jennifer angus wallpapers renwick gallery with a pattern of 5,000 exotic bugs
jennifer angus wallpapers renwick gallery with a pattern of 5,000 exotic bugs
oct 06, 2015

jennifer angus wallpapers renwick gallery with a pattern of 5,000 exotic bugs

jennifer angus wallpapers renwick gallery with a pattern of 5,000 exotic bugs
photography by ron blunt




following a two-year renovation, the smithsonian american art museum‘s renwick gallery opens to the public on november 13, 2015. the inaugural exhibition in washington, D.C celebrates the renewal of the beaux arts space with ‘wonder’, a show which sees the complete transformation the entire museum into an immersive artwork. nine contemporary artists each take over a different gallery in the building, creating site-specific works that turn each interior into a room-sized installation. while the nine artists featured in ‘wonder’ create strikingly diverse works, they are connected by their interest in large-scale artworks made from unexpected, often ordinary materials. 

the hot pink painted room appears to be a wallpapered domestic space from the victorian era




one of the featured artists is wisconsin-based jennifer angus. upon entering her installation for ‘wonder’, visitors encounter a hot pink-painted room, seemingly a wallpapered domestic space from the victorian era. in fact, and surprisingly so, the textured wall pattern is entirely made up of insects. collected from southeast asia, 5,000 bugs showcasing their natural, unaltered colors cover nearly every inch of one of the renwick’s galleries, wrapping the interior in iridescent greens, vivid blues, and pearly mauves. the installation, titled ‘in the midnight garden’ sees the careful placement of these shimmering winged and walking species into spiraling designs, ornamental motifs and starry-eyed skulls. the immense potentially reshaping the perspective of these creepy crawly creatures.

the textured wall pattern is entirely made up of insects

5,000 bugs cover nearly every inch of one of the renwick’s galleries

winged and walking species are turned into spiraling, geometric designs

angus installing ‘in the midnight garden’ at the renwick gallery of the smithsonian american art museum

  • May I suggest that before pontificating about ethics, endangered nature, 3-D printing , and so on you read the Smithsonian Magazine article about the artist and her work.

  • These are in fact real insects. The artist says so herself in a video explanation of the installation. I think it is totally backwards to create an installation to create awareness about how urban / suburban life is affecting insects by killing a bunch of them, using what I can only assume is a CRAP-TON of secretion to paint the walls red (yes … she painted all those walls with red insect secretion) and using these living creatures lives to create a spectacle. Yes, it is totally stunning, but also works against what it is supposed to be about. I don’t get it, and frankly it pisses me off.

  • no way that these are real guys! how would she find so many “rare species” in Exactly the same shape, size and color.
    I mean it’s certainly beautiful to see so many people opposed to animal cruelty, but seriously, we need more common sense, And more imagination

  • These are insects folks! Most will live only a very short life then rot or be eaten. What a magnificent use of beautiful shapes and colors that would only otherwise be lost in time as they wastefully turn to dust. My guess is many who cry to protect these beautiful but fleetingly-short-lived creatures would freely defend abortion on demand of unborn humans without a whimper.

  • Not impressed with this if these are real insects…

  • It has to be 3D printed. First they would fall apart, second it would not be easy to catch so many.

  • Using insects for decoration! we are on a time when everything in nature needs to be protected. Insects are part of that everything.

    Paola Iturralde
  • i hope that those are not real animals as killing off hundreds of them for deco art is not exactly ethical correct, even if some are “just” roaches


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