Nasher Sculpture Center 2018 Exhibition Schedule
Nasher Sculpture Center Announces 2018 Exhibition Schedule
The Nasher Sculpture Center announces an updated 2018 exhibition schedule, featuring a groundbreaking exhibition of prehistoric hand tools and artifacts; a permanent collection exhibition exploring themes of revolution and unrest as manifest in sculpture; two Sightings exhibitions dedicated to sound works; and the first major North American museum show of the work of Jean (Hans) Arp in three decades.
First Sculpture: Handaxe to Figure Stone
January 27, 2018 - April 29, 2018
Groundbreaking exhibition presents ancient tools and gathered objects as evidence of the earliest forms of artistic intention
First Sculpture: Handaxe to Figure Stone, an exhibition exploring prehistoric tools and collected objects as evidence of the beginnings of artistic intention and craft, is the first museum exhibition to present ancient handaxes as works of art. Traditionally understood as the longest-used tool in human history, the handaxe is equally fascinating for its non-utilitarian, aesthetic qualities. While handaxes are not rare—thousands have been discovered throughout the world—First Sculpture will present a refined and exemplary collection of these objects, which date from 2.5 million to 50,000 years old, as evidence of the earliest forms of artistic intention. The exhibition highlights the aesthetic qualities of each stone and provides crucial historical and scientific information to give the viewer a deeper understanding of human history, as well as an enriched appreciation for humankind’s early ability to sculpt beautiful objects. Whether carved from visually interesting stones using stone flaking techniques, called knapping, or rendered at unusual sizes that would inhibit use of the object as a tool, a case can be made for the handaxe as the first sculpture our prehistoric ancestors conceived. The exhibition also explores figure stones—naturally occurring stones that carry shapes and patterns that resemble human or animal forms, especially faces, and which were gathered by prehistoric people. The stones, which sometimes show evidence of modification, indicate an inclination to recognize figuration within nature much earlier than has been generally accepted. The exhibition is the product of a unique curatorial collaboration between Los Angeles-based artist Tony Berlant and anthropologist Dr. Thomas Wynn, Distinguished Professor at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.
A Tradition of Revolution
May 12 – August 19, 2018
Permanent collection exhibition explores themes of revolution and unrest as manifest in sculpture
The Nasher Collection represents a compendium of revolutionary ideas: Art of the last 150 years can largely be seen as a continuous re-evaluation of norms and accepted practices, an extended period of cultural innovation with each generation of artists pushing against or blazing new trails from the new ground established by the preceding generation. A brief selection includes Medardo Rosso’s radical experiments with the casting process to express the sweet ephemerality of experience; the seismic shift caused by Pablo Picasso’s development of the visual language of Cubism; Naum Gabo’s use of newly developed, space-age materials expressing the technological ethos of the age and effectively dematerializing sculpture; as well as the ever finer distillation of form to its essentials beginning with Brancusi and running through Minimalism to the present day. Artists working today continue to pursue many of these developments, adding their unique, contemporary perspectives and broadening the potential meanings of the forms. A Tradition of Revolution presents a cross-section of the Nasher Collection and the sculptural innovations of the last 150 years within the context of concurrent philosophical, scientific, and societal shifts. Ranging from the beginnings of Modernism in the work of Rodin, Gauguin, and others to radical experiments of the present day, the exhibition will include works never before seen at the Nasher, including several recent acquisitions.
Sightings: Luke Fowler
May 12 - August 19, 2018
First-ever sound work to be presented at the Nasher, commissioned in partnership with Lismore Castle Arts, Ireland
Nasher Sculpture Center and Lismore Castle Arts, Ireland—two institutions with unique outdoor settings for art, one a contemporary garden in a dynamic urban setting and the other a lush garden at an ancient castle in a bucolic rural setting—have jointly commissioned Luke Fowler to create a new sound sculpture for both locations. For this commission, Fowler draws on practices of focused listening and architectural acoustics to create a multi-channel sound installation. Using everyday objects and acoustic environments unique to each site, Fowler will create compositions that subtly examine the material history of the two sites and their acoustic qualities. The work premiered at Lismore in August, presented in one of the medieval defensive towers surrounding the garden. Fowler will next travel to Dallas to take recordings of objects at the site, use the recordings to create a new sonic composition, and install the new sound composition in a resonant part of the Nasher garden. The exhibition is part of the Nasher Sculpture Center’s Sightings series of smaller-scale exhibitions and installations that highlight new work of emerging or established artists.
The Nature of Arp
September 15, 2018 – January 6, 2019
The first major North American museum exhibition in three decades
The Nature of Arp provides a long-overdue look at the achievements of Jean (Hans) Arp (1886-1966), one of the most important and multifaceted artists of the modern era. As a founder of the international Dada movement during World War I, Arp pioneered the use of chance, spontaneity, and collaboration as artistic processes and subsequently developed a vocabulary of curving, organic forms that was to become the lingua franca for several generations of artists. Arp’s sculptures, begun in the early 1930s, often have no use for a pedestal, can be turned in different orientations, and seem to pulse with incipient life. In later years, he put his sculptures through complex processes of fragmentation, casting, recasting, and enlarging. Almost alone among artists of his generation, Arp worked at the forefront of abstraction as well as the Dada and Surrealist movements. The Nature of Arp will present a compelling new look at an artist whose experimental approach to creation, radical rethinking of traditional art forms, and collaborative proclivities resonate with the wide-ranging character of art today. Bringing together more than 80 objects, including sculptures, reliefs, collages, drawings, textiles, and books, The Nature of Arp will include works drawn from prominent U.S. and European museums, foundations, and private collections. Organized by the Nasher Sculpture Center, the exhibition will be accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue including essays by several authors, including Catherine Craft, Nasher Curator and curator of the exhibition. The Nature of Arp is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia.
Sightings: Anne Le Troter
October 27, 2018 – February 19, 2019
Artist’s first U.S. commission will consider ethics of eugenics in a linguistic score and site-specific installation
As part of the Nasher Sculpture Center’s Sightings series of smaller-scale exhibitions and installations that highlight new work of emerging or established artists, the Nasher will present Sightings: Anne Le Troter in the fall of 2018. For this commission, Le Troter is developing a sound piece based on her research on fertility tourism and the history of sperm banks in the U.S., where the lack of governmental regulation has resulted in the rise of so-called “designer babies”—children whose genetic makeup can be preselected based on the characteristics of the donor. In the artist’s home country of France, donor conception is arranged exclusively by the state via 23 state owned centers for the study and conservation of human eggs and sperm. There, both sperm and egg donations are entirely anonymous and French law prohibits sharing any identifying information about the donor or recipient. The U.S. is one of the few places in the world where recipients can review the profiles of potential sperm and egg donors before making a selection and many banks also provide audio recordings that describe donors’ physical characteristics, personalities, and intelligence. As part of her research, Le Troter signed up as a customer at a cryobank based in Virginia where she gained access to over 400 donor audio recordings. For the Nasher exhibition, Le Troter will splice together and layer excerpts of the original recordings to create a linguistic score reminiscent of and inspired by such science fiction novels as Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (1932), George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (1985). Titled Anticipation, Le Troter’s sound piece considers the ethics of eugenics as well as the dystopic future of state regulated vs. free market fertility. Sightings: Anne Le Troter is the artist’s first U.S. commission and will be Le Troter’s first work in the English language. For an excerpt of Le Troter’s Anticipation currently in progress, please follow this link: https://soundcloud.com/user359763335/anticipation-anne-le-troter