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Socrates Sculpture Park opens a solo exhibition of commissioned works by Virginia Overton
Virginia Overton; ‘Untitled (Late bloomer);’ 2018; Image courtesy the Artist, Bortolami Gallery, White Cube, and Socrates Sculpture Park.

NEW YORK, NY.- Socrates is presenting Built, a Parkwide solo exhibition of newly commissioned works by Virginia Overton (b. Nashville, TN; lives in New York). The exhibition features several works made from found industrial materials and will be on view May 6 – September 3, 2018.

At the Park Overton transforms familiar materials—roof trusses, pickup trucks, wooden architectural beams, and a steel basin—into sculptural forms with new potency and dynamism. In these succinct elegant works, Overton addresses concepts of labor, economics, and land in today’s society.

The show’s largest piece is a crystal-shaped sculpture made of industrial truss systems and angle iron spanning 40 feet in length and 18 feet of height. Additionally, Overton transforms a 1990 Ford F250 pickup truck with a reflective glass bead surface, exploring the pickup as a tool and a symbol of mobility, ambition, and as a sculptural material. Considering the forces of gravity, momentum, and inertia, the exhibition also presents an industrial pine joist suspended from the Socrates artist studio’s homemade gantry. A water feature made from elements Overton has used in other exhibitions complements these works, drawing attention to the Park as part of larger ecosystems both physical (the East River Estuary) and social (the alternative art space community). Together these pieces reflect on our world’s shared physical properties and systems, suggesting communal and environmental precariousness and evolution.

“Overton’s newly commissioned artworks for Socrates Sculpture Park echo our thirty-year history of transformation, reclamation, and labor that continues to be an ongoing effort here in the Park. In this way, Overton suffuses her own inventive and improvisational sensibilities with construction materials to reflect and amplify the ethos of this unique place in New York City,” said John Hatfield, Executive Director of Socrates.

A publication with full color images documents the exhibition and provides scholarship on Overton’s oeuvre focusing on her outdoor works with essays by Johanna Burton, Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Engagement, New Museum; Leah Pires, PhD Candidate, Department of Art History, Columbia University; and Jess Wilcox, Director of Exhibitions, Socrates Sculpture Park. The catalogue will be released in July 2018 and will be available for purchase through Socrates’ website. The publication is made possible by the Henry Luce Foundation.

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