2016 Featured Sculptors
The development of site-specific dance related to the incredible sculptures at Grounds For Sculpture is a cornerstone of The Outlet Dance Project. We are committed to deep explorations of interdisciplinary collaboration and conversation. Below is information about the artists whose work this year's choreographers have been inspired by and are working with.
"My works hint at the co-existence of the mundane and the cosmological to create a place where two realities simultaneously exist including the possibility that the past is also present. The structures are diagrams of thought that provide a glimpse of the strangeness beyond the world to which we cling; opening a place where thought becomes tangible, history leaves a trace and information exhales form." ? Linda Fleming Born in 1945 in Pittsburgh, PA, Fleming displayed an aptitude for art at a very early age, and her talents earned Fleming a full scholarship to Carnegie Mellon University in 1963. For Fleming, location is vital to her in creating artwork, and as a result, the artist divides her time between three studios. Her first studio a 40-foot geodesic dome is located in Colorado at Libre- an artist’s community that was founded in 1968. Fleming’s second studio is at Wall Spring in the Smoke Creek Desert in northwestern Nevada, and the third, The Brewery is in Benicia, CA where Fleming assembles most of her large-scale works. Fleming’s works are featured in public and corporate collections and her most recent shows include nebula/Ether/Wisp: Sculpture and Drawings at Brian Gross Fine Art, San Francisco, CA and Remnants at Lemmons Contemporary in New York City. In 2006, Fleming installed' Dona Benicia’s Mantilla (Envelops the General’s Chair)' at Harbor Walk in Benicia, CA. Since 1986, Fleming has been teaching at the California College of Arts, Oakland, CA. More information on this artist can be found at www.lindaflemingsculpture.com.
New York-based sculptor Robert Lobe was raised in Cleveland, OH and was educated at Oberlin College and Hunter College. Inspired by the shapes, materials, and textures found almost specifically in the woods, he depicts rocks and trees in shimmering, hollow forms using heat-treated, hammered aluminum. The signature process Lobe uses is an adaptation of repoussé, an ancient technique in which metal is hammered, usually from the inside, to create designs or shapes. Lobe encases trees and rocks in sheets of aluminum, using mallets and a pneumatic air compressor to stretch and tighten the metal. Through the force of repetitive blows from the hammers, Lobe alters the structure of the aluminum until it conforms snugly to the texture of the rock or tree, exposing its interior volume. The new surface replicates and abstracts the contours and thus enhances the play of light and shadow on the aluminum skin.Lobe’s work has been commissioned and exhibited in galleries and museums across the country, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Whitney Museum of American Art, both in New York City; National Gallery, Washington, D.C.; Cleveland Museum of Art, OH; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN. He has received a variety of awards and prizes including two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, a Creative Artists Public Service Award, an Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Grant, and a Pollack-Krasner Foundation Award. For more information, please visit the artist's website at www.robertlobe.com. Bio from here.
Steve Tobin graduated from Tulane University in 1979 with a BS in mathematics. From there, he pursued his artistic career with study in glass at Pilchuck Glass School, WA and Penland School of Crafts, NC. Teaching appointments and fellowships in glass followed, and in 1989, he became the first foreigner invited to build his own studio in Murano, Italy. In 1994, Tobin built his first bronze foundry, and began to cast bronze. Tobin’s work has been exhibited at numerous museums and outdoor venues, including: The American Museum of Natural History, New York City; Lincoln Park, Chicago, Illinois; Laumeier Sculpture Park, St. Louis, Missouri; and Sculpturesite Gallery, San Francisco, California The artist currently works and resides in Bucks County, PA. More information on this artist can be found at www.stevetobin.com.
Isaac Witkin was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1936. At the age of 21 the sculptor moved to London where he attended St. Martin’s School of Art. It is during this time, the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, that St. Martin’s established a reputation for being the most exciting place in Britain to study sculpture. In large part this was due to the stellar faculty that Witkin encountered—one of his teachers being sculptor Sir Anthony Caro. He later served as an apprentice to British sculptor, Henry Moore from 1961-1963. Witkin gained a reputation during this time for his bold constructivist steel works. In 1965, Witkin emigrated to the United States and became a professor at Bennington College, from 1965-79. In the 1980s, Witkin expanded his sculptural vocabulary by continuing to experiment with with foundry techniques and began his collobartive relationship with The Johnson Atelier. Witkin liked to pour molten metal directly into a bed of sand, drawing the metal into shapes as it hardened. These shaped created by the cooled and hardened metal served as points of departure and inspired the forms in his work. Witkin lived and worked in Pemberton, NJ at the time of his death, April 23, 2006.
