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David Benjamin Sherry, Self Portrait as the Born Feeling Begins, 2009

David Benjamin Sherry, Self Portrait as the Born Feeling Begins, 2009 (detail)
chromogenic print
Courtesy of the artist and Salon 94, New York. Collection of Beth and Richard Marcus.

Click images for larger view
On View Apr 01, 2016 - Sep 18, 2016

This exhibition explores how artists represent prolific growth, expansion, and transformation in the natural world and the built environment. Coiling vines and other forms of unruly vegetation spread across the surfaces of paintings and works on paper. Scenes of vast urban construction convey the pinnacle of human ambition and ingenuity, as well as the negative effects of overdevelopment of the land. Artworks inspired by cellular mutation and the expansion of the universe reveal an equal fascination with microscopic and cosmic levels of transformation.

Overgrowth also examines how generative growth and additive processes are instrumental to the making of art. Viewers will observe different speeds of artistic creation, from slow, meticulous brushstrokes to rapid, painterly gestures. Biomorphic sculptures on view expand outward into real space, as if compelled by a vital life force. Drawn from deCordova’s permanent collection—and featuring work by international, national, and New England artists acquired over the past fifty years—this exhibition demonstrates how ongoing change spans natural, man-made, and creative enterprises.

Artists in the exhibition:

Albert Alcalay, Laylah Ali, Sandra Allen, Jean Arp, Bremner Benedict, Robert Bermelin, Barbara Bosworth, Alan Bray, Nancy Burson, Jedediah Caesar, William Christopher, Brian D. Cohen, Leah De Prizio, Friedel Dzubas, Harold Edgerton, Chris Enos, Robert Eshoo, Larry Fink, Sean Foley, Lee Friedlander, Sheila Gallagher, Frank Gohlke, George Hagerty, Willy Heeks, Jon Imber, Constance Jacobson, Kieff, Laura Kim, Yeffe Kimball, Kurt Kranz, Alex S. MacLean, Mary Mattingly, Michael Mazur, Todd McKie. Laura McPhee, Henry Moore, Jeff Perrott, Rachel Perry, Gabor Peterdi, Bill Ravanesi, Cristi Rinklin, Aaron Rose, Donald Shambroom, David Benjamin Sherry, Edward Steichen, Barbara Takenaga, Lois Tarlow, Chris Taylor, Sumru Tekin, Harold Tovish, Sarah Walker, Gary Webb, David Wolf, Makoto Yabe

The exhibition is organized by Associate Curator Sarah Montross.

Funding generously provided by Robert E. Davoli and Eileen L. McDonagh, The Nathaniel Saltonstall Arts Fund, and Amy and Jonathan Poorvu.

CURATOR-LED TOUR with Sarah Montross
Wednesday, April 6, 12 pm

DISCUSSION SERIES: OVERGROWTH IN CONVERSATION

  • Disvalued Landscapes, Seen from Above
    Photographer Alex MacLean and Alan Berger, Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urban Design, MIT, discuss the art of aerial photography, suburban sprawl, and other patterns on the land. Moderated by Sarah Montross, Associate Curator. 
    Thursday, April 28, 6:30 pm
     
  • Creating Life: Art, Design, and Synthetic Biology
    Join Sophia Roosth, Associate Professor, History of Science, Harvard University and Sarah Montross, Associate Curator, for a conversation about experimentation and fabrication in art and biological sciences.
    Tuesday, July 19, 6:30 pm
     
  • Between Wonder and the Monstrous
    Artist Sean Foley and Deirdre Barrett, Ph.D. Psychologist, Harvard Medical School, discuss dreams, wonder, and the grotesque in art. Organized by Catalyst Conversations. 
    Thursday, September 15, 6:30 pm

LUNCHTIME TALK with Helen Lewandowski
Wednesday, June 8, 12 pm

MOVIES IN THE PARK
FRIDAYS, JUNE 17, JULY 22, AUGUST 5, 8:30 PM
Lights, camera, action! Inspired by Overgrowth, this outdoor series features the films: Jumanji, The Secret Garden, and Wall-E.

LUNCHTIME SPOTLIGHT TOUR with Scout Hutchinson
Wednesday, August 10, 12 pm

OVERGROWTH OUTDOORS with Sarah Montross
Wednesday, September 7, 12 pm