Organized by the Nasher Sculpture Center, Sterling Ruby: Sculpture is the first museum survey of Ruby’s work in the medium featuring nearly thirty sculptures ranging from the intimate to the monumental. The exhibition will be on view at the Nasher February 2 – April 21, 2019, and will be accompanied by a lavishly illustrated catalogue featuring a new essay, “Sterling Ruby and the Transcendent Life of Objects,” by Nasher Chief Curator, and curator of the exhibition, Jed Morse. Parts of his catalogue essay have been excerpted and adapted here.
The sudden death in 1943 of Arp’s wife, the artist Sophie Taeuber-Arp, shattered a relationship that began with their first acquaintance in Zurich in 1915 and had developed in multiple ways during the French years (1926-1942), when it had become even closer and stronger, both artistically and personally. Arp’s lament in a letter to Taeuber-Arp’s sister—“Art doubtless bound us together, but it also robbed us of a great deal”1—makes art the core of their partnership. In that he stylized it as a higher power, he was able to think of Taeuber-Arp and himself as its acolytes, who willingly followed its dictates. For him, after her death, it was an elementary strategy for coming to terms with his loss. Art continued to be the defining constant of his life, and Taeuber-Arp would always remain present in his work.2
In March 2016, I traveled to Paris to participate in a conference devoted to the sculpture of Pablo Picasso held at the Muse´e Picasso. It took place during the museum’s acclaimed exhibition of Picasso’s three-dimensional work co-organized with the Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Raymond and Patsy Nasher collection includes seven sculptures by Picasso, four of which played important roles in the recent wave of interest in this aspect of the artist’s work.
The bell pull at Kettle’s Yard is the first clue to the place: a hefty rope with a thick knot at the end that suspends a weathered wooden disc, like a giant bead on a string. It’s unclear if the wooden object was made or found, but it is clear it was chosen. The tour guide will ask someone to volunteer to ring the bell. Pulling it, a melodious gong sounds, and then there’s the tap-tap of quick footsteps as someone comes to open the door.
In September 2016, as part of the ongoing series Nasher Prize Dialogues, the Nasher gathered a panel of artists and curators to address the ways in which digital technology and imagining have changed the ways artists make sculpture as well as how we perceive sculpture. The talk, called “The Work of Sculpture in the Age of Digital Production,” was hosted in Berlin at the Akadermie der Künste, in partnership with that institution as well as Berlin Art Week. The talk was moderated by the co-editor of frieze, Jörg Heiser. Included here is Jörg Heiser’s introduction to the discussion, laying out the historical relationship between art and technology and what that relationship looks like now, in the digital age. Also excerpted here are highlights from the contributions of the four panelists: Nasher Chief Curator Jed Morse; Artistic Director of the 5th Munster Sculpture Project, Kasper König; and artists Bettina Pousttchi and Rachel de Joode.
By Catherine Womack
For millennia, Orpheus has channeled the power of music through his lyre and his voice, taming the underworld and conquering death itself. Now, thanks to composer and electric guitarist Steven Mackey’s wild imagination and talent, the ancient mythical figure has a new melodic weapon: a custom Tom Anderson electric guitar, deployed in a dynamic work called Orpheus Unsung. At the Nasher this October, the piece will be performed in the second half of the evening’s program, preceded by Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina’s more sparse, but no less dramatic, Galgenlieder (1996).
On October 11, 2016 at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London, the Nasher hosted its first Nasher Prize Dialogue, a panel discussion in association with the Henry Moore Institute called “Why Sculpture Now?” which explored the position of sculpture within art practice today. The conversation was broadcast live around the world on Periscope. “Why Sculpture Now?” featured panelists Okwui Enwezor, Director of the Haus Der Kunst, Munich and Nasher Prize juror; artist and Nasher Prize juror Phyllida Barlow; artists Michael Dean and Eva Rothschild; and Nasher Sculpture Center Chief Curator Jed Morse. The panel was moderated by Lisa Le Feuvre, Head of Sculpture Studies at the Henry Moore Institute.
