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Sites and Solutions: Recent Public Art

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Wednesday, January 09, 1985–Saturday, February 02, 1985
Location:
Gallery 400
400 South Peoria Street, Chicago, IL 60607

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Artists: John Ahearn, Bill Brand, Christo, Harriet Feigenbaum, R.M. Fischer, Richard Haas, Rrobert Irwin, Joyce Kozloff, Maya Ying Lin, and Messages to the Public.

Sites and Solutions: Recent Public Art features models, drawings, and photographs of public art projects from the early 1980s. Sites and Solutions explored possibilities for public art that went beyond the Conceptual tradition of monuments and plaza sculptures. Most of these works by nationally prominent artists required collaboration – between artist and architect, artist and builder, artist and computer programmer or other artisans and professionals. The projects were located in diverse urban and suburban sites, and each one was designed for its particular environment. Temporary as well as permanent pieces by sculptors, painters, filmmakers, and architects were included.

Among the works represented were Robert Irwin ’s Nine Spaces, Nine Trees commissioned for the Public Safety Building in Seattle and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C., designed by Maya Lin. These two projects feature simple geometric structures that create contemplative spatial environments. Both Harriet Fegenbaum ’s land reclamation project for a vast strip-mine site in Dickson City (Scranton), Pennsylvania and Christo ’s controversial environmental project Surrounded Islands for Byscane Bay, Miami, are integrally linked to their natural sites. Joyce Kozloff ’s ceramic tile mural for the vestibule of the Amtrak Station in Wilmington, Delaware, and Richard Haas ’ interior and exterior wall paintings for commercial and residential buildings in cities across the country may be thought of as new applications of the ancient mural tradition. Haas ’ drawings for the very recent murals on the Reliable Building, across the street from the UIC campus, were also on display at the gallery.

Going beyond the boundaries of traditional painting and sculpture, media arts in the 1980s were beginning to be used in startling new ways for public arts projects, and this bourgeoning practice was also in evidence in Sites and Solutions. For example, filmmaker Bill Brand ’s Masstransiscope, an animated painting sequence in the New York City subway, and Messages to the Public (designed by different artists each month since 1982) on Times Square ’s famous Spectacolor lightboard were both included in the exhibition. In addition, New York sculptor R.M. Fischer ’s space-age bus sign, commissioned to advertise the exhibition, was on display.

Sites and Solutions was organized by Judith Tannenbaum, Director of the Freedman Gallery at Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania. An illustrated catalogue accompanied the exhibition, as did lectures by Tannenbaum and artist Harriet Feigenbaum. In her lecture, Feigenbaum addressed a new trend in sculpture – land reclamation projects by artists – touching on her own project, Dickson City Landwaves, which sought to reclaim blighted land for public use through visually ordered plantings. Tannenbaum presented a critical overview of recent developments in public art, drawing on the results of a symposium on the subject held at Albright College.

PRINT COLLATERAL

Postcard: Sites and Solutions: Recent Public Art

Judith Tannenbaum Head ShotJudith Tannenbaum (born 1944) is making her mark as a curator in the Chicago art scene. In 1980, she served as a guest curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and is now part of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s history, serving as the curator for Sites and Solutions: Recent Public Art. Tannenbaum looks forward to expanding her curatorial experience.

EXHIBITION CHECKLIST

John Ahearn with Rigoberto Torres

Pedro Contano, 1983
Painted plaster cast, 18 x 22 x 8 in.

Outdoor casting of Pedro Contano,
1983
5 color photographs, (3) 23 1/2 x 15 3/4 in. (2) 15 1/2 x 23 1/2 in.

Bill Brand

Masstransioscope, 1980
Color photograph of panels 13- 16, each 28 x 40 in.

Masstransioscope,
1980
Wood box, electric motor, plastic rollers. metal pulleys, leather belts, tar paper, electric lights, 54 x 37 x 35 1/4 in.

Masstransioscope, 1908
Videotape, 30 min.

Christo

Surrounded Islands, Project for Biscayne Bay, Florida, 1980
4 color photographs, each 8 x 10 in.

Surrounded Islands, Project for Biscayne Bay, Florida, 1980
Pencil, charcoal, pastel, crayon, enamel, paint, fabric sample and aerial photographs, top 15 x 65 in. bottom 42 x 65 in.

Harriet Feigenbaum

Dickson City Land Waves: Site 3-A Serpentine Vineyard, 1983
Charcoal on paper, carved wood frame, 81 1/4 x 121 in.

Dickson City Land Waves: Storrs Pit (overall site),
1980
Black and white photograph, wood frame, 21 x 28 in.

Dickson City Land Waves: Storrs Pit (vineyard site),
1983
Color photograph, wood frame, 18 x 30 in.

Serpentine Trellises

Charcoal on paper, carved wood frame, 5 x 6 ft.

R. M. Fischer

Art in Public Places

Color photograph, 16 x 12 in.

Richard Haas

Atrium, Meredith Communications Headquarters, Des Moines, 1980-81
2 color photographs, in progress after renovation, each 10 x 7 in.

Homage to the Chicago School, 1211 N. Lasalle Street, Chicago
, 1983
26 screen serigraph, 29 x 41 in.
Maquette for 2300 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, 1983
Gouache on board, various sizes.

Maquette for Atrium, Meredith Communications Headquarters, Des Moines, 1980-81
Gouache on board, 31 1/4 x 45 1/2 in.