“…its easy sometimes to forget the simple things that give us pleasure. If we open our eyes, life is marvelous. The human spirit triumphs, if only for moments in a day. I try to have my work call attention to those moments." -Seward Johnson
Seward Johnson was born in New Jersey in 1930 and subsequently lived in London, Paris, and Bermuda. He graduated from the college preparatory Forman School in Litchfield, Connecticut before attending the University of Maine. Enlisting in the Navy, Johnson spent four years aboard the U.S.S. Gloucester, the only ship hit by enemy fire during the Korean War. Johnson settled in New Jersey to raise a family with his wife and now spends his time in New York City, Nantucket and Key West. Johnson's earliest artistic efforts were in painting but as his aesthetic developed, he gravitated more toward sculpture. Having no formal training beyond a series of classes in Cambridge, MA, his first cast work of sculpture won the Award in Steel Art competition which included 7,000 entries. Now famous worldwide for his life-size bronze figurative sculptures, Seward Johnson's works are exhibited internationally and are included in private collections, museums, and public art collections too numerous to mention. Johnsons body of work consists of three distinct series: the Celebrating the Familiar man on the street works, the collection called Icons Revisited based upon images in the collective unconscious, and the Beyond the Frame series inspired by Impressionist paintings. He has completed a series of over 30 works based on Impressionist and Post- Impressionist masterworks.
“I want my work to disappear into the landscape and then take a viewer by surprise. After he gets over the shock of being fooled, it becomes an emotional discovery. Then he owns the sculpture. People often revisit their favorites. They become like friends." Seward Johnson
In addition to Johnson's head turning sculptures, the artist's generosity of spirit is evident in his many philanthropic endeavors, of which the founding vision for Grounds For Sculpture is one of the most highly regarded. More at www.sewardjohnson.com.
A world-renowned sculptor, Beverly Pepper is the creator of a brilliant and prolific career that spans four decades. Born in 1922, she has created sculptures in cast iron, bronze, steel, stainless steel, and stone. She is also known for her site-specific projects in which she incorporates expanses of industrial metals into the landscape, creating large-scale sculptures, which are frequently designed to function themselves as public spaces. Her works have been exhibited and collected by major museums around the world, including the The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the White House Sculpture Garden, the Hirschhorn Museum, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., Les Jardins du Palais Royal in Paris, the Palazzo degli Uffizi in Florence, and numerous other national museums in Europe and Asia. Chevalier de l’Ordre des arts et des lettres in France, she is a recipient of The Alexander Calder Prize, and with Nancy Holt, the International Sculpture Center’s 2013 Lifetime Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award.
Born in 1941 in the south of France, Venet’s attraction to art became evident at an early age. At 17, Venet moved to Nice to work as a theatre set designer at the Opéra de Nice before dedicating his entire activity to making art. In 1966, Venet established himself in New York where, over the course of the next five decades, he explored painting, poetry, film, and performance, and was attracted, in particular, to pure science as a subject for art. During the 1960s, Venet developed his tar paintings, Reliefs cartons, and his iconic Tas de charbon (Pile of Coal), the first sculpture without a specific shape. 1979 marked a turning point in Venet’s career, when he began a series of wood reliefs, Arcs, Angles, Straight Lines, and created the first of his Indeterminate Lines. That same year, he was awarded a grant by the National Endowment for the Arts.
