New York Botanical Garden Extends FOUR SEASONS Through March 2014
Internationally renowned contemporary artist Philip Haas' one-person exhibition, titled Four Seasons, at The New York Botanical Garden has been extended to be on view through March 2014, making it possible to see the four sculptures in all four seasons. The exhibition opened on May 18, 2013, and more than 200,000 visitors have had the opportunity to see it. It will continue to be on view in the fall and through the winter until finally concluding its run in the spring of 2014. After the nearly yearlong presentation at The New York Botanical Garden, Four Seasons is scheduled to travel to the Atlanta Botanical Garden in Georgia and The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri.
Gregory Long, The New York Botanical Garden Chief Executive Officer and The William C. Steere Sr. President, states, "It's thrilling that visitors to The New York Botanical Garden will now be able to experience Philip Haas' Four Seasons in all four seasons. We anticipate that visitors and art aficionados who enjoyed these dynamic works this past spring and summer will come to see them at the Garden in the fall and winter. The extension of the exhibition will also allow new visitors and art lovers who have not yet experienced these magnificent and monumental sculptures by one of the finest contemporary artists to witness them in person for the first time."
Philip Haas comments, "I embarked upon the Four Seasons project wanting to re-contextualize Arcimboldo's 16th-century nature imagery within the 21st-century physical world, through changes in scale, material, and dimensionality. With the extension of the exhibition for another six months, another transformation will occur to alter and enrich the viewer's perspective-the passage of time, the play of light and weather on the sculptures."
Haas's work is distinguished by meticulously rendered tableaux seeking to illuminate the source of creativity, often through contemporary interpretations of masterworks from the history of art. In Four Seasons, Haas has created four monumental, 15-foot-tall, portrait busts that reference each of the seasons and are displayed in the round. In the artist's exploration of the past, reinterpreted in the present, Haas references classical Italian Renaissance portraiture, with roots in the celebrated Four Seasons series created by Renaissance master Giuseppe Arcimboldo.
Haas gives viewers a fresh perspective on the classical form by blowing up the scale to colossal proportions. What has formerly been a two-dimensional experience-the painted portrait-is given new context through this series as viewers are able to walk around the sculptures, to see the subjects from all sides, rather than simply in profile as with a painting. Further, as in Arcimboldo's work from the 1500s, flesh, hair, and human features have been replaced with faux-organic material native to each season. In Winter, for example, the skin of the subject is represented through oversized forms of fiberglass bark and hair by gnarled tree limbs and ivy.Spring features a riot of flower forms in bright hues arranged to represent a human portrait. The Summer head is adorned with seasonal foliage, while Autumn includes its own cornucopia of fruits and vegetables.
The placement of the four sculptures within the symmetrical courtyard of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory has the busts facing one another in a square configuration, creating a dialogue between not only the four "subjects," but also the viewer who can walk around and in between the works, creating an involved and personal experience. The New York Botanical Garden serves as a dynamic background, which changes throughout the seasons, giving the viewer new perspective and insight into Haas' works.
Travel Dates and Venues
Philip Haas announced that after its run at The New York Botanical Garden (May 18, 2013 through March 2014), Four Seasons will travel to the Atlanta Botanical Garden in Georgia where it will be on view from May 3 to October 31, 2014. It will then travel to The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri, where the sculptures will be a part of the 25th Anniversary celebration of the Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park, on view April 25, 2015 through October 19, 2015.
About The Artist
Philip Haas, in marrying sculpture, painting, film, and architecture, has created a contemporary visual vocabulary all his own. He describes his process as "sculpting by thinking." Haas's groundbreaking artwork has been featured by museums including the National Gallery of Art (Washington, DC), the Kimbell Art Museum (Fort Worth, Texas), Dulwich Picture Gallery (United Kingdom), and Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris, France). In the public realm, his work has been exhibited in the Piazza del Duomo (Milan, Italy) and the Gardens of Versailles (France). An exhibition of the artist's new sculptures will be on view in New York from November 1 - December 20, 2013 at Francis M. Naumann Fine Art in a show titled, HEADS, HANDS, HEELS, HORSES & HELIUM. The exhibition consists of six sculptures portraying individual artists: Luis Buñuel tethered to a balloon; Meret Oppenheim as a drunken centaur; Eustache Le Sueur imprisoned in his muse's viola da gamba; a double-headed, Janus-style bust of Francis Bacon; the hands of Jacques Villon holding his brushes excised from a photographic portrait by Brassaï; and the feet of Jacques-André Boiffard and a woman in flagrante delicto. Haas is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, as well as other awards, and has taught in the visual arts and creative writing programs at Princeton University. He lives and works in New York and London.
Four Seasons by Philip Haas is the latest commission of The New York Botanical Garden's art program. For more information about the Botanical Garden visit http://www.nybg.org.