Exhibition of 30 sculptures by Bosco Sodi activates Dallas Museum of Art's Sculpture Garden

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Exhibition of 30 sculptures by Bosco Sodi activates Dallas Museum of Art's Sculpture Garden
Bosco Sodi, Untitled, 2020, Clay, Clay Sphere installation at Casa Wabi Studio. Photo: Sergio Lopez, Courtesy Studio Bosco Sodi.

DALLAS, TX.- 30 terracotta sculptures by Bosco Sodi are being exhibited in the Dallas Museum of Art’s Sculpture Garden in Bosco Sodi: La fuerza del destino. Born in Mexico City and currently based in New York City and Oaxaca, Sodi is known for richly textured paintings and sculptures that honor the essential crudeness of their materials. Sodi creates his baked clay works at his studio in Oaxaca, Mexico, where terracotta vessels have been made for thousands of years by the Zapotec and even earlier inhabitants of the region; here the artist adapts the technique to an unusually large scale. The clay is shaped by hand and then left to dry outdoors for long periods of time before being fired in a rustic oven. The resulting works are unique testaments to the power of interaction between raw material and environment, bearing the marks not only of the maker but also of the natural elements. The body of work presented at the DMA debuted at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn in October 2020, where the New York Times wrote of the sculptures, “[T]hey inspire by their indeterminacy, their acceptance and their beauty.”

“I have admired Bosco’s work for many years. He has a profound sensitivity for working with organic materials and a masterful way of crafting forms,” said Dr. Agustín Arteaga, the DMA’s Eugene McDermott Director. “Presenting his work in the Museum’s Sculpture Garden activates the inherent relationship that these works have with nature, and, we hope, provides visitors with a contemplative moment.”

Sodi takes inspiration from many cultural traditions: the importance of clay to ancient American civilizations, the Japanese tradition of wabi-sabi, which values impermanence and imperfection, and more recent art historical movements in Italy (Arte Povera) and Japan (Gutai and Mono-ha). Gutai and Mono-ha artists—featured in the concurrent exhibition Slip Zone: A New Look at Postwar Abstraction in the Americas and East Asia—often exhibited in outdoor settings, expanding the definition of what art is and where it can be shown, and harnessing the unpredictability and beauty of nature beyond museum walls. One of Sodi’s sculptures will also be presented in Slip Zone in dialogue with works from the Japanese and Italian movements.

“Sodi’s gorgeous sculptural interventions create the perfect complement to the DMA’s collection and its physical surroundings,” adds Dr. Anna Katherine Brodbeck, Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art. “By encouraging visitors to leave the museum and enter the garden to experience these sculptures, he draws attention to our dependence on the contingency of nature, which shapes the appearance of the work over time. Moreover, these archetypal forms, with so many historical resonances, speak to our shared human experience across cultures and periods.”

Bosco Sodi: La fuerza del destino is the first presentation in the DMA Sculpture Garden in more than 14 years. The installation demonstrates how artists have been pushing the boundary between the museum and the outside world starting with the postwar movements highlighted in Slip Zone. Both exhibitions are on view through July 10, 2022, and are included in free general admission.

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