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DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum is proud to present its inaugural outdoor exhibition. Futurefarmers, Fritz Haeg, Jane D. Marsching, and Andi Sutton have each created alternative, sustainable engagements with the landscape in deCordova’s Sculpture Park. By using the Sculpture Park’s land as their primary material, the four projects on view ask us to rethink our relationship to our immediate and global environments through the less traditional art practices of farming, building, and research. While these artists are driven by social and environmental issues of climate change, local agriculture, and self-sustainability, they draw on a strong artistic tradition of extending the boundaries of what and where art can be.
Collaborative workshops and programs are integral parts of each installation, underscoring the importance of community and communal efforts in effecting change. Click the EVENTS tab to view WORK OUT programs.
WORK OUT features four new commissions:
Futurefarmers present Tree University, an outdoor classroom in which deCordova’s fallen trees (originally toppled during Hurricane Sandy) are used to explore all the creative possibilities that can stem from a single tree. The tree will slowly disappear, as the artists whittle and carve away its pieces into new objects (including pencils and a canoe), but its spirit will live on in these communal objects and experiences.
Fritz Haeg’s Domestic Integrities explores the ways in which local resources are harvested and brought into the domestic interior landscape of the home. As part of the project, a circular, 19-foot wide wild garden will be created in the Museum parking lot. Plants and vegetables grown in the parking lot garden will be presented inside the adjacent gallery, The Square, on a hand-crocheted rug made of used and discarded textiles.
Jane D. Marsching’s Field Station Concordia takes the form of a field station created from reclaimed materials in the dimensions of Henry Thoreau’s cabin at Walden Pond, located down the road from deCordova. The structure operates as a field station for the artist for gathering data about the local ecology in the form of observations, handmade and virtual representations, and texts and maps. It gives visitors the opportunity to consider themselves citizen scientists. Check out photos from Jane D. Marsching's WORK OUT program for April Vacation.
Andi Sutton’s Assisted Flagration features nearly 100 handmade, seed-spreading sculptures shaped like pink flamingos. The pink flamingo-shaped seed-sowing structures are made from biodegradable material that, with time and weather, drop seeds of endangered wildflowers, grasses, and perennials. The installation examines the issues of diversity, belonging, migration, preservation, and the future of “native” and “local” species in the face of climate change.
This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
DeCordova is pleased to present the 25-year survey dedicated to American sculptor Tony Feher. This exhibition will be the first comprehensive, in-depth consideration of Feher’s career. It seeks to reveal the richness, complexity, and impact of his investigations through a careful selection of key works that revolve around a very personal, formal, material, and spatial vocabulary developed and refined over the years.
Feher’s materials range from bottles filled with colored water, to marbles and pennies, Styrofoam blocks and beverage crates, plastic bags and paper cups, to all kinds of packing materials. Although Feher's materials are quotidian and easily acquired, they are very specific, sought after, and chosen for their distinct and inimitable formal qualities. He stacks, dangles, unfolds, and aligns his materials to form sculptures of fluid lines, thoughtful rhythms and bursts of color and light that enable the viewer to observe and appreciate the beauty and poetry in the ordinary, everyday objects that surround them. The commonality of his materials and the apparent ease with which his works occupy their environment belie the rigorous nature of a practice driven by an incessant quest for moments of clarity, beauty, quietude.
Having come of age in an intellectual climate dominated by an overwhelming sense of endangerment due to the epidemic spread of AIDS, Feher, like so many artists of his generation, opted for humanism. His proud embrace of fragility, transience, and emotion, along with his preference for non-precious materials and found objects, has been highly influential for a younger generation of artists who have similarly become archivists of their own lives.
Purchase the exhibition catalogue here.
Tony Feher is organized by Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston.
The exhibition and publication are made possible, in part, by The Cecil Amelia Blaffer von Furstenberg Endowment for Exhibitions and Programs, Houston Endowment Inc., ACME., Anthony Meier Fine Arts, Hiram Butler and Devin Borden, D’Amelio Terras, Jennifer and Jeff Eldredge, The Pace Gallery, Despina Papafote Caldwell and Don Ballard, Julie A. Cohn and John A. Connor, Douglas and Jennifer Bosch, Martha Claire Tompkins, Sissy and Denny Kempner, Mary and Bernard Arocha, Leslie and Brad Bucher, Hiendarsanti Darmodjo, Heidi and David Gerger, Theodore J. Lee and Marc A. Sekula, Judy and Scott Nyquist, and Kenneth and Michelle Zagorski.
Major funding for Tony Feher at deCordova has been provided by the Lois and Richard England Family Foundation. Additional funding provided by Fotene Demoulas and Thomas Coté. Support for Interpretive Programming has been provided in part by a grant from the Nathaniel Saltonstall Arts Fund.
Special thanks to Donelan’s Supermarkets for their assistance in securing materials for this exhibition.
PAINT THINGS navigates the recent direction of contemporary artists to expand painting beyond the stretcher into sculptural forms. This group exhibition focuses on the growing spatial and material freedom in painting as it merges with installation and sculpture. It invites viewers to collectively re-examine the age-old practice of painting in a new light and consider the limitless possibilities for the future of the medium and its physical context. Its expansion and spatial investigations by exhibiting artists asks us to think about painting as it relates to physical, social, political, and emotional space.
Featured artists include Claire Ashley, Katie Bell, Sarah Braman, Sarah Cain, Alex Da Corte, Cheryl Donegan, Franklin Evans, Kate Gilmore, Alex Hubbard, James Hyde, Sean Kennedy, Wilson Lawrence, Steve Locke, Analia Saban, Allison Schulnik, Jessica Stockholder, Mika Tajima, and Summer Wheat.
