DALLAS, Texas (September 18 , 2018) – The Nasher Sculpture Center announces several recent gifts to the collection: over 120 posters, projects, books, and videos by the Guerilla Girls; an immersive work by Ann Veronica Janssens; works by Bosco Sodi and Joshua Neustein, and the promised gift of a 1988 sculpture by Louise Bourgeois.
“The Nasher is grateful to add these works to its collection,” says Director Jeremy Strick. “The projects by the Guerilla Girls are important and timely reminders of the need to expand the art historical canon to acknowledge the powerful contributions of women artists, at the same time as they highlight the formidable force that this art collective has had in making that happen. Similarly, the addition of Louise Bourgeois’s uncanny and tender bronze work, Cove, brings a new gravity to the collection, as materially compelling as it is emotionally. Finally, the works by Ann Veronica Janssens, Bosco Sodi, and Joshua Neustein fortify the collection’s formally and conceptually driven holdings by artists such as Donald Judd, Sol Lewitt, and, more recently, Anna-Bella Papp.”
Bourgeois’s Cove, and Sodi’s Wall (Muro) were recently on view in the exhibition A Tradition of Revolution.
The Guerrilla Girls: Gift of Portfolio of over 120 Posters and Projects
A gift from Kaleta A. Doolin,The Guerrilla Portfolio Compleat 1985-2012 + Upgrade 2012-2016, has entered the Nasher Collection. The portfolio includes over 120 Guerrilla Girls projects, books, videos, and posters signed by founding members of the collective. Influenced by the feminist movement and motivated by the desire to make the world a more equitable place, the all-female art collective (1985–) employ statistics and other data to reveal discrimination in the art world. Members are anonymous and conceal their identities by wearing gorilla masks in public and by assuming pseudonyms taken from such important female artists as Frida Kahlo, Hannah Hoch, and Kathe Kollwitz.
The group formed in New York City in 1985 as a reaction to the 1984 exhibition International Survey of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in which work by women artists represented less than 10% of the exhibition. Since 1985, the group has completed more than 100 street projects, posters, and stickers all over the world, including New York, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Mexico City, Istanbul, London, Bilbao, Rotterdam, and Shanghai targeting museums, galleries, curators, writers, and artists who they felt were either responsible for or complicit in the exclusion of women and artists of color from mainstream exhibitions and publications.
A form of institutional critique that has its roots in Dada, Pop, Conceptual, and Feminist art, the Guerrilla Girls’s portfolio represents an important addition to the Nasher’s collection. It expands the collection of works on paper and explores the effects of popular culture, mass media, and advertising in art, initially explored by Pop art predecessors in the collection. The portfolio also documents the actions of an artist collective that has had a significant impact on the role of museums in the art world and provides a context for better understanding the impetus behind the creation of the Kaleta A. Doolin Acquisitions Fund for Women Artists at the Nasher.
The Guerrilla Girls have had retrospective exhibitions in Bilbao (2002), as well as a traveling exhibition that toured the U.S. titled Not Ready to Make Nice: The Guerrilla Girls in the Art World and Beyond (2012-2016). Other recent exhibitions include Media Networks: Andy Warhol and the Guerrilla Girls, Tate Modern, London (2016); Art at the Center: Guerrilla Girls, Walker Art Center (2016); Front Room: Guerrilla Girls, Baltimore Museum of Art (2017); and Guerrilla Girls, The Verge Center for the Arts, Sacramento, CA (2017).
Ann Veronica Janssens: Blue, Red and Yellow (2016)
Previously on view at the Nasher in the 2016 exhibition, Ann Veronica Janssens, the work Blue, Red and Yellow by Janssens has entered the Nasher Collection, a gift from the artist and Kaleta A. Doolin. The work is a freestanding, translucent pavilion coated with, and named for, the three primary colors. Visitors who enter the pavilion find it filled with artificial fog, a substance that interests Janssens as a way of giving sculptural form to light. As visitors move through the pavilion, they experience the profound disorientation prompted by losing all points of navigational reference; as light passes through the walls and ceilings, the fog becomes radiantly suffused with their colors, changing with the movement of the viewer and shifting with the light of the sky.
