Architectural Allusions

Kenneth Snelson, Wiggins Fork
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On View Jul 08, 2015 - May 01, 2016
Exhibition Location: Sculpture Park

One of deCordova's first themed outdoor exhibitions, Architectural Allusions is an international group exhibition of new commissions, long-term loans, and permanent collection works that explores the presence of architecture in contemporary sculpture. Using concrete, granite, glass, and other materials, exhibiting artists reinvent architectural traditions from ancient ziggurats to modernist pavilions. The exhibition features work by Stephanie Cardon, Dan Graham, Esther Kläs, Sol LeWitt, Monika Sosnowska, Kenneth Snelson, and Oscar Tuazon.

Boston-based sculptor Stephanie Cardon presents Beacon, constructed of two 11-foot tall concrete pillars connected by planes of thin electric yellow cables. The structure forms a passageway that visitors can walk under and look up through to experience the optical vibrations of the fluorescent cable lattice.

German artist Esther Kläs created a commission for deCordova during the spring of 2015. Kläs’s Ferma(5) is composed of two granite slabs that evoke weathered, time-worn architectural ruins and stone-laid pathways. Resting on the earth and largely hidden from view, Ferma (5) is meant to be discovered amid the Sculpture Park’s forested grounds.

Los Angeles-based sculptor Oscar Tuazon created Partners for deCordova in 2014. The work comprises a concrete beam that extends up and over to connect with one of the Sculpture Park’s maple trees, forming an architectural lintel between nature and culture.

Dan Graham’s Crazy Spheroid: Two Entrances, a two-way mirrored glass pavilion sculpture, was purchased for deCordova’s collection in 2009. While walking into and around the reflective half-ellipse structure, a viewer’s perception is disrupted, which establishes new relationships between one’s body and the surrounding landscape of the Sculpture Park.

Sol LeWitt’s Tower (DC) recalls both stepped towers of ancient ziggurats and the repeating recession of the façade of modern skyscrapers. Previously on long-term loan to the institution, deCordova recently acquired Tower (DC) in honor of Boston gallerist Barbara Krakow, who was recognized at deCordova’s Black and White in the Park gala.

Exhibited outdoors for the first time, Polish artist Monika Sosnowksa’s monumental sculpture Tower was installed in May 2015. Sosnowska’s sculpture is one of deCordova’s largest installations to date, measuring over 100 feet in length. Tower directly references the iconic architecture of Mies van der Rohe, specifically his Lake Shore Drive apartments in Chicago, Illinois. The sculpture is based on a portion of the building’s steel façade, which the artist has contorted into a cylindrical form. Tower challenges distinctions between architecture and sculpture.

Kenneth Snelson’s Wiggins Fork was added to the Sculpture Park during summer 2014. Constructed with stainless steel rods and tension wires, the sculpture is engineered to appear light and effortless despite its strength in design. Since the 1960s, Snelson has been employing the technical forces of compression and tension to create structures that are composed of both flexible and rigid components.

Artists featured in the exhibition include Stephanie Cardon, Dan Graham, Esther Kläs, Sol Lewitt,  Monika Sosnowska, Kenneth Snelson, and Oscar Tuazon.

Architectural Allusions Tour
September 16, 2015, 12 pm