Indepth Arts News: |
"Anya Gallaccio: one art"
2006-01-08 until 2006-04-03
Long Island City, NY,
USA United States of America
SculptureCenter is pleased to present one art, a new project by internationally
renowned artist Anya Gallaccio. Commissioned through SculptureCenter’s Artist-in-Residence
program, this will be Gallaccio’s first solo exhibition in an American museum. Born in Scotland, Gallaccio lives and works in London, and is well known in the United Kingdom
for her site-specific work with temporal materials. For one art, Gallaccio will fell and disassemble a
tree and then reconstruct it with all the engineering required to support it visible. The tree, a
weeping cherry killed when contractors erroneously cut its root system, will reach into SC’s 50-
foot-high clerestory, virtually filling the space with its branches. Viewers will enter the space under
its branches and will only be able to apprehend the full tree when standing at the far end of the
gallery 50 feet away.
The title of the work is borrowed from an Elizabeth Bishop poem whose subject is loss and the
unlikely possibility that we might master it through artful practice. one art is a tree as assisted
ready-made, building on the art historical tradition of landscape and grappling with our desire to
believe in an untamed nature. Gallaccio said of this project:
The history of sculpture has been a dialogue with material and matter. In making a
proposal for the SculptureCenter, I considered this tradition and wanted to make a "proper"
sculpture, a work which is determined by the physical matter of the tree as material, a work
that considers both gravity and grace.
In one art, Gallaccio’s aesthetic act is to move the tree from its normal outdoor environment to an
urban industrial building adapted as an exhibition space. Yet the process of disassembling and
rebuilding the tree transforms it — drawing attention to the extraordinary formal and structural
properties of the tree.
Anya Gallaccio’s sculptures and installations are made in response to specific spaces and are
often made from mutable materials that have limited life spans such as cut flowers, ice,
chocolate, grass, basalt, and fruit. She first received widespread recognition for her installations
with flowers, such as Red On Green (1992). For this work, Gallaccio created a carpet of 10,000
red rose blossoms on a bed of thorns. Other projects have involved gigantic blocks of ice that
melt over the course of the exhibition or candles that burn and melt, transforming the work in the
process. While many of her works have a formal relationship to minimalist sculpture such as Carl
Andre’s floor pieces or Richard Serra’s lead works, her work is more concerned with the
momentary than the monumental and emphasizes the physical and temporal nature of sculpture,
appealing to our senses of smell, hearing and touch. The project at SculptureCenter furthers Gallaccio’s interest in forestry. Recent projects involving trees include beat (2002), a commission
or the Duveen Galleries at Tate Britain, in which Gallaccio responded to the British landscape
tradition with a sculptural installation of oak tree trunks placed upright in the gallery like rough
SculptureCenter’s Artist-in-Residence program was initiated in 1987 with an installation by Petah
Coyne. Artists who have participated in the program since then include Robert Chambers, Charles
Goldman, Rona Pondick, Beverly Semmes, Olav Westphalen, Ayse Erkmen and others.
Installation at Tate Britian, 2002
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