Drawing for “Transient Rainbow”
(image aquired 2008)
Cai Guo-Qiang's unusual choice of gunpowder and fireworks as materials for his artwork stems from his childhood in China, where fireworks often mark celebratory events. For this vast drawing Cai exploded gunpowder that he had sandwiched between two sheets of paper, creating the symmetrical traces of two arcs. Rainbows recur in Cai's projects; his 2002 rainbow of fireworks joining Manhattan and Queens over the East River marked MoMA’s temporary move to Long Island City. While fireworks produce fleeting sprays of light that fade almost instantly, here the artist captured their traces on paper, allowing the image to outlive the event.
Artform: PAINTING, DRAWING AND GRAPHIC ARTS, 20th and 21st Centuries
Artist: Cai Guo-Qiang
Artist Dates: born 1957
Period: 21st century
Date: August 2003
Medium: gunpowder on two sheets of paper
Size: 504.8 x 400 cm
Museum: Museum of Modern Art, New York
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