Ground/Work Outdoor Exhibition @ The Clark

Date: October 6, 2020 - October 17, 2021

Details

Pricing:
Phone: 4134582303
Website (click here)
The Clark
225 South Street
Williamstown, MA 01267

The Clark Art Institute unveils newly commissioned site-responsive installations by six leading contemporary artists in its first outdoor exhibition set throughout the woodland trails and open meadows of the Clark’s distinctive 140-acre campus. Allowing visitors to encounter the works day or night and throughout the seasons, experiencing them anew as the landscape and weather conditions change.

Ground/work presents site-responsive projects created by leading artists 

Kelly Akashi, Nairy Baghramian, Jennie C. Jones, Eva LeWitt, Analia Saban, and Haegue Yang

About The Exhibition:

The six artists’ installations will be sited across the vast and varied campus, thereby providing visitors with a rich experience of moving through the landscape to reexamine nature through their encounters with each work. The projects on view combine the individual investigations of these artists with their responses to the environment, the Clark’s lands, and the museum’s permanent collection and architecture.

Haegue Yang's three-part project, Migratory DMZ Birds on Asymmetric Lens, brings bird species native to the Korean Demilitarized Zone to the unfamiliar setting of New England. Part presence, part absence, these portraits of birds create both an image and a vessel that their local counterparts can perch on, or bathe in when rainwater collects. Made of 3-D printed transparent ecological resin set atop robotically milled stone pedestals, these sculptures combine synthetic and natural materials and demonstrate the artist's interest in new technologies. The works are sited at three distinct locations on the campus.

Analia Saban’s Teaching a Cow How to Draw modifies a length of split-rail fence that wryly invites the cows that pasture in the Clark’s fields to consider the rules of artistic perspective. Illustrating several of the theories of composition and perspective that have informed the history of art—from the Rule of Thirds to the Golden Ratio—Saban translates the ordinary structure of this boundary line into a new form that is simultaneously sculpture, drawing, and functional object. Saban, who was a student of the late conceptual artist John Baldessari and pays homage to his 1972 video work Teaching a Plant the Alphabet with her project and title, subverts expectations of what a drawing can be by scaling it to 620 feet of running fence line.

Eva LeWitt debuts her first outdoor project, consisting of three totems that play with transparency and opacity, installed in a transitional site between the woodland trails and the open meadow of Stone Hill. Titled Resin Tower A (Orange), Resin Tower B (Yellow), Resin Tower C (Blue), and measuring nearly eleven feet tall, the works are made of clear resin and high-color film that, together, reflect and refract the changing light and surrounding landscape throughout the four seasons. Embedded in each layer of resin, PVC material shaped and cut by the artist’s own hand recurs and repeats, referencing and multiplying the artist’s labor and personal production. At once a study of positive and negative space and an exploration of color and contrast, the sculptures will generate varied experiences of the vibrant seasonal palette set within the Clark’s landscape.

Nairy Baghramian’s Knee and Elbow is a highly abstracted portrait of two primary joints in the body. Working in traditional sculptural materials of marble and steel for the first time, the artist challenges their typical connotations of durability and monumentality and instead highlights the vulnerability of the human form. The two blocks of marble are heavily veined and pitted on their surface, suggesting fragility, sensitivity, and, in the artist’s words, “possible collapse.” Here, the artist gives these joints a respite from centuries of upright poses and postures. Set towards the back corner of the Stone Hill pasture, Baghramian’s sculpture is sited to encourage visitors to pause—releasing pressure on these parts of the human body—and to survey the wide vista that surrounds it.

Kelly Akashi draws upon her training as an analog photographer, installing a large double-concave lens, titled A Device to See the World Twice, along a woodland trail near the farthest edge of the Clark’s campus. The lens reframes and distorts the surrounding natural setting, creating an upright image that optically scales the environment within its field, simultaneously shrinking and expanding what is seen. The lens is held in an armature of branches cast in bronze, a reference to the artist’s long-standing interest in living materials, entropy, and decay. With A Device to See the World Twice, Akashi slows time and allows the landscape to reveal its lively and ever-changing ecosystem.

 

The exhibition is supplemented by additional online content available on the Clark’s website and app, including interviews with the artists talking about their projects, a trail guide, an image gallery, and more. Visit clarkart.edu/groundwork or download the Clark’s app through the Apple and Samsung stores. Trail guides are also available at the Clark’s information desks.

