Clark Art Institute Announces Revised Plans for Summer Season
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Clark Art Institute has announced a revised program for its summer 2020 season, reflecting changes necessitated by its current closure due to the global health crisis and the logistical challenges related to international travel and shipping restrictions.
"At a time when our foremost priority is the health and well-being of all people, concerns over exhibition schedules are insignificant in the face of the human crisis we are confronting," said Olivier Meslay, the Hardymon director of the Clark. "Like museums around the world, our plans and schedules are not immune to the disruptions caused by the global pandemic, and so, it was inevitable that we would need to reconsider our summer season. Although we don't yet know when we will be able to reopen our doors to welcome visitors back to the Clark, we look forward to providing a lively mix of special exhibitions that will showcase many exciting concepts and artists and, of course, to sharing our permanent collection with our visitors."
Two exhibitions previously announced for summer 2020 presentations at the Clark have been rescheduled for summer 2021. "Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne: Nature Transformed" will now be on view at the Clark from May 8 to Oct. 31, 2021. "Nikolai Astrup: Visions of Norway" will open at the Clark on June 19, 2021, for a three-month presentation, closing on Sept. 19, 2021.
"Although we are deeply disappointed that we will have to wait another year to bring these remarkable exhibitions to the Clark, we remain incredibly enthusiastic about both of these shows and are delighted that we will be able to present them in summer 2021," Meslay said. "The practical realities we confront today make it impossible to bring these works to the United States at this time. We promise that next summer will be worth the wait."
Although opening dates have not yet been finalized, the Clark will present the following exhibitions once it resumes regular operations:
The Clark's first outdoor exhibition consists of site-responsive installations by six contemporary artists presented in locations across the pastoral setting of its 140-acre campus. International artists Kelly Akashi, Nairy Baghramian, Jennie C. Jones, Eva LeWitt, Analia Saban, and Haegue Yang were invited to conceive of a response to the Clark’s landscape and to be in active dialogue with the natural environment and setting.
"Although we could never have known it when we first conceived "Ground/work," the significance and benefit of being able to offer our visitors the opportunity to visit the Clark and enjoy an outdoor exhibition at this moment feels particularly welcome," Meslay said.
Open to the public day and night, "Ground/work" will provide unique access to artworks outside of the traditional boundaries of museum walls. Extending the connections between the ecosystem of Stone Hill, the Clark's architecture, its permanent collection, and contemporary artistic practice, this exhibition expands upon the Clark's commitment to its stewardship of its campus and to providing visitors with an opportunity to experience works of art in a setting of great natural beauty.
The "Ground/work" artists probe issues of materiality, scale, form, and function, expressing ideas core to their individual practices while exploring new conceptual and physical terrain. Ground/work focuses on nature as subject, participant, and raw material. The installations demonstrate how the experience of space out-of-doors can be shifted and manipulated by forces both solid and ephemeral.
Lin May Saeed: 'Arrival of the Animals'
Lin May Saeed's first solo museum exhibition surveys her drawings on and with paper as well as sculptures in Styrofoam, steel, and bronze. For the past 15 years, Saeed (German, b. 1973) has focused on the lives of animals and human-animal relations. With empathy and wit, she tells stories, both ancient and modern, of animal subjugation, liberation, and harmonious cohabitation with humans, working toward a new iconography of interspecies solidarity.
Animals have arrived in the moral consciousness of many at the very moment of their mass extinction. Many of Saeed’s animals arrive to reoccupy spaces that were once theirs; in other words, they return. To imagine these worlds, Saeed often combines traditional artistic formats, such as the sculptural relief, with nontraditional materials such as Styrofoam. This petroleum-based, non-biodegradable plastic is easy for the artist to find, usually secondhand, and to work without assistance. For Saeed, Styrofoam is a reminder of humans’ environmental impact and thus a material ripe for transformation.
Lin May Saeed’s work is courtesy of the artist Jacky Strenz, Frankfurt, and Nicolas Krupp, Basel.
'Lines from Life: French Drawings from the Diamond Collection'
In celebration of the generous, ongoing gift of Herbert and Carol Diamond, this exhibition highlights works from the couple’s remarkable collection of more than 160 French drawings and sculptures, which they have assembled since 1964. The works on view span the 19th century and embody a conceptual tension between academic methods of drawing the human form and freer approaches that challenged those conventions. The Diamonds’ particular fascination with the preparatory role of drawing broadens the Clark’s presentation of 19th-century French art—the cornerstone of the museum’s founding gift—and introduces artists not previously represented in the collection. Select figure studies from the Clark's ever-expanding holdings join this display in the spirit of inviting a new look.
Pia Camil: 'Velo Revelo'
The Clark is presenting a year-long exhibition of works by Pia Camil, featuring three installations in public spaces around the Clark that opened in February 2020. The exhibition features a new, site-specific installation, "Velo Revelo," as well as two of the artist’s large-scale sculptures in fabric, "Telluride Tunic" and "Valparaiso Green Cloak" for Three (2015 and 2016, respectively).
"Velo Revelo" pairs the Spanish words for a "veil" and the verb "reveal." The title derives from Camil's intervention in the Manton Reading Room, a curtain made of sheer stockings that is more than 50 feet in length and "dresses" the space, partially covering both a window of the Clark’s library and a reproduction of a painting selected by the artist from the Institute’s permanent collection.
In the Clark Center, two sculptures from Camil’s Skins series appear in the lower lobby spaces. Both works are monumental, garment-like forms, made of castoffs from textile factories, and draw parallels—both playful and pointed—between traditional Mexican craft and the modernist American paintings of Frank Stella. In all of these works, Camil uses fabric in ways that are both elegant and incisive, highlighting questions of private and public space; indigenous craft and artistic invention; the body, gender, and identity.
Further details regarding the dates of the Clark’s reopening and exhibition schedules will be announced at a later time.
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