PAINT THINGS is organized by deCordova Curator Dina Deitsch and Guest Curator Evan Garza, Exhibitions and Public Programs Coordinator, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, former Editor-at-Large for New American Paintings, and co-founder of the Fire Island Artist Residency.
PAINT THINGS is made possible in part by the generous support of Donald and Jeanne Stanton and by additional support from Geoff Hargadon and Patricia LaValley. Additional funding has been provided by Manuel de Santaren and by Beth and Richard Marcus.
Take a video tour through PAINT THINGS:
The PAINT THINGS catalogue is available in the deCordova | Store.
Boston-based artist Andrew Witkin works with furniture, text, and various common objects to underscore the poetic in everyday life. Witkin collects, arranges and organizes things—skills pulled directly from his day job as a gallery director and curator—to further blur the boundaries between art and life, all the while underscoring the arbitrariness of any attempt to categorize the world.
For PLATFORM 11, Witkin will create an installation in response to deCordova’s fourth-floor Foster Galleries—a small cluster of spaces that were once part of the summer home of the Museum’s namesake and founder Julian de Cordova.
PLATFORM is a series of solo exhibitions by early- and mid-career artists from both the New England and national arts communities. These shows focus on work that engages with deCordova’s unique spaces, both indoors and outdoors, and social, geographical, and physical location. The PLATFORM series is intended as a support for creativity and expression of new ideas, and as a catalyst for dialogue about contemporary art.
This project has been supported by a grant from the Artist’s Resource Trust. The 2012–2013 PLATFORM series is generously funded by James and Audrey Foster.
Julianne Swartz is the subject of a survey organized by deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum and the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA). Curated by Rachael Arauz with the full participation of the artist, Julianne Swartz: How Deep Is Your gathers together for the first time a significant group of Swartz’s installations and sculpture that invite viewer participation with elegance, humor, and intelligence.
Acclaimed for her unique blend of high and low-tech materials, Swartz utilizes both existing and self-made technologies, and has often made the ephemeral presence of the viewer fundamental to her work. Her art quietly celebrates contradictions and dichotomies that invite attentive visitors to slow down and sharpen their senses. She employs lenses that transform mundane objects and hidden locations into magical moving pictures, mirrors that disorient a viewer’s spatial perception and self-awareness, vinyl wall drawings that guide viewers to secret architectural spaces, and PVC tubing and speakers that allow buildings to communicate with their inhabitants. Some of her sculptures subversively embrace the appearance of “new media” or “video” only to reveal a hand-made simplicity that prompts viewers to question our culture’s relationship to technology.
Julianne Swartz: How Deep Is Your is accompanied by the largest publication about the artist to date, featuring essays by Rachael Arauz and former SMoCA curator Cassandra Coblentz and texts by Janine Antoni, Sharon Corwin, Tim Davis, Bec Garland, Byron Kim, Stephen Lichty, Jenny Monick, Judy Pfaff, Barbara Smith, David Levi Strauss, Jonathan Van Dyke, and Emily Weiner.
This exhibition is made possible in part by a major grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and by generous matching support from Anthony and Beth Terrana. Additional support provided by Francis H. Williams and Chandra Jessee. Special thanks to in-kind media sponsor WBUR.
Collaborators Jean Shin and Brian Ripel collect everyday materials to create sculptural installations that become poetic portraits of the places and communities in which they work. At deCordova, Shin and Ripel mine the local history of retreat through the language of art and architecture in three related investigations. In Tea House, located on deCordova’s Rooftop Terrace, and in the installations Castles in the Air and Measuring the Depths of his own Nature on view in the 4th floor Foster Galleries, the artists consider the shape and vision of idealized escape.
Their interest in retreat was inspired by the author and naturalist Henry David Thoreau’s move to nearby Walden Pond in 1845 and museum founder Julian de Cordova’s summer escape to Flint’s Pond in 1882. In these installations, Shin and Ripel harness the shared impulse to seek refuge with the materials that made these physical and psychological havens possible: pencils and tea. The artists build from Thoreau’s familial connection to pencil manufacturing and his vocations as author and land surveyor as well as de Cordova’s role as tea merchant, to engage local cultural and industrial histories.
Earlier this summer, as part of the three-part project, Shin and Ripel invited visitors to participate in the act of retreat by withdrawing to deCordova’s Rooftop to enjoy a cup of tea in their Tea House. The thousands of tea bags used by Museum visitors not only became material for Castles in the Air, but now also sculpt a collective portrait of the deCordova community that convened to participate. Building on the cultural and material histories of our surroundings as well as our own social network, Shin and Ripel ask us to consider the shaping of architectural form and the mapping of landscape as physical embodiments of personal, philosophical, and psychological retreat.
Based in Brooklyn, NY, Shin and Ripel have collaborated on a number of projects and created site-specific installations, most recently at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Shin’s solo exhibitions include the Museum of Modern Art, NY and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
Jean Shin and Brian Ripel: Retreat is supported, in part, through generous in-kind support from Red Rose and Salada Tea.
The Tea House was installed on the Rappaport Roof Terrace from June 17–September 19, 2012
Castles in the Air and Measuring the Depths of his own Nature will be on view in the Foster Galleries from September 2–December 30, 2012.
Jean Shin and Brian Ripel: Retreat is supported, in part, through generous in-kind support from Red Rose and Salada Tea.