Fine Art Focus: Orly Genger

by Grace Bonney

A few years ago, I was walking through Manhattan when I came across the most stunning installation work I’d ever seen. It was a combination of contemporary large-scale installation work and traditional crafting techniques (knotting, crocheting and knitting) that took my breath away. I walked around to find more information, and that’s when I discovered that very piece, Red, Yellow and Blue, in Madison Square Park was the work of artist and sculptor Orly Genger.

Orly has become one of my favorite sculptors because her work uses texture and color in such an incredibly powerful way, and I was thrilled to discover earlier this year that she’s broadening her focus to jewelry and creating a collection along with her friend, jewelry designer Jaclyn Mayer. I crave rich color and texture when winter approaches, and Orly’s work provides that in spades. Read on to learn more about Orly and her beautiful work. xo, grace

*Orly also creates gorgeous illustrations, seen below. They depict superhero arms (!) and are as full of life, to me, as her large-scale rope installations.

Artist: Orly Genger
About: Orly was born in New York, New York in 1979. She received her BA from Brown University in 2001 and her Post-baccalaureate degree from the Art Institute of Chicago in 2002. She lives and works in New York City.
Work: Orly is perhaps best known for her large-scale, site-specific rope installations that combine traditional weaving, knotting and crochet techniques to create stunning, undulating sculptures. In addition to these site-specific installations, Orly also creates stacked rope pieces, and in 2012 expanded to bronze and aluminum to craft smaller-scale sculptures cast from rope. Orly also makes drawings and collages inspired by traditional superhero imagery. In 2015 she collaborated with Jaclyn Mayer on a jewelry collection inspired by her work. Orly’s work has been shown in museums and galleries across the United States and in Europe. She was the recipient of the Rappaport Prize in 2011.
More: You can read more about Orly here on her website and watch interviews with her here and here.

All images (c) Orly Genger, found via OrlyGenger.com. Portrait via saic.edu


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  • Love Orly’s work.. we got lucky and ended up photographing a couple from London getting married in NY in front of these sculptures in the park, the perfect backdrop!

  • She had an installation up at my university last year and it was spectacular. It framed the campus space so beautifully and it was so fascinating to watch how people moved around it over the length of its duration.

  • I have not yet had the privilege of seeing Orly’s work… but I look forward to the day when I do! These installations are stunning.