Courtesy of the artist and Samsøn Projects, Boston

Aaron Stephan. Monument on a Museum. 2013. Painted aluminum and wood. approximately 10 feet x 10 feet x 16 feet.

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approximately 10 feet x 10 feet x 16 feet

Painted aluminum and wood
Courtesy of the artist and Samsøn Projects, Boston
Exhibit Date: 
On View Jul 10, 2013 - Apr 01, 2014

No longer on view.

Aaron Stephan’s sculptures elevate the ordinary to the ideal by providing everyday objects with new contexts, alterations, and serial qualities. Based in Portland, Maine, Stephan employs common forms, ranging from industrial railings to trash barrels, to create sculptures which embody a new utopian space.  As part of deCordova’s PLATFORM series, Stephan presents recreations of iconic twentieth-century sculptures recontextualized in the vernacular of the Sculpture Park and Museum’s architecture and facilities. Using borrowed forms, Stephan has reconstructed sculptural masterpieces by Vladimir Tatlin, Donald Judd, and Robert Smithson in the three-part installation located on the Rappaport Rooftop Terrace, on the Sculpture Park Terrace, and in the Sculpture Park.

Monument on a Museum, located on the Rappaport Rooftop Terrace, is inspired by Vladimir Tatlin’s (1885-1953) Tower for the project for the Monument to the Third International (1919-20). Though Tatlin’s architectural form was never built, it represented the ideals of the common man within a modern world– a concept that resonated with artists throughout much of the twentieth century.  Similar to Tatlin’s Constructivist tower, Monument on a Museum rises up in a spiraling helix form that is constructed of common industrial materials.  However, in Stephan’s reimagining of the work, the installation is created from the same materials used in the Museum’s pre-existing railing and floor.  By merging the functionality of a preexisting site with an artistic intervention, the installation appears to grow out of the building itself.

Aaron Stephan received his B.F.A. in sculpture from SUNY Purchase College in 1996, and M.F.A. from Maine College of Art, Portland, ME in 2002. His work has been shown in the Portland Museum of Art, The Institute of Contemporary Art Portland, The Center for Maine Contemporary Art, and recently contributed to the Percent for Art Projects in Biddeford, Maine.

PLATFORM is a series of solo exhibitions by early- and mid-career artists from both the New England and national arts communities. These shows focus on work that engages with deCordova's unique architectural spaces and social, geographical, and physical location. The PLATFORM series is intended to support creativity and the expression of new ideas, and is a catalyst for dialogue about contemporary art.

The 2012–2013 PLATFORM series is generously funded by James and Audrey Foster.

PLATFORM 12: Aaron Stephan Secondhand Utopias

Image courtesy of the artist and Samson, Boston.