In late 2013, Mia Feuer built a skating rink in the rotunda of the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. She manufactured it using a black synthetic ice made from bitumen, a product extracted from North American shale. Overhead, she suspended a cacophonous sculpture, a menacing mobile meant to evoke tar, feathers, and steel.
It was one of the boldest D.C. contemporary art exhibitions in years. Tapping on her travels—which took her from a hellish reclamation site in the Athabasca oil sands of Alberta to a Soviet ghost-town mining camp in the Arctic Circle—she used sculpture to convey anxiety over oil and the environment. Just one year after her museum solo-show debut (which I wrote about in a cover story for the Washington City Paper), she's returning to Washington with an even bolder proposal.