Janet Echelman & John Grade Open International Sculpture Symposium at Art Miami Basel Week Today
Cynthia-Reeves recently announced Janet Echelman as the keynote speaker at this year's International Sculpture Center Symposium in Miami, along with an artist's talk by John Grade set for today, December 2nd, 2013.
Located at the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University, the symposium marks the first ISC program that will run concurrently with the major contemporary art fairs of the season. Both Echelman and Grade were cited for their dynamic public art projects that have garnered international recognition. They each have done significant commissions for museums, foundations, and municipalities; Echelman did a signature installation as well for the Vancouver Winter Olympics. Both artists are key in the gallery's public art program, identifying opportunities in cities throughout the US.
Janet Echelman continues to broaden her thesis around installation-based sculptural works that vivify the civic landscape. Her works literally light up the skyline, and put into context the vertical corridor above the pedestrian ways. Known for exploring the potential of unlikely materials -- from fishing nets to atomized water particles -- she continues to pursue cutting-edge technologies to accomplish works scaled to an urban landscape, while preserving the installation's ethereal quality.
In September, Echelman premiered The Space Between Us, an ephemeral and site-specific aerial sculpture that headlined GLOW 2013 along Santa Monica Beach, CA. Lasting only one night, from dusk to dawn, the beach was transformed into a "playground for thoughtful and participatory, temporary art." This groundbreaking work incorporated shaped earth, where visitors danced under the beautifully lit net installation, becoming a part of an immersive experience shared by over 150,000 visitors. It was one of the largest public art events in the US. A photo documentation of the entire 12-hour cycle, along with a video montage will be on view with Cynthia-Reeves at Art Miami.
A recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and a Fulbright Senior Lectureship, Echelman was named Architectural Digest's 2012 Innovator for "changing the very essence of urban spaces". Her TED Talk "Taking Imagination Seriously" has been translated into 33 languages and has been viewed by nearly one million people worldwide. Upcoming projects include the University of Oregon Matthew Knight Arena, and the remaking of Dilworth Plaza in front of Philadelphia City Hall - which will transform the plaza into a garden of dry mist.
John Grade's projects are driven by environmental concerns, often inspired by the relationship between macro and micro, and a quest to make those connections more apparent. His conceptually driven, and visually compelling, sculptures are vehicles to explore the cycles of the natural world. Thus, the works are often fugitive: immersed in the high desert, the ocean bay, the mountain snowfields, they are transformed over time by natural forces in a slow dance of decay and dissolution. He builds his sculptures from a combination of traditional materials, such as wood, resin and clay, paired with novel polymers like corn and potato based resins and binderless paper castings. The impact of the weather and time is assiduously documented via drawings, photographs and video. Grade hands over control of his art to its inevitable decomposition - a process that Grade describes as "an interesting conversation" between the landscape and art.
A recent project is Wawona, a 60-foot tall, award-winning permanent installation at Seattle's Museum of History and Industry. Director Leonard Garfield writes: "Grade's powerful sculpture Wawona reminds us of that central truth-that history is at once elusive and enduring. In salvaging the timbers of a decayed 19th century schooner, which once carried wood from Northwest forests to distant ports, Grade allows us to engage in history in ways that go beyond words and images. His dramatic soaring sculpture re-crafts the remnants of the ship into a work of art that evokes a far more distant time, to a place where the intersection of natural history and human experience was intertwined and elemental.
John Grade received his BFA from the Pratt Institute, NY in 1992. Following his graduation, he has traveled extensively, gaining critical exposure to the cultures and environments that have come to shape his artistic vision. His pursuit in large-scale projects for public and private institutions include exhibitions at the Fabrica in the UK, the Whatcom Museum, the Kohler Museum, the Bellingham Museum, the Boise Art Museum, Galerie Ateliers L'H Du Siege in France and the Seattle Museum of History and Industry. Grade received the highest award in sculpture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York City, conferred to him by noted American sculptor, Martin Puryear. Additionally, he has earned numerous grants and awards including the Tiffany Foundation Award (NY), an Andy Warhol Foundation Award (NY), and two Pollock Krasner Foundation Grants (NY).
For more information on the ISC Symposium, including their complete schedule of events, visit www.sculpture.org.
Cynthia-Reeves will feature the following artists at Art Miami opening on December 2nd: Sarah Amos, Dawn Black, Shen Chen, Janet Echelman, Daniel Kohn, Jaehyo Lee, Oliver Marsden, Michael Mulhern Tomas Munita, Jonathan Prince, Renaissance Press, Shuli Sade, Lionel Smit, Jeffrey Stockbridge, and George Sherwood. A complete PDF exhibition catalog for the exhibition can be accessed on the gallery's website. For more information, please call 212.714.0044 or visit us online at: cynthia-reeves.com.
* Images courtesy of the artists