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Oct. 17, 2000
Small-Scale Sculpture Exhibition Featured at Princeton University Art Museum
Exhibition Dates: October 17 through December 30, 2000
PRINCETON -- The Art Museum, Princeton University, is presenting the exhibition "Material Language: Small-Scale Sculpture after 1950" from October 17 through December 30, 2000, to complement the dedication on November 10 of the new Richard Serra sculpture on the University campus.
Among the artists represented are sculptors Alexander Calder and Kenneth Snelson with models for their outdoor pieces in the John B. Putnam, Jr., Memorial Collection. Leo Steppat's whimsical Toro and Jasper Johns's Flashlight represent the 1950s. Harry Bertoia's untitled welded bronze work, Pol Bury's kinetic sculpture 66 Balls and Their Cylinders, and Claus Oldenburg's Soft Engine are among the diverse works from the 1960s. The richness of figural sculpture of the 1970s is represented by Girl on a Chair by George Segal and Jonathan Shahn's Armless Seated Figure. A steel and wood sculpture by British artist Anthony Caro, Writing Piece "Good," also dates from the 1970s. Works by Christopher Wilmarth bring the exhibition up to the generation of Richard Serra, who was born in 1939.
Hal Foster, Townsend Martin Professor of Modern Art, in his introduction to the exhibition, writes, "By 1900 the traditional practice of sculpture -- the modeling of ideal figures based on neoclassical precedents -- was dethroned, and the next five decades saw several claimants to the title of 'modern sculpture,' the descendants of which are seen in this exhibition. First, there was the direct carving of sculpture, which followed the principle of 'truth to materials' -- the coaxing of appropriate forms out of a given piece of wood or stone. . . Second, there was constructed sculpture, perhaps the dominant mode at mid-century, which developed out of the welded work of Pablo Picasso and Julio Gonzalez. And third, there was the readymade or found object, which focuses on a different kind of tension -- between the elevated work of art and the everyday product of consumer society. . . The greatest sculptor of the last few decades, Serra has worked to reestablish sculpture on a basis that is both more structurally secure and more socially incisive than direct carving, constructed sculpture, or found objects."
The works on view, the majority of which are in the Museum's permanent collection, were selected by Professor Peter C. Bunnell, with Director Susan M. Taylor and Professor Hal Foster, assisted by Calvin D. Brown, preparator.
The Art Museum is open to the public without charge. Free highlights tours of the collection are given every Saturday at 2:00 p.m. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. It is closed on Monday and major holidays. The Museum Shop closes at 5:00 p.m. The Museum is located in the middle of the Princeton University campus. Picasso's large sculpture Head of a Woman stands in front. For further information, please call (609) 258-3788.