This spring, the Dallas Museum of Art
unveiled a commissioned sculpture at its newly renovated north entrance by acclaimed British artist Rebecca Warren. Pas de Deux (Plaza Monument) will debut to the public in April 2016 as part of the grand opening of the Museums Eagle Family Plaza, a new space for contemporary art and outdoor programming. To coincide with the installation of the first U.S. museumcommissioned sculpture by Warren, the DMA is present a focused exhibition of her work created over the past decade. Rebecca Warren: The Main Feeling explores the artists use of diverse materials to challenge traditional sculptural conventions.
Pas de Deux (Plaza Monument) consists of two biomorphic forms, each more than 14 feet tall, cast in bronze and hand painted by the artist. The work advances Warrens interest in the subversion of Western sculptural traditions through distorted representations of the female nude, which is typically portrayed in her work with exaggerated, often grotesque physical characteristics. Pas de Deux (Plaza Monument) will replace a Henry Moore sculpture from the DMAs permanent collection that previously occupied the north entrance for two decades. Moores Two Piece Reclining Figure, No. 3 now greets visitors at the entrance to the Museums Sculpture Garden.
Rebecca Warren is one of Britains most vital contemporary artists, whose work invites us to engage with the aesthetic conventions of an earlier generation of male sculptors through a freshly feminist sensibility, said Gavin Delahunty, Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, DMA. As one of the first commissioned works by a living female artist to be installed at the entrance of an American museum, Pas de Deux (Plaza Monument) will serve as a beacon for the DMAs intent to broaden its collecting and exhibition habits.
The Museum-organized companion exhibition Rebecca Warren: The Main Feeling focuses on the period of Warrens sculptures from 2003 to present day, a pivotal transitional phase in the artists practice characterized by the emergence of an increasingly abstract style in her work. The exhibition surveys 20 works from this period in a wide range of media: from early neon-lit wall vitrines, to delicately balanced compositions of welded steel, to slim clay totems cast in bronze. The selection of works illustrates Warrens ability to continually imbue her work with an improvisatory quality, resisting modernist tendencies toward certain levels of finish. Instead she presents work that appears to be in progressholding itself tentatively between assembly and breakdown, recognition and abstraction, seriousness and humor. On view through July 17, 2016, Rebecca Warren: The Main Feeling follows Warrens election in 2014 into the Royal Academy of Arts, one of Britains most prestigious arts organizations.
Rebecca Warren was born in London in 1965 and received degrees from Goldsmiths College at the University of London and the Chelsea College of Art, London. From 1993 to 1994, Warren was an artist-in-residence at The Ruskin School at the University of Oxford. Warren was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2006 and the Vincent Award in 2008. The Kunsthalle Zürich mounted a one-person exhibition of Warrens work in 2004; the Serpentine Gallery, London, presented a survey of her work in 2009; and the Kunstverein Munich presented The Living, a solo show, in 2013. In 2014, Warren was inducted into Britains Royal Academy of Arts. Warren has also served as Professor of Arts at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf since 2014. She lives and works in London.