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.
Magdalena Abakanowicz's work often combines groups of figures or animals that occupy a single space. Though on the surface each is a multiple, each figure is unique. Rather than imbuing the groupings with a sense of solidarity, Abakanowicz's figurative groupings often give the impression of isolation and obscurityy. "I immerse in the crowd, like a grain of sand in the friable sands. I am fading among the anonymity of glances, movements, smells, in the common absorption of air, in the common pulsation of juices under the skin...” - from the artist's website.
More information at www.abakanowicz.art.pl.
Most of Dusenbery’s artistic career has been devoted to making sculpture in stone: marble, travertine, limestone, and granite, precisely assembled as coherent sculptural forms. His sculptures are monumental in scale. Their formal vocabulary takes classical architecture’s visual language as a starting point, merging architecture and sculpture. Dusenbery studied classical dance at the San Francisco Ballet and, later, modern dance in New York City at Juillard with Jose Limon, Martha Graham, and May O’Donnell. Dusenbery believes his dance training informs a human- scaled kinesthetic relationship to his sculpture and its space. In 1960, he enrolled in the San Francisco Art Institute to study ceramics. He was an instructor of ceramics at the University of California Extension, San Francisco, during this period, eventually receiving an MFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts in sculpture, receiving an MFA in 1970. He traveled to Tokyo after graduation, where he met the Japanese sculptor Tsutomu Hiroi who suggested that his work is perfect for stone. Hiroi introduced Dusenbery to the granite carving village of Aji on the island of Shikoku, and his first carved granite sculptures were completed here. Isamu Noguchi befriended Dusenbery and invited him to visit the stone working areas of Italy, to better understand the Western tradition. Once in Italy, he met Henry Moore and Marino Marini, who were both in residence at the time and had studios on either side of Dusenbery. These artists influence him to begin enlarging models to full scale sculptures. While also pursuing his own work, from 1971-1973 Dusenbery assisted Noguchi with a large public project, the Detroit Civic Plaza and Fountain, and also assisted him with the development and production of small Noguchi drawings to a collection of full-sized stainless steel sculptures. Also in 1973, Dusenbery was offered a one-man exhibition of white marble sculptures at the Bonino Gallery, NYC. Over the years he has exhibited at many NYC galleries: A. M. Sachs, Hamilton, Siegeltuch, and Fendrick. He also had museum shows at the Nassau County Museum of Art, 1981; Yorkshire Sculpture Park in England, 1981; and University of Virginia Museum of Art; 1983. Dusenbery was visiting sculptor at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design from 1980-1988. In 1988, after splitting time in New York City and Pietrasanta, he decided to relocate to upstate New York to build a home and studio in 1988. That was also the same year he received a large commission to build a fountain for the Fulton County Building in Atlanta. Following the completion of ‘Atlantacropolis’, Dusenbery withdrew from the gallery world and refocused his energy on site-specific commissions. Seeking a large scale stone studio for projects closer to home, he discovered there were none. In 1995 he approached sculptor and patron of sculpture, J. Seward Johnson Jr., with the idea of creating a state-of-the-art stone carving studio, so that American sculptors would not have to travel aboard to realize their work. Johnson agreed to assist with the creation of a facility, if Dusenbery would direct it. The Stone Division opened in 1996 and featured the most advanced computer numerically controlled (CNC) stone-milling machines ever built for sculpture fabrication. The studio also had the ability to digitally scan three-dimensional forms for enlargement. Dusenbery continued to direct and produce work at The Stone Division until 2003. When it became reformed as the not- for-profit Digital Stone Project in 2004, Dusenbery was named president and remained in that position until 2008. More recently, Dusenbery received the commission for the entrance to the Presidential Trauma Center serving the Northwest in 2009. The entrance relief is 75’ long and 10’ high titled: In the Garden, a metaphor for man’s work with nature. It was installed in 2011 at the Harborview Hospital in Seattle, Washington.
More at www.walterdusenbery.com.
