The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum Opens new Installation by David Brooks

The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art located on 258 Main Street in the heart of Ridgefield is has commissioned a new installation by artist David Brooks that will run through February 5, 2017. This marks the artist’s first solo museum exhibition. Throughout his practice, Brooks investigates the tenuous relationship between our ecological life and technological industry.

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Brooks (born 1975, Brazil, Indiana) will present every single part of a used 1976 John Deere 3300 combine harvester at The Aldrich, with the components laid out in varying degrees of disassembly in a procession from the front plaza through the Leir Atrium and Leir Gallery and out into the Museum’s sculpture garden. Distinctive elements like the corn head and cab remain unaltered in a weathered John Deere green, while other parts are sandblasted, removing rust, paint and all traces of wear and tear; still others, like pipes and fittings, are brass-plated and housed in museum vitrines, the traditional trappings of highbrow art objects or precious natural history displays.

A combine is the ultimate example of agricultural technology, the otherworldly design of its bulky metal body concealing the integration of all stages of the harvesting process into one machine designed to reap grain, a resource that the efficiency of a combine allows us to take for granted as eternally and inexpensively available.

The stunning array of dismantled machine parts, exhibited in a diverse system of presentation, are designated according to the ecosystem service they represent, making it impossible to conceive of the combine in its entirety or to determine the machine’s complete functionality; similarly, an ecosystem integrates innumerable processes, many of them intangible or undetectable, into one whole, making it impossible for us to conceive of a life unfolding within it.

This installation, Continuous Service Altered Daily asks us to reexamine our perception of products reaped from the landscape, oftentimes those too easily interpreted as “services” for personal use: water, food, clean air, climate, energy—things we have come to expect to be delivered to us forever.

The Aldrich is located at 258 Main Street, Ridgefield, CT. For more information, call 203.438.4519 or visit www.aldrichart.org. For more area information www.litchfieldhills.com

The Museum
Founded by Larry Aldrich in 1964, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum is dedicated to fostering the work of innovative artists whose ideas and interpretations of the world around us serve as a platform to encourage creative thinking. It is the only museum in Connecticut devoted to contemporary art, and throughout its fifty-year history has engaged its community with thought-provoking exhibitions and public programs.
The Museum’s education and public programs are designed to connect visitors of all ages to contemporary art through innovative learning approaches in hands-on workshops, tours, and presentations led by artists, curators, Museum educators, and experts in related fields. Area schools are served by curriculum-aligned on-site and in-school programs, as well as teachers’ professional development training.

Closer: The Graphic Art of Chuck Close at The Bruce Museum

The Bruce Museum in Greenwich is presenting Closer: The Graphic Art of Chuck Close in the main Love, Newman Wild Galleries through January 5, 2013 with a portion on view in the Lecture Gallery through January 26.

With a body of work composed almost entirely of portraits, the American artist Chuck Close has been astounding us with his artistic verisimilitude for more than four decades. His prints, especially, are adventures in problem solving: working from the particularities of each print medium – woodcut, etching, silkscreen, linocut, aquatint, pulp-paper multiple – he gives his imagination free rein to reconceive their aesthetic possibilities. Although a spirit of experimentation characterizes Close’s work across all media, it is particularly evident in the wide-ranging scope of his printed production.

Chuck Close announced his arrival on the contemporary art scene with his large-scale, black-and-white airbrushed heads, paintings based on photographs he had transferred to canvas by means of a grid. Recognition came quickly: his work was shown at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, in 1969, followed by a solo exhibition at New York’s Bykert Gallery in 1970 and a one-man show at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1971. In 1972 he created the first print of his professional career, a mezzotint, which began a life-long engagement with the aesthetics and technology of printmaking. The collaborative nature of this work has been vital to the artist’s creative process: working with master printers, Close alters one or several variables to create endless permutations in a wide variety of print techniques, usually recycling past portraits of himself, his family, and his friends.

The Bruce Museum is also sponsoring a lecture on Dec. 12 beginning at 7:30 p.m. It is titled Closer: The Art of Chuck Close in the Context of the 1970s that is being led by Kenneth Silver, PHD, Professor of Art History, New York University, Adjunct Curator of Art, Bruce Museum. There will be a dessert reception for both lectures from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. and reservations are required. Visit www.brucemuseum.org to make reservations.

Closer: The Graphic Art of Chuck Close is accompanied by a generously illustrated catalogue by the same title. A lecture series and film series will also complement the exhibition.

About the Bruce Museum
Explore Art and Science at the Bruce Museum, located at One Museum Drive in Greenwich, Connecticut. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 1 pm to 5 pm; closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for students up to 22 years, $6 for seniors and free for members and children under 5 years. Individual admission is free on Tuesday. Free on-site parking is available and the Museum is accessible to individuals with disabilities. For additional information, call the Bruce Museum at 203 869-0376 or visit the website at www.brucemuseum.org.

Vanishing America at the Sharon Historical Society

The Sharon Historical Society, located in the Litchfield Hills of northwest Connecticut is hosting an art exhibit by Jeffrey L. Neumann titled Vanishing America: The Disappearing Commercial Landscape of the 20th Century through October 25.

