Paintings and sculptures by Victoria Morton and a performance with 6 other artists/members of the band Muscles of Joy. Points of View: 20 Years of Artists-in-Residence at the Gardner, surveys the program through works by 11 authors combined with objects and works from the collection and archives. Portrait by Luisa Lambri is a selection of photographic meditations accompanied by a book. Stefano Arienti, Lee Mingwei, Cesare Pietroiusti, and Ana Prvacki, have created site-specific projects that will launch the building's grand opening.
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum will open its new wing designed by Renzo Piano with exhibitions and projects by eighteen Artists-in-Residence. "Artists have enlivened the Gardner Museum since it first opened in 1903," said Anne Hawley, Norma Jean Calderwood Director of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. "This landmark occasion—the opening of a new wing and the celebration of the twentieth anniversary of our vibrant residency program—is a rich opportunity to celebrate these contributions in their totality and to appreciate the many profound ways that contemporary artists have helped shape and interpret the Museum." Stefano Arienti, Lee Mingwei, Cesare Pietroiusti, and Ana Prvacki, have each created site-specific projects that will launch the building's grand opening in addition to four inaugural exhibitions.
Exhibitions include paintings and sculptures by Victoria Morton, titled Tapestry (RADIO ON): New Work by Victoria Morton. The exhibition, Morton's first solo exhibition in an American museum, features artwork created for the main gallery and a performance by the artist with six other artists/members of the band Muscles of Joy. In the smaller gallery, Points of View: 20 Years of Artists-in-Residence at the Gardner, surveys the program through works by Heather Ackroyd and Daniel Harvey, Todd McKie, Abelardo Morell, Luisa Rabbia, Elaine Reichek, Dayanita Singh, Taro Shinoda, Su-Mei Tse, Nari Ward, and Danijel Zezelj combined with objects and works from the collection and archives. Portrait by Luisa Lambri is a selection of photographic meditations on the Gardner Museum's unique spaces. The exhibition in the historic building is accompanied by an artist book, which incorporates excerpts from the diary of the Museum's architect, Willard T. Sears (1837–1920), and Lambri's photographs. Inaugural exhibitions also include an outdoor work by Stefano Arienti. Installed on the exterior of the new wing, Ailanthus is 36-foot-high by 16-foot-wide drawing of a bright red Ailanthus, also known as the Tree-of-Heaven.
(TAPESTRY) RADIO ON: New Work by Victoria Morton at the Gardner
Victoria Morton draws from the instinctive vocabulary of abstraction to renew our sense of perception and of the real. Her canvases are densely detailed with layered watercolor-like washes of oil and thicker brushstrokes and repeated gestures that invite viewers to look carefully. Initially appearing purely abstract, her work reveals traces of figures and movement with slight changes in light or position. Objects included in the exhibition are part of the expanded space of the paintings. A ladder, or a drum, or a dress, becomes something functional in a new way. These objects create an environment for the paintings and add a performative dimension.
“Morton wants to make an Abstract Art that is connected to everyday life. This is her ideal kind of painting. It is emotional. To Morton, cutting up an apple can mean the same thing as putting paint on a canvas. It is an assured and instinctive gesture. Visitors will see connections between Morton’s work and the Gardner collection, particularly when exploring the context of the unique and surprising adjacencies present in Isabella Gardner’s continuous installation,” says Pieranna Cavalchini, Gardner Museum Curator of Contemporary Art.
Morton came to the Gardner as an Artist-in-Residence in 2009 and returned several times since to continue her research of the Collection and Archives.
Tapestry (Radio On): New Work by Victoria Morton is made possible in part by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Victoria Morton’s residency at the Gardner was supported in part by the Nimoy Foundation, the Thomas A. Pappas Charitable Foundation, and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The Museum receives operating support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
Luisa Lambri, travels the world recording the subtleties of architectural interiors. Portrait, is a selection of photographs of the Gardner, which explore Lambri’s relationship to space, memory, and to Isabella Stewart Gardner’s very powerful and imaginative universe. In addition to the exhibition, Lambri is creating an artist book of these photographs, which will be juxtaposed with the diary of Willard T. Sears (1837-1920), the architect of the historic building. This artist book, an elegy to Gardner, will be available in the new museum gift shop.
Luisa Lambri first came to the Gardner as an Artist-in- Residence in 2008. Lambri returned to the Gardner Museum three times to photograph during different periods of the year under changing light conditions.
