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Exhibition highlights how nature inspires three artists to incorporate the organic into their work
Pier Paolo Calzolari, Combustio, 1970. Flannel mattress, red neon, transformer, dimmer box, 9 7/8 x 70 7/8 x 69 5/16 inches 25 x 180 x 176 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York and Aspen. © Pier Paolo Calzolari.


ASPEN, CO.- Marianne Boesky Gallery is presenting Tonic of Wildness, an exhibition of works by Pier Paolo Calzolari, Donald Moffett, and Günther Uecker. The exhibition takes its title from a phrase in Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, first published in 1854. In the two years, two months and two days that Thoreau lived in a cabin by Walden Pond, he chronicled his environs, plants, animals and the seasons. While the author’s interest in nature is indisputable, it is nature as a restorative and creative nourishment that makes Walden an enduring guide to leading a purposeful life. Tonic of Wildness highlights how nature inspires these three artists to incorporate the organic into their work. The exhibition will include a selection of Calzolari’s signature works composed of elemental materials, new extruded and resin wall works by Moffett, and several of Uecker’s nail-relief works, and the sculpture Trees from One Trunk, 2009–2015. Displayed together, these works present an international and multi-generational exploration of nature's influence on the creative process.

We need the tonic of wildness—
To wade sometimes in the meadows
where the bittern and the meadow-hen lurk,
and hear the booming of the snipe;
To smell the whispering sedge where only
some wilder and more solitary fowl builds her nest,
and the mink crawls with its belly close to the ground.
At the same time we are earnest to explore and learn,
we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable,
that land and sea be infinitely wild,
unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable.
We can never have enough of nature,
We must be refreshed by the sight of inexhaustible vigor,
vast and titanic features:
The sea-coast with its wrecks,
the wilderness with its living and decaying trees,
the thunder cloud, the rain that lasts three weeks
and produces freshets.
We need to witness our own limits transgressed,
and some life pasturing freely where we never wander.
-Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Pier Paolo Calzolari was born in Bologna, Italy, in 1943. As one of the original members of Arte Povera, he was included in the movement’s seminal 1960s exhibition curated by Germano Celant. Calzolari’s first exhibition at Marianne Boesky Gallery in 2012 was the artist’s first in the United States in over 20 years. Calzolari’s works are included in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; Sammlung Goetz, Munich; Musée National d’Art Moderne Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and Palazzo Grassi, Punta della Dogana François Pinault Foundation, Venice, amongst many others. His works have been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (1978 and 1985), documenta 9, Kassel (1992), the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice (2011), and the Musée National d’Art Moderne Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2016). The artist currently lives and works in Lisbon, Portugal.

Donald Moffett was born in San Antonio, Texas in 1955. His work is included in several permanent institutional collections such as the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; The Menil Collection, Houston, TX; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY. Moffett has had solo exhibitions across the United States at Lora Reynolds Gallery, Austin, TX (2014 and 2016); the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX (2015); the Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, OH (2012); Anthony Meier Fine Art, San Francisco, CA (2011); and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TX (2011), which traveled to the Tang Museum at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY and The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA, among others. His work has been included in major group shows such as Greater New York (2015) at MoMA PS1, New York, NY; America is Hard to See (2015) at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; and ICA Collection: Expanding the Field of Painting (2013) at the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, Boston, MA. The artist currently lives and works in New York City.

Günther Uecker was born in Wendorf, Germany, in 1930. His work is included in the collections of international institutions such as the Tate Modern, London; the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; Musée National d’Art Moderne Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice; and the Museum Ludwig, Cologne. Recent exhibitions of Uecker’s work include a large-scale retrospective at K20 am Grabbeplatz, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf (2015); and a solo exhibition, Tribute to Hafez, at the Imam Ali (AS) Religious Arts Museum, Tehran (2016). He was featured prominently in the exhibition ZERO: Countdown to Tomorrow, 1950s–60s at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY (2014–15). The artist currently lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany.





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