Summer 2021

Public Art Issue
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The Summer 2021 issue features conversations on the role of public art and its impact on communities near and far. Additional essays focus on Nasher Mixtape, 2020/21 Nasher Prize, and the works of artists Carol Bove, John Chamberlain, Nancy Grossman, Isamu Noguchi, and Betye Saar.

Editor’s Note

After more than a year of protracted isolation, vaccinations are finally rolling out across the world, and we find culture mimicking nature, slowly reopening like some frond cautiously uncurling from the winter ground to meet the sun. Friends and families are reuniting, hugging, and the long loneliness that many experienced is being met with the bright prospect of community and the buzz of sharing real-life social spaces again. Alongside this new growth, after a pause of nearly three years, we are thrilled to launch a new print issue of The Nasher. Fresh with a reimagined format, content structure, and design, the magazine holds fast to the Nasher Sculpture Center’s mission to dynamically advance the study and appreciation of modern and contemporary sculpture.

True to this moment’s energy and taking to heart both our pandemic-induced need for community and our pent-up collective wanderlust, this first new issue of The Nasher is dedicated to public art. We cast an expansive light on public art and consider the myriad ways of viewing sculpture, both formal and informal, outside of the museum walls. We take a waltz to extravagant yard art environments across Texas with beloved folk art chroniclers Julie and Bruce Webb, get a tour of MIT’s Percent-for-Art Program with art historian Grant Johnson, and writer Alysia Harris defines an art residency’s social-sculpture quest to build a more diverse and deeply rooted artistic presence in a small town. We’re also delighted to listen in on a roundtable discussion with the High Line’s Cecilia Alemani and Creative Time’s Justine Ludwig to learn how COVID-19 has refined their institutions’ work with New York’s public. And in a beautiful spread of images and words, two American ex-pats describe their daily encounters with objects and their makers on the streets of Mexico—poet and curator Su Wu finds compelling hidden treasures within the city’s secret pockets, and photographer Sam Youkilis catalogues fruit and meat becoming sculpture at the deft and tender hands of market stall vendors. Together, they remind us of the meaningful joy one receives by simply being curious within a public place.

Also in this issue, and all those forthcoming, you’ll find a section dedicated to columns which unpack some of the histories of works in the Nasher collection, highlight exhibition artists, recast digital content, or cull from the rich talents of the museum’s staff to lend new insight into the objects that grace our galleries, garden, and Dallas.

Lastly, we close out each book with excerpts from some of the programs we’ve hosted with artists, curators, and thinkers, offering a focused look at sculptural themes from some of its notable practitioners. Here, 2020/21 Nasher Prize Laureate Michael Rakowitz and artist Jin-Ya Huang chat about their mutual commitment to the social benefit of a shared meal—expanding dialogue through generous relationships with others—which has a greater meaning to us now than perhaps ever before. “The work we are doing is hopefully enzymatic work,” Rakowitz astutely notes. With this issue of The Nasher, we join him in that hope and trust that these words and images might be catalysts for each reader’s enrichment, encouraging a greater participation in whatever community you call your own.

Lucia Simek


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