Special Project: Urban Garden

Urban Garden
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On View Jul 01, 2011 - Oct 31, 2012

The Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy and deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum have collaboratively organized a temporary public art project for Boston's Rose Kennedy Greenway. Urban Garden is a group exhibition of contemporary outdoor sculpture, curated by deCordova's Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs Nick Capasso, on display on Parcel 21 of the Greenway's Fort Point Channel Parks, between Pearl and Congress Streets. Urban Garden is made possible thanks to the generous support of Boston Properties, and in collaboration with the City of Boston and the Boston Public Arts Commission. The exhibition is free and open to the public from summer 2011 into October 2012. Urban Garden is intended as a pilot program to further encourage contemporary public art on the Greenway and in the City of Boston; to serve as a model for future cultural collaborations between the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy and other non-profit instutitions; and to stimulate corporate support for future endeavors.

Urban Garden features the work of James Surls, Tom Otterness, and John Ruppert. The final selection of works was based on scale, variety of materials (steel, bronze, aluminum), and range of aesthetic approaches. The sculptures all reference botanical forms—trees, flowers, vines, and vegetables. Surls' Walking Flower Times the Power of Five—the largest of the three sculptures—is located in the center of the lawn, oriented toward the main pedestrian approach from the southwest. It references the circular shape of the lawn and the site’s curving pathways and landscape contours. Otterness' Tree of Knowledge is located in close proximity to the pedestrian path to allow close inspection of its animal actors. Ruppert’s Pumpkin Series is arranged toward the south end of the lawn, “scattered” in a way to suggest an actual pumpkin patch. 

About the Rose Kennedy Greenway

The Rose Kennedy Greenway is a ribbon of contemporary urban parks that connects people and the city by providing beauty, fun, and a sense of community in Boston. Now, four of Boston’s most diverse and dynamic neighborhoods – formerly divided by a massive structure of steel and asphalt – are linked by beautifully landscaped parks, gardens, and plazas and reconnected with the harbor.  For more information, visit www.rosekennedygreenway.org.


About the Artists

James Surls, born in 1943, currently lives and works in Colorado. His sculptural aesthetic was formed in response to the scrubby landscape of east Texas, where he was born and lived for many years. His work combines his observations of nature and the human figure with expressive stylizations of plant forms. He creates public art in both wood and bronze.

John Ruppert, born in 1951, is based in Baltimore, and teaches sculpture at the University of Maryland at College Park. His work in metal often references the natural world. His Pumpkin Series were made from identical casts of a 700 pound squash in the process of decay.

Tom Otterness is one of America’s premier public artists. His stylized bronze figures explore the range of human experience. Otterness lives and works in New York. His work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art (NY), Whitney Museum of Art (NY), Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburgh), and others. Tom Otterness is represented by the Marlborough Gallery, New York, NY.