On March 6, 2017 the Nasher hosted one of its ongoing Nasher Prize Dialogues series, titled Sculpture + History. Taking place in Dallas, a city marked profoundly by the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy and racial inequality, Nasher Prize Dialogues: Sculpture + History considered the complex ways in which sculpture tackles the past. Panelists included artists Alfredo Jaar, Jill Magid, Paul Ramirez Jonas, and lauren woods. The event was moderated by national art critic for Artnet News, Ben Davis, at The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. Excerpts from this discussion are included below.
On March 16, the Nasher Sculpture Center presented a talk in partnership with Museo Jumex in Mexico City called The Public Place of Sculpture. The talk considered socially-engaged sculpture in various modes, from social practice outright to objects which employ themes of monument and document and included artists Sanford Biggers (USA), Amalia Pica (Argentina), Damian Ortega (Mexico), and Pedro Reyes (Mexico) and was moderated by Nasher Prize juror and Curator of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, Pablo León de la Barra. The discussion centered on the historical role sculpture has played in public spaces and the dynamic and evolving ways it is currently presented, especially in light of the global political climate. Each artist presented a brief talk on their work which addresses these themes.
In the second installment of The Nasher’s series of essays highlighting public sculpture in Dallas, we turn our attention to a work that has been on view in downtown Dallas for more than 25 years. In a shady plaza across from the Omni Hotel at the intersection of Young and Market streets, Linnea Glatt’s large-scale Cor-Ten steel cone, titled Harrow, rotates around a sand-covered circular track, completing one revolution every 24 hours.
In the spirit of exploring revolutionary ideas in sculpture, we asked Laure de Margerie, the mastermind behind the French Sculpture Census, to highlight some of the Census’ most radical works, and their stories.
“A person experiences the marvelous as an instantaneous flash of recognition or revelation triggered unexpectedly by an external stimulus.” - Valerie Fletcher
This year, the Nasher will mount two exhibitions and one performance dedicated to sound works: Sightings: Luke Fowler, highlighting the sensitive listening of the Scottish artist, and the first sound sculpture ever to be showcased at the museum; Sightings: Anne Le Troter, which will consider the ethics of eugenics in a linguistic score and site-specific installation; and Grubnik + Suzanne, a piece by Dallas artists Jeff Gibbons and Gregory Ruppe, commissioned in partnership with SOLUNA. The various works will prove the vast terrain of the medium of sound and suggest the compelling ways that sound can be sited within an environment or combined with sculptural elements to challenge an array of perceptions.
Mexican artist Bosco Sodi creates wall-mounted and free-standing works of dense materiality. In his free-standing, three-dimensional work, Sodi applies the systematic approach of Minimalism to traditional vernacular methods and materials. He extracts raw earth near his studio in Oaxaca, Mexico, mixing it with water and sand to form clay that is then shaped and smoothed by hand into solid cubes.
In light of the themes found within A Tradition of Revolution, we thought it would be interesting to explore the technological and material ways that sculpture is changing at this moment. To that end, we asked the New York-based Iranian artist Morehshin Allahyari to describe one of her latest projects. Her modeled, 3D-printed sculptural reconstructions of ancient artifacts destroyed by ISIS, titled Material Speculation: ISIS, have received widespread curatorial and press attention and have been exhibited worldwide.
Modern art has been shaped by “individual decisions to reconsider the complex possibilities within the traditions available to them.” - Kirk Varnedoe
Vagabon is the name that musician Laetitia Tamko has given to the project for which she has composed, produced, and recorded since 2014. The 25-year-old multi-instrumentalist was born in Cameroon and lived there until her teens before moving to New York. After earning an engineering degree, Tamko worked her way into becoming a key part of Brooklyn’s endlessly bustling underground music scene. She had a breakout year in 2017 as critical think-pieces—more substantial than the typical record review—followed the release of her record Infinite Worlds, and she was included in a comprehensive roundup of musicians in The New York Times titled “Rock’s Not Dead: It’s Ruled by Women.”
