BOTTOMS UP: A Sculpture Survey

Sep 12 2015 to Dec 20 2015

John Chamberlain once said, “The definition of sculpture is stance and attitude.” This wide-ranging exhibition presents numerous forms that have been carved, cast, or assembled. In varying scales and materials, they are situated on the floor or on pedestals, hung on the wall, or suspended from the ceiling, exemplifying Chamberlain’s notion of an object that possesses space in a dynamic way.

Artists, including John Ahearn, El Anatsui, Linda Benglis, Harry Bertoia, Louise Bourgeois, Alexander Calder, Jean Baptiste Carpeaux, Willie Cole, Mark Di Suvero, Mel Edwards, Peter Forakis, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Joe Goode, Sol LeWitt, Jacques Lipchitz, Tony Matelli, Robert Morgan, Louise Nevelson, Ebony G. Patterson, Pablo Picasso, Frederico Pizzurro, Peter Reginato, Lucas Samaras, Arlene Shechet, Erika Verzutti, and Rachel Whiteread, have helped to clarify and complicate the ways that sculpture can give viewers a complex physical encounter. Their works utilize weight, mass, gravity, color, gesture, movement, sound, scale, abstraction, and representation.

Installed in the main gallery with its soaring ceiling height, the exhibition revels in the dialogue between specific objects: a Native American totem pole (1880-1910) is seen with Peter Forakis’s 1981 horizontal steel Rainbow II; Willie Cole’s Shoonufu Female Figure cast from high-heeled shoes and Tony Matelli’s insidious Weed #294 offer representations of human and plant shapes; and a functioning race car made by Lexington artist Federico Pizzurro for his son Mike is seen alongside Joe Goode’s Coke Bottles and Carton, both produced in the 1960s and celebrating aspects of American desire.

Special thanks to the James Albisetti Exhibition Fund for support of this exhibition. The exhibition catalogue was made possible by a generous contribution from the Breeders’ Cup.

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