The Nasher Sculpture Center
2001 Flora St.
Dallas, TX 75201
This week, we visit The Nasher Sculpture Center and speak with Curator Dakin Hart about the exhibition, Sculpture in So Many Words: Text Pieces 1960-1980. On view through January 13, 2013.
Exciting, new and challenging exhibitions are now at The Nasher Sculpture Center. Rediscoveries: Modes of Making Modern Sculpture and Sculpture in So Many Words: Text Pieces 1960-1980 will be held in tandem at the Nasher to shed light on the meaning, relevance and importance of modern and conceptual sculpture.
Rediscoveries utilizes Auguste Rodin’s quote “I invent nothing; I rediscover” as the springboard to delve into the past 125 years of sculpture, to analyze four creative tactics used to fashion modern sculpture. The first approach examined in this exhibition is the artists’ use of modules, series and process. Second, the reciprocity between fragment and totality, that is the interplay that the whole has to its parts, particularly within the human form. The third mode surveyed is the machine aesthetic that was thoroughly examined during the rise of industrialization during the early 20th century. Last and certainly not least, how everyday materials are repurposed into fine art. That’s a lot to tackle within one show, but the Nasher succeeds to bring to light all of these elements by displaying art from the power players of modern sculpture: Henri Matisse, Alberto Giacometti, Carl Andre, Richard Serra, Richard Long, Alexander Calder, Ellsworth Kelly, Naum Gabo, Raymond Duchamp-Villon, John Chamberlain, Jasper Johns, just to name a few. Ingeniously, the Nasher uses Rediscoveries to educate museum-goers on the history of modern sculpture, to provide them with a context from which conceptual sculpture was born.
When non-art historians hear the term ‘conceptual art’, hesitancy, fear, ignorance and dislike sway them from engaging with it. Knowing this, the Nasher provides their public with an intellectual foundation through Rediscoveries enabling them to embrace and experience Sculpture In So Many Words: Text Pieces 1960 – 1980. Before conceptual art, art was made of traditional materials, paint, canvas, bronze, marble, and more. But artists in the 1960’s and 1970’s stripped art of its conventions and proclaimed that an idea is a work of art. This radical shift in thought took inspiration from text. Texts, such as news papers, magazines, ads, etc…, have allowed for this new tradition in art to diversify and flourish. Artists like Alison Knowles, Bruce Nauman, Vito Acconci, Robert Morris, John Baldessari, Yoko Ono and Roberts Smithson, all represented in this show, have taken something so ephemeral as text and transcended it into something enduring.
These education exhibitions will allow museum-goers to broaden their definition of art. Whether you are an art novice or veteran, there is something exciting, new and challenging for you to take with you from these amazing shows on display at the Nasher Sculpture Center from September 29, 2012 to January 13, 2013.