For fifteen years, between 1964 to1980, Daniel Kainz apprenticed and came to master stone carving as an employee of the Wenz Company, Inc. in Allentown, PA. Here he developed new sandblasting techniques, studied with master stone carvers from Italy, and created his early stone sculptures. Since 1991, Kainz has been the general manager of the sculpture division at Wenz Company, Inc. Having apprenticed with artist Karen Mikolas, Kainz’s expertise encompasses wood carving and glass work as well. Kainz has participated in numerous exhibitions throughout the United States and his work is included in various public and private collections including: Albright College, reading, PA; Widener University Law School, Chester, PA; Lincoln University, Lincoln, PA; Lehigh Valley Hospital, Allentown, PA; Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art located at Ursinus College, Collegeville, PA.
The granddaughter of Sir Winston Churchill, Sandys was born and raised in England. Her first artistic achievements were in writing and illustration. She started painting in 1971 and was quickly invited to show her work at galleries in London, Rome, Zurich, Johannesburg, and New York. In the mid-1970s, she lived for a time in Italy where she began carving in marble.
In 1977, she decided to live for part of the year in New York City to further her artistic development, and she gradually made the city her permanent home. From 1979 to 1980, in celebration of the Year of the Child, Sandys created three monumental marble sculptures for the United Nations which are sited outside the UN Centers in New York, Geneva, and Vienna. She went on to create permanent large-scale outdoor sculptures in the USA, Brazil, Canada, and Ireland.
Sandys’ work has been shown in many solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan. She has received many awards recognizing her achievements, including the United Nations Society of Writers & Artists Award for Excellence and an Honorary Doctor of Arts from Westminster College, MO. She is the subject of a recent biographical documentary – One Bite of the Apple – produced and televised by PBS. Sandys lives and works in New York City and Palm Beach, FL.
More at www.edwinasandys.com.
Born in 1931 in Jackson, Ohio, Benton received his undergraduate degree in fine art at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He left Ohio and began teaching at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland in 1959. He also taught at the San Francisco Art Institute (1966-67) and at the San Jose campus of California State University (1967-86). His sculptures have been in solo and group exhibitions throughout that state since early in his career. Benton has also been given one-person shows in Belgium, Germany, Venezuela, Argentina, and Korea. Works by Benton are in the permanent collections of the Denver Art Museum, CO; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC; The Milwaukee Art Center, WI, New Orleans Museum of Art, LA; Oakland Museum and Sculpture Garden, CA; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City, NY and other major museums, universities and corporations.
More information at www.fletcherbenton.com
Sarah Haviland’s abstract-figurative sculptures and public installations have been exhibited in galleries, parks, museums, and educational settings, including commissions at Grounds for Sculpture, Pratt Sculpture Park, and NYU Langone Medical Center. Awards include a Creativity Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, fellowships from the New York and New Jersey State Arts Councils, and residencies at Sculpture Space, Skowhegan, and Yaddo. Her work reveals particular interests in images of birds and avian mythology, human and natural gesture, women, mirrors, and local history. Sarah Haviland earned a BA from Yale University and an MFA from Hunter College. She lectures independently and teaches sculpture at Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY.
More information at www.sarahhaviland.com
“…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.
Robert Murray is an accomplished artist who has received international recognition. He is especially well recognized in the United States and Canada, where he grew up and attended college. He has been awarded one-person exhibitions at the Dayton Art Institute, the Delaware Art Museum, the Reading Public Museum, Rice University, Muhlenberg College and has participated in numerous group shows. Works by Murray are in collections at the the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Columbus Museum of Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Montreal Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Canada, Storm King Art Center, the Walker Art Center and many college campuses in North America. He has lived in the United States since 1960.
More at www.robertmurraysculptor.com.
Bernar Venet is known internationally for his large-scale steel sculptures. French born, Venet has based himself between Europe and New York City since 1967. Exhibiting since 1968, his works have been shown in major museums across Europe, the USA and Asia. Public sculptures have been commissioned and installed in equally as many varied locations including Cologne, Japan, Norway, Luxembourg, New York and Chicago, among others.
When Venet first went to New York at the age of 24 he encountered the works of Minimalist sculptors such as Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, Carl Andre and Sol LeWitt, and was immediately drawn to their work through citing similarities to ideas he was already exploring in his own work. This spurred Venet’s art practice for many years - producing paintings, installations, drawings and wall ‘mural’ pieces in steel, wood and coal. Today, Venet’s most recognised bodies of works are his steel Indeterminate Lines and Arcs. These sculptures are grounded in a Minimalist aesthetic, but also stem from his academic investigations into science and mathematics.
More at www.bernarvenet.com.