Monday, December 5, 2011
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Fall Curatorial Intern, Hannah Mode, recently visited the Tang Museum at Skidmore College. Here are some of her thoughts. To read more on this topic, please visit hannahpmode.tumblr.com.
Plywood and house paint
Each 40 ½ x 27 7/8 x 24 ¼ inches
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of returning to beautiful Saratoga Springs, NY, home to the Tang Museum at Skidmore College (where I spent four years studying as an undergrad). Like deCordova, the Tang boasts an innovative exhibition space and an exciting curatorial program that provides each viewer with a unique, thoughtful art experience. On this trip, I was especially looking forward to seeing the exhibition, Opener 22: Whiting Tennis.
The New Green, 2007
Wood, paint, and Visqueen
56 1/8 x 20 x 33 7/8 inches
Opener 22 is Tennis’ first solo museum exhibition and features sculpture, painting, drawing, and collage from the past twelve years. The Seattle-based artist is heavily influenced by everyday structures in the Northwest and often includes recognizable visual clues in his work that point to familiar items, like sheds, bits of plywood, signs, even mailboxes. Tennis breathes new life into discarded, overlooked objects by fusing many materials into a single work of art.
Drawing is the base of Tennis’ practice, and he also creates woodblock prints that he cuts and collages together. I especially enjoyed the way the texture of the drawings and collages emphasizes the landscape of the Northwest, and creates relationships with similar surfaces of the sculptures.
Plywood and hot melt tar
83 x 44 x 32 inches
Courtesy of Derek Eller Gallery, New York
Two outdoor sculptures - Boogeyman (a black structure about seven feet tall) coated in what looks like tar, stands outside the main entrance, while title, a smaller, shingled piece rests on the back patio in the same mysterious, yet familiar vein as the sculptures in the gallery. In addition, painted wood replicas of a washer and dryer are on display in a birch grove on the museum grounds and serve to round out the exhibition. I love the thought of coming across these two domestic objects in nature, like escaped housebound creatures.
Plywood and house paint
Each 40 ½ x 27 7/8 x 24 ¼ inches
Ian Berry, Malloy Curator of the Tang Museum, organized Opener 22 in collaboration with the artist.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
If there is one thing on everyone’s minds these days, it’s jobs. Roughly 1 out of every 11 Americans is unemployed; Obama’s Jobs Bill just got voted down; the Occupy Wall Street movement has spread to squares and campuses across the nation; and news segments endlessly discuss potential economic plans for job creation. In her infinite wisdom, Curator Susan Cross has channeled this timely and contentious discourse (and its historical roots) into her show, The Workers, on view at MassMoCA through March 2012. In it, labor emerges as the dominant theme that is taken up in different contexts by the 25 international artists and filmmakers featured. Here, the artists talk about work while making work. Adrian Paci’s 2007 video of a mass of laborers stranded in the middle of an empty runway, poignantly addresses the plight of the migrant worker; Mary Lum’s billboard project of personally stamped brown paper bags (whose work will also be featured in The 2012 deCordova Biennial) elevates and personalizes the worker; while other projects like Sam Durant’s sculptural gallows remember a darker history of labor activism. More than just a timely reflection – The Workers showcases the variety of perspectives and thinking about industry, economy, and the jobscape today.
|Adrian Paci, Centro di Permanenza Temporanea, 2007, video still|
|Mary Lum, Made with Pride by Terry Russell, 2011|
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Tory Fair just finished her sculptures on the Pollack Terrace. The installation, Testing a World View (Again) is the 7th iteration of our ongoing PLATFORM series and is the first to address this fantastic terrace space! The installation features four identical cast figures of the artist’s body in a nice pink resin with aluminum leafing. Placed on and around the terrace in surprising ways (note the wall…), Fair asks us to test our own world view with our bodies and minds!
On Saturday, August 6th visitors are given an opportunity to listen and try out their own line of questioning. There is a Platform Discussion with Tory Fair and documentary filmmaker Robb Moss, where the two will chat about other strange interactions between the body and nature. There is also Yoga in the Park where visitors can use this opportunity to see how their bodies respond to only to the movement of the positions but the space of the sculpture park.
|Abby and Brian installing|
|Tory with her cast|
|View from the Terrace, photo by Tony Luong|
Monday, July 11, 2011
A prevailing theme in contemporary outdoor sculpture is the relationship between nature and culture. Urban Garden, deCordova’s latest off-site public art exhibition is located in the heart of downtown
Boston on the Rose Kennedy Greenway between and Congress Streets, nestled between city, park, and water, and the perfect location for just such an exploration. James Surls’ Walking Flower Times the Power of Five (2010), Tom Otterness’ Tree of Knowledge (1997), and John Ruppert’s Pumpkin Series (1996) transform this green-scape into a fantastical garden. The monumental gourds and towering flowers appear as large and unyielding as the steel and glass buildings that surround them. Pearl is organized by Urban Garden Nick Capasso, deCordova’s Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs, and will be up from June 2011 to October 2012.
|James Surls, Walking Flower Times the Power of Five, 2010|
|John Ruppert, Pumpkin Series, 1996|
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
|Opening crowd at Boston Harbor Islands Pavilion|
July 16th was a day of spectacles. Along with the Stanley Cup touring through Boston streets and bars came another exciting unveiling in Boston—Nature Special, a video installation in the brand new Boston Harbor Islands Pavilion on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. Curated by associate curator Dina Deitsch, Nature Special features five videos about our mediated relationship to the great outdoors by artists Jim Campbell, Sam Easterson, William Lamson, and Suara Welitoff. The installation inaugurates a guest-curated video program, a fantastic way to expose audiences to new ways of interacting with public art and a program that we hope continues well into the future. Shown on two 8 x 10 foot low-resolution LED screens, the installation is housed in the structurally and ecologically beautiful new Pavilion designed by the architectural and design firm Utile that transforms the greenway into compelling destination to welcome visitors to the Boston Harbor Islands national park area.
|Boston Harbor Islands Pavilion|
Don’t miss Sam Easterson’s video of the burrowing owl peering out of its little home. The footage was created by a micro-video camera and like many Easterson videos places us within the viewpoint of the animal. Visitors to the Pavilion will be mesmerized late into the night by this little bird!
Nature Special will be on view in the Boston Harbor Islands Pavilion each evening from 7pm-11pm, Jun 16, 2011 - Oct 31, 2011.
|Sam Easterson, Burrowing Owl, 2010|