Season Finale of Soundings: New Music at the Nasher to feature Alexi Kenney
Dallas native Nic Nicosia became internationally known in the 1980s for his staged photographs, which played against the documentary nature of traditional photography by creating believable but fabricated narratives. Over the course of his career, Nicosia’s oeuvre has expanded to include films, drawings, and ultimately sculpture. We spoke to Nicosia in his studio about working across media and coming to sculpture through photography.
This May, Nasher Prize Dialogues will present a discussion in Glasgow, Scotland. Hosted in partnership with the Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art and The Common Guild, one of Glasgow’s foremost visual art spaces, the talk will be centered on the role of appropriation and issues of copyright within contemporary sculptural practice. Katrina Brown, director of the Common Guild and one of the U.K.’s brightest curatorial lights, will moderate the conversation. Here for The Nasher, Brown gives a brief primer on the famously influential Glasgow art scene.
Excerpted from his essay in the exhibition catalogue First Sculpture: Handaxe to Figure Stone
Excerpted from his essay in the exhibition catalogue First Sculpture: Handaxe to Figure Stone
Curator Catherine Craft and Paper into Sculpture artist Marco Maggi talk about time, space, and our urgent need to slow down.
Curator Catherine Craft talks to Paper into Sculpture artist Norkio Ambe about the artist's journey into sculpture.
Working in the US and Israel for more than four decades, Joshua Neustein makes art that traverses conventional boundaries between artistic media, often with the effect of questioning and challenging the divisions, borders, and distinctions that shape our social, political, and personal lives. Curator Catherine Craft, spoke with Joshua Neustein in New York at his SoHo studio in 2012.
Nasher Sculpture Center Curator Jed Morse visited artist Nancy Rubins at the home and studio complex she shares with her husband, artist Chris Burden, in the hills outside of Los Angeles.
Nasher Sculpture Center Associate Curator Leigh Arnold writes about Roni Horn on the occasion of the Nasher Sculpture Center exhibition on view May 20 through August 20, 2017.
In the March 2013 budget resolution for FY 2014, the House Budget Committee threatened to cut the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) budget by 49%, arguing that NEA-funded activities constitute “a wealth transfer from poorer to wealthier citizens.” To understand the relationship between NEA funding and community wealth, the SMU National Center for Arts Research (NCAR) turned to data to answer the following question: Does NEA grant-making show bias toward arts organizations in wealthier communities, constituting an intercommunity transfer of wealth? We compared the community wealth characteristics of all arts organizations receiving NEA grants to those of all arts organizations that did not receive NEA grants. We found that NEA grants do not favor arts organizations in wealthier communities. We found no bias in NEA grant-making either toward or against organizations on the basis of the median household income of the surrounding community.
This year is offering a particularly rare confluence of impressive international art events in Europe: documenta will make its quinquennial appearance, this year in both Athens, Greece and Kassel, Germany; the Münster Sculpture Projects is returning for its decennial public art event; and the Venice Biennale prepares for its more frequent exhibition of contemporary art. Amid all the activity, find out what themes and strategies some of the top global art events are dreaming up this year.
One of the many pleasures of working at the Nasher is the seasonal thrill of bidding farewell to one installation and greeting the next, finding new inroads to conversation and new connecting points with much-loved works from the Nasher Collection. With the opening of Roni Horn, curator Leigh Arnold will assemble works from the collection that speak to Horn’s interest in literary themes, highlighting artists who, themselves, tapped into the rich dialogue between sculpture and literature. My team and I will spend our summer sharing these works with visitors of all ages; below are a few of my favorites to share with you on a would-be walk through the galleries.