In 1994, Jacques Chirac, the then Mayor of Paris, invited Venet to present twelve sculptures from his Indeterminate Line series on the Champs de Mars, which afterwards developed into a world tour. Venet is the most internationally-exhibited French artist and, to date, the number of Venet’s public sculpture exhibitions amounts to no less than 30. In 2011, Bernar Venet become only the 4th contemporary artist to be offered the grounds of the world-renowned Château de Versailles in France for a solo exhibition of 7 monumental sculptures, and the French Postal Service issued a commemorative stamp of his 22-meter vertical Arcs framing the iconic statue of Louis XIV at the entrance. Monographs in multiple languages have been published on the artist’s oeuvre, with texts by noted art historians Barbara Rose, Donald Kuspit, Carter Ratcliff, Thomas McEvilley, Jan van der Marck, Thierry Lenain, and Achille Bonito Oliva, among others. His work can be found in more than 60 museums worldwide, including such venerable institutions as The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Centre Pompidou, and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). Bernar Venet has also received commissions for sculptures permanently installed in Auckland, Austin, Bergen, Berlin, Denver, Paris, Neu-Ulm, Nice, Norfolk, Seoul, Shenzhen, Tokyo, and Toulouse. Venet had his first retrospective at the New York Cultural Center on Columbus Circle in New York in 1971. Contributions to major art events such as the Kassel Documenta VI in 1977, and the Biennales of Paris, Venice and Sao Paulo, followed. Venet has presented major retrospective exhibitions at the Museum üppersmühle für Moderne Kunst in Duisburg and Kunsthalle Darmstadt in Germany, in South Korea at The National Museum of Contemporary Art (Seoul), the Busan Museum of Modern Art, and the Seoul Museum of Art, at the Institut d'Art Valenciá Moderne (IVAM) in Valencia, Spain, and at the Mücsarnok Museum, in Budapest, Hungary. In 2008, Sotheby’s invited Venet to present 25 large-scale sculptures on the grounds of Isleworth, near Orlando, Florida, their first venture to exhibit and support a single sculptor on this scale. Venet has been the recipient of several distinguishing honors, including France’s Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur. Most recently, he received the 2013 International Julio González Sculpture Prize. Inaugurated in July 2014, the Venet Foundation aims to preserve the site in Le Muy, France, conserve the collection, and ensure that Bernar Venet’s work lives on after him. Visit the artist's website to learn more, www.bernarvenet.com.
Although best known as a sculptor with an emphasis on large scale, site-specific projects, Elyn Zimmerman has created and exhibited drawings and photographs since graduating UCLA in 1972 with an MFA in painting and photography. She continues to mix and match these media in her two dimensional works. Until the mid 1980’s all the drawings were black and white or monochrome, but the series entitled “Ceremonial Objects” done in vividly colored encaustic medium on paper was a departure--introducing color and texture into her two dimensional work. Throughout the 70’s and 80’s her photography continued in black and white but printed in both conventional and unconventional media. Then, in 1987, looking for more color and texture, she created a portfolio of images entitled “Magna Graecia”. These photographs are sepia-colored prints on watercolor paper. Other print portfolios followed, and work with full color printing started in 2001 and was the subject of an exhibition at the Gagosian Gallery at that time. Zimmerman's sculptural works range from studio pieces and private commissions to large scale, site-specific projects. In the mid 1970’s Zimmerman created a number of temporary, site-specific installations for museum and gallery exhibitions. Projects were done at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Hudson River Museum, NY; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC. Returning to the USA after a trip to India in 1977 (where she was inspired by archeological sites to do outdoor projects), she was invited to do temporary outdoor works at places like Artpark, Lewiston, NY; 1980 Winter Olympics, Lake Placid, NY; Laguna Gloria Art Museum, Austin, TX, and others. Her permanent outdoor projects, beginning in 1980, are best known for the use of stone, often in association with water, (reflecting pools, fountains) and landscape elements. Included among these large scale, public commissions is a fountain to memorialize the World Trade Center bombing, New York City; the design of the Sculpture garden at the Birmingham Museum of Art in Alabama; a fountain and seating area for AT&T headquarters in New Jersey; the plaza design including a large pool and granite sculpture at the National Geographic headquarters in Washington, DC; a plaza project in San Francisco, CA with multiple water elements and seating areas; and a plaza in downtown Vancouver with sculpture and water elements. Zimmerman was born in Philadelphia, PA, received both undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Art at UCLA, and taught university level art classes from 1974 to 1986 in California and New York. She has lived in New York City since 1977. More info at www.elynzimmerman.com.