DeCordova Announces Exhibitions Opening April 2018: Exhibitions feature special behind-the-scenes opportunity for visitors


DeCordova announces two exhibitions opening in April 2018: Sculpting with Air: Ian McMahon and Jong Oh and Lived Space: Humans and Architecture. Both are on view through September 30, 2018.

Sculpting with Air features site-specific installations by two contemporary sculptors who use different methods and materials to engage with the ethereal quality of air. The public will have the opportunity to observe and talk to the artists as they create the sculptures in the galleries. Lived Space includes photographs, paintings, and prints that explore our psychological and physical attachments to the spaces we build and inhabit.

Sculpting with Air: Ian McMahon and Jong Oh
April 20–September 30, 2018 (plus behind-the-scenes opportunity April 4–8 and 11–15)

In Sculpting with Air, two contemporary sculptors will create very different site-specific artworks at deCordova by shaping the intangible element of air. Ian McMahon creates voluminous, pillow-like forms using an innovative technique of sprayed plaster. Jong Oh fashions almost imperceptible structures with string, wire, and Plexiglas. While McMahon emphasizes materiality, solidity, and containment, Oh focuses on transparency, lightness, and expansiveness.

Despite their contrasts, the two sculptors’ work is complementary. Both reshape space by exploring tension, balance, and force. They challenge our perceptions of gravity and perspective by creating forms that expand in the galleries.

McMahon and Oh emphasize process in their work, and often make their installations at specific locations rather than in their studios. At deCordova, they will create original, temporary sculptures that respond to the Museum’s unique gallery spaces. Sharing the creative process with visitors, the Museum will be open to the public while the two artists install their work between April 4–8 and 11–15. Visitors are invited to observe the artists working in the gallery and attend daily artist talks. The finished works will open to the public on April 20, 2018.

Lived Space: Humans and Architecture
April 4–September 30, 2018

The artists featured in Lived Space: Humans and Architecture explore the link between architectural elements and the inner world. In their work, interior rooms function as receptacles of memory, emotion, and identity. Some artworks show the human body merging with the built environment, while others present imaginary structures that exist solely in artist’s mind. Drawn from deCordova’s permanent collection, the exhibition addresses our need to adapt and relate to our architectural surroundings, as well as the ways in which these spaces shape and inspire us.

Shown in deCordova’s Dewey Gallery, Lived Space also considers the building’s architectural history, which has undergone many transformations since its original construction. Inspired by their travels abroad, Julian and Lizzie de Cordova remodeled their summer home in 1910 to resemble a European castle. When the building became a contemporary art museum in 1950, the Dewey Gallery transitioned from a private to public space, its ornate décor replaced by clean white walls. These shifts in deCordova’s architecture, prompted by Julian’s personal history, dreams, and passions, suggest an intimate exchange between humans and architectural space that extends far beyond one of basic needs.

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