Mountainville, NY, November 28, 2016—Storm King Art Center announces its 2017 special exhibitions: David Smith: The White Sculptures and Outlooks: Heather Hart, on view from May 13 to
November 12, 2017.
"We’re thrilled to present the extraordinary work of David Smith for our 2017 season, and to highlight an artist who has played a vital role in Storm King’s history," says Storm King President, John Stern. "Our presentation provides a singular opportunity to see a focused series of Smith’s work, while celebrating the deep connections between his art and Storm King’s commitment to sculpture’s interaction with nature. For our fifth iteration of the Outlooks exhibition series, we’re pleased to present Heather Hart’s interactive sculptural work, which compliments our ambitious contemporary programs."
David Smith: The White Sculptures is the first exhibition to critically and fully consider the use of the color white within David Smith’s works. At the time of the artist’s death in 1965, eight monumental steel sculptures, painted white, stood in the fields surrounding his home and studio. The White Sculptures will be the first public presentation to unite the entire Primo Piano series: Primo Piano I, II, and III, all from 1962. The exhibition will also feature a selection of Smith’s earliest constructions, created out of white coral gathered by the artist during his stay in the Virgin Islands from 1931-32, and rarely shown since.
The exhibition coincides with the 50th anniversary of Storm King’s acquisition in 1967 of thirteen Smith sculptures, which were sited directly in the landscape. This marked the start of Storm King’s focus on the large-scale, outdoor art installations for which it is now well known. Smith’s eight welded-steel constructions, all painted white, will be installed outdoors on Storm King’s Museum Hill. Smaller sculptures as well as paintings, drawings, and photographs that explore the use of white will be displayed inside Storm King’s Museum Building.
David Smith (1906-1965) was an American artist whose groundbreaking sculptural work forged links to surrealist, abstract expressionist, and postmodern styles. Beginning in the 1950s, and on an increasing scale in the 1960s, Smith began to incorporate open space and employ white both as color and structure in large outdoor sculptures and in spray-painted drawings and paintings.
From the late 1940s on, Smith installed groups of sculptures outside his home in the Adirondack Mountains, contemplating and photographing them in all seasons against the sky, clouds, and surrounding scenery. Seen in Storm King’s natural landscape, whose rolling hills approximate the geography of Smith’s Adirondack property, David Smith: The White Sculptures will echo Smith’s commitment to presenting art and nature as one.
David Smith: The White Sculptures will be accompanied by a fully illustrated publication, as well as a video that documents Smith’s career and his tremendous impact on his peers.
For Outlooks: Heather Hart, the American artist (b. 1975) will install an interactive, sculptural environment in the form of a domestic rooftop, which will be activated by performances, discussions, and events. Hart’s work, which spans social and participatory sculpture, drawing, and printmaking, deals with issues of perception, history, and spirituality.
Among the events hosted within Hart’s created environment at Storm King will be The Black Lunch Table, an ongoing collaboration between Hart and Jina Valentine, an artist and UNC Assistant Professor of Art. First staged in 2005 at the preeminent artist residency Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, this project augments the dominant history of contemporary art with the testimonies of living, working African American artists.
Outlooks, now in its fifth year, is an exhibition series that invites one emerging or mid-career contemporary artist to create a new, site-specific work to be installed at Storm King for a single season.