The exhibition features 10 major works of art by Pawel Althamer, Huma Bhabha, Aaron Curry, Thomas Houseago, Matthew Monahan, and Rebecca Warren. As the first project curated by Public Art Fund's new Director and Chief Curator Nicholas Baume, Statuesque marks the New York debut of each work included. In conceiving the show, Baume makes a persuasive argument for the renewed significance of the figure in international contemporary sculpture. The exhibition is the first time these artists have been shown together, revealing a striking interest in the figure that transcends national boundaries.
Curated by Nicholas Baume
Starting Wednesday, June 2, 2010, Public Art Fund brings together a dynamic group of six international artists as they reinvent figurative sculpture for a new era. Statuesque features 10 major works of art by Pawel Althamer, Huma Bhabha, Aaron Curry, Thomas Houseago, Matthew Monahan, and Rebecca Warren. The exhibition is the first time these artists have been shown together, revealing a striking interest in the figure that transcends national boundaries. As the first project curated by Public Art Fund's new Director and Chief Curator Nicholas Baume, Statuesque also marks the New York debut of each work included. In conceiving Statuesque, Baume makes a persuasive argument for the renewed significance of the figure in international contemporary sculpture.
"Long considered marginal in the contemporary art world, figurative sculpture has returned to center stage in the recent works of an international group of artists born in the 1960s and 1970s" said Baume. He continued, "Brought together in the historic setting of Lower Manhattan's City Hall Park and seen as a group for the first time, it is clear that despite their highly developed individual styles, these artists share striking affinities. By turns visually playful, formally experimental, and viscerally charged, their works reinvent and extend the language of figurative sculpture for the twenty-first century." Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg stated, "The Public Art Fund has assembled an impressive group of young artists from around the world to take a fresh look at figurative sculpture. I am glad that City Hall Park will play host to another exhibit that is sure to engage the public."
Statuesque celebrates the return of figurative sculpture, but not in the classical sense. Neither literal portraits nor traditional monuments, these works push the expressive potential of sculptural forms and materials. While the approaches and backgrounds of the artists are very different, their work shares a number of key characteristics. They tend towards abstraction over realism, assemblage over the readymade, construction of form over casting from life, and physicality and texture over refinement of finish. Conceptually sophisticated, historically informed, and expressively direct, Statuesque finds in the human figure a sculptural tradition ripe for experimentation.
Public Art Fund has organized exhibitions at City Hall Park for over 30 years, but Statuesque demonstrates a new curatorial approach. Emphasizing public access and interaction, the installation features several works installed along the park's pathways and on lawns that will be opened for visitors to experience works more directly. In another first, Public Art Fund is extending the exhibition's reach through its spring Talks series which shares the theme of contemporary figurative sculpture. Statuesque artists Matthew Monahan (March 17), Huma Bhabha (April 14), and Thomas Houseago (May 12), each discuss their practice at The New School's Tishman Auditorium.
Major support for Statuesque is provided by Amalia Dayan and Adam Lindemann.
This installation is made possible through the cooperation of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg; First Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris; Parks and Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe; and Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin.
Public Art Fund is a non-profit art organization supported by generous contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporations, and with funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency; and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Image: Thomas Houseago
Abby Clark tel 212.980.4575 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening Wednesday, June 2, 2010
City Hall Park
Lower Manhattan, and is bordered by Broadway, Chambers Street, Centre Street, and Park Row.
Subways: A, C, E to Chambers Street; 4, 5, 6, J, M, Z to Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall; N, R to City Hall; 2, 3 to Park Place
Free and open to the public