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New works on view in deCordova's Sculpture Park, including works by Carl Andre and Paul McCarthy
Tom Burr, Collection and Contact, 2013. Collection: 70 x 70 x 70 in. Bronze, steel, rope, epoxy paint and leather equestrian tack. Contact: 61 x 98 x 24 in. Steel, mirror, epoxy paint and leather equestrian tack. Installation support has been provided by those who generously raised their paddles at deCordova’s Party for the Park 2014.

LINCOLN, MASS.- In keeping with deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum’s goal to become one of the country’s leading sculpture parks, the institution is pleased to announce the addition of new work by Carl Andre, Tom Burr, Paul McCarthy, Jarrett Mellenbruch, Alyson Shotz, and Kenneth Snelson, on view this summer.

A founder of 1960s American minimalism, Carl Andre developed a commitment to making objects that were comprised of an assembly and arrangement of elements. One of the artist’s few outdoor works, Sphinges is comprised of sixteen units of eastern pine placed to form a grid, playing on the riddle of the Sphinx. Like much of Andre’s work, Sphinges is made of raw materials and its arrangement is based on masonry techniques, which assert that the pattern in which the components are placed can determine the durability of the structure. The sculpture reveals the intrinsic beauty of the pine through repetition of forms and the artist’s purposeful placement of units.

Often referred to as “horse ballet,” dressage is a form of horse training historically used by the cavalry. Tom Burr’s set of six sculptures, known collectively as Dressage, reflect on and earn their titles from each of the sport’s six levels of training. The third level of dressage, Contact, and the sixth level of dressage, Collection, are on view in deCordova’s Sculpture Terrace. Using bronze, steel, rope, and leather equestrian tack such as stirrups and a saddle, Burr’s sculptures emanate dressage’s characteristic restraint, strength, and elegance, even without the physical presence of a horse or a rider. Dressage also explores elements of discipline, social performance, and the fetishization of beauty and power.

Sisters is one of many works in which controversial multimedia artist Paul McCarthy explores the Snow White fairytale. The imposing bronze sculpture features two renditions of the princess, several woodland creatures, and a stream of unruly debris beneath them. Imbued with both beauty and monstrosity, Sisters subverts the beloved children’s story with devilishly dark humor. In many ways, the work was a precursor to the artist’s acclaimed and provocative piece WS, whose title is a reverse acronym for Snow White. McCarthy’s Snow White-inspired works comment on mass media in America: by mixing the American fairytale with the Brothers Grimm’s darker Schneewittchen, McCarthy questions the nature of what is often considered simply a saccharine children’s tale.

Concerned with the agricultural impact of the weakening honeybee population, Jarrett Mellenbruch has created self-sustaining shelters for wild honeybees with Haven. These sculptures call to mind iconic images of rural farmhouses or Romanesque architecture. Set on 16-foot posts– the preferred height for honeybee habitats–Mellenbruch’s sculptures create an intersection between art and environmental concerns, benefiting the honeybees by providing the species with an ideal shelter, and visitors, who can educate themselves on Haven’s mission via Quick Response (QR) codes on the sculptures. Mellenbruch plans to install 1,000 hives across the country; his installation at deCordova marks Haven’s first iteration within a museum setting.

A fascination with the science of physics inspired Alyson Shotz’s hanging sculpture, Spiral (for LB). Crafted from mirror-polished stainless steel and based on the mathematical structure of a spiral, the work features a revolving curve which emanates from a central point. Spiral (for LB) is the height of the average woman and evokes DNA strands or a human spinal cord as it revolves around its axis. The work hangs suspended from a tree in deCordova’s Sculpture Park, luminously reflecting its surrounding landscape of nature and other sculptures. The effect of the wind and changes in light on its form give Spiral (for LB), named for Louise Bourgeois’ 1984 sculpture Woman, a kinetic life.

To be installed later this summer is Kenneth Snelson’s Wiggins Fork. Snelson creates abstract sculptures that are influenced by the artist’s interest in the underlying structure of the universe, and the intersection of mathematical and artistic principles. Constructed with stainless steel rods and tension wires, Wiggins Fork is engineered to appear flexible, light, and effortless despite its strength in design. Snelson embraces subjective interpretations of his work that hinge on themes of mathematics, science, and the structure of the cosmos.

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June 22, 2014

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