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CityCenter in Las Vegas Features Unparalleled Fine Art Collection
A painting by artist Frank Stella hangs behind the front desk during the opening of the Vdara Hotel & Spa in Las Vegas, Nevada December 1, 2009. The 57-storey, 1,495-suite luxury property is the first to open in MGM Mirage's $8.5 billion CityCenter project - a partnership between MGM Mirage and Dubai World. REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus.
LAS VEGAS, NV.- CityCenter presents the first major permanent collection of art in Las Vegas to be integrated into a public space, and one of the world’s largest and most ambitious corporate art collections in existence today. The CityCenter Fine Art Collection features works by acclaimed artists, sculptors and visionaries including Maya Lin, Jenny Holzer, Nancy Rubins, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, Frank Stella, Henry Moore and Richard Long, among others.

Validating CityCenter’s status as a cultural destination of worldwide significance, the Fine Art Collection is designed to become a benchmark for enlightened corporate involvement with the arts on a global level. As if in a strolling gallery, guests happen upon works by world-renowned artists as they walk through CityCenter’s walkways, hotels and residences. From vibrant and ornate to intimate and serene, these works are strategically placed to reveal a world of fascinating experiences that unfold around every corner. The artwork has been paired with CityCenter’s unique architecture to create a sensory journey that presents the works in a never-before-seen fashion.

“CityCenter is an international architectural achievement that integrates the talents of world-renowned artists, architects and designers in one development; it is a landmark of global taste and style,” said Jim Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM MIRAGE. “The Fine Art Collection is the first initiative of its kind to merge public and corporate interests on this grand scale, and we’re proud to deliver this prominent force in contemporary art and culture to Las Vegas.”

The Fine Art Collection encompasses a multitude of styles and media – ranging from sculptures and paintings to other works of art including large-scale installations – engaging visitors on both a visual and intellectual level. Some are existing pieces, carefully chosen for their artistic value and cultural significance; others are site-specific installations for which the artist was invited to command their vision over the space.

“This venture marks the only corporate collection ever to join such a multitude of media, styles and artists and make it accessible in such a highly visible and public manner,” said Michele C. Quinn, curatorial advisor for CityCenter’s Fine Art Collection. “Delivering this caliber of artwork demonstrates our desire to create a cultural centerpiece for Las Vegas.”

Art at CityCenter:

Vdara Hotel & Spa


• Nancy Rubins – “Big Edge” 2009, Stainless steel and aluminum water vessels, 51 x 75 x 57 feet – Presented in Vdara’s main drive

A sculptor and artisan famous for her grandiose works created from salvaged and industrial consumer goods, Nancy Rubins created one of the most visually stunning commissions at CityCenter with a large-scale installation: “Big Edge.” Cantilevered over Vdara’s main drive and measuring approximately 57 feet wide and 75 feet long, Rubins’ work of art at CityCenter is a colorful composition of numerous aluminum rowboats, canoes and other small river and ocean vessels finessed into an eye-catching, gravity-defying form the artist calls “a blooming flower.” The boats are connected with thousands of pounds of stainless steel wire cable forming a web-like structure, where compression and tension create what Buckminster Fuller referred to as tensegrity, making the whole stronger than the parts. Each boat was precisely placed according to Rubins’ direction based on its color, shape and structural contribution to the whole. Rubins maintains the look, shape and feel of her chosen objects, so each reclaimed craft showcased in the piece is exactly as originally found. The commission is located on the exterior of Vdara Hotel & Spa and is one of Rubins’ few works with a permanent home. Rubins has designed amazing works of art from mattresses, trailers, hot water heaters, airplanes and small appliances since the 1970s. For more than 25 years, Rubins has exhibited extensively around the world in major solo and group exhibitions.

• Frank Stella – “Damascus Gate Variation I” 1969, Fluorescent alkyd resin on canvas, 8 x 32 feet – Suspended over Vdara’s reception desk

American painter Frank Stella began his “Protractor Series” in 1967, in which arcs, sometimes overlapping, within square borders, are arranged side-by-side to produce full and half circles painted in rings of concentric color. Both Stella’s “Irregular Polygon” canvases (1965-67) and “Protractor Series” (1967-71) further extended the concept of the shaped canvas. For the reception desk at Vdara, CityCenter purchased one of artist Frank Stella’s most prominent works: “Damascus Gate Variation I,” named for an ancient circular Islamic city in Asia Minor. Created in 1969, Stella’s work features a design of interlaced semicircles made of luminous colors of blue, red, orange yellow and white alkyd resin on an 8-foot-high, 32-foot-long canvas. Recognized for more than 45 years for his contributions to the forms of abstract expressionism, sculpture and the concept of the shaped canvas, Stella’s work has been the subject of several retrospectives in the United States, Europe and Japan. In 1970, The Museum of Modern Art in New York presented a retrospective of Stella’s work. An authority and critic in his own right, Stella presided over the Charles Eliot Norton lectures at Harvard University from 1983-1984, which were published by Harvard University Press in 1986.

