Guest Curated by Jordan Stein
Sometime in the mid-1960’s, a rail-thin white plaster sculpture called Night (1947), by Alberto Giacometti, walked away from the Glass House and never came back.
One of very few artworks ever displayed in the Glass House, Night’s rawboned figure was granted pride of place atop the Mies van der Rohe glass coffee table. Over time, the sculpture began to shed its outer layer and was eventually sent to the artist’s studio for repairs. But Giacometti died before the work was restored and the sculpture never returned. Neither repaired nor replaced, its absence still lingers; a Modern ghost.
In place of a traditional artist-in-residence program, Night (1947 – 2015) is instead a sculpture-in-residence program; an unfolding sculptural exhibition held in the same spot where Giacometti’s Night once stood. A series of contemporary artists will contribute works that contend with the legacy of Giacometti’s sculpture and Johnson’s architectural opus. On display for three to six months at a time, the sculptures in Night (1947 – 2015) will “disappear” after their run, making room for new work and new absences.
Although world-class painting and sculpture populate Johnson’s property, Night (1947 – 2015) is the first formal art exhibition to be held on-site. The slowly unfolding exhibition places Johnson’s collection in dialogue with contemporary sculptural practice while positioning the architecture itself – long a site of critical discourse – as both backdrop and collaborator.
Night (1947 – 2015) is primarily comprised of never-before-seen works by a number of mid-career and established artists. Special attention will be paid to artists who grapple with themes raised by Giacometti’s vanished Night — themes that largely work in contrast to those of Johnson’s transparent temple. Works will explore unreliability, looping, curving, transparency, reflectivity, and doubt. Additionally, works will have a significant relationship to architecture and design.
Artists will be selected and announced each year through the completion of the exhibition in 2015. Jordan Stein is the guest curator of Night (1947 – 2015).