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The deCordova New England Biennial 2016 to present diverse work by 16 New England artists
Lois Dodd, Low Sun in Woods, 2015, oil on aluminum flashing, Courtesy of the Artist and Alexandre Gallery, New York.

LINCOLN, MASS.- DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum will present the work of 16 New England-based artists in The deCordova New England Biennial 2016, on view from October 7, 2016 through March 26, 2017. The Biennial continues deCordova's longstanding commitment to artists working in this region. The selection represents the most compelling artists working in all six New England states, each of whom is significantly contributing to the dialogue on contemporary art. The artists span a diverse range of age and artistic mediums. Co-curated by Jennifer Gross, Chief Curator and Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs, and Sarah Montross, Associate Curator, this exhibition will occupy the main galleries of the Museum and extend into the Sculpture Park with new site-specific commissions.

The selected Biennial artists are: Academy Records (MA), Ashley Bryan (ME), Lois Dodd (ME), Theresa Ganz (RI), Carly Glovinski (NH), Tanja Hollander (ME), Timothy Horn (VT), Fritz Horstman (CT), Susan Howe (CT), Heather Leigh McPherson (RI), Youjin Moon (MA), Kelly Nipper (MA), Jason Noushin (CT), Tobias Putrih (MA), Cary Smith (CT), and Craig Stockwell (NH).

The exhibition will include site-specific works by Academy Records, Fritz Horstman, and Tobias Putrih. Academy Records’ immersive installation incorporates elements of music, film, and sculpture, and is inspired by historic New England architecture and the whaling and ship-building industries. Horstman creates small wooden models and large-scale installations based on architectural form construction and structures found in nature that invite the viewer to explore the correlations between natural and built environments. Using simple materials such as cardboard, Styrofoam, and bricks, Putrih constructs interactive and modular sculptures and installations that are inspired by twentieth-century utopian architects and visionaries such as Buckminster Fuller.

Lois Dodd, Theresa Ganz, Timothy Horn, and Youjin Moon respond to the natural world using painting, photography, sculpture, and film. For more than 60 years, Dodd has been painting scenes from her life in Maine and New York, capturing the tenor of singular moments in each work. She revisits familiar subjects such as flowering trees, clapboard houses, and curtained window views with acute attention. Ganz cuts, splits, and arranges photographs of the carved walls surrounding the Ellora Cave temples in India, which she then layers with irregular digital glitches and artificial colors to create expansive photo-collages. Horn constructs ornate, large-scale wall sculptures using hand-blown glass pearls hung from cast bronze structures. Inspired by seventeenth-century jewelry design and nineteenth-century botanical studies, these sculptures realize dialogues between the transfixing patterns of natural growth and the embellishments of baroque ornament. A recent graduate of Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Youjin Moon uses digital technology to manipulate video clips of natural and urban environments to create transfixing, dream-like film sequences which explore qualities of texture and translucency.

Traditions of abstraction are evident in the work of Heather Leigh McPherson, Cary Smith, and Craig Stockwell. McPherson’s colorful, translucent hanging wall reliefs are comprised of stained chiffon with drawings on spiral bound notepads embedded in clear epoxy. Smith’s optically charged compositions feature precise, opaque geometric shapes and multi-colored lines that integrate elements of design and Modernist abstraction. Stockwell merges multiple styles of painting, from hard-edge abstraction to gestural expressionism, and often uses repeating shapes to explore seriality and fragmentation in the process of painting.

Ashley Bryan creates puppets made of found, natural materials and colorful children’s book illustrations inspired by African folktales and African American spirituals. Carly Glovinski meticulously re-creates everyday objects related to outdoor leisure and exploration. Using artistic media such as colored pencils, markers, and correction fluid, the artist encourages close observation of the structural design, especially patterns, of objects such as beach chairs and travel maps, that are so familiar in our lives they are nearly invisible. Susan Howe collages fragments of text excised from sources as diverse as philosophical treatises, archival records, and British and Irish poetry to create minimalist poems for the volume Tom Tit Tot, which will be presented in the exhibition. Kelly Nipper will be represented in the Biennial by video documentation of her performance Tessa Pattern Takes a Picture along with related artworks connected to this project’s continued development. The artist’s performances, drawings, and fabric pattern designs are informed by histories of modern dance, design, and photography

Tanja Hollander’s ongoing series of intimate, richly-colored portraits, Are You Really My Friend?, has taken the artist around the world to photograph each of her Facebook friends and explores the dimensions and range of human interactivity in a world saturated with social media. Iranian-born Jason Noushin’s paintings on dry linen incorporate calligraphic Farsi translations of classic Western texts with a recurring protagonist inspired by a photograph of a Cambodian dignitary’s wife who disappeared during the country’s genocide of the late 1970s.

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