• Peter Wegner – “Day for Night, Night for Day” 2009, Colored paper, die cut and suspended from steel compression frame, West wall – 34 x 10 feet, East wall – 45 x 10 feet – Vdara’s concierge lobby

American artist Peter Wegner often comments on the notion of physicality through a fusion of art and architecture by creating towering sculptures from the most ordinary object: a sheet of paper. The physicality of paper is brought a step further, nestled into the facing walls of Vdara’s soaring concierge lobby. “Day for Night, Night for Day” is comprised of two wall pieces: one solar-themed and one lunar-themed, represented on the east and west walls in the lobby to correspond with the rising and setting of the sun. A hanging light sculpture designed by the Wegner is suspended between the pieces to encourage “dialogue” between them. “Day for Night” soars to approximately 45 feet while “Night for Day” reaches approximately 34 feet high. This commission is Wegner’s largest work of art to date. The artist’s rigorous thought process is expressed through stunning imagery, a sly sense of humor and a masterful manipulation of common and found materials. Wegner’s work has been displayed in exhibitions on both coasts and internationally and he has been the subject of solo exhibitions at The Bohen Foundation and Lever House, New York. His work resides in the permanent collections of The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, among others. Wegner received a Bachelor of Arts from Yale University.

• Robert Rauschenberg – “Lucky Dream” 1999, Vegetable dye transfer on polylaminate, 8.5 x 14 feet – Vdara’s lobby, adjacent to Bar Vdara

On loan from Bellagio, LLC is “Lucky Dream,’ a breathtaking masterpiece by Robert Rauschenberg displayed within Vdara’s intimate lobby. “Lucky Dream” features found images such as a trophy, Asian cranes and tigers and the Sistine Chapel. Rauschenberg’s early works helped open the tracts of Pop Art in 1953 when he began his famous “combines” that incorporated everyday objects as sculptural elements into his work. In 1962 Rauschenberg made his first lithographs and silkscreens and was at the forefront of innovative print making thereafter. Rauschenberg, also a noted photographer, utilized his own photography in these silkscreen works, taken during a lifetime of travels. His technique of juxtaposing disconnected images with distinctive character presents what the artist has self-described as working with the “gap between art and life.” Retrospective or survey exhibitions of Rauschenberg’s art have been organized by many museums, including Amsterdam’s Stedlijk Museum (1968), the Menil Collection (1991) and the National Gallery of Art (1991). In 1998, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York had a comprehensive retrospective of the artist’s works, including 400 drawings, paintings and limited edition prints. His artwork spiraled up all the main floors of the museum and was touted as the largest retrospective to date for any artist at the Guggenheim.

Crystals

• Les Lalanne – “Tourterelle” 1997, Aluminum and wood, 53 x 47 x 26 inches, 88 lbs, 8th edition – Crystals’ main entrance off Las Vegas Boulevard

French husband and wife team Franšois-Xavier and Claude Lalanne are two of the world’s most original designer-sculptors, collaborating for more than a half century to create art that harmoniously blends their styles while clearly expressing each artist’s personality. Now, more than 40 years after their first show in Paris, the Lalanne’s work comes to Las Vegas at CityCenter. From Franšois-Xavier’s edition of “Tourterelle,” 1997, three large-scale turtledoves crafted from aluminum and wood with a seat carved into their body and wings, are showcased near the Crystals’ Las Vegas Boulevard entrance offering a welcome reprieve from the bustle of The Strip. Each figure measures approximately 4.5 feet high by 3.5 feet wide and weighs just over 88 pounds. Franšois-Xavier is best known for animal sculptures, most often cast in bronze, such as the sheep chairs that brought the Lalannes into the spotlight. Claude is famous for nature-inspired furniture, such as chandeliers inspired by tree branches, and small-scale objects with exceptional detail such as flatware cast from natural leaves, shells and twigs. Both agree that the supreme art is the “art of the living” and have shown domesticated beasts in London, hippopotami in Tokyo, gilded butterflies in Paris, an enchanted garden in Florida and prehistoric creatures in California. Since their first show at Gallery J in Paris in 1964, Les Lalanne’s sculptures have appeared in numerous exhibitions and now belong to several international collections including the Cooper-Hewitt; National Design Museum, New York; the MuseÚ national d’art modern; Centre George Pompidou, Paris; and the cities of Paris, Santa Monica and Jerusalem.

