SALT LAKE CITY, UT.-
Red Butte Garden and the Utah Museum of Fine Arts
(UMFA) at the University of Utah presented the collaborative installation of a large-scale contemporary sculpture by award-winning artist, John Henry. Titled Le Mont Rouge (2004), the sculpture from the collection of the UMFA will be on loan for a period of five years to Red Butte Garden. It will be installed on Thursday, September 9, 2010 near Red Butte Canyon Road, offering community members the opportunity to interact with contemporary art in their own back yard.
Large in scale, rectilinear in design, and painted in a bright crimson red fitting for its University of Utah setting, Le Mont Rouge effectively displays Henrys trademark visual vocabulary. John Henry (American, b. 1943) is best known for his massive sculptures that create dynamic public spaces. The abstract geometric forms that have defined his work for more than forty years have aesthetic and historic roots in the Constructivist movement of the early twentieth century. Henrys supreme commitment to the materiality of his work and the integrity of the art-making process is evident in the architectural design of the aluminum sculpture, Le Mont Rouge.
Le Mont Rouge was purchased by the Utah Museum of Fine Arts in 2008 with the intent of installing the sculpture near the Marcia and John Price Museum Building. However, the size of the sculpture (23 x 21 x 10) made it difficult to site it at the UMFA. The Museum determined that the best course of action was to enter into a long-term loan agreement with a sister auxiliary organization on the University of Utah campus. At the same time, Red Butte Garden was developing a long-range plan to add permanent outdoor sculptures to the garden. The museum and the garden recognized that their interests dovetailed, and in 2010, Red Butte Garden was selected as the preferred hosting organization for Le Mont Rouge.
Gretchen Dietrich, executive director of the UMFA, says, We are delighted to site this important and beautiful artwork near Red Butte Garden, where it will look terrific in contrast to the natural beauty of the hills that will surround it. We are so pleased to keep the sculpture on the campus of the U of U and to share it with Red Butte Gardens many visitors as well as people who live and work on our campus.
The garden is delighted to collaborate with UMFA to display this sculpture, says Gregory Lee, executive director of Red Butte Garden. We hope that this will be the first of many major pieces of art to grace the garden in coming years, either through acquisition or through partnerships.
Henry works today as an artist, professor, and curator. He attended the University of Kentucky, University of Chicago, and the Art Institute of Chicago, where he received a Ford Foundation grant, the Edward L. Ryerson Fellowship, and earned a bachelor of fine arts degree. Henry then received an Honorary Doctorate of Art from the University of Kentucky in 1996. He was a founding member of ConStruct, an artist-owned gallery that promoted and organized large-scale sculpture exhibitions throughout the United States. In 2002 he received the Governors National Award in the Arts from the State of Kentucky, and in 2005 the City of Chicago renamed North Cermak Road to John Henry Way in recognition of his contributions to public art on local and national levels. Henry currently serves as both a professor of art and curator of the Outdoor Museum of Art at Chattanooga State College in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He continues to create large and small-scale sculptures, many of which are prominently displayed in cities throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia as part of permanent installations or special exhibitions.