Foundation News

Open House Sundays

June 12th, 2016

Open House Sundays at The Brant Foundation

1-3pm on the following dates:

June 12th, 19th, 26th
July 10th, 17th
August 28th
September 4th, 11th

On view:

 Jonathan Horowitz: Occupy Greenwich

Parking for The Brant Foundation’s open house Sundays will be located at Greenwich Polo Club. A designated parking area will be on your immediate left before Greenwich Polo check-in. If you wish to stay for the polo match please proceed to Greenwich Polo check-in to purchase a ticket. You may also purchase a discounted ticket online at: greenwichpolo.com.

Please contact us with any questions: 203-869-0611 or info@brantfoundation.org

About Occupy Greenwich:

Opening amid the presidential election season, the exhibition is comprised mostly of work made over the course of Barack Obama’s eight-year presidency. As such, the exhibition presents a timely opportunity to examine Horowitz’s ever-evolving practice within the context of the current political landscape.

Since the early 1990s, Horowitz has created work that combines the imagery and ambivalence of Pop Art with the engaged criticality of conceptualism. His work in video, sculpture, painting and photography examines the deep-seated links between consumerism and political consciousness, as well as the political silences of postwar art. Recent painting projects have explored the personal psychology of mark making, at times prominently employing the hands of others. Appropriation of both pop cultural and art historical sources figures heavily in the show, with imagery transformed through both technology and the human hand.

Anchoring the exhibition is the installation November 4, 2008, which re-stages the day eight years ago when Obama was elected president. In the piece, 19 hours of CNN and Fox News coverage (originally presented as live feeds) play on back-to-back monitors in the center of a room. Red and blue carpets divide the space into opposing sides and 42 official presidential portraits circle the room, with Obama’s portrait in waiting on the floor.

Upon arrival at the Foundation, viewers are confronted by a functional solar panel sculpture on the lawn, which powers Horowitz’s video Apocalypto Now inside. Using found footage, the film weaves narratives on the history of the Hollywood disaster movie, climate change, terrorism, and the Christian apocalypse. In another room, a human scale, bronze statue of Hillary Clinton greets visitors. Rendered in the style of a 1970’s greeting card figurine, the sculpture is captioned “Hillary Clinton is a Person Too,” evoking Clinton’s vilification as both a political leader and a powerful woman.

Notwithstanding its political undertones, viewer participation and social interaction are recurring tenets of Horowitz’s work. A sculptural installation titled Free Store invites viewers to leave objects that they wish to discard and take away whatever they would like. Another work, Contribution Cubes, is a series of Plexiglas donation boxes each dedicated to a different charitable or political organization. Suggesting minimalist sculpture and relational aesthetics, the work describes the population that passes through the exhibition space through the varying donation amounts that accumulate. 402 Dots, the first of Horowitz’s Dot Paintings, is a monumentally scaled work comprised of 402 canvases, each painted by a different person. Participants in the project were instructed to paint a perfect, solid black dot with an 8-inch diameter in the center of a 12-inch square canvas, using only provided paint and brushes. The resulting dots all differ in size, shape, position, and texture. The paintings are hung in a brick pattern, suggesting a blown-up field of irregular Ben-Day dots. Like a vast population, together they create a paean to human struggle, acceptance, and individuality.

 

Current Exhibition

  • Jason Rhoades

Jason Rhoades

Greenwich, CT November 13th to April 1st, 2018

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  • Installation view
  • Installation view, My Brother/Brancuzi, 1995
  • Installation view (PeaRoeFoam)

Jason Rhoades

November 2017 – March 2018

 

The Brant Foundation Art Study Center presents an exhibition by Jason Rhoades (1965-2006) featuring a selection of works from The Brant Collection and other significant works from throughout his career. By bringing together iconic installations and rarely seen sculptures, the exhibition offers an insightful look at Rhoades’s powerful and persuasive oeuvre.

Until his untimely death in 2006 at age 41, Rhoades carried out a continuous assault on aesthetic conventions and the rules governing the art world, wryly subverting those conditions by activating them within his practice. He conceived his works as part of an ongoing project in which the installations were continuously altered and supplemented. Underpinned by a unique combination of humor and conceptual rigor, his practice redefined and expanded the space in which artworks are both made and exhibited. With a firm belief in the ultimate freedom of expression for artists, Rhoades circumvented notions of taste and political correctness in a candid pursuit of the creative impulse itself.

A seminal early work created for the 1995 Whitney Biennial, My Brother/Brancuzi (1995) includes spare tires, gasoline engines, various tools, wooden crates, and an industrial donut machine in an intricate installation that at once references Rhoades’s brother’s suburban-style bedroom in California and Constantin Brancusi’s Parisian studio. A self-conscious commentary on the significance of an artist’s biographical background, the work also presents a nod to modernism—the crates double as pedestals while the donuts stand in for sculptures—and the use of the “readymade.”

Also on view is The Grand Machine/THEAREOLA (2002), a major component of Rhoades’s wider PeaRoeFoam project. The installation references a “factory” set up in the artist’s studio, where he produced a mixture of green peas, salmon eggs, and white foam that was subsequently packaged in Ivory Snow boxes. Faithful to the studio setup, a karaoke machine was added to the installation, along with the pink neon sign “The Areola,” subtly emphasizing the corporal component of the PeaRoeFoam production. A ramp created with PeaRoeFoam is also on view, as if showcasing the acclaimed, wide-ranging benefits of the mixture, which would turn into hard material when combined with glue. Presented with a small Honda motorcycle nearby, the work underscores the playful, interactive part of the production process.

Partially influenced by 9/11 and the media’s reactions to the “other,” My Madinah: in pursuit of my ermitage (2004) constituted a complex investigation of contemporary manifestations of religion, culture, sexuality, and consumerism. Numerous neon signs spelling out nicknames for the word vagina are suspended above a carpet of adjoining blankets and towels, while a variety of other materials contain further references to the world’s holy cities and places of worship.

Discrete sculptures related to My Madinah will also be on view, including a selection of self-fabricated shelves and chandeliers, where the neon phrases are suspended from a wooden wheel.

Outside the exhibition space are two rarely seen sculptures, which are part of a series of works by Rhoades that involve cars or car parts—ostensibly in an effort to emulate Francis Picabia’s extensive car collection. Yellow Fiero (1994), a Pontiac Fiero, was integral to the artist’s 1994 Swedish Erotica and Fiero Parts installation and specifically chosen for its cultural resonances as an ersatz version of a luxury sports car. Rhoades allegedly bought it from a man who had given it to his daughter so she could “get hitched.” A crossover between a car and outdoor furniture, Rhoades created Anchorimpala SS, Alpinimpala SS (1998) from hand-rolled steel as a sculptural expression of a car, now with different functional qualities.

A selection of videos pertaining to the works on view will also be presented.

Join in the conversation with The Brant Foundation on Instagram via @TheBrantFoundation and the hashtag #JasonRhoades.