The Park

• Henry Moore – “Reclining Connected Forms” 1969-1974, Roman travertine marble, 10 x 17 x 7 feet – The Park between ARIA Resort & Casino and Crystals

In The Park between ARIA and Crystals, guests happen upon “Reclining Connected Forms,” 1969-1974, a sculpture by English artist Henry Moore, one of the most celebrated sculptors of his time. Inspired by the fundamentals of the human experience – the primary theme of his life’s work – the sculpture measures approximately 10 feet tall and 17 feet long by 7 feet deep, and is an abstraction of a baby wrapped in its mother’s embrace. The graceful outer shell of the sculpture depicts the changing shape of a pregnant figure as it protects the new life growing within. Moore’s work was traditionally inspired by the human body, organic shapes found in nature and the sculpture of ancient and exotic cultures such as Egypt, Sumeria, Africa and pre-Columbian Mexico. Surrealism, the modern European art and literary movement with a tendency toward abstract forms, also was a major influence. Moore was given his first major retrospective abroad in 1946 by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He won the International Prize for Sculpture at the Venice Biennale in 1948.

Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas

• Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen – “Typewriter Eraser, Scale X” 1998-1999, Stainless steel, fiberglass and acrylic polyurethane paint, 19 x 11 x 11 feet, 3rd edition with one Artist’s Proof – Crystals Place

Crystals Place, adjacent to Mandarin Oriental, features “Typewriter Eraser, Scale X,” 1998-1999, a legendary piece by Oldenburg and van Bruggen. Designed with the pair’s classic approach to creating large-scale outdoor sculptures of popular commercial objects, the four-ton, 19-foot stainless steel and fiberglass sculpture depicts a giant blue and red typewriter eraser with the bristles of the brush turned upward in a graceful, dynamic gesture. This edition is the largest of three sculptures created of the form, beginning in the 1970s. Oldenburg is most widely associated with the beginnings of the Pop Art movement of the 1960s. His capricious and – at times – deconstructed forms of everyday objects transform the notion of how sculpture is viewed and made. Throughout his career, he collaborated with his wife Coosje on more than 40 monumental projects throughout Europe, Asia and the United States. Their most recent work is the 144-foot-long, 64-foot-high “Cupid's Span” for Rincon Park on the Embarcadero in San Francisco.

• Masatoshi Izumi – “Untitled” 2007-2008, Basalt, 17 x 6 feet, approximately 8 tons – Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas’ entrance

In accordance with Mandarin Oriental’s traditions and values of Asian hospitality, Masatoshi Izumi’s sculpture “Untitled,” 2007-2008, is presented in the hotel’s entrance, welcoming guests in a Zen-like manner. Izumi’s work celebrates harmony with nature by taking existing forms and altering them slightly to reveal an even more beautiful state. Following CityCenter’s ideals of sustainability, the sculpture is made of large pieces of intricately carved basalt, a form of lava that has cooled on the surface of the volcano. The sculpture stands more than 16 feet tall and weighs approximately 8 tons. Born into a family of stone carvers in the town of Mure on the Japanese island of Shikoku, Izumi began working with stone in 1953. In 1964, he co-founded the Stone Atelier in Kagawa Prefecture, dedicated to new architectural and artistic uses of traditional stone cutting techniques. Izumi and his colleagues have realized some of the most ambitious architectural stone projects in Japan.

