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Altered Geometry: Contemporary Sculpture from MMoCA’s Collection

March 1, 2008 – May 18, 2008

installation view of the exhibition Altered Geometry, featuring a stand alone wall with title wall text, surrounded by a wooden box sculpture, a tall abstract sculpture, a round sculpture with a plastic exterior
Photo by Martha Busse.
installation view of the exhibition Altered Geometry, featuring a tall abstract sculpture. In the distance is another round sculpture and a sculpture involving three glass bottles
Photo by Martha Busse.
installation view of the exhibition Altered Geometry, featuring title wall text surrounded by round abstract sculptures and vitrine display cases with smaller sculptures resembling African American hairstyles
Photo by Martha Busse.

Overview

Altered Geometry: Contemporary Sculpture from MMoCA’s Collection investigates the use of geometric forms in contemporary sculpture. The exhibition will be on view in MMoCA’s State Street Gallery.

The exhibition will survey works by a variety of artists, each of whom has appeared in an exhibition hosted by the museum. While the methods, preferred materials, and critical interests of each artist differ greatly, the geometric forms featured in their sculptures establish a unifying current amongst them. The artists have embraced the minimalist attitude that sculptural ideas may be best expressed with elementary shapes and forms, but they have adapted that language to their own distinct interests.

Among the sculptures included in the exhibition will be David Nash’s Cracking Box (1992). To create the piece, Nash cut several sections from the trunk of an oak tree, and rejoined them in the shape of a cube, fastened with the aid of several wooden pegs. As the wood dried, increased tension around the pegs caused cracks to occur in the box.

Five pieces from Sonja Clark’s The Wig Series (1998) will also be exhibited in the gallery. These delicately crafted pieces investigate the significance of symmetry and structure in hairstyles in African American culture.

A recent acquisition from Los Angeles-based artist Martin Kersels, Charm (Death Star) (2006), illustrates another approach to geometry in contemporary sculpture. The artist’s experimental, often humorous, sculptures were the subject of Commotion: Martin Kersels, an acclaimed exhibition organized by the museum in 1998. By reducing the epic space station to a decorative object, Kersels extends his humorous outlook to this newer work.


Exhibition Support

Generous funding for Altered Geometry: Contemporary Sculpture from MMoCA’s Collection has been provided by Jan Marshall Fox and Don Bednarek; the Exhibition Initiative Fund; the Art League of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art; and a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin.