Exhibitions

YOUNG ARTISTS 2020
February 9 – March 1, 2020

 

 

Now in its 37th year, this exhibition presents the work of the most talented high school seniors in the region. This year nearly 400 students from 40 schools in Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess and Fairfield counties are participating in Young Artists 2020. The Young Artists program exemplifies KMA’s dedication to providing dynamic museum education opportunities to its broad community and fostering the next generation of creative thinkers and artists.

Contact education@katonahmuseum.org to learn how your school can participate.

Credits:
Main image: Cassidy Mullen, Seeing Me, watercolor and pen, Bronxville High School
Young Artists 2020 artwork courtesy Gloria Kim

 

SCULPTURE: MICHELE OKA DONER
September 2019 – September 2020

Michele Oka Doner is an internationally renowned artist whose career spans four decades. The breadth of her artistic production encompasses sculpture, furniture, jewellery, public art, functional objects and video.

Her current installation at the Katonah Musuem consists of two bronze sculptures – Mana and Primal Self Portrait. Part human, part divine, part tree and part mineral, these headless and armless bronzes are at once commanding, monstrous, riveting, even humorous. Fashioned from roots and vines collected by the artist, cast in bronze using the lost wax method and finished with rich earth-toned patinas, these figures demonstrate Oka Doner’s lifelong study and appreciation of the natural world.

Mana continues the artist’s lifetime dialogue that focuses on ushering nature into art, exploring the rich convergence between the human and natural world. Unsettling and imposing, Mana mixes construction and deconstruction, vitality and decrepitude.
Gregory Volk: A Knit of Identity: On the Nature-Based Art of Michele Oka Doner

Primal Self Portrait has rather thick, even impenetrable, hermetically opaque skin. Layer upon layer of texture forms a protective shield of formidable skin. While deeply scarred, as the vertical striations imply, the skin of the female remains unbroken enough to suggest invulnerability, the indomitability of the female body, however nakedly exposed to the prying eyes of the world.
Donald Kuspit: Skinned Alive: Michele Oka Doner’s Bio-Figuration

Her work encompasses materials including glass, bronze and silver and in a variety of scales – mirroring the world around her – from the small and intimate to the large and more imposing. Michele is well-known for creating over 35 public art installations throughout the United States and in Europe, including Radiant Site at New York’s Herald Square subway (1987), Flight at Washington’s Reagan International Airport and A Walk on the Beach at The Miami International Airport (1995-2010) which features 9000 bronze sculptures inlaid over a mile and a quarter long concourse of terrazzo with mother-of-pearl – it is one of the largest public artworks in the world.

Michele Oka Doner was born and raised in Miami, Florida and studied at the University of Michigan, where she received her undergraduate and MFA degrees, as well as an honorary doctorate. Oka Doner moved to New York City in 1981 where she maintains a studio. Her work is included in major public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Art Institute of Chicago and the Victoria and Albert, among others.

 

Michele Oka Doner
Primal Self Portrait, 20008
Cast bronze, patinated, red iron oxide
Edition 1 of 3
Courtesy of the artist and Marlborough, New York and London
Michele Oka Doner
Mana, 2015
Cast bronze, patinated
Unique
Courtesy of the artist and Marlborough, New York and London

 

 

SCULPTURE: RONALD BLADEN
September 2019 – September 2020

After a competition that included entries by Richard Serra and Claes Oldenburg among others, the important European collector and gallery director Alfred Schmela commissioned Bladen to create Flying Fortress to stand in front of the engineering school at the University of Düsseldorf. The project was cancelled after Schmela’s sudden death. Bladen wrote tellingly of Flying Fortress at the time of the commission, “The motivation of this form was to produce the illusion of a stationary object moving through space yet anchored to the earth. Not to give one that much time to dwell on it but more to feel as it rushes by. There is a front and a back and two sides but only one direction.”

Ronald Bladen (1918–1988) was regarded as an artistic forerunner by Minimalists like Donald Judd, Sol Lewitt and Carl Andre. But in contrast to the matter-of-fact work of these artists, Bladen’s sculptures are charged with emotional power. Their themes include the force of gravity, the dynamism of planar surfaces, the impact of scale and confrontation with the viewer.
 

Ronald Bladen
Flying Fortress, 1974-1978
Painted Aluminum
Edition 1 of 3
Courtesy of Loretta Howard Gallery, New York



Host of the Ellipse is notable for the difference between its two elements. Both parts, executed in aluminum and painted semi-gloss black, comprise trapezoidal lower areas that have deep notches cut into them. From these trapezoids, blade-like arms extend, one vertically while the other projects horizontally. Bladen referred to them as “two dancers.” Indeed, the vertical and horizontal projections, like gestures into space, remind us that modern dance influenced Bladen’s sculptures throughout his career.
 

Ronald Bladen
Host of the Ellipse (Mid Scale), 1981
Painted aluminum
Edition 1 of 3
Courtesy of Loretta Howard Gallery, New York