• Jun Kaneko – “Untitled, Triangle Dango” 1996, Glazed ceramic, 86 x 29 x 22 inches; “Untitled, Dango” 2002, Hand-built glazed ceramics, 67 x 63 x 14 inches; and “Untitled, Dango” 1992, Glazed ceramics, 73 x 52 x 35 inches – Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas’ lobby

Born in Nagoya, Japan in 1942, Jun Kaneko has consistently followed his own path and continually experimented with the technical aspects of the ceramic medium. His enormous dango forms, which soar as high as 11 feet, challenge the physical limitations of the material and are fired in giant kilns. Kaneko’s sculptures, “Untitled, Triangle Dango,” 1996; “Untitled, Dango,” 2002; and “Untitled, Dango,” 1992, are boldly glazed, monumental rounded monoliths displayed within Mandarin Oriental’s lobby. The tallest of the three sculptures measures 7 feet tall. The name ‘Dango’ is whimsical, yet accurate, meaning “Japanese dumpling.” Kaneko’s sculptures have afforded him the opportunity to realize several public sculpture commissions, including the Phoenix Airport, a station for the Boston Subway, the Detroit People Mover and the Waikiki Aquarium and more. His work also has been featured in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, De Young Museum in San Francisco, the Shigaraki Museum, and more than 30 others.

• Jack Goldstein – “Untitled” (Volcano) 1983, Acrylic on canvas, 96 x 96 inches – Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas’ Tea Lounge

Jack Goldstein is among the most influential postmodern artists of the 1970s and ‘80s and is widely recognized for his pioneering work in sound, film and painting. His highly polished paintings are based on photos of natural phenomena, focused on capturing the “spectacular instant.” Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas’ Tea Lounge, located within the sky lobby on the 23rd floor, showcases Goldstein’s “Untitled” (Volcano), 1983, which measures 8 feet tall by 8 feet wide. This painting depicts an explosive and vibrant image of an erupting volcano. Goldstein received his training at Chouinard Art Institute and was a member of the inaugural class of California Institute of the Arts, where he worked in post-studio art under John Baldessari, receiving a Master of Fine Arts in 1972. Goldstein’s paintings have received numerous grants and awards, including the Pollock-Krasner Foundation (1992); The American Institute of Architecture (1990); the National Endowment of the Arts, Visual Arts (1983); the New York State Council of the Arts (1975); the Canada Council Grant, Visual Arts Award (1974); and the National Endowment for the Arts, Visual Arts (1973).
ARIA Resort & Casino

• Maya Lin – “Silver River” 2009, Cast reclaimed silver, 84 feet long, approximately 3,700 lbs – Suspended over ARIA’s registration desk

Considered one of the most important artists of the 21st century, Maya Lin’s remarkable body of work maintains a careful balance between art and architecture, including large-scale, site-specific installations, intimate studio artworks and architectural works and memorials. Perched high above ARIA’s reception desk against a panoramic window is Lin’s first work of art in Las Vegas: “Silver River,” inspired by the boundaries and topography of the Colorado River as it carves the desert landscape of the United States. In the spirit of CityCenter’s commitment to sustainability and in light of Nevada’s standing as “The Silver State,” Lin used reclaimed silver to develop her creation. Lin’s work reflects a strong interest in the environment; she has made many works of art inspired by waterways and natural forms sculpted by the presence of water, including other river works. She also created a pin river, which hangs in the U.S. Embassy in China. Lin has served as an advisor on sustainable energy use and as a board member of the National Resources Defense Council. Lin, whose highly acclaimed body of work includes the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C., also has become a celebrated architect. Her life and work were detailed in the Academy Award-winning documentary, Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision. Lin is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2005.

• Tony Cragg – “Bolt” 2007, Stainless steel, 129 x 45 x 45 inches; “Bent of Mind” 2008, Stainless steel, 78 x 39 x 39 inches; “Untitled” (Tall Column) 2008, Stainless steel, 181 x 47 x 47 inches – ARIA’s southern entry atrium

As a poet uses words on a page, sculptor Tony Cragg uses materials to search for new meaning, resulting in a grounded poetry that is at once rational and powerfully ethereal. Located within ARIA’s southern entry atrium are Cragg’s three towering columns – “Bolt,” “Bent of Mind” and “Untitled” – that exemplify how the sculptor uses a material such as stainless steel to its fullest extent, pushing its boundaries while creating exceedingly graceful works of art with substantial presence. “Bolt,” a 10-foot-high stainless steel sculpture, swirls upward from its narrow base in an imaginative bolt of lightning; “Bent of Mind” gives the illusion of an elegant silhouette of a face, as do many of his other works; and “Untitled” (tall column) presents a smooth, curving dialogue. Cragg has been the recipient of numerous distinguished awards, including the Turner Prize (1988), Shakespeare Prize (2001) and Piepenbrock Prize for Sculpture (2002). His biomorphic, sculptural forms investigate the physics of materials, and spark a dialogue between man, material and the world.

