Yellow Alice

Due to a surge in the pandemic, Claudia Wieser: Generations closed just six weeks after opening in Autumn 2020. Yellow Alice plays on the collage, colors, forms, and Bauhaus influence in Wieser’s two-dimensional and sculptural works—and Wassily Kandinsky’s description of the yellow triangle: "energetic, luminous, psychotic.”

Created in the partially deinstalled exhibition within a museum that had been closed for months, Yellow Alice is inspired by absence. The absence of Wieser’s fantastic looking glass, which fractured spaces and selves, which showed the incorporation of the triangle into the rectangle, and which showed how the changeable triangle disrupts the regularity of the rectangle. The absence of Wieser's chess-like wooden sculptures that stood colorful, ragtag, knobbly, and stalwart alongside the impassive faces of classical figures in wallpaper. The absence of the color yellow: its sound, its verve, its radiance, and its motion in Wieser's wallpaper. The absence of guests congregating, perceiving, conversing, and transiting through the lobby of the museum. And Yellow Alice is inspired by the potential created for presence and play in a space where a flat wallpaper enlivens a wall that curves to become a ceiling, where a manicured hand with a mobile device is collaged with antiques, where a closed museum opens briefly to a curious visitor.

Yellow Alice is part two in the Alice series by Irene Hsiao and Vin Reed. Red Alice premiered at the Pivot Arts Festival in 2020 and Blue Alice first appeared at the Ragdale Ring in June 2021. 


Choreography and performance by Irene Hsiao
Camera, editing, and Alice's dress by Vin Reed

Claudia Wieser, Untitled, 2020, Digital print. Site-specific wallpaper installation, Claudia Wieser: Generations, Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York and Aspen. © Claudia Wieser.
Music and lyrics by China Forbes and Thomas M. Lauderdale
from the Pink Martini album “Hang on Little Tomato”
courtesy of Heinz Records

Special thanks to Jenny Carty, Orianna Cacchione, Berit Ness, Sara Hindmarch, Ray Klemchuk, C.J. Lind, William Tennant, Michael Christiano, Erik L. Peterson, Oscar Sanchez, Jacqueline C. Finley, Sherry Harris, Roell Schmidt, Kinnari Vora, Urs Schmidt-Ott.

Irene Hsiao is the inaugural Artist in Residence at the Smart Museum. Irene Hsiao and this project are supported by the Chicago Dancemakers Forum 2020 Lab Artists Program