Drawing on scientific research, Janssens aims to create situations that can resemble laboratory experiments as much as works of art. “It’s a question of provoking an experience of excess, of the surpassing of limits,” she explains, including “situations of dazzlement,” vertigo, speed, and even exhaustion among feelings that can bring us to threshold states of altered consciousness. Her use of light to create these sensations is contingent on architecture, and she often creates environments in which she can test the science of the eye with the manipulation of light within the space. Janssens’s work exhibits formal affinities with minimalism and the California Light and Space movements of the 1960s and 70s, yet eschews their penchant for monumentality in favor of the intimate, subjective experience of the individual.
Born in Folkestone, England in 1956, Janssens lives and works in Brussels. In 1999 Janssens represented Belgium at the 48th Venice Biennale. A selection of solo exhibitions include: FRAC Corse, Bonifacio, France; Serendipity, WIELS - Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels, Belgium; Are you experienced?, Espai d'art contemporani de Castelló, Castelló, Spain; ARTSPACE, Auckland, New Zealand; Neue National Galerie, Berlin, Germany; In the Absence of Light it is possible…, Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg, Austria; Rouge 106, Bleu 132, Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France; CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, CA; Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, England; Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland; and 8'26", Musée d'Art Contemporain de Marseille, Marseille, France. Selected group exhibitions including: Fruits of Passion, Centre Pompidou in Paris, France; 8th Biennale of Sydney, Sydney, Australia; Ecstasy, Museum of Contemporary Art of Los Angeles, CA; Universal Code: Art and Cosmology in the Information Age, Power Plant, Toronto, Canada; Generalli Foundation, Austria; Eyes, Lies & Illusions, Hayward Gallery, England; Stimuli, Witte de With, Rotterdam.
Joshua Neustein: Paper Bales (1977/2017)
A gift from the artist to the Nasher and recently seen in the Nasher’s 2017 exhibition Paper into Sculpture, Paper Bales, by Joshua Neustein, first appeared in Neustein’s 1977 10-year survey at the Tel Aviv Art Museum and consists of two bundles of shredded, bound paper. Rerouted from their journey to a recycling center that will pulverize, soak, and reform them into sheets of paper anew, the bales’ recontextualization in a museum setting focuses attention on paper’s economy, its comings and goings, and its production and regeneration. Neustein’s paper bales are gathered and bound leftovers, the trimmings that remain when rolls and large sheets of paper are cut into smaller sizes. The artist has described Paper Bales as “a readymade in a sense, an iteration of folded, ripped, turned, removed, replaced work on paper.” Formed by machines, Neustein’s bales nonetheless behave as sculpture, their hulking, snowy white, shaggy masses almost a parody of the language of Minimalist sculpture’s geometric modules. Temporarily displaced to a museum, the bales occupy gallery space as a provisional stop on paper’s continued circulation. Each time the work is displayed, the bales are sourced anew, borrowed from local paper mills, distributors, or recycling centers.
A pioneer of Conceptual art, Land art, and Post-Minimalism, Joshua Neustein has made drawing, in relation to painting, sculpture, and architecture, a cornerstone of his practice and a recurring conduit for his actions. Neustein spent much of his early childhood displaced by World War II, going from Poland to Siberia, where his father was a forced laborer, back to Eastern Europe, and eventually to the United States, where his family settled in Brooklyn. In 1964, Neustein moved to Israel, where he lived and worked before returning to New York in 1980. He came to artistic maturity in Israel, and the often-contentious life of a young nation in a politically volatile region quickly infused his work, such as Boots (1969), in which he and two other artists filled a Jerusalem gallery space with 17,000 pairs of boots from the different armies that had traversed the region throughout the 20th century.
Neustein lives and works in New York City and Tel Aviv. In 1995, he represented Israel at the Venice Biennale. His works are in the collections of numerous museums, including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and Tel Aviv Museum of Art, among others.
Bosco Sodi: Muro (Wall), 2017
Muro (Wall), a gift to the Nasher from Mexican artist Bosco Sodi and Paul Kasmin Gallery, documents a performative installation by Sodi that took place in Garibaldi Plaza in Washington Square Park, New York City, on September 7, 2017. On that day, Sodi erected a 2-meter-high by 8-meter-long wall constructed with 1,600 unique clay timbers that he had fired by hand at his studio in Oaxaca, Mexico with the help of local craftsmen. Later the same day, visitors were invited to remove one timber to take home with them. The artist intends the installation to endure in its dispersed state as a communally co-owned work of art.
