Highlights from the Sculpture Gallery
Organized by Irene Shum
Displayed in the building known as Da Monsta — designed by Philip Johnson in 1995 as a visitor center and now a contemporary art gallery — Highlights from the Sculpture Gallery includes sculptures by John Chamberlain and Robert Rauschenberg, as well as the debut of a sculpture by Robert Morris never before publicly displayed at the site. This exhibition supports the Sculpture Gallery Restoration Project, also taking place in 2015.
A jagged pavilion of curves and contours, Da Monsta reflects Johnson’s interest in then-current Deconstructivist architecture as well as pre-Modernist sources such as German Expressionism. The dynamic interplay between art and Da Monsta continues inside. Two sculptures — John Chamberlain’s The Archbishop, The Golfer, and Ralph (1982-83) and Robert Rauschenberg’s Empire II, (1961)— occupy the first gallery. The second gallery will display Robert Morris’ Untitled (Nine Fiberglass Sleeves) (1967), consisting of translucent fiberglass in nine parts, installed in a grid, twelve inches apart that sits within the unique contours of the room. Highlights from the Sculpture Gallery is part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s commitment to reinvigorate its historic sites with innovative arts and public programming.