THE INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART/BOSTON

 

Press Release
 

TWO NEW EXHIBITIONS OPEN JULY 20 AT THE INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART/BOSTON
ICA only east coast museum to present groundbreaking show Eva Hesse Studiowork
First museum exhibition of Leslie Hewitt's Riffs on Real Time (2006-2009)


(BOSTON – June 22, 2011) The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (ICA) presents Eva Hesse Studiowork—a groundbreaking, internationally touring exhibition offering new interpretation of Eva Hesse’s historical position and influence on sculpture. The exhibition also highlights Hesse’s relevance for contemporary art today. On view at the ICA July 20 to Oct. 10, 2011, Studiowork brings together approximately fifty sculptures—many of which rarely travel—drawn from major public and private collections around the world. The ICA is the only east coast museum to present this landmark exhibition.

The German-born, American artist Eva Hesse (1936–1970) played a central role in the radical transformation of sculptural practice in the 1960s. Throughout her career, she produced a large number of small, experimental works alongside her large-scale sculpture. Left in her studio at the time of her death, sold or given to friends during her lifetime, these objects defy easy categorization, and have been seen variously as experiments, molds, tests, or finished pieces. Indeed much of Hesse’s work has an ephemeral quality, but nowhere is this characteristic more prominent than with the pieces that comprise this exhibition. In renaming them “studioworks,” this exhibition proposes that these objects are neither merely preparatory nor necessarily finished works, but works that capture key moments of experimentation. They offer the most profound glimpse into Hesse’s studio practice to date, while also putting into question traditional notions of what sculpture is.

Eva Hesse Studiowork is curated by Briony Fer and Barry Rosen, director of The Estate of Eva Hesse, and organized by The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, in collaboration with Camden Arts Centre, London; Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; and the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. Support for the Boston presentation provided by Lois R. Kunian, GibsonSothebys International Realty.

Also opening July 20 is an exhibition of Leslie Hewitt’s Riffs on Real Time (2006–2009), a group of 10 photographs from an ongoing series the artist began in 2002, shown together for the first time. Hewitt’s photographs, sculptures and installations explore the role of photography in recapturing the past, and the way it frames our understanding of who we are. The exhibition also includes a new sculptural work.

Incorporating both sculpture and photography in her work, Hewitt explores the degree to which we rely on images to provide memories of personal experiences, as well as how collective memory of historical events is shaped and preserved. In Riffs on Real Time, Hewitt stacks and arranges family snapshots, homework pages, magazine covers, and other printed materials, then photographs them against wooden planks, shag carpets, and other domestic floors. These multilayered still lifes create complex meaning from the fragments of our histories. The effect of Hewitt’s layering is visually and physically intriguing. The works are as flat as photographs, yet have a palpable three-dimensionality like a trompe l’œil painting.

Born in New York in 1977, Leslie Hewitt has been described as a member of the “post-civil rights generation.” Unlike the generation of Americans who participated in or watched the protests that led to the repeal of Jim Crow laws in the South, the desegregation of public schools, and the passing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Hewitt’s generation came of age experiencing much of America’s history through documentary photography, film, and audio recordings. Through her pairing of personal snapshots and historical images, Hewitt’s work shows us how crucial both political activism and the rise of photography are to the late twentieth-century American experience.

About the ICA
An influential forum for multi-disciplinary arts, the Institute of Contemporary Art has been at the leading edge of art in Boston for 75 years. Like its iconic building on Boston's waterfront, the ICA offers new ways of engaging with the world around us. Its exhibitions and programs provide access to contemporary art, artists, and the creative process, inviting audiences of all ages and backgrounds to participate in the excitement of new art and ideas. The ICA, located at 100 Northern Avenue, is open Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m.—5 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m.—9 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.—5 p.m. Admission is $15 adults, $13 seniors and $10 students, and free for members and children 17 and under. ICA Free Admission for Youth is sponsored by State Street Foundation. Free admission on ICA Free Thursday Nights, 5—9 p.m. Free admission for families at ICA Play Dates (2 adults + children 12 and under) on the last Saturday of the month. For more information, call 617-478-3100 or visit our Web site at www.icaboston.org.

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