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The Museum of Modern Art presents Untilled by Pierre Huyghe in The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden
Pierre Huyghe. Untilled (Liegender Frauenakt) [Reclining female nude]. 2012. Concrete with beehive structure, wax, and live bee colony; figure: 29 1/2 x 57 1/16 x 17 11/16″ (75 x 145 x 45 cm), base: 11 13/16 x 57 1/16 x 21 5/8″ (30 x 145 x 55 cm), beehive dimensions variable. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase. © 2015 Pierre Huyghe. Photo: Pierre Huyghe.

NEW YORK, NY.- The Museum of Modern Art presents Untilled (Liegender Frauenakt) [Reclining female nude] (2012), a recently acquired sculpture by Pierre Huyghe (French, b. 1962) in The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden from June 16 to mid-August 2015. Untilled (Liegender Frauenakt) consists of a cast concrete sculpture of a reclining woman and a living beehive that serves as her head, and, by extension, her brain. The collective thought processes of bees—their “hive mentality”—have long been studied in relation to human political and social organization. Untilled (Liegender Frauenakt) explores these affinities and emphasizes the ancient, symbiotic relationship between humans and honeybees, which, in building their hive, take part in the creation of the sculpture. One of Huyghe’s best known works, this is the first of the artist’s sculptures to have entered MoMA’s collection. The installation is organized by Laura Hoptman, Curator, and Margaret Ewing, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Painting and Sculpture, MoMA.

Hoptman states: “Pierre Huyghe’s work does something curious and rare for contemporary art at this moment; it pointedly brings the natural world to bear on what we assume to be the very human notion of creativity. A work like Untilled (Liegender Frauenakt) is not only curious in a museum context, it is very moving because it beautifully emphasizes the symbiotic cooperation between humans and other living creatures.”

Over the past 25 years, Huyghe has created a remarkable body of work that includes film, sculpture, installation, and activities that playfully and poetically investigate the physical and temporal experiences of living beings, human and animal. Whether organizing an expedition to Antarctica or producing sculptures that incorporate living creatures, from dogs to hermit crabs, Huyghe has helped push the boundaries of art making and audience participation by transforming viewers from passive observers into participants who experience his work as it happens.

Originally created for Documenta 13 in 2012, Untilled (Liegender Frauenakt) has also been presented at the Centre Georges Pompidou and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Beekeeping services for this installation are provided by Andrew Cote of Andrew’s Honey.

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