Painting By Jeffrey L. Neumann
Painting By Jeffrey L. Neumann

This exhibit is a celebration of the exuberance and independent spirit of life in post WWII America tempered by the inexorable march of time. With a focus on the mom and pop eating establishments, motels and movie theaters of roadside America, Neumann’s paintings take the viewer on journey down the two-lane highways of the twentieth century. They allow us to experience a part of our past that is being rapidly replaced by the widespread influence of corporate conformity.

The cultural and anthropological aspect of Neumann’s work is balanced by his uniquely personal vision. The artist, born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1953 and currently residing in Copake, NY, cannot be considered a regional painter. The subjects of his oil and watercolor paintings come from all across the nation. They are influenced by Neumann’s childhood years living in New Mexico and California and his numerous trips on Route 66 in the back of the family station wagon. His work is noted as finding profound meaning in places often overlooked.

On October 13 at 3 p.m. there will be a gallery walk and talk with the artist.

Running concurrently with Neumann’s Vanishing America exhibit in The Gallery @the SHS, the Sharon Historical Society & Museum will present Now you see it…in the exhibit galleries. This exhibit will take its audience backwards in time, challenging the viewer to use objects and images that are familiar today as a roadmap to the past. Focusing primarily on the changes that have occurred in town from 1850 to the present day, visitors will be confronted with familiar scenes, such as the Sharon War Memorial, the Sharon Fire Department, Mudge Pond Beach, the Sharon Valley Tavern, Sharon Hospital and the Sharon Center School, and with the help of objects from the museum collection, will be transported back in time to pivotal junctures in the town’s development.

About the Sharon Historical Society
The Sharon Historical Society and Museum is located at 18 Main Street, Sharon, Connecticut 06069. For more information, call 860-364-5688 or visit www.sharonhist.org. Museum Hours are Wednesday & Saturday from 10AM – 2PM, Thursday & Friday from 10AM – 4PM and by appointment.

For information on Litchfield Hills visit www.litchfieldhills.com

Vijay Kumar: Etchings, A Retrospective at Center for Contemporary Printmaking

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The fall exhibition, featuring a splendid array of original prints by Vijay Kumar, at the The Center for Contemporary Printmaking (CCP), 299 West Ave., in Mathews Park, Norwalk runs through Sunday, November 3, 2013. The Gallery is open Monday through Saturday 9 am to 5 pm, and Sunday, 12 to 5 pm; it is closed Columbus Day and Veterans Day and admission is free.

A narrative is apparent in all of Vijay Kumar’s artworks. When Vijay was a child, he and his family left their home, during the religious strife that troubled India as the country gained its independence from Britain. Traveling the world — from India to the Middle East, Europe and the United States — his artistic focus has centered on the geometry of urban spaces. In the fall exhibition, many pieces are untitled and are essentially architectural, linear jumbles such as stacked houses and buildings. The eighteen prints in the series “India Portfolio,” reflect the sorrow and loss of the refugee. In the background, a New York Times article from Dec 11, 1992, published the headline “Hatreds of India.” Abstracted figures set in conflict or in positions of mourning dominate the series.

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Born in Lehore (then part of India) and based in New York City, Vijay Kumar has had numerous solo exhibitions of his drawings, prints and paintings in the United States and abroad. Vijay is the curator for the Indo-American Arts Council’s annual Erasing Borders Exhibition of Contemporary Indian Art of the Diaspora. He has also curated print shows in New York and Ohio in the United States, and in India. Mr. Kumar teaches printmaking at several graphics centers in New York City, and at the Center for Contemporary Printmaking, in Norwalk, Connecticut.

About the Center for Contemporary Printmaking

The Center for Contemporary Printmaking (CCP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the art of the print: intaglio, lithography, monotype, silkscreen, woodblock printing, paperworks, book arts, and digital arts. Housed in a handsome 19th-century stone carriage house, this 5,000- square-foot historical landmark is located at 299 West Avenue in Mathews Park, in Norwalk Connecticut. CCP workshops, gallery, and offices are open Monday through Saturday, 9 am – 5 pm, and Sunday, 12 – 5 pm. The Grace Ross Shanley Gallery features acclaimed exhibitions throughout the year, and is handicapped accessible. Artists who participate in the Artist-in-Residence Program have the opportunity to live and work in the Helen Frankenthaler Printmaking Cottage, adjacent to the main building. Edition printing is offered by the CCP Master Printer and Associate Printer. For more information, please call 203-899-7999 or visit www.contemprints.org. The Center for Contemporary Printmaking is a member of the statewide Connecticut Art Trail, a partnership of seventeen world-class museums and historic sites.

For area information www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com

Summer Exhibitions at The Glass House in Fairfield County

The Glass House, a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is hosting two exhibits, SNAP and Gnomon/ Wave this summer and fall that are unique to this fascinating attraction in Fairfield County.

Snap!
Snap!

