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Aspen Art Museum presents a new site-specific sculptural installation by Oscar Tuazon
Installation view: Oscar Tuazon: Fire Worship, Aspen Art Museum, 2019. Photo: Tony Prikryl.

ASPEN, CO.- The Aspen Art Museum announces the presentation of Fire Worship, a new site-specific sculptural installation by Los Angeles–based contemporary artist Oscar Tuazon. Titled after Nathaniel Hawthorne’s written work of the mid-1840s, Fire Worship is the latest of the artist’s temporary, concrete-cast works. These pieces represent his interest in minimalist exterior structures that invite communal interactions and establish responsive dialogues with their surrounding environments, both natural and manmade. Fire Worship is on view in the AAM’s Level 3 Roof Deck Sculpture Garden through Sunday, December 1, 2019.

With roots in minimalism and conceptualism, Tuazon’s artistic practice occupies a position between visual art, architecture, and activism. He often deploys industrial materials—such as wood, glass, steel, and piping—to construct public installations that engage with aspects of community, ecology, and the built environment. The artist fosters notions of artworks as expansive, multifunctional sites that invite and facilitate audience engagement, response, and activity.

For Fire Worship, Tuazon revisits ideas most recently explored within such projects as his Burn the Formwork (Fire Building)—created for Skulptur Projekte Münster 2017—as well as elements of a work realized at his Los Angeles studio (also 2017) incorporating a stage area designed for performance. In Fire Worship, the artist conflates the architectural elements of a public fire pit and a stage to explore the potential intersections of sculpture and architectural infrastructure, as well as social activity and activism. The fireplace provides a functional, welcoming space for visitors to interact and stay warm outside in the cooler months, and its proximity to the AAM’s natural and manmade surroundings embodies ideas of a small monument.

Oscar Tuazon (b. 1975, Seattle) studied at the Cooper Union and the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program, New York, and currently lives and works in Los Angeles. The artist’s work is currently the subject of a solo exhibition at Michigan State University’s Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum through August 2019. Oscar Tuazon: Collaborator will take place at Bellevue Arts Museum, WA, beginning in May 2019. Other recent solo shows include Une colonne d’eau in the Place Vendôme, Paris (2017); Oscar Tuazon: Hammer Projects, at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2016); and Studio, at Le Consortium, Dijon, France (2015). ----

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