Object Out Loud: Arman and Nick CaveOctober 15, 2017 – January 7, 2018

Object Out Loud: Arman and Nick Cave —featuring two prominent artists separated by time and place—is designed as a visual dialogue. Incorporating work that is fundamentally sculptural and often political, the exhibition asserts the power of artists to transform everyday materials into symbolic relics replete with information and symbolism. Though emerging from vastly different moments and backgrounds, both Arman (1928-2005) and Nick Cave (b. 1969) share a love of the commonplace, from colorful sequins and chains to buttons and figurines. Through these diverse materials, often configured in dramatic standalone compositions, the artists reflect on their experiences, shaped by the reality of the world around them.

Arman’s bold appropriation of mass-produced objects was a form of realism that captured a new relationship to commerce exploding during the 1950s. Increasingly during this period, artists were moving away from the conventional materials of studio creation to draw their ideas from popular culture. Materials and themes once considered too low for the aims of fine art were embraced by Arman’s generation, which relished in turning highly familiar objects into fantastical and at times poetic artworks. Many of his objects have an aged patina, suggesting another time and use. Arman was the son of an amateur cellist and musical instruments appear frequently in his work, for example. So, too, does the cacophony of the street resound in the urban relics that crowd his compositions and infuse them with tactile energy.

Nick Cave is a multi-media artist whose work varies in scale and context from glittering installations to the iconic freestanding Soundsuits. A messenger and activist himself, his sustained interest in garments and their relationship to culture underlies his creation of sculptures built on themes of adornment, armor, and disguise. The first Soundsuit was made in response to the 1991 assault of Rodney King and the consequent uprisings in Los Angeles. At once ornately beautiful and powerfully political, Cave’s work often returns to conversations about society, justice, and black lives. Visually dense, they suggest the intricacies of life, threaded together by many different textures and histories. The result is a visual matrix that inspires the double meaning of the exhibition’s title, Object Out Loud. An object can refer to a tangible thing in the world, like sculpture. Yet the word can also be used as a verb—to object—to express disapproval and opposition. Here in this installation, these meanings are brought together in an animated dialogue spanning two visions and generations.

The exhibition is made possible in part by the generous support of Sara T. & Joshua Slocum, Agnes Gund, Judy & Tony Evnin, Sara Arnell, Lexann & Andrew Richter, Stephanie French, and Armand Bartos.

The organizers wish to thank the Arman Marital Trust, Corice Arman, Trustee, and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, for their generous assistance with the exhibition.

Homepage: Nick Cave, Hustle Coat (detail), 2017. Mixed media including a trench coat, cast bronze hand, metal, costume jewelry, watches and chains. © Nick Cave. Photo by James Prinz Photography. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

ARMAN, Big Parade (detail), 1976. Accumulation of welded trombones. © 2017 Arman Marital Trust, Corice Arman, Trustee.

Above: Nick Cave, Wall Relief (detail), 2012. Mixed media including ceramic birds, and metal flowers. © Nick Cave. Photo by James Prinz Photography. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

ARMAN, In Favor of Admission (detail), 1976. Plexiglas and metal collage. © 2017 Arman Marital Trust, Corice Arman, Trustee.

Mark di Suvero’s Monumental SculptureOngoing

Since fall 2016 the KMA is host to two of internationally renowned artist Mark di Suvero’s pioneering steel sculptures. Since the 1950s, di Suvero has transformed industrial materials such as wood timbers, tires, and scrap metal to create works that dynamize their setting. Visitors will find the space of the KMA’s South Lawn activated with Yoga (1991) and the Marilyn M. Simpson Sculpture Garden with Rust Angel (1995), works that exemplify di Suvero’s ability to imbue familiar sites with an original energy.

This project is supported by the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in honor of Charles Bergman's many years of counsel and service. Additional Support for this exhibition is provided by Jon & Nancy Bauer, Victoria & Stephen Morris, the Donna & Marvin Schwartz Foundation, the Silverweed Foundation, and the Ohnell Family Foundation. Special thanks to Elizabeth & Samuel Sachs for their support and collaboration.

Header Image: Mark di Suvero, Yoga, 1991, Steel, stainless steel, 29’ 6 1/2” x 31’ 2” x 31’ 2”. Courtesy of the artist and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photograph © Margaret Fox Photography.
Image Above: Mark di Suvero, Rust Angel, 1995. Painted steel. Courtesy of the artist and Paula Cooper Gallery. Photograph © Margaret Fox Photography.


Lawrence McGarvey: Open MindOngoing

Beginning November 2017, guests will encounter a new sculpture perched steps away from the KMA entrance. Both figurative and abstract, literal and metaphor, Open Mind embodies the spirit in which the KMA hopes its guests will approach their museum experience.

Created by New York artist, Lawrence McGarvey (b. 1965), the sculpture comes to us on temporary loan from Paraphé Art, a new online contemporary art gallery launched by Susan Grissom, formerly of The Lionheart Gallery in Pound Ridge. The figure, a profile of a human head with a cloud-like hole cut-out in the place of its brain, allows the viewer to see the changing world through a cleverly-placed negative shape. The viewer’s mind penetrates the sculpture and opens up to the freedom of the space that flows through it. The sculpture is simultaneously emptied and filled and visually dependent upon the world that surrounds it. McGarvey explains that the sculpture is a monument to “freedom of thought“ as well as a lyrical homage to Rodin’s The Thinker.

Lawrence McGarvey, Open Mind, 2017.
Aluminum sculpture. Courtesy of the
artist and Paraphe.art.