Gary Webb: Mr. Jeans

DeCordova Exhibits
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On View May 26, 2012 - Aug 12, 2012

Gary Webb: Mr. Jeans, on view May 26–August 12, 2012, is the British sculptor's first US museum exhibition. An exciting and established young contemporary sculptor in England, Webb is well known for his use, often in a single artwork, of myriad materials including steel, aluminum, glass, mirror, plastic, brass, wood, brick, spray paint, fabrics, and assorted found objects. For Gary Webb: Mr. Jeans, deCordova will present a survey of Webb’s recent work including two new outdoor sculptures designed by the artist specifically for deCordova’s Museum Entrance Plaza.

Webb creates enigmatic objects that play games with the tradition of Modernist abstraction while commenting on twenty-first century consumer culture. The riot of materials he uses in his work is matched by his exuberant use of color and the compositional complexity of his sculptures, which walk a knife-edge between order and chaos. References to Modern Masters such as Joan Miró, Anthony Caro, and Donald Judd ricochet throughout Webb’s work, which is also informed by high-end furniture design, retail display, the vulgarity of mass-produced objects and advertising, and scads of bling. Overall, Webb’s sculptures are joyful, funny, playful, bizarre, and reflect a truly unrestrained creative imagination. The exhibition’s subtitle, “Mr. Jeans” reflects the artist’s somewhat surreal sensibility.

Gary Webb: Mr. Jeans is the third in a planned series of major solo sculpture exhibitions to be held each summer at deCordova. Chakaia Booker: In and Out in 2010 and Ursula von Rydingsvard: Sculpture in 2011 support the institution’s strategic goal to become a leading venue for contemporary sculpture, both indoors and outdoors. Gary Webb: Mr. Jeans, deCordova’s first solo exhibition dedicated to the work of a non-American artist, also bolsters the institution’s new international reach and augments newer additions to the Sculpture Park by Antony Gormley, Jaume Plensa, and Laura Ford.

Gary Webb: Mr. Jeans is organized by deCordova’s Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs, Nick Capasso, with assistance from Koch Curatorial Fellow Mary Tinti. This show is accompanied by a full-color exhibition catalogue available for purchase from our online deCordova | Store.

Gary Webb Catalogue

Major funding provided by the Lois and Richard England Family Foundation. Additional support provided by Mary Levin Koch, Deborah A. Hawkins, Kate James, David and Barbara Slater, Meredyth Hyatt Moses, and an anonymous donor. Interpretive programming is generously supported by a grant from the Nathaniel Saltonstall Arts Fund.


Gary Webb was born in 1973 in Bascombe, Dorset, UK, and currently lives and works in London. He received a BA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College, London, and is represented by the Bortolami Gallery in New York and The Approach in London. His last major museum exhibition, Mirage of Loose Change (2005–2006) was organized by the Kunsthaus Glarus and Centre d’Art Contemporain Geneva, Switzerland, and Le Consortium Dijon, France. Webb’s work is included in the collections of the TATE Gallery Collection, United Kingdom; the Arts Council Collection , United Kingdom; the British Council , United Kingdom; the Government Art Collection, United Kingdom; S.M.A.K., Ghent, Belgium; the Musée départemental d'art contemporain , Rochechouart, France; and the Fonds régional d'art contemporain des Pays de la Loire,  Carquefou, France.

All programs are free with Museum admission.

Artist Talk: Gary Webb
Saturday, May 26, 2 pm

Join deCordova for an engaging discussion with Gary Webb, the artist behind the playful,whimsical, and colorful sculptures. Immediately following the lecture deCordova members are invited to an exclusive reception with Gary Webb.

Family Day: Play
Saturday, June 9, drop-in anytime 11 am–3 pm

Visit deCordova as a family to explore how contemporary artists incorporate play into their artwork and processes. Find and experiment with new materials, create a
collaborative structure with new friends, discover new sculpture in the Park, and explore the summer exhibitions.

Eye Wonder: Gary Webb
Sunday, July 8, drop-in anytime 1–3 pm

Families can explore how Gary Webb employs reflective surfaces in his work and experiment with creating artwork out of mirrored materials. Emphasis is placed on
materials and space.

2012 Family Programming is made possible, in part, through a grant from the Bessie Pappas Charitable Foundation, Inc.