THE MONUMENTAL WOODS
opening: June 8, 2013
Galerie Gmurzynska is pleased to announce a career-spanning exhibition of important unique wood sculpture by Robert Indiana. The works span Indiana’s beginnings in the mid-century New York artist community of Coenties Slip, which included Indiana’s close friends Ellsworth Kelly and Agnes Martin, to his chosen remote island home off the coast of Maine, where has spent the past four decades in mythic isolation. These pieces, many exhibited publicly for the first time, represent the largest and most decided works in Indiana’s sculptural oeuvre. The five decades of work that will be displayed represents the first time that an exhibition will focus on exploring the full extent of the large-scale unique wood sculptures that Indiana has created since the very beginning of his career. Together they illustrate the consistent mythologizing themes of the ocean, the past and the loaded materials and words that surround us; those quintessentially Indiana motifs that bind his work together. Indiana’s wood sculptures are a lynch pin in his career, the first of his works to have words included on them, they were also the works which gained him his early shooting success. They were included in some of the most important and trajectory changing exhibitions of the early 1960s including ‘New Media – New Forms’ at the Martha Jackson Gallery in 1961 and the same year, perhaps the most influential exhibition of the decade, ‘The Art of Assemblage’ at the Museum of Modern Art. In both of these exhibitions Indiana’s works were selected as the heirs of modernist ideas begun decades before.
This exhibition serves as an updated in-depth follow up to the 1984 exhibition of Indiana’s wood works at the National Museum of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. This will be the first public exhibition of many of the works outside of Indiana’s studio and the first exhibition of Indiana’s unique sculptures outside of the United States. Robert Indiana (b.1928) has been an important figure in art history for the past five decades. Central to the emergence of pop art in the early 1960s, he is included in every major post-war museum collection in the world. This exhibition precedes a full retrospective of Indiana’s work at the Whitney Museum of American Art in Autumn 2013.
This exhibition will be accompanied by a publication with extensive historical interviews, documentary images and texts by Joachim Pissarro, director of the Hunter College Galleries and former curator of paintings and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. An opening reception will be held on June 8 from 17:00 to 19:00. Dr. Evvgenia Petrova, Deputy Director of the State Russian Museum will deliver opening remarks. Joachim Pissarro will give a speech concerning the historical context of the exhibition. Robert Indiana will be present.