 

Ground/work builds upon the Clark’s long history of collaborating with contemporary artists and art historians, inviting them to engage with the museum and its campus, both through exhibitions and as resident scholars, researchers, and lecturers. It also represents a deepening of the Clark’s commitment to contemporary art, championed by Olivier Meslay since joining the Institute as Hardymon Director in August 2016. In addition to Ground/work, visitors this year will have the opportunity to enjoy a year-long installation in the museum’s public spaces, Velo Revelo, by contemporary artist Pia Camil (Mexican, b. 1980) and Lin May Saeed: Arrival of the Animals—the first institutional solo show in North America of works by the German-Iraqi artist—at the Clark’s Lunder Center at Stone Hill. The exhibition, organized by the Clark and curated by Robert Wiesenberger, associate curator of contemporary projects, is open from July 21 to October 25. Wiesenberger is also working in collaboration with Epstein and Ross Goodman on Ground/work.

 

About The Artists

Kelly Akashi (b. 1983, Los Angeles) trained as an analog photographer and brings a documentarian’s instincts and curiosity to a practice that embraces a range of diverse materials and age-old processes. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and the Sifang Museum, Nanjing, China, among others. New and recent solo exhibitions include presentations at the Aspen Art Museum (2020), Tanya Bonakdar Gallery (2020), Headlands Center for the Arts (2019), Carolyn Glasoe Bailey Foundation (2019), ARCH Athens (2019); François Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles (2019 and 2016); and SculptureCenter, New York (2017). Akashi lives and works in Los Angeles.

Nairy Baghramian (b. 1971, Isfahan, Iran) grapples with issues of vulnerability and authority as she deconstructs and reassembles the human form, ever mindful of the forces of history, material, and context. Baghramian’s work is held in the permanent collections of the Centre Pompidou, Paris; The Art Institute of Chicago; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the S.M.A.K. Museum of Contemporary Art, Ghent, Belgium; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Tate Modern, London; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, among others. Baghramian’s most recent solo presentations include projects at PERFORMA-19, New York (2019), Palacio de Cristal del Retiro, Madrid (2018); the Walker Art Center, (2017); and the S.M.A.K. Museum of Contemporary Art, (2016). Forthcoming solo projects include an exhibition at the Musée d’art contemporain de Nimes in France, and a show at the Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Milan. Baghramian lives and works in Berlin, Germany. 

Jennie C. Jones (b. 1968, Cincinnati) employs strategies of collage and assemblage in her ongoing project of translating sound into physical matter, reframing the contributions of African Americans to include a modernist, minimalist vernacular. Her work is included in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., among others. Recent solo presentations include projects at The Arts Club of Chicago (2020), The Philip Johnson Glass House, New Canaan, Connecticut (2018); CAM Houston (2015); the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (2013); The Kitchen, New York (2011); Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2011); and Atlanta Contemporary Art Center (2009). Jones lives and works in Hudson, New York.

Eva LeWitt (b. 1985, Spoleto, Italy) leverages forces of color, gravity, suspension, and volume with a sensitivity to space, an interest in repetition and variation, and a reconsideration of materials and their inherent properties. Her work is held in the permanent collections of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Kistefos Museum, Jevnaker, Norway; and M Woods, Beijing. LeWitt’s current and recent solo exhibitions include presentations at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut (2019); The Jewish Museum, New York (2018); and VI, VII Gallery, Oslo (2018). A site-specific commission by the artist at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston will be unveiled in January 2021. LeWitt lives and works in New York.

Analia Saban (b. 1980, Buenos Aires) explores the intersections and overlap between traditional media and new technologies, disrupting conventional techniques of drawing, painting, weaving, and sculpture to probe the capacity of an object and the myriad meanings found within its form. Her work is in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Centre Pompidou; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; the Hessel Museum of Art at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York; Fonds regional d’Art contemporain (FRAC) d’Auvergne, France; Fundación Proa, Buenos Aires; the Hammer Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, among others. The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (2019) and the Blaffer Art Museum, Austin, Texas (2016) have both presented solo exhibitions of Saban’s work. Saban lives and works in Los Angeles.

Haegue Yang (b. 1971, Seoul) explores themes of social and political histories in her work, extricating familiar objects and materials from their primary functions and environments and repurposing them in a new framework of abstraction. Yang's work is held in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art; Tate Modern; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; M+, Hong Kong; National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul; and the Walker Art Center, among others. Recent solo exhibitions include projects at the Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach (2019); South London Gallery (2019); Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2018); KINDL - Centre for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2018); Centre Pompidou (2016); and the Serralves Museum, Porto, Portugal (2016). A new commission by the artist was recently on view at the Marron Atrium of the renovated Museum of Modern Art, New York. Forthcoming solo projects in 2020 include exhibitions at the Art Gallery of Ontario, MMCA Seoul, MCAD Manila, and Tate St. Ives. Yang lives and works between Berlin and Seoul.

 

 

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