The good times in our lives are balanced out by the not-so-good. This concept of balance and continuity is expressed beautifully by Michael Grothusen in his sculpture exhibit Lifes JoysLifes Disappointments on display at the Michener Art Museum
from July 11 through October 18, 2009.
The installation will be located in the grassy area between the museum and the Bucks County Library Center .
I wanted to make a work that required very little explanation outside of the work itself, says Grothusen. I wanted to create a piece that had inherent visual meaning without the necessity of written or spoken interpretation
where the scale, material, method and process all affect the viewer in a very direct way.
Grothusen is a Philadelphia sculptor whose work has its roots in architectural elements and how items are engineered. He often finds inspiration in structures and objects such as scaffolding and building materials. He exposes the process and the infrastructure to allow the beauty of the design to become visible.
Lifes JoysLifes Disappointments consists of two 14-foot tall, identical vessels perched on top of two identical pedestals. One is inscribed Lifes Joys and the other, Lifes Disappointments. Steel rods have been bent and combined to form cage-like structures---almost like urns to hold lifes emotions.
Part of the Micheners Outdoor Sculpture Program, the exhibit was inspired by the architectural ornaments of the stately homes in Chestnut Hill and Fairmount Park . In their simplicity and implied functionality, they provide a viewpoint while allowing the audience its own interpretation.
Michael Grothusen is well known in Philadelphia as a strong sculptor whose work references familiar objects, explains Kristy Krivitsky, the Micheners Associate Curator of Contemporary Art. But he changes them in such a way to make us rethink what were looking at.
Grothusen earned his MFA from Tyler School or Art in Philadelphia . He has had solo exhibitions at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Art Alliance, and the Abington Art Center and Philadelphia International Airport . He received a Pew Charitable Trusts Visual Arts Fellowship, a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant and a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Visual Artist Fellowship. Grothusen currently is an Assistant Professor in the Foundation Department at the University of the Arts.