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.
Gary Webb: Mr. Jeans, on view May 26–August 12, 2012, is the British sculptor's first US museum exhibition. An exciting and established young contemporary sculptor in England, Webb is well known for his use, often in a single artwork, of myriad materials including steel, aluminum, glass, mirror, plastic, brass, wood, brick, spray paint, fabrics, and assorted found objects. For Gary Webb: Mr. Jeans, deCordova will present a survey of Webb’s recent work including two new outdoor sculptures designed by the artist specifically for deCordova’s Museum Entrance Plaza.
Webb creates enigmatic objects that play games with the tradition of Modernist abstraction while commenting on twenty-first century consumer culture. The riot of materials he uses in his work is matched by his exuberant use of color and the compositional complexity of his sculptures, which walk a knife-edge between order and chaos. References to Modern Masters such as Joan Miró, Anthony Caro, and Donald Judd ricochet throughout Webb’s work, which is also informed by high-end furniture design, retail display, the vulgarity of mass-produced objects and advertising, and scads of bling. Overall, Webb’s sculptures are joyful, funny, playful, bizarre, and reflect a truly unrestrained creative imagination. The exhibition’s subtitle, “Mr. Jeans” reflects the artist’s somewhat surreal sensibility.
Gary Webb: Mr. Jeans is the third in a planned series of major solo sculpture exhibitions to be held each summer at deCordova. Chakaia Booker: In and Out in 2010 and Ursula von Rydingsvard: Sculpture in 2011 support the institution’s strategic goal to become a leading venue for contemporary sculpture, both indoors and outdoors. Gary Webb: Mr. Jeans, deCordova’s first solo exhibition dedicated to the work of a non-American artist, also bolsters the institution’s new international reach and augments newer additions to the Sculpture Park by Antony Gormley, Jaume Plensa, and Laura Ford.
Gary Webb: Mr. Jeans is organized by deCordova’s Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs, Nick Capasso, with assistance from Koch Curatorial Fellow Mary Tinti. This show is accompanied by a full-color exhibition catalogue available for purchase from our online deCordova | Store.
Major funding provided by the Lois and Richard England Family Foundation. Additional support provided by Mary Levin Koch, Deborah A. Hawkins, Kate James, David and Barbara Slater, Meredyth Hyatt Moses, and an anonymous donor. Interpretive programming is generously supported by a grant from the Nathaniel Saltonstall Arts Fund.
Los Angeles-based artist Jedediah Caesar creates sculptures from amassed and congealed materials that speak to process, temporality, and location in contemporary art. Filling containers with found objects from a specific site—a road trip through California, a neighborhood in Los Angeles, or his own studio—Caesar collects and recombines a variable grouping of natural and man-made refuse which he sets in resin and then slices. The result is a compression and reorganization of time and place into forms that flirt between the abstract and real, painting and sculpture, and old and new.
Caesar’s sculptural practice of collecting, condensing, and re-presenting found and often discarded materials becomes a post-industrial interpretation of geological processes. The thin slices of these object-laden bricks, akin to a geologic cross-section, resemble the intricate patterning of speckled marble and follow a similar logic of formation: compression, secretion, and metamorphism. Accordingly, his work is often inspired by the crystalline forms of geodes, the transformation of limestone into marble, and the visual layers of time exposed in each and every slice of rock. These natural, time-based processes find their sculptural translation in Caesar’s work in form and concept, as he reverse engineers their aggregate formation.
PLATFORM 9: Jedediah Caesar presents new work that explores the artist’s broader practices as they pertain to land and site—specifically to that of deCordova’s landscape. For this exhibition, Caesar will present new outdoor installation, sculpture, video, and printed matter along with his sculptural cuts that collectively reflect on place as a temporal, social, and sculptural material.
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 architectural spaces 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.
PLATFORM 9: Jedediah Caesar will be accompanied by an online brochure and is curated by Dina Deitsch, Curator of Contemporary Art.
The 2011-2012 PLATFORM series is generously funded by James and Audrey Foster.