Virginia Poundstone

Flower Mutations

May 3, 2015, to October 25, 2015

Virginia Poundstone’s practice spans photography, sculpture, video, and installation, and is exclusively focused on the history and botany of the flower and its socio-economic and cultural significance. Her exhibition at The Aldrich is dedicated to two important sources of inspiration: Giacomo Balla’s series of Futurist Flowers and traditional American flower-pattern quilts. Poundstone debuts a new outdoor sculpture, Quilt Square (Tulip) (2015), and an earthwork, Tulips (2014–15), on the Museum’s grounds; in an interior room, artworks and objects investigate the visual representation of flowers through abstraction in art and design. The outdoor sculpture, a geometric flower in stone and glass, is based on the geometry of a traditional quilt pattern. Placed in the interior courtyard, where it is visible from within the Museum’s Leir Atrium, it is seen for a fleeting period in relation to a field of colorful tulips (more than three thousand bulbs were planted in eight dynamic hues) that form a resplendent garden across the sloping grassy embankment. Inside the Museum’s expansive Project Space and Balcony Gallery, visitors encounter a new glass sculpture by Poundstone, as well as a monumental wall print of Rainbow Rose (2013), alongside seminal inspirational works by artists that span generations and art historical movements. Adjacent to these influential works, on loan from institutions around the country, she also includes objects from her own collection.

Amy Smith-Stewart, curator

Virginia Poundstone was born in 1977 in Great Lakes, Illinois, and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Virginia Poundstone, Rainbow Rose, 2013Courtesy of the artist

Circumstance highlights inspiration and its influence across object- making, through the specifically commissioned work of six multi- generational artists. The exhibitions underscore the intersection of installation art and exhibition design, and show how the convergence of fine art, design, and non-art objects within the exhibition format informs and elucidates creative expression. For six months, the entire museum facility — whose distinctive galleries range from the intimate to the spacious — will be transformed into “rooms” designed by the exhibiting artists, which will “read” as total works of art as they show their own work alongside objects and/or artworks by other artists they have selected. In some instances, works may extend outside of the Museum’s walls, providing alternative ways of perceiving space by offering extended lines of sight across the campus. In doing so, Circumstance attempts to explore the interstices where art and object come together, come apart, and reunify, by examining context, its many shifts and permutations, and tracing the movement of art and objects from the studio to the museum. In the captivating maze of intersecting rooms, craft, found, utilitarian, historical design, and everyday objects will sit beside works of art, informing us as to how artists take inspiration from what is around them. Selected artworks and objects will enhance our “reading” and innovatively offer—vis-à-vis a visual form of storytelling—intersecting and interdynamic narratives about these works of art and their makers, confronting us with larger questions about history, culture, and society. Participating artists Virginia Poundstone, Nancy Shaver, Ruby Sky Stiler, Penelope Umbrico, Elif Uras, and B. Wurtz will take center stage in the development, conceptualization, and reception of their work, as the Museum assists them to reveal never-before-seen aspects of their practice.