Maquette for Atrium, Meredith Communications Headquarters, Des Moines, 1980-81
Gouache on board, 26 1/2 x 38 1/4 in

Public Service Electric & Gas Company Substation, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1984
34 screen serigraph, 29 x 43 1/2 in.

Study for the Reliable Project, Chicago, 1983
Gouache on board, 40 x 30 in.

Studies for the Reliable Project, Chicago, 1983
Gouache on board, 3 panels, each 36 x 42 in.

2300 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia

Color photograph, before renovation, 15 1/2 x 19 5/8 in.
Photograph: Walter Faust

Keith Haring

Messages to the Public, 1981-82
15.875 x 24 in.

Messages to the Public, 1981-82
Videotape with color, sound, 7.5 min.
Sponsored by the Public Art Funds, Inc. in cooperation with Spectacolor, Inc. 1982

Robert Irwin

Nine Spaces, Nine Trees, 1983
3 color photographs, (2) 24 x 30 in, (1) 30 x 24 in.

Nine Spaces, Nine Trees, 1983
Lithograph, 22 3/8 x 65 in.

Joyce Kozloff

Drawing, Elevations (1&r) for Vestibule, Wilmington Train Station, 1980
Pencil on graph paper, each 20 1/4 x 31 1/2 in.

Model for Vestibule, Wilmington Train Station, 1980
Cardboard, colored pencil, collage, electric light, 12 x 16 x 20 in.

Sketchbook for Vestibule, Wilmington Train Station, 1980
Pen and pencil on paper, 18 pages, 8 1/2 x 11 in.

Tile for Vestibule, Wilmington Train Station, 1982
Glaze ceramic, 8 1/2 x 8 1/2 in.

Tile for Vestibule, Wilmington Train Station, 1982
Glazed ceramic, 6 x 5 in.

Vestibule, Wilmington Train Station

2 color photographs, each 16 1/2 x 19 in.
Photographs: Eugene Mopsik

Wilmington Train Station

4 color photographs, before renovation, (3) 8 x 10 in, (1) 10 x 8 in.

Maya Ying Lin

Vietnam Veterans Memorial, 1980
Pastel on Paper, 15 1/4 x 19 1/4 in.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial, 1980
Pastel on paper, 16 1/4 x 20 1/4 in.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial, 1980
Pastel on paper, 18 3/4 x 25 in.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial, 1980
Color photograph, 13.5 x 10 3/8 in.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial, 1980
Mixed media, 10 5/8 x 68 x 43 3/4 in.

EXHIBITION SUPPORT

Sites and Solution: Recent Public Art is supported by the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Art and Design’s College of Architecture, Art and Urban Planning.

The exhibition is organized by the Freedman Gallery; the Gallery 400 showing is supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council.

MEDIA COVERAGE

Haydon, Harold. “Public Art Takes Novel Approach to Involvement.” Chicago Sun-Times, January 17, 1985, p. 66.

 

 

Thomas, Lillian. “Gallery Tripping: public art that fits in.” Chicago Reader, January 25, 1985, p. 6.

Silverman, Andrea. “Site and Solutions: Recent Public Art.” New Art Examiner, April 1985, p. 60.

Curated by Judith Tannenbaum
Sites and Solutions: Recent Public Art

Gallery 400
Chicago, IL
January 9–February 2, 1985

Opening Reception: Wednesday, January 9, 1985, 4:30–6 pm

An exhibition featuring models, drawings, and photographs, of public art projects dating from 1980 to the present will open at Gallery 400, College of AADP on Wednesday, January 9. The public is invited to an opening reception between 4:30 and 6 p.m.

Sites and Solutions explores possibilities for public art that go beyond the Conceptual tradition of monuments and plaza sculptures. Most of these works by nationally promiment artists involve collaboration–between artist and architect, artist and builder, artist and computer programmer or othar artisans and professionals. The projects are located in diverse urban and suburban sites, and each one was designed for its particular environment. Temporary as well as permanent pieces by sculptors, painters, filmmakers, and architects are included.

Among the works represented are Robert Irwin ’s Nine Spaces, Nine Trees commssioned for the Public Safety Building in Seattle and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C., designed by Maya Lin. These two projects feature simple geometric structures that create contemplative spatial environments. Both Harriet Fegenbaum ’s land reclamation project for a vast stripmine site in Dickson City (Scranton) Pennsylvania and Christo ’s controversial environmental project Surrounded Islands for Byscane Bay, Miami, are integrally linked with their natual sites. Joyce Kozloff ’s ceramic tile mural for the vestibule of the Amtrak Station in Wilmington, Delaware, and Richard Haas ’ interior and exterior wall paintings for the commercial and residential buildings may be thought of as the very recent murals on the Reliable Building, across the street from the UIC campus, are on display at Gallery 400.

Going beyond the boundaries of traditional painting and sculpture, media arts are now being used for public arts projects. For example, filmmaker Bill Brand ’s Masstransiscope, an animated painting sequence in the New York City subway, and Messages to the Public (designed by different artists each month since 1982) on Times Square ’s famous Spectacolor lightboard are included in the exhibition. In addition, New York sculptor R.M. Fischer ’s space age bus sign, commissioned to advertise the exhibition, will be on display.

Sites and Solutions was organized by Judith Tannenbaum, Director of the Freedman Gallery at Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania. An illustrated catalogue will be available. Two lectures–by artist Harrient Feigenbaum and curator Judith Tannenbaum–will complement the exhibtion.

The Illinois showing of Sites and Solutions was made possible by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council.