Luisa Lambri: Portrait is made possible in part by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The Gardner Museum receives operating support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
The inaugural exhibitions will extend outdoors. Stefano Arienti has made a drawing to be installed on the Evan’s Way façade. Arienti, a Gardner Museum Artist-in-Residence in 2004, has been invited to produce the first work for the façade of the new wing, where architect Renzo Piano has designed a 36-foot-high by 16-foot-wide space for temporary art installations. Arienti has chosen to draw a bright red Ailanthus, also known as the Tree-of-Heaven, a fast-growing tree and a prolific seeder with an extensive root system. Hardy and profuse – it can sprout anywhere, including alleys, sidewalks, parking lots, and streets – the Ailanthus embodies strength and virulence. Here, against the backdrop of a stunning new building, it takes on an ironic playfulness about the unexpected forcefulness of new plantings.
Arienti will also produce a guest book called Libro Azzurro for the new Living Room orientation area in which visitors can log memories or anecdotes from their visit. Incorporating his own drawings, the book will invite visitors to contribute their own creativity and imaginative gestures to its pages. The entries will forever capture the opening year of the new wing.
Stefano Arienti: Ailanthus is made possible in part by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The Gardner Museum receives operating support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
Points of View: 20 Years of Artists-in-Residence at the Gardner
Points of View: 20 Years of Artists-in-Residence at the Gardner celebrates the museum’s residency program, which commemorates its twentieth anniversary in 2012. To date, seventy-four artists from twenty-four countries and an equally diverse range of disciplines have come to live and work at the Gardner. These residencies perpetuate the legacy of the museum as a public resource for scholarship and creativity in the tradition of Isabella Stewart Gardner’s salon on the Fenway. Artists use their time to research and reflect, but they also nourish the museum, turning their unique perspectives to the collection, the archives, the building, and the world beyond the museum in exhibitions, performances, working with the Gardner’s school partnerships, and conversations with the community.
This exhibition offers a brief survey of the program through select works by past participants, including Ackroyd and Harvey, Luisa Lambri, Todd McKie, Abelardo Morell, Luigi Ontani, Elaine Reichek, Dayanita Singh, Su-Mei Tse, Nari Ward, and Danijel Zezelj as well as works and correspondence of artists who had personal ties to the museum, such as John Singer Sargent, whom Isabella Gardner invited to paint in the museum in the winter of 1903. It will be enriched in July and August, 2012, by a selection of film and video works by past residents Cliff Evans, Luisa Rabbia, Taro Shinoda, Su-Mei Tse, and David Wilson shown in the main special exhibitions gallery.
Points of view: Twenty Years of Artists-in-Residence is made possible in part by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The Gardner Museum receives operating support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
In 1992, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum reached out to the artist community in the search for renovation. Rarely are artists given an active role in the reshaping and rethinking of an institution; here, though, through the Artist-in-Residence program, a celebrated museum has undertaken to support the imagination through creativity and learning and in so doing has strengthened the founder's legacy. Access to the collection with the support of highly dedicated and expert staff is the catalyst of this innovative approach. Where else in the West can artists have such easy and so complete access to so many astounding works of art, while residing and studying comfortably on the premises? The artists' need for contemplation and work is nurtured and supported. Furthermore, the work these artists undertake through the museum's school partnership program helps to connect younger people with art.
This program was founded by Director Anne Hawley. Curators of the program since its inception have been Jill Medvedow 1992-1997; Jennifer Gross 1997-2000; Pieranna Cavalchini 2001-2011.
Stefano Arienti: Libro Azzurro
Lee Mingwei: The Living Room
Cesare Pietroiusti: Production and Free Distribution of Drawings Workshop
Ana Prvacki: Performing Daily Practice
Tapestry (RADIO ON): New Work by Victoria Morton
January 19, 2012–May 28, 2012
Points of View: 20 Years of Artists-in-Residence at the Gardner,
January 19, 2012–August 13, 2012
Luisa Lambri: Portrait
January 19, 2012–October 15, 2012
Stefano Arienti: Ailanthus
January 19, 2012–June 30, 2012
Pieranna Cavalchini, Curator of Contemporary Art, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Image: Stefano Arienti, Ailanthus
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Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
280 The Fenway, Boston MA, 02115
Tuesday-Sunday, 11:00am-5:00 pm (galleries begin closing at 4:45 pm)
Evening hours on the third Thursday of every month, open until 8:00 pm
Closed Independence, Thanksgiving, and Christmas days. Open all other holidays.
Seniors (65+) $10
College Students w/ ID $5
All named “Isabella” FREE
Anyone on his or her birthday FREE
Students, faculty, and employees FREE
Special Discounts: $2 off admission for anyone wearing Red Sox paraphernalia (Isabella Gardner was a vocal Red Sox fan) or with a Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) ticket stub (valid within two days).