Muro invoked diverse metaphors of separation and division, as well as commonality, intersection, and community, activated by the public as they collectively disassembled the wall. Sodi’s project is a poetic manifestation of political, social, and historical tensions in the current national conversation and expands upon his ongoing interest in organic processes beyond the artist’s control. The section of Muro donated to the Nasher Sculpture Center—a 5-unit-by-5-unit cube—stands as a document of this moving installation and performance, as well as an important example of Sodi’s work in sculpture. The work enriches the collection’s holdings of Post-Minimalist objects by artists such as Joel Shapiro and Christopher Wilmarth, and a subsequent generation, including Martin Puryear and Anish Kapoor, that has continued to explore the legacy and consequences of these artists’ work. Muro also augments the collection’s representation of works that document ephemeral performances, such as the recently acquired photographs of Ana Mendieta. The assemblage of clay timbers is the fourth work in fired clay to enter the collection and thus continues the investigation of innovative uses of the material by artists of the avant-garde initiated in the 2013 exhibition Return to Earth: Ceramic Sculpture of Fontana, Melotti, Miró, Noguchi, and Picasso, 1943–1963. The gift is accompanied by photos for the Nasher’s archive documenting the dismantling of the installation in Washington Square Park.
Sodi’s work has been featured in numerous solo exhibitions and is included in the collection of notable museums in Europe, Japan, and North America. The artist currently lives and works in New York, Barcelona, Berlin, Mexico City, and Oaxaca.
Promised gift: Louise Bourgeois, Cove, 1988
In this 1988 bronze by Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010), called Cove—a promised gift from Kaleta A. Doolin—swelling, bulbous shapes suggestive of breasts, phalli, and buds comprise a recumbent central form that extends beyond the small platform of its elevated steel base. The impression of a poised, almost uncontainable force is heightened by the slender arms that seem to embrace the smaller forms and appear barely able to contain them. The contrasting polished bronze and dark patina intensify the evocation of growth or emergence. The title Cove alludes to a small bay or a narrow cavern in a mountain or hillside—a sheltered, encircling place.
Cove brings together many of the key motifs and themes of Bourgeois’s sculpture: the tension between abstraction and representation; the use of forms suggestive of fragments of both the male and female body; tenderness even in a precariously balanced situation, in the maternal embrace suggested by the figure’s arms. Its combination of male and female body parts particularly recalls Bourgeois’s iconic hanging sculpture Janus Fleuri (1968). Bringing together male and female, stasis and instability, and nurture and menace, Cove gives form to the central tension of Bourgeois’s creative life: “The polarity I experience is a drive towards extreme violence and revolt…and a retiring, I wouldn’t say passivity…but a need for peace, a complete peace with self, with others, and with the environment.”
Cove will be a significant addition to the Nasher Collection. The first work by Bourgeois to enter the collection, it fills a significant absence. Its composition through the repetition of swelling organic forms was pioneered by Jean (Hans) Arp in such works as Torso with Buds. The dreamlike impression created by its small, perfectly formed arms, including hands, embracing a welter of protuberances evokes Surrealism, as does its sense of physical metamorphosis, creating a kinship with such works as Giacometti’s Spoon Woman or Picasso’s Head of a Woman (1930). Cove’s combination of vulnerability joined to a feeling of menace also resonates with Nancy Grossman’s Bust.
Bourgeois's achievements have been recognized with a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (1973), membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1981), a grand prize in sculpture from the French Ministry of Culture (1991), the National Medal of Arts (1997), the Leone d'Oro (1999), a Medal of Honor from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia (2005), the 2006 Intrepid Award from the National Organization for Women (2006), and the Woman Award from the United Nations and Women Together (2007), among others. Bourgeois died on May 31, 2010, in New York.
For high resolution images, please follow this link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/au6y0bz7m57okcj/AAAGels5BArpgxrQrXXjSrCda?dl=0
About the Nasher Sculpture Center:
Located in the heart of the Dallas Arts District, the Nasher Sculpture Center is home to the Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, one of the finest collections of modern and contemporary sculpture in the world, featuring more than 300 masterpieces by Calder, de Kooning, di Suvero, Giacometti, Gormley, Hepworth, Kelly, Matisse, Miró, Moore, Picasso, Rodin, Serra, and Shapiro, among others.
The Nasher Sculpture Center is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm, and from 10 am to 5 pm on the first Saturday of each month. Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for students, and free for children 12 and under and members, and includes access to special exhibitions.
For more information, visit www.NasherSculptureCenter.org.