PLATFORM 6: Barbara Gallucci, Utopiary Terrace

PLATFORM 6: Barbara Gallucci, Utopiary Terrace
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On View Jan 29, 2011 - Apr 24, 2011
Exhibition Location: Third Floor Lobby

Using a signature blend of sculpture and design, Barbara Gallucci reimagines the Museum's third-floor lobby as an indoor landscape with her "topiary" beanbag chairs and cork-covered terrace. Utopiary Terrace is a fully functional installation that references manicured lawns and the manufactured landscape while reflecting on the artist's long-standing interest in the place of nature in contemporary culture and how Modernist design helped shaped that relationship. Installed in a glass-enclosed area of the Museum, Gallucci's Utopiary Terrace also addresses deCordova's site as an indoor and outdoor venue for contemporary art, following the over-arching theme of the PLATFORM series.

"Topia," according to Gallucci, is a word fragment derived partly from the word utopia, an ideal but unattainable state which fueled much of Modernist ideology of the mid-20th century, and topiary, an artificially sculpted landscape. The sculptures' grass-like chenille covering evokes a mass-manufactured notion of "nature" and a human desire to control our environment. The curved, cork-covered platforms refer to, in equal measure, tiered, sculpted landscapes and Modernist architecture which first used the durable and natural material as floor covering – a prime example of which can be found in the 1938 historic home of Modernist architect and founder of the Bauhaus school, Walter Gropius, which is just down the road from deCordova.

In Utopiary Terrace we find nature "behaving" for culture; existing for our pleasure, functioning to bring comfort. One might say these sculptures are "in nature's image," but without the muss and fuss of real life or lawn.

Download the PLATFORM brochure.

The 2010-11 PLATFORM series is funded by James and Audrey Foster.



Artist Talk: Barbara Gallucci
Saturday, February 12, 3 pm

PLATFORM Discussion Series
Saturday, March 26, 3 pm
Join exhibiting artist Barbara Gallucci and landscape architect Michael Blier as they discuss how Gallucci's Utopiary Terrace explores issues of landscape, architecture, the great outdoors, and the world of fine art and sculpture.

Eye Wonder Family Program
Sunday, February 6, 1–3pm
Free with museum admission