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New large-scale commissions on view at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum
Leslie Fry, Colossal AcornHead, 2012. Bronze, ed. 1/5. Lent by the artist. Photograph courtesy of the artist.
LINCOLN, MASS.- In response deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum’s goal to become one of the country’s leading sculpture parks by 2016, the institution announced the addition of new large-scale commissions by Tony Feher, DeWitt Godfrey, Okay Mountain, and Alan Sonfist, on view now. Loaned works by Rathin Barman, Leslie Fry, Jon Isherwood, and James Surls have also been installed in the Sculpture Park in the past year.

Tony Feher’s The Nothing Before Something is a 45-foot tall fluorescent pink utility pole, commissioned to coincide with an exhibition of his work on view in the Museum galleries through September 15, 2013. A monument to color and dazzle, the work is painted in DayGlo pink and glows with an almost-electric hum. The soaring wooden timber is Feher’s playful take on sculptural intervention, and continues the artist’s signature working method of subtly manipulating commonplace materials to create moments of stunning beauty.

At over 150 feet long, DeWitt Godfrey’s Lincoln is one of the largest works ever shown in the Sculpture Park. And the artist’s most ambitions installation to date. This sprawling wall of rolled cor-ten steel is composed of eighty cylinders of various sizes and shapes piled onto one another to mimic the curves of deCordova’s rolling landscape and the characteristic stone walls of New England’s countryside. Godfrey’s steel ellipses appear at once porous and massive. While they seem to be put together by chance, they are in fact carefully shaped by the artist to emphasize a network of mutually supportive elements.

In 4-Wheeler Rollover, Okay Mountain stages a rebellious joy ride that rips through deCordova’s pristinely manicured lawns and terminates in an upturned All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV). The would-be dirt tire tracks are cast in tinted concrete to give permanence to a normally ephemeral gesture. By deliberately crashing “low” thrill culture into the “high” space of fine art, Okay Mountain orchestrates the kind of witty cultural collision for which they are known.

Pioneering environmental artist Alan Sonfist’s The Endangered Species of New England is a complex landscape installation consisting of four core elements: four large-scale aluminum leaves that represent specific locally endangered trees, buried time capsules that contain seeds of these trees, a cobblestone outline of an endangered eagle, and over 100 Inkberry Shamrocks planted within that silhouette. Over time, the Inkberry Shamrocks–a native and endangered species of shrubs–will grow together to form a single canopy, providing shelter and nourishment to native flora and fauna. The Endangered Species of New England expresses Sonfist’s interest in creating site-specific earthworks that probe the relationships between humans, nature, and the fragility of the world they share.

In addition to these new site-specific sculptures, loaned works by Rathin Barman, Leslie Fry, Jon Isherwood, and James Surls are also on display in the Sculpture Park. Rathin Barman’s Untitled is an architectural installation of metalwork frames filled with demolition rubble. Leslie Fry’s bronze Colossal AcornHead is a dream-like, almost mythical bronze sculpture that fuses a human head with an acorn. Jon Isherwood’s vessel-like sculptures are intricately carved using a distinctive blend of digital stone cutting and hand carving: Turning Points is two granite sculptures, one black and one red, while Inner Sense, Place Your Thoughts, and Things are not always what they seem are three smaller-scale works in stone. James Surls’ Walking Flower Times the Power of Five combines science and nature in a sculpture with a core of five arms whose branches are cast in the act of doubling and quadrupling.

These recent additions accompany two exhibitions also on view in the Sculpture Park this summer. In PLATFORM 12: Aaron Stephan Secondhand Utopias, the artist recreates iconic twentieth-century sculptures in the vernacular of deCordova’s architecture and facilities. In WORK OUT, Fritz Haeg, Futurefarmers, Jane D. Marsching, and Andi Sutton each create alternative, sustainable engagements with deCordova’s landscape.





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