DeCordova presents three new contemporary art exhibitions and dynamic programs


On October 6, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum opens three new exhibitions, presenting a broad range of media including painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, and video art. Screens: Virtual Material features large-scale, immersive installations that explore the presence of screens in art and everyday lives. Cool Medium: Art, Television & Psychedelia, 1960-1980 illuminates the intersections of color television, psychedelic counterculture, and visual art. And Bodies in Water focuses on photography to probe the deep connection humans have with water.

“We’re thrilled to present this latest cycle of exhibitions to the public. They offer our visitors dynamic and engaging ways to experience contemporary art—from being immersed in glittering and glowing screens to being hypnotized by vibrant paintings that seem to move in front of your eyes,” says deCordova Executive Director John B. Ravenal.

In conjunction with the exhibitions, deCordova hosts a series of programs for all ages, including art-making workshops, artist talks, and tours.

About the Exhibitions

Screens: Virtual Material
Open through March 18, 2018

Screens focuses on the increased presence of screens, both digital and tactile, within contemporary art. The exhibition features large-scale works by six leading contemporary artists: Brian Bress, Marta Chilindron, Liza Lou, Matt Saunders, Josh Tonsfeldt, and Penelope Umbrico. From metal fences and folding architecture to television monitors and video projections, screens are the primary artistic medium and the conceptual focus in these immersive sculptures, installations, and multimedia artworks. (Full press release here.)

Cool Medium: Art, Television & Psychedelia, 1960-1980
Open through March 11, 2018

Cool Medium explores how the emergence of color television and psychedelic culture—and the hypnotic properties of both—intersected with visual art during the 1960s and ‘70s. Drawn primarily from deCordova’s rich permanent collection, the exhibition includes paintings, photographs, and prints that relate to the visual language of the television screen and conditions of mass media culture. The saturated colors and patterns shown on sixties and seventies television provided inspiration for works that address cultural issues of drug use, paranoia, space exploration, and media saturation. (Full press release here.)

Bodies in Water
Open through March 11, 2018

Bodies in Water presents a vision by turns poetic, moving, and insightful of the many creative ways photographers have been inspired by water. The works in the exhibition, highlighting deCordova’s deep holdings of photography, feature human bodies immersed in, emerging from, and interacting with water in visually bold and thought-provoking ways. While some artists address water as a form of recreation or relaxation, others focus on its scarcity or potentially dangerous nature. (Full press release here.)

Related Programming
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DeCordova offers workshops, curator-led tours, and artist talks related to the exhibitions for those who want to learn more about the art on view or make their own. This series of events includes:

Workshop: Stained Glass Screens
Tuesdays, October 10 and 24, 6:30–9 pm
$75 Members, $90 Not-Yet-Members

Inspired by the exhibition Screens: Virtual Material, join artist Emily Bhargava in this two-session workshop where participants will design and complete a screen using stained glass techniques.

Curator-Led Tour: Screens
Thursday, October 19, 12 pm
Free with admission

Join Associate Curator Sarah Montross for an in-depth look at how artists in this exhibition create work using metal fences, folding architecture, television monitors, and video projections in innovative ways that expand our understanding of screens today.

Workshop: Psychedelic Glass Mandalas
Tuesdays, November 7 and 21, 6:30 pm–9 pm
$75 Members, $90 Not-Yet-Members

Inspired by the art of Paul Laffoley and other visionary artists in Cool Medium: Art, Television & Psychedelia, 1960-1980, create mosaic stained glass mandalas inspired by the psychedelic images in this dynamic exhibition.

Artist Talk: Penelope Umbrico
Thursday, November 30, 6:30 pm

Screens artist Penelope Umbrico uses screens as catalyst, subject, and medium in her art. In this artist’s talk, she will discuss her ongoing projects that explore the life—and afterlife—of television monitors, computers, and other electronic displays.

Workshop: Representing Water in Mosaics
Tuesdays, December 5 and 19, 6:30–9 pm
$75 Members, $90 Not-Yet-Members

Inspired by the exhibition Bodies in Water, join artist Emily Bhargava for this two-session workshop to make a water-inspired mosaic. Techniques and short demonstrations will include glass cutting, glass on glass mosaic, contrasting warm and cool colors, suggesting water through the use of pebbles and shells, and incorporating mirror into mosaic.

Curator-Led Tour: Bodies in Water
Saturday, December 9, 12 pm
Free with admission

Dive into the exhibition Bodies in Water with this curatorial tour led by Martina Tanga, Koch Curatorial Fellow. In a relaxed, conversational setting in the gallery look at how photographers capture the human body interacting with water, and explore how some of these representations alert us to social and political implications of water.

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