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Storm King Art Center presents a new, site-specific installation by artist Virginia Overton
Outlooks: Virginia Overton at Storm King Art Center. 488 feet long x 48 inches high x 4 inches wide. Courtesy of Virginia Overton.
MOUNTAINVILLE, NY.- Storm King Art Center presents a newly commissioned installation by American artist Virginia Overton, whose work is site-specific, and transformative. For Storm King, Overton’s installation is responsive to the terrain on the property, significantly altering the everyday landscape.

Overton’s brass sculpture lies in an expansive, central, rolling field. A thin tube, some 400 feet in length, mirrors the contours and curves of the sloping hill, carrying sound, picking up slight noises, and allowing visitors different aural experiences on their outdoor treks. The piece suggests tripartite interactivity between itself, Storm King’s visitors, and the topography of its setting.

Standing atop Storm King’s Museum Hill, visitors will be able to see the entirety of the installation, the subtle line of which undulates over the organic curves of the landscape. Overton’s work acts as a drawing in space and appears to hover over the field’s tall grasses, which will grow to the height of about 3½ feet over the course of the installation. The color of the metal tube reflects and responds to its surroundings, changing in tone from season to season as its natural surroundings shift from the early spring, to summer, to autumn.

The installation is organized by Storm King’s Associate Curator Nora Lawrence, who explains; “I am thrilled that Virginia, an artist for whom siting is so integral and important, will present a large-scale work at Storm King in 2014. Virginia has explored Storm King in every season to prepare for this installation, and we are so pleased to be able to present her new work, created with Storm King specifically in mind.”

Overton is the second artist to be featured in Storm King Art Center’s annual Outlooks series. In 2013, artist David Brooks inaugurated this series with his work, A Proverbial Machine in the Garden. The series invites one emerging or mid-career contemporary artist to create a new, site-specific work to be installed at Storm King for a single season.

Lawrence continues, “With the Outlooks series, we aim to demonstrate innovative ways in which contemporary artists are engaging with natural spaces, and thus create a bridge between twentieth- and twenty-first century art production at Storm King.”

Virginia Overton has become known for her site-responsive installations and sculptures made with everyday materials. An ethos of economy is an organizing principal in her work, as Overton employs principles of simplicity and problem-solving familiar to farmers and small-time inventors. Her go-to materials are those common in manual trades, as well as those she gathers around exhibition sites and “excavates” from storage. She arranges these materials into phenomenological configurations: bending, pouring, balancing, leaning and ratcheting them into shape.

A range of ideas around the concept of “work” seem to figure into any description of what she does. Certainly, it refers to the common use of the term to describe art objects, but it also points to labor or physical strength. However, while the work of strength and labor can easily connote a certain coarseness, Overton’s artwork is balanced by subtle levity and elegant simplicity.

Virginia Overton was born in Tennessee and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Her recent solo museum exhibitions were presented at the Kunsthalle Bern and Westfälischer Kunstverein in Munster, both in 2013. She has also had solo exhibitions at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York, 2013; The Kitchen, New York and The Power Station, Dallas, 2012; Freymond-Guth, Zürich, 2011; Dispatch, New York, and N.O. Gallery, Milan, 2010.

She has been included in group exhibitions at MoMA PS1, SculptureCenter, and White Columns, New York; White Flag Projects and CAM, St. Louis; Disjecta Contemporary Art Center of Portland; and Ausstellungsraum Klingental, Basel, Switzerland. She was included in Empire State at the Palaexpo in Rome, curated by curated by Sir Norman Rosenthal and Alex Gartenfeld. In 2013, she had public sculptures on the High Line, New York; at Piston Head at 1111 Lincoln Road, Miami; and at Pop-Up 1: Montauk in Montauk, NY.

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