Virginia Overton

Ridgefield, CT (May 2016): A monumental interactive tree swing is the focal point of The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum’s presentation of the work of Virginia Overton as part of Site Lines: Four Solo Exhibitions Engaging Place. The exhibition, which will be on view through February 5, 2017, presents Overton’s newly commissioned sculptures within the galleries, on the surrounding campus, and atop the Museum’s roof. Suspended on a free-standing steel armature, the swing is comprised of the approximately 12-foot-long debarked trunk of a felled eastern white pine tree from the Museum’s grounds. Other sculptural works were fabricated on-site during the installation period, incorporating elements harvested from the tree as well as items found around the Museum property and neighboring community. Perched on the Museum’s signature pitched roofline, which emulates the historic Colonial homes lining Main Street, is a newly commissioned weather vane, part of an ongoing series initiated by Overton in 2013.

Curator Amy Smith-Stewart describes Overton’s process, “Whether reflecting the architectural features of a gallery or the contours of a natural landscape, Overton physically wrangles her material—studying and learning its physical properties, seeing how far it can go, how much it can withstand—as it is processed through countless hours of experimentation. Once installed, her space-shifting sculptures and installations produce shadows, light leaks, and sound echoes that, through a process of re- articulation, demonstrate the inherent beingness of an object, its materiality, its connection to a specific place at a particular time, inviting the viewer to navigate it anew.” Overton (born 1971, Nashville, Tennessee) utilizes sculpture, installation, and photography to relate to and interact with a venue’s architecture and defining landscape. Her sculptures and interventions are made up of indigenous readymade objects and materials Overton scavenges from within the surrounding community. Growing up in the rural south on a Tennessee farm, Overton’s innate sensitivity to the land, and its inherent economic value, has instilled in her an intuitive understanding of the energetic potential to be harnessed and reaped from both her materials and her environment.

Generous support for Virginia Overton is provided by White Cube and Freymond-Guth Fine Arts, Zurich.

Site Lines: Four Solo Exhibitions Engaging Place

Virginia Overton is part of Site Lines: Four Solo Exhibitions Engaging Place, which opened with a public reception on May 1, 2106. This series of exhibitions also features David Brooks, Kim Jones, and Peter Liversidge, 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 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 view within and beyond 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.

The Artist

Overton was born in Nashville, Tennessee and lives and works in New York. Recent solo exhibitions include Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami in 2014, Storm King Art Center, Mountainville in 2014, Westfälischer Kunstverein, Munster in 2013-14, Kunsthalle Bern in 2013, The Power Station, Dallas in 2013, and The Kitchen, New York in 2012.

The Museum

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.

Supporters

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:

Emily Devoe
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
press@aldrichart.org
203.438.4519, extension 140