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That Black Butterfly Installation Will Return to Phoenix Art Museum

Carlos Amorales, Black Cloud, 2007. Installation view at Phoenix Art Museum, 2013. Diane and Bruce Halle Collection.
Carlos Amorales, Black Cloud, 2007. Installation view at Phoenix Art Museum, 2013. Diane and Bruce Halle Collection.
Phoenix Art Museum

An installation depicting a swarm of black butterflies will return to Phoenix Art Museum this fall. It’s the work of Carlos Amorales, a Mexico City-based multidisciplinary artist whose work will fill the museum’s lobby and promenade that leads into the museum’s central spaces.

The installation comprises 25,000 black paper butterflies and moths, affixed to museum walls and ceilings. It’s titled Black Cloud.

This is the second time the central Phoenix arts institution has shown the piece, which premiered in a New York gallery in 2007.

In 2013, Black Cloud was part of an exhibition at Phoenix Art Museum titled “Order, Chaos, and the Space Between: Contemporary Latin American Art from the Diane and Bruce Halle Collection.”

Amorales often shares the genesis of the monumental work during talks. He has said that a swarm of black moths appeared to him as a very clear and distinct image, and then he set about making simple origami cut-outs to give it life.

The artist thoroughly researched various species of butterflies and moths, and more than 30 different species are represented in the piece.

He found inspiration in events and memories, including time spent with his grandmother and the image of a single black moth in a book he'd read.

Phoenix Art Museum has shown several notable installations recently.

From November 4 to December 31, 2016, the museum presented British artist Martin Creed’s Work No. 2497. Half the air in a given space. That installation fills a room with white balloons that museumgoers can walk through as the balloons surround them.

Currently on view is a video installation titled 2iPM009 that was created by Magdalena Fernández. The piece is on view through the end of the year.

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Black Cloud will be on view at Phoenix Art Museum starting Saturday, November 4. The installation will be up for a full year.

Installation is already underway, so you can get a sneak peek before it officially opens.

Community members will have several opportunities to see Amorales' piece during free museum admission days and hours – which include Wednesdays from 3 to 9 p.m. and First Fridays from 6 to 10 p.m.

Museum admission is also free during the second weekend of every month from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

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