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First U.S. solo museum exhibition for artist Virginia Overton opens at MOCA, North Miami
Virginia Overton: Flat Rock. Installation Views. Courtesy of the artist and Mitchell-Innes & Nash. Photo: Daniel Portnoy.

NORTH MIAMI, FLA.- The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), North Miami, presents the work of Virginia Overton in Flat Rock, a major new large-scale and site-responsive exhibition. Marking the artist’s first solo exhibition at an American museum, Flat Rock features both works from the artist’s studio and commissioned sculpture compiled with objects sourced in the area around the exhibition site to reframe the relationship between work and environment.

On view from April 18 through July 16, 2014 and curated by MOCA’s Interim Director and Chief Curator Alex Gartenfeld, the exhibition reflects the museum’s commitment to identifying new directions in contemporary art by providing a major institutional platform for emerging artists.

Overton is known for an artistic process that involves found and readily available materials—wood, pipes, cement, rope. She transforms and repurposes these into sculptures and site-specific installations that highlight distinct physical properties, such as weight, gravity, tension and suspension. Combining found and recycled materials with existing works from her studio, the exhibition at MOCA prominently features a monumental light-box installation that will stretch across an entire gallery wall. Created from tenting vinyl and rudimentary light-sources, the work will function as both a screen and an object, while highlighting visitors' circulation through the museum's irregular architecture. Outside, Overton utilizes the empty concrete pads in the museum's pond to realize a new large-scale sculpture that re-directs the circulation and impact of water from MOCA's fountain.

“Virginia Overton’s sculptures and installations interrogate the nature of commissioned work and the labor central to their creation. Her ‘signature’ method of using found materials, rather than being a repeated mark, is a direct reflection of her interest in artistic production,” said Gartenfeld. “We are honored to be giving Virginia her first institutional solo exhibition in the U.S. and are eager to see what her site-responsive work reveals about our architectural and institutional space.”

Virginia Overton is an American artist and sculptor who uses simple constructions and materials to make significant revisions to the perfect forms endemic to minimalism. In the past, pedestals have been pressed and perched between two gallery walls; planks of Douglas fir wedged between columns to create large, leaning triangles; flat, inflexible Plexiglas panels have been bound at their ends with a ratchet strap, creating ominously unstable structures.

These often large-scale works, straight forward in fabrication and composition, maximize the tensions inherent to materials and the exhibition site through the artist's physical manipulation.

Born in Nashville in 1971, Overton attended the University of Memphis, Tennessee where she received both her BFA and MFA. Solo exhibitions include Kunsthalle Bern, Bern; The Kitchen, New York; and Westfälischer Kunstverein, Munster. Selected recent group exhibitions include “Empire State,” Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome; “Place is the Space,” Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis (MO); and “Emergency Cheesecake,” Whitney Museum of Art, New York. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

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