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John Grade's Newest Site Specific Sculpture at Cynthia Reeves
John Grade, "Meridian", 2008. Rubber, rigid foam, cables and filament, 14’ x 16’ x 16’. Photo: Courtesy Cynthia Reeves.
NEW YORK, NY.- Cynthia-Reeves presents Circuit, John Grade’s newest site specific sculpture; the gallery is the first of three installations of the artist’s latest project. Grade’s work overtly engages with its surrounding environments, both architectural and natural. When indoors, his work references built space – at Cynthia-Reeves, Circuit literally connects with the gallery’s walls. When presented outdoors, the work evolves materially. Weather patterns affect the exposed surfaces, which disintegrate and morph the piece into an entirely new work. The impetus for Circuit began with a mental image: a bird’s eye view of black forms ascending a white snow blanketed mountain. After its debut at the gallery, Circuit travels to Washington State, where the piece will live on a remote mountainside of the South Cascades for one year. 150 volunteers will process the 400 parts composing Circuit up the mountain to encircle the peak, where the pieces will be placed. The outdoor installation manifests Grade’s grand vision. Circuit then travels to a third location for final exhibition, after it has weathered a year of elemental exposure.

Grade created Circuit from a series of discreet curvilinear vessels installed in one large ellipse. Each vessel alternates its orientation: the first vessel convex and the following vessel concave, et cetera. The scale is larger than life size, inviting viewers to stand within the vessels’ enclosures, a more physical and visceral experience of the work. The corporeal reference implicitly evokes questions of life and mortality, a reoccurring theme throughout Grade’s work.

Grade created the vessels from a glazed ceramic skin backed with gypsum polymer laminated to corn based resin and marine netting. He chose his unusual materials for their organic properties and textural capacities, both important aspects of his work. All of the materials decompose without negatively affecting the environment.

In Grade’s words, “This project continues my investigation into how sculpture can reflect perceptions about landscape and expand these ideas through change and displacement. Because Circuit will be spread over three sites, a complex portrait of this landscape will be captured and a mixture of subtlety and dramatic change should result. The project will be a success when there is evidence of a compelling balance between what I have anticipated and chance events that affect the work in unexpected ways.”


Cynthia-Reeves | John Grade | "Circuit" |


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