Yo Day 2: OY/YO at Stanford

(Continuing the Yo! theme for today, following “King/Saint Melchior”. I note that these postings have absolutely nothing to do with the Star Wars character Yoda.)

From Stanford News, the piece “Saying hello to OY/YO at Cantor Arts Center: Deborah Kass’ bold sculpture welcomes guests from its new home at Stanford’s Cantor Arts Center” by Beth Giudicessi on 12/30/19 (mailed out today when the university reopened after the holiday break):

(#1) From the YO viewpoint

Cantor Arts Center hopes its newest sculpture, OY/YO by artist Deborah Kass, acts as an extension of the museum’s new vision to present art and ideas in contemporary and inclusive ways. The piece was installed Dec. 20 and is now on view to the public.

The piece continues:

“This brightly colored, monumental piece has something to say – and not just because it’s a play on words,” said Susan Dackerman, the John and Jill Freidenrich Director of the Cantor Arts Center. “One thing we hope it conveys to students and visitors is a good-natured ‘Come in! You are welcome here.’”

Brooklyn-based painter, printmaker and sculptor Kass is known for working at the intersection of art history, popular culture and identity. All three of these elements come together in OY/YO.

The concept for the piece was inspired by Edward Ruscha’s OOF (1962). Upon seeing it in the Museum of Modern Art, Kass thought to herself, “Oy.” In 2009, she painted the word in the same colors Ruscha used: yellow text on a blue background. When a friend remarked about the work’s reflection, she turned it into a companion painting, YO. Thereafter, she made prints, billboards and tabletop forms before a large-scale version was originally commissioned for a 2015 public art project in Brooklyn Bridge Park. That sculpture, identical to the one fabricated for the Cantor, became an instant icon admired on social media and by critics alike, in part because it presented “high” art with popular appeal.

The Brooklyn Bridge Park installation, from my 11/13/15 posting “The art of interjection”:

(#2) From the OY viewpoint

The posting has notes on the art work, on Kass, on the interjection yo, and on the connection to Ed Ruscha’s paintings (for example, his OOF).

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