• Antony Gormley – “Feeling Material XXVIII” 2007, 4 mm square section mild steel bar, 8 feet tall, approximately 150 lbs – Suspended within ARIA’s second level

The human form has long been the theme of Antony Gormley’s innovative sculptural work. “Feeling Material” is another of his continually developing series, in which the artist reinvents the human form. Gormley’s sculpture hangs suspended over ARIA’s Promenade oculus, interacting with the architecture of the space on multiple levels. Using spiraling steel, Gormley aims not only to represent the silhouette of the human body but to visually convey the physical space it occupies; a still place at the center of an orbiting energy field. Over time, Gormley has created some of the most ambitious and recognizable works of the past two decades including “Field,” “The Angel of the North,” and “Quantum Cloud” for the Millennium Dome in Greenwich, England. He was awarded the Turner Prize in 1994 and the South Bank Prize for Visual Art in 1999 and was made an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1997.

• Jenny Holzer – “VEGAS” 2009, LED panels with white diodes, 266 x 8 x 18 feet – ARIA’s north valet

Artist Jenny Holzer deftly integrates her work into the architecture of a space, transforming it both physically and atmospherically through the infusion of light. As guests exit ARIA’s north valet, they encounter “VEGAS,” which displays Holzer’s thought-provoking phrases, including some from her famous “Truisms,” scrolling across the LED wall. Because CityCenter attracts visitors from around the world, Holzer included international proverbs as a way to welcome, include and intrigue. Holzer made her mark in 1976 with her first public work, “Truisms,” which made profound statements in the form of anonymous broadsheets pasted on buildings, walls and fences in and around Manhattan. Her text later took the form of posters, monumental and electronic signs, billboards, television and her signature medium: LED signs. Most recently, Holzer’s work has been seen in Washington D.C. with her collection, “For the Capitol,” which incorporates nighttime projections of quotes by Presidents John F. Kennedy and Theodore Roosevelt about the role of art and culture in American society.

Veer Towers

• Richard Long – “Circle of Life” 2009, River Avon mud on painted wall (Veer Towers West), 72 x 54 feet; “Earth” 2009, River Avon mud on painted wall (Veer Tower East), 72 x 54 feet

For sculptor Richard Long, the natural world provides both the palette and the canvas on which he manifests his earthworks. In some cases, he brings the outside in. Veer Towers features two large-scale commissioned works by Long. Entitled “Circle of Life” and “Earth,” the two mud wall drawings each measure 72 feet high by 54 feet wide and are displayed on Veer’s west and east tower walls, respectively. For these works, Long created a viscous paint by diluting mud and then carefully applying it to the walls with his hands, resulting in extraordinary images fashioned from purely mundane materials. Long transported the mud to Las Vegas from the River Avon, which runs through his home town of Bristol, England. Long is one of Britain’s best-known sculptors and conceptual artists. His art showcases his appreciation for nature; the majority of his works are inspired by natural landscapes he has encountered while hiking. During his walks, Long often creates sculptures using natural materials in the environment such as leaves, twigs and stones, and then photographs the end result to forever capture his work. Long is the only artist to be short-listed for the Turner Prize four times. He was nominated in 1984, 1987 and 1988, and won the award in 1989 for “White Water Line.”

The Harmon Hotel

• Isa Genzken – “Rose II” 2007, Stainless steel, aluminum and lacquer, 26 feet tall, more than 1,000 lbs, 3rd edition – The Harmon Hotel’s porte cochere

One of Isa Genzken’s best known and loved works, “Rose” – a public sculpture of a single long-stemmed rose towering 26 feet above Leipzig, Germany’s museum district – inspired “Rose II,” portrayed within The Harmon Hotel’s porte cochere. A single-stem rose frozen in full bloom, the striking piece stands 26 feet tall and weighs more than 1,000 pounds. More than 75 percent of the elements used to create “Rose II” are recycled materials. One of Germany’s most prominent artists, Genzken’s work ranges from sculpture to photography to painting, often combining personal elements with references to architecture, modernism and art history. Genzken studied at several art institutions including Hamburg College of Fine Arts, the Berlin University of Fine Arts and Dusseldorf Art Academy. Her work has been critically acclaimed; Genzken won the International Art Prize in 2004 and the Wolfgang-Hahn-Prize in 2002. Some of her works include “Urlaub,” 2004, “Mutter Mit Kind,” 2004, and “Kinder Filmen I,” 2005.

CityCenter | Fine Art Collection | Maya Lin | Jenny Holzer | Nancy Rubins |  |


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