Alyson Shotz, Temporal Shift, 2021 (Opening May 25, 2023)
Temporal Shift, deCordova’s newest outdoor acquisition, is a site-responsive sculpture by New York-based artist Alyson Shotz. A refined meditation on time and space, the sculpture interacts with natural light and its surroundings to probe our perceptions of space and time. Its elliptical form alludes to the Earth’s revolution around the sun over the course of a year. The mirrored surface of Temporal Shift reflects light and casts shadows to mark different times of day and seasons. The sculpture was originally conceived by Shotz as part of an interdisciplinary study on time at Grace Farms Foundation in New Canaan, Connecticut. Each viewer’s interaction with Temporal Shift as well as the time of its viewing further determine how the work is uniquely experienced and sensed.
PLATFORM Billboard, Andrea Carlson, Out Last (Opening July 2023)
For her PLATFORM billboard commission, Andrea Carlson (Ojibwe, lives and works in Illinois and Minnesota) is creating Out Last, a new painting reproduced at an oversized scale and installed outdoors in the Sculpture Park. Through painting and drawing, Carlson’s practice often references objects within un-enterable landscapes. Museum collections, histories of landscape painting and decolonial views of the land are ever present in Carlson’s work. She overlays landscape painting traditions with boldly patterned depictions of figures and designs that harken back to graphic novels or film poster design. Out Last takes inspiration from Firsting and Lasting: Writing Indians Out of Existence in New England, a book by historian Jean M. O’Brien (Anishinaabe) that reveals how the “vanishing Indian” myth was perpetuated in countless texts by amateur historians that were absorbed within town archives as official history, and which are continually accepted today.
David Adjaye, Asaase, 2021 (Opening October 14, 2023)
Installed on the front lawn of deCordova’s Sculpture Park as a long-term loan, Asaase is the renowned Ghanaian-British architect’s first foray into large-scale sculpture. Asaase means “earth” in Twi, a dialect of language spoken in Ghana, Africa. Asaase is constructed from rammed earth and reflects on the origins of black architecture. The monumental sculpture is a labyrinthine form of nested walls that climb to a conical shape at its center. Visitors can meander through these curving pathways and feel themselves immersed by the surrounding earthen walls. The sculpture’s circular spaces offer a reflection of time, from geological to human, and suggests both a deep, fragmented past and a meditation toward our shared future.
Hugh Hayden, Huff and A Puff, (Opening Fall 2023)
Texas born and New York based artist Hugh Hayden’s practice considers the anthropomorphization of the natural world as a visceral lens for exploring the human condition. At deCordova, his original outdoor commission titled Huff and a Puff will be a slanted replica of the one-room home where Henry David Thoreau lived in relative isolation and wrote Walden-Or A Life in the Woods in 1845. Thoreau’s wood and brick cabin is a modern-day pilgrimage site: a symbol of American self-reliance, spirituality, political activism, and ecological consciousness. Hayden plans for the entire cabin—every shingle, windowpane, and brick—to dramatically slant toward the viewer, conveying a surreal, tensioned force upon this iconic home. The commission advances Hayden’s innovations as a sculptor who forges conversations around the myths and markers of American identity.
Additional Programming Highlights
Annual Rappaport Prize Lecture
The 2022 Rappaport Prize Recipient Steve Locke joins us at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum for a sold out lecture on May 17.
New England Performance Series
deCordova is proud to announce the 2023-24 New England Performance Series, celebrating the best of New England’s diverse performing artists in a year-long celebration of creativity, diversity, and artistry. Honoring the long history of concerts at deCordova that dates back to our founding years, this series draws on the rich wealth of talent in performers who have a connection to the New England area. The series kicks off in May.
Hugh Hayden Conversation and Book Signing
June 11, 12PM-1PM
This special event featuring the artist in conversation with Chief Curator Sarah Montross will include a preview of Hayden’s upcoming outdoor commission titled Huff and a Puff in the Sculpture Park and will be followed by a book signing of the brand-new monographic catalog, Hugh Hayden: American Vernacular.
Visit http://thetrustees.org/decordova for a full listing of events throughout the spring and summer.
Also on view: Fruitlands Museum, Harvard, MA
Opening June 21, The Edge of Becoming is a new outdoor commission by Oklahoma based artist Rachel Hayes installed along the hillside of Fruitlands Museum’s property, and expands upon her indoor exhibition, Transcending Space, that opened in March. Blurring the realms of craft, sculpture, architecture, and land art, Hayes’ vast fabric and steel commission relates to Shaker textiles found in the museum’s collection and evoke a sense of optimism sought after by the site’s Transcendentalist founders. For more information, visit https://thetrustees.org/place/fruitlands-museum/
About the PLATFORM Series: PLATFORM is a series of one-person commissioned projects by early-and mid-career artists from New England, national, and international art communities that engage with the unique landscape at deCordova and other Trustees properties. The PLATFORM series lets artists expand their practice and visitors experience new approaches to contemporary sculpture. For more information, visit https://thetrustees.org/content/platform-series/.
About deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum: deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum is the largest park of its kind in New England. Providing a constantly changing landscape of large-scale, outdoor, modern, and contemporary sculpture and site-specific installations of more than 60 works. The museum also features a robust slate of rotating exhibitions and innovative interpretive programming in its indoor galleries. In July of 2019, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum officially integrated with The Trustees of Reservations. For more information visit thetrustees.org/decordova. Follow us on social media on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.
In March 2023, deCordova announced the temporary pause of its indoor exhibition program for approximately two to three years. The temporary indoor suspension will allow deCordova to make upgrades to its HVAC and climate control systems that ensure that deCordova’s exhibition spaces meet the museum industry’s stringent standards. During this time, curatorial and other staff will engage in focused and intensive planning for future exhibitions, programs, and educational offerings that explore the intersection of art, nature, and climate.
“While we will miss welcoming the public to indoor exhibitions during this time, the temporary suspension will allow us to fast-track important improvements and focus our creative energies on developing the exciting vision for art and nature that initially brought our two organizations together,” explained Nicie Panetta, Trustees Interim President and CEO.
About The Trustees of Reservations: Founded by landscape architect Charles Eliot in 1891, The Trustees has, for more than 125 years, been a catalyst for important ideas, endeavors, and progress in Massachusetts. As a steward of distinctive and dynamic places of both historic and cultural value, The Trustees is the nation’s first and Massachusetts’ largest preservation and conservation nonprofit, and its landscapes and landmarks continue to inspire discussion, innovation, and action today as they did in the past. : @thetrustees on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter, and on YouTube at Trustees Reservations.