Site-Specific Installation by Joel Otterson
DateNov 16, 2001 - Mar 10, 2002
VenueWeston Art Gallery
Dr. Stanley and Mickey Kaplan Foundation and a major grant from the National Endowment for the Arts
On Friday, November 16, from 6 to 9 p.m., the Cincinnati Arts Association’s Alice F. and Harris K. Weston Art Gallery in the Aronoff Center for the Arts will premier two new exhibitions: Three Landscapes, a stunning site-specific installation by nationally-recognized artist Joel Otterson that creatively inserts three landscape vistas into the gallery’s street-level exhibition space; and Surface-Active, a group exhibition of four abstract painters who share a common interest in the physical and seductive exploration of paint and the canvas surface.
Joel Otterson, a native Californian who has lived in the Cincinnati area (via New York) since 1993, is one of three artists awarded a site-specific commission in the Weston Art Gallery’s upper exhibition space through a two-year grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. A major artist of national reputation, Otterson’s baroque sculptures and room installations are iconoclastic hybrids of high and low culture that often contrast museum and domestic settings and are usually inspired by themes in the decorative arts.
Three Landscapes specifically addresses the commanding architectural environs of the gallery’s upper space by bringing three fantasy-scapes to the windows, 24’ ceiling and central floor of the 7th and Walnut Street corner of the Aronoff Center. Hundreds of hand-blown suspended glass icicles will fill the upper gallery windows, substituting the normal city vista with a glacial "curtain" of ice. The central floor will be carpeted with a cast-concrete blanket in the form of a traditional patchwork quilt embedded with hundreds of pieces of precisely cut ceramic plates. Above the floor, Otterson will suspend a fantastical inverted glass garden consisting of pâte de verre castings of lotus flowers and leaves modeled from the artist’s own garden.