Ridgefield, CT (May 2016): Artist Kim Jones connects nature, culture, and memory through a material- and labor-intensive intervention into the galleries and surrounding landscape of The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum. His exhibition, White Crow, part of the presentation Site Lines: Four Solo Exhibitions Engaging Place, will be on view at the Museum until February 5, 2017.
Jones (born 1944, San Bernardino, California) has created a singular and subjective body of work based on extreme experiences that deeply affected his life and art making. He identifies himself as an outsider, and this estrangement has been played out through an interrelated series of performances, sculptures, drawings, and writings that exhibit a range of elemental and expressionistic impulses. White Crow refers to the extremely rare occurrence where a crow is born without any pigment in its plumage. This marks the bird as not only an outsider, but also, in folk mythology, as an omen of impending change.
Aldrich exhibitions director Richard Klein, the curator of the exhibition, explains: “Jones has often used stuffed animals and other toys as elements in his sculpture. The rat, which appears frequently, he identifies with as a species that, although usually reviled, is resourceful and intelligent, and lives in close association with human society. In this exhibition, the rat appears as a transitional element/figure, connecting a series of indoor sculptures with what will be the artist’s largest outdoor site-specific work to date. Many of the sculptures included in the exhibition are multi-media constructions that utilize wheeled toys, such as a “Big Wheel,” and their implied mobility suggest both the artist’s personal journey as well as the ad-hoc vehicle of the refugee.”
Jones’s life and work have been tempered by surviving a childhood illness, as well as serving in the Marines during the Vietnam War. The deep-seated memories of these experiences have created an undercurrent of survival in much of the artist’s work, and White Crow will expand this concern out into the landscape.
Klein continues, “Jones’s major outdoor installation, made during a two-week residency at the Museum, involves the transformation of a grove of four small crabapple trees into a group of festooned and wrapped sculptures. Additionally, he utilizes The Aldrich’s camera obscura, a small room that looks out on the grove of crabapples, by creating a wall drawing on the camera obscura’s projected image of the trees, linking his intervention in the landscape with the indoor environment.”
Generous support for Kim Jones: White Crow is provided by ZENO X GALLERY, Antwerp, and JoAnn Gonzalez Hickey.
Site Lines: Four Solo Exhibitions Engaging Place
Kim Jones: White Crow is part of Site Lines: Four Solo Exhibitions Engaging Place, which opened with a public reception on May 1, 2016. This series of exhibitions also features David Brooks, Peter Liversidge, and Virginia Overton, presenting site-specific commissions, ranging from sculpture to drawing and performance-based works. The exhibitions encompass both the monumental and the ephemeral, intersecting, interconnecting, or mirroring the Museum’s interior galleries and two-acre Sculpture Garden, as well as the surrounding community. The artists utilize materials found on or indigenous to the grounds and the area, offering a response to “site” that underscores the institution’s material history and its visual condition by transforming scale and circumstance. The works seek to “frame” the interiority of the galleries against the natural landscape while also accentuating the Museum’s unique architectural features, such as a pitched roofline, paned windows, and a room-scale camera obscura. Viewers are able to respond to works from multiple vantage points as they move around the Museum’s galleries, grounds, and the surrounding environs. Gravel Mirror (1968), a work by the influential artist and writer Robert Smithson, incorporated gravel found on the grounds of The Aldrich, and was a significant touchstone for the development of this exhibition series.
Major funding for the Site Lines exhibitions is provided by the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation. Additional support is provided by Danbury Audi and DEDON.
CTC&G (Connecticut Cottages & Gardens) is the official media partner of the exhibition series.
Kim Jones was born in San Bernardino in 1944 and lives and works in New York. For over thirty years he has been working on a consistent oeuvre of drawings, sculptures, and performances—war drawings, rat sculptures, combat vehicles, and performances as his alter ego Mudman—that all have their origin in his personal experience, including his participation as a soldier in the Vietnam War and the illness that kept him in a wheelchair between the ages of seven and ten. Jones’s work has been featured in significant group exhibitions, including Kim Jones: A Retrospective, UB Art Gallery, The State University of New York, Buffalo, and the Luckman Fine Arts Complex, California State University, Los Angeles; the 17th Sidney Biennale; The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, Guggenheim Museum, New York; the 52nd Venice Biennial; Disparities & Deformations: Our Grotesque, Site Santa Fe; Out of Actions: Between Performance and the Object, Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles; and Mapping at The Museum of Modern Art, New York; amongst others. Jones’s work is held in major museum collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
Founded by Larry Aldrich in 1964, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum is
dedicated to fostering the work of innovative artists whose ideas and interpretations of the world around us serve as a platform to encourage creative thinking. It is the only museum in Connecticut devoted to contemporary art, and throughout its fifty- year history has engaged its community with thought-provoking exhibitions and public programs.
The Museum’s education and public programs are designed to connect visitors of all ages to contemporary art through innovative learning approaches in hands-on workshops, tours, and presentations led by artists, curators, Museum educators, and experts in related fields. Area schools are served by curriculum-aligned on-site and in-school programs, as well as teachers’ professional development training.
The Aldrich, in addition to significant support from its Board of Trustees, receives contributions from many dedicated friends and patrons. Major funding for Museum programs and operations has been provided by the Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts; the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation; the William Randolph Hearst Foundation; the Leir Charitable Foundations; The Goldstone Family Foundation; the Anne S. Richardson Fund; CTC&G (Connecticut Cottages & Gardens); The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Inc.; The Coby Foundation; Fairfield Fine Art; The Cowles Charitable Trust; The Gage Fund; Fairfield County Bank; Tauck; and Cohen and Wolf.
WSHU Public Radio, TownVibe, and HamletHub are the official media partners of The Aldrich in 2016.
For additional information and images, please contact:
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
203.438.4519, extension 140