-chief of the well-regarded art and design website Colossal, took on the mantle of curator for a special collective exhibition at San Francisco’s Exploratorium. Inflatable is a group installation that asks five artists to create ephemeral sculptures filled with air. The fun and interactive exhibition is spread throughout the Exploratorium’s indoor and outdoor galleries, inviting the public to engage with the artwork throughout the summer.
By merging art, science, and technology, inflatable art was the perfect fit for the Exploratorium’s summer 2018 exhibition. And with nearly 600 exhibits already in the museum, it also provided a flexible way to produce an eye-catching show. Jobson brought together five of the best artists working with inflatables, each with their own unique voice.
Amanda Parer‘s large white figures crouch and peer around corners, bringing a ghostly human feel to the environment. By contrast, Jason Hackenwerth‘s expansive abstract sculpture expands like an otherworldly umbrella across the ceiling of the Exploratorium. And Jimmy Kuehnle invites visitors into his artwork, which entices them to weave their way through a forest of pillowy columns.
Taiwanese artist Shih Chieh Huang has created a stunning sculpture that merges humble materials like trash bags with the technology of LED lights for a colorful spectacle called Guardian of the Disphotic. Lastly, collective Pneuhaus looks back at early technology by installing a geodesic dome composed of 109 inflated spherical camera obscura.
“Inflatable is an experience, not just a presentation of static work. Almost everything can be touched, walked around, explored, or in some cases activated by the viewer,” Jobson tells My Modern Met. “The photos help tell part of the story, but you really have to move around each piece to truly appreciate its message and scale. If visitors leave with a sense of wonderment or even just a smile, I think the show did its job.”
Inflatable: Expanding Works of Art is on view at the Exploratorium in San Francisco until September 3, 2018.