02/14/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 02/14/2020 09:09
A central component of this installation is the pedestal, an element that Simmons has introduced into her practice in recent years. Both a method of display and often at times treated as a sculptural form in its own right, the pedestal traditionally serves to contextualize objects as works of art both in institutional and domestic spaces. For Simmons, the plinth or pedestal signals a turn to sculpture and architecture. In her Platform exhibition Chord at the 2019 Armory Show, she fabricated unconventional plinths to support a new body of photographs, arranging pieces of African mahogany into complex geometric structures. In Posture, she turns her attention to the modern museum pedestal-a simple, often white, rectangular form-and positions her sculptures, paintings, and video works on and amongst them. One plinth supports a stack of painted canvases that towers over the installation and extends upwards to the ceiling. Another plinth offers support for a miniature spiral staircase that visually echoes and comments on the sweeping, grand staircase of the Duke House immediately behind it. Others display small sculptures and strips of carpeting that express both the sensual and the industrial. Also on view is the two-channel video Capture that combines images of human bodies with images of natural and built environments. Seeking to maximize all aspects of the viewing experience, Posture oscillates between the experimental, the formal, the studio, and the language of exhibition making itself.
Xaviera Simmons (b. 1974, New York) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She received her BFA from Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY (2004) and completed the Whitney Museum's Independent Study Program in Studio Art (2005) while simultaneously participating in a two-year actor-training course at The Maggie Flanigan Studio, NY. She is a recipient of Socrates Sculpture Park's Artist Award (2019), Agnes Gund's Art for Justice Award (2018), as well as Denniston Hills' Distinguished Performance Artist Award (2018). In addition to her numerous residencies, fellowships and lectures, Simmons has exhibited nationally and internationally. Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, and the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston. Recent solo and group exhibitions include SculptureCenter, Long Island City, Harvard University, Cambridge, and the Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco, among others. Simmons is a 2020 visiting lecturer and the inaugural Solomon Fellow at Harvard University.
This exhibition was made possible through the generous support of Valeria Napoleone XX. Additional support provided by David Castillo Gallery. Special thanks to the artist for lending the works on view, and to the Swiss Institute for providing exhibition materials. The exhibition is curated by Makenzi Fricker, Scout Hutchinson, Deborah Miller, and Juan Gabriel Ramírez Bolívar.
Public programming to be announced shortly.
About the Institute of Fine Arts at NYU
Since 1932 the Institute of Fine Arts has been dedicated to graduate teaching and advanced research in the history of art, archaeology, and conservation. This tradition was enhanced in 2013 when the Institute, revealing the potential of the Duke House's Beaux-Arts interior as a venue for contemporary art, inaugurated its student-led Great Hall Exhibition program. Acclaimed artists Lynda Benglis, Rachel Harrison, Martha Friedman, Judith Hopf, Jamie Eisenstein, Sarah Peters are among those featured to date.
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