For Ferma (5), Esther Kläs cut two planar forms from a block of granite and placed them along the forested-edge of deCordova’s Sculpture Park. Resting on the earth and largely hidden from view, Ferma (5) is meant to be discovered, evoking associations with architectural ruins and stone-laid pathways. The coarse surfaces of the low-lying plinths are punctured with drilled holes and scored with the straight channels that are the product of their quarrying, resulting in richly textured forms that are activated by the natural interplay of light and shadow. Kläs created Ferma (5) for the sixteenth iteration of deCordova’s PLATFORM series, a program which invites artists to create site-specific sculptures that engage with the Sculpture Park’s unique landscape.
Ferma (5) relates to previous sculptures by Kläs that suggest weathered monoliths or ancient architectural remnants. Kläs’s three-dimensional work is non-figurative, but often evokes the body, as she builds her sculptures to the scale of her own six-foot frame. Although she conceives her work individually, she often places them in small groupings in order to activate relationships among the forms within a given space.
Esther Kläs was born in 1981 in Mainz, Germany. She earned her MFA from Hunter College in New York City, where she currently lives and works. Kläs’s work has been presented in such institutions as Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Germany, MoMA PS1, Long Island City, NY; and Marino Marini Museum, Florence, Italy. Her work is featured in deCordova’s exhibition Drawing Redefined: Roni Horn, Esther Kläs, Joëlle Tuerlinckx, Richard Tuttle, and Jorinde Voigt on view from October 3, 2015 through March 20, 2016.
One of deCordova's first themed outdoor exhibitions, Architectural Allusions is an international group exhibition of new commissions, long-term loans, and permanent collection works that explores the presence of architecture in contemporary sculpture. Using concrete, granite, glass, and other materials, exhibiting artists reinvent architectural traditions from ancient ziggurats to modernist pavilions. The exhibition features work by Stephanie Cardon, Dan Graham, Esther Kläs, Sol LeWitt, Monika Sosnowska, Kenneth Snelson, and Oscar Tuazon.
Boston-based sculptor Stephanie Cardon presents Beacon, constructed of two 11-foot tall concrete pillars connected by planes of thin electric yellow cables. The structure forms a passageway that visitors can walk under and look up through to experience the optical vibrations of the fluorescent cable lattice.
German artist Esther Kläs created a commission for deCordova during the spring of 2015. Kläs’s Ferma(5) is composed of two granite slabs that evoke weathered, time-worn architectural ruins and stone-laid pathways. Resting on the earth and largely hidden from view, Ferma (5) is meant to be discovered amid the Sculpture Park’s forested grounds.
Los Angeles-based sculptor Oscar Tuazon created Partners for deCordova in 2014. The work comprises a concrete beam that extends up and over to connect with one of the Sculpture Park’s maple trees, forming an architectural lintel between nature and culture.
Dan Graham’s Crazy Spheroid: Two Entrances, a two-way mirrored glass pavilion sculpture, was purchased for deCordova’s collection in 2009. While walking into and around the reflective half-ellipse structure, a viewer’s perception is disrupted, which establishes new relationships between one’s body and the surrounding landscape of the Sculpture Park.
Sol LeWitt’s Tower (DC) recalls both stepped towers of ancient ziggurats and the repeating recession of the façade of modern skyscrapers. Previously on long-term loan to the institution, deCordova recently acquired Tower (DC) in honor of Boston gallerist Barbara Krakow, who was recognized at deCordova’s Black and White in the Park gala.
Exhibited outdoors for the first time, Polish artist Monika Sosnowksa’s monumental sculpture Tower was installed in May 2015. Sosnowska’s sculpture is one of deCordova’s largest installations to date, measuring over 100 feet in length. Tower directly references the iconic architecture of Mies van der Rohe, specifically his Lake Shore Drive apartments in Chicago, Illinois. The sculpture is based on a portion of the building’s steel façade, which the artist has contorted into a cylindrical form. Tower challenges distinctions between architecture and sculpture.
Kenneth Snelson’s Wiggins Fork was added to the Sculpture Park during summer 2014. Constructed with stainless steel rods and tension wires, the sculpture is engineered to appear light and effortless despite its strength in design. Since the 1960s, Snelson has been employing the technical forces of compression and tension to create structures that are composed of both flexible and rigid components.
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