Chris Larson: The Katonah Relocation Project
In the Sculpture Garden and Beitzel Gallery
March 29 – June 28, 2015
When artist Chris Larson heard the astounding tale of Katonah’s relocation in the late 19th century, he knew he had stumbled upon a strange and inspiring story. Forced from their original location by the building of the Cross River Reservoir, the townspeople came up with a plan—they lifted their homes onto logs to be pulled by horses along soap-slicked timbers, re-siting their town to present-day Katonah. Tying this remarkable history of relocation to the building of the Katonah Museum of Art by local architect Edward Larrabee Barnes, Larson will replicate Barnes’ private Mt. Kisco home at full scale in the sculpture garden. With a nod to the Katonah narrative, he constructs the modernist structure as if it were dragged in on logs, elevated on timber cribbing, and pierced through by the Norway spruce trees. Additional works in the galleries, including some cast in soap, respond directly to Katonah’s history and culture. A 2014 Whitney biennialist, Larson is a multimedia artist known for his sensitive and often dramatic responses to architectural environments and histories.
The exhibition is made possible by Ginny and Martin Gold, Susan and Peter MacGill, and Melissa Vail and Norman Selby. Generous in-kind assistance was provided by John Sullivan of Sullivan Architecture, P.C, White Plains.
A Home for Art: Edward Larrabee Barnes and the KMA
In the Righter Gallery
March 29 – June 28, 2015
A Home for Art: Edward Larrabee Barnes and the KMA presents an overview of Barnes’ career and role in modern architecture, including a close look at the many Westchester homes he designed. With an architectural practice based in Manhattan, Barnes raised his family in Mt. Kisco, and the story of Barnes’ relationship to the Katonah Museum of Art crosses the worlds of business, art, and family life.
Trained by legendary architects at Harvard University, Barnes strove for simplicity and functionality in his designs for skyscrapers, museums, schools, botanical gardens, and private homes. The Katonah Museum project was unique in design—an intimate, light-filled space surrounded by the natural beauty of this idyllic hamlet located just 45 minutes from New York City. Unlike many large projects Barnes had undertaken, this one was as much a form of personal expression as architectural design, with the informal feel of a domestic space for art.
Archival material from the Katonah Historical Society as well as photographs, drawings, and blueprints from the Loeb Library at the Harvard Graduate School of Design add depth to the exhibition. Video interviews with those who knew Barnes and collaborated with him on the Museum project reveal a much beloved member of the community and an unassuming local celebrity. Again and again, friends who knew and worked with Ed Barnes comment on his humility, which translates in his designs. As Barnes put it himself, “within the museum, the architect must not upstage the art.”
The exhibition is made possible by Janet Benton, Susan and Keith Kroeger, and Curtis Instruments. Generous in-kind assistance was provided by John Sullivan of Sullivan Architecture, P.C, White Plains.
In the Learning Center
March 29 – June 28, 2015
This spring, visitors tap into their inventiveness and develop spatial skills as they tinker, design, and create with an amazing assortment of building materials, simple tools, and art supplies. Think, build, test, and share your ideas in The Studio.
Glass Elevator by Stephan Moore
In the vestibule
January 18 – Summer 2015
Glass Elevator is a sound installation for the glass-walled vestibule at the Katonah Museum of Art in Katonah, NY. As a visitor passes through the space, a quiet droning sound can be heard, which could easily be mistaken for the sound of typical building systems. When all of the doors are again closed, the space is suddenly transported, by sound, to another location — an example of audio cinema, or, in R. Murray Schafer’s term, schizophonia. Whether anyone lingers in the space to experience these sounds is another matter — the piece hides itself from all but the most curious. The title refers to the fictional mode of transportation used by the eccentric confection magnate Willy Wonka in novels by Roald Dahl: a transparent elevator capable of traveling in any direction, and even into outer space
On the South Lawn
May 2014 – May 2015
John Ruppert transforms prison-grade metal chain link into vessel-like forms that define volume yet remain ethereal and porous. At the KMA, the intense yellow industrial fencing is an unexpected element in the landscape, as is the mesmeric effect of the material’s shifting patterns. Ruppert’s 14-foot tall sculpture simultaneously contrasts and compliments its verdant surroundings. The artist created the piece specifically for the KMA campus.