SNAP! is a site-specific exhibition by New York-based artist E.V. Day. Conceived for the building known as Da Monsta (1995), the last building completed by Philip Johnson on the Glass House campus, SNAP! comprises four recent sculptures as well as site-specific installations for the building’s interior and exterior. E.V. Day is the first artist the Glass House has invited to reinterpret the building, originally intended as a visitor center and now used as a project space for contemporary art.

Upon arrival at the Glass House, visitors will immediately encounter Day’s reinterpretation of Da Monsta. Responding to Philip Johnson’s statement that “the building is alive,” Day boldly casts a series of massive red nets across its undulating volume, capturing and staking Da Monsta to the ground. The interaction between artwork and building continues inside. After entering Da Monsta, visitors first see individual sculptures by Day, including Spinneret (a study for Spidey Striptease), 2008; Wet Net, 2009; Pollinator, 2011; and Bandage Dress (white with chain), 2012. Once viewers enter the second gallery, they encounter a dramatic, site-specific installation that explores the expressive contours of Da Monsta with a deconstructed Herve Leger Bandage dress deployed as an architectural element.

Courtesy of the Glass House.  NIGHT (1947-2015) Tauba Auerbach, Gnomon/Wave Fulgurite I.I, 2013 On view May 2 – September 1, 2013
Courtesy of the Glass House.
NIGHT (1947-2015)
Tauba Auerbach, Gnomon/Wave Fulgurite I.I, 2013
On view May 2 – September 1, 2013

The Glass House will debut New York-based artist Tauba Auerbach’s Gnomon/ Wave, a sculpture made for Night (1947 – 2015), a “sculpture-In-residence” series presented on the Mies van der Rohe glass coffee table inside the Glass House. Auerbach’s first sand sculpture, Gnomon/Wave evokes a solid wave of light composed of tiny particles. The physical form of the work resembles that of a gnomon, the vertical shadow casting part of a sundial.

Throughout the day, Gnomon/Wave will cast a moving shadow along and through the glass table where it rests. It will be on view until early September 2013. Night (1947 – 2015) presents a series of contemporary sculptures that contend with the legacy of Night, a 1947 sculpture by Alberto Giacometti that disappeared from the Glass House in the mid-1960s, as well as the architecture of the Glass House itself. Guest curator Jordan Stein organized this unfolding sculpture exhibition, held in the same spot where Giacometti’s Night once stood, over the course of three years. On display for three to six months at a time, the individual works presented in Night (1947 – 2015) each “disappear” after their run, making room for new works and new absences.

About the Glass House

Built between 1949 and 1995 by architect Philip Johnson, the Glass House is a National Trust Historic Site located in New Canaan, CT. The pastoral 49-acre landscape comprises fourteen structures, including the Glass House (1949), and features a permanent collection of 20th century painting and sculpture, along with temporary exhibitions. The tour season runs from May to November and advance reservations are required. For more information, and to purchase tickets, visit www.philipjohnsonglasshouse.org. For area information www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com

Biennial International Miniature Print Exhibition at Center for Contemporary Printmaking

Anne Desmet
Anne Desmet

The Center for Contemporary Printmaking schedules five major exhibitions per year, in the Grace Ross Shanley Gallery, including an Annual Members’ Exhibition, and 3 solo or group shows featuring prominent printmaking artists. The Biennial International Footprint Competition and Exhibition takes place on even-numbered years and the Biennial International Miniature Print Competition and Exhibition takes place on odd-numbered years.

On view through September 1 is the 9th Biennial Miniature Print Exhibition at the Center for Contemporary Printmaking located on 299 West Ave. in Norwalk. Visitors can view 225 tiny prints on the wall and 600 additional miniature prints in loose-leaf portfolios. View original miniature prints from 30 countries worldwide, including Argentina, Austria, Australia, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, England, Estonia, France, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Thailand, Germany, Scotland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Switzerland, Sweden and the Ukraine.

S. Ragavan
S. Ragavan

A series of workshops are also being offered in July. To register for a workshop call 203-899-7999 or email info@contemprints.org.

On July 17 there will be a workshop on the figure and the monotype with Monitor Nomi Silverman from 6 to 9 pm and is open to 6 participants. Participants in this class will work from the model, using printing inks and working in much the same way as Degas. The work is printed with the assistance of artist/printmaker Nomi Silverman. Subsequent reworked impressions can also be pulled to achieve depth of color. Or as Degas frequently did, a second paler or ghost impression can also be printed and used as a ground for later pastel additions.

A two day weekend workshop on painterly solarplate prints will take place from July 20-July 21 with Kate McGloughlin. Participants will create a suite of painterly prints using solar plates and monoprinting techniques to realize their imagery. Workshop participants are invited to bring existing solar plates, or create new ones, using wet and dry media to discover the rich visual vocabulary achieved by various inking and wiping techniques.

A four-day workshop will take place from July 26- July 29 on the painterly print with Julio Valdez. his intensive workshop combines two of the most exciting and safe contemporary printmaking techniques: “silk aquatint” and “monotype”. Participants use waterbased inks and a silk aquatint (silk collagraph) plate, a non-acid alternative to etching, to create a series of prints and related works on paper.

For more information visit http://www.contemprints.org. For area information visit www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com.