Artist, curator and educator Avi Varma reflects on the work of Nancy Grossman, whose leather head sculptures were at the forefront of a powerful shift in twentieth century art, from modernist to post-modernist concerns.
In keeping with the literary theme of this summer’s Foundations exhibition, below is an annotated list of six recommended books that reveal the wide-ranging connections between artists and writers throughout the 20th century. Whether it be poetry, folklore, memoir, or historical fiction, readers are sure to find something of interest.
Nasher Sculpture Center summer exhibition artist Roni Horn is an avid reader and frequently includes excerpts from books in the subtitles of her work. Take a moment this summer to get into the artist’s mindset by checking out a book or two that the artist quotes in the subtitles of her glass sculptures on view in Roni Horn.
Curator Catherine Craft, Ph. D. shares insights on the daily life of Jean Arp from her travels to the archives of artist in Berlin.
Constructivism, an artistic movement born during the onset of the Bolshevik Revolution, embraced abstraction as a means to represent intangible attributes of the universe at large. Amid social and political upheaval, Russian artists like Naum Gabo and Antoine Pevsner interpreted abstraction as the highest form of creative expression, a bridge to a more genuine reality based on scientific aspiration and spiritual transcendence. Pevsner, in particular, sought to employ a formal language that examined the visual relationship between positive and negative space, as well as movement and time.
The 2017 Nasher Prize Laureate Pierre Huyghe has profoundly expanded the parameters of sculpture through artworks encompassing a variety of materials and disciplines, bringing cinema, music, and dance into contact with science and philosophy and incorporating time-based elements as diverse as microclimates, ice, rituals, parades, robotics, computer programs, games, dogs, bees, or microorganisms.
British artist and recent UTD CentralTrak resident, Kate Yoland, interviewed Mai-Thu Perret for the website Art This Week when Sightings: Mai-Thu Perret opened in March. The two artists had a fascinating conversation that ranged from Perret’s notions of utopia and the conflicts in the Middle East that inspired the work in the show, to the ideas behind the two performances she will stage here at the Nasher in June.
The Nasher’s Communication Director Lucia Simek caught up with Diana recently and chatted about this most recent work, as well as what’s up next for the artist.
Nasher Assistant Curator, Leigh Arnold, spoke with Chan and Golia about Chalet Dallas and how they will adapt it to its new, vastly different environs in Renzo Piano’s Nasher gallery. What follows is a condensed version of their conversation, which has been edited for flow.
On October 17, 2015, the Nasher hosted 40 high school and college students from schools around North Texas to be part of an interactive learning experience in Chalet Dallas. Students were invited to read about the project, then meet in the space to discuss with other students and create art with artists. We asked four participants to share their take on the day.
Between 2003 and 2007, the sculptor Giuseppe Penone created Il Giardino delle Sculture Fluide (The Garden of Fluid Sculptures) for La Venaria Reale near Turin, Italy. Born in nearby Garessio in 1947, Penone is widely regarded as one of Italy’s leading contemporary artists.
Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection On the Road
This fall, one of the most extraordinary works in the Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, Pablo Picasso’s Flowers in a Vase, will travel to New York to be featured in a landmark exhibition of the artist’s sculptures at The Museum of Modern Art.
Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection Highlight
In April, during Dallas Art Fair weekend, the Nasher will present a 360 Speaker Series panel discussion: Going Rogue: Alternative Art Fairs. The talk will explore how pop-ups, gallery weekends, and alternative art fairs are innovating the market and offering collectors new ways to discover and engage with artists. At a time when established fairs abound, we consider events that disrupt, enhance, or even become the industry standard. Here for The Nasher, seasoned culture writer Julie Baumgardner chats with some of the leading voices in the alternative art fair scene.
As a Collections Registrar, I am seldom able to form relationships with the pieces I care for in the same manner as a curator, artist, or patron. The stories that I learn about an individual artwork are typically not revealed to the public, and a relationship forms through a particular level of intimacy.