Grounds For Sculpture (GFS) has opened its Spring/Summer Exhibition Season with five new exhibitions by an outstanding group of artists, both established and emerging, including Jae Ko, Karl Stirner, Jonas Stirner, Lauren Clay, and Robert Lobe. Spanning several generations and diverse mediums, the five exhibitions collectively feature over 75 works, many shown for the first time.
Whether reinterpreting natural formations through fluid and yielding materials or imitating nature through carefully manipulated geometric planes, the artists featured in the spring/summer season share an intuitive vision of the world. These visions, some inspired by the natural world, others by cultural and industrial archaeology, are transformed through distinct sculptural approaches and brought to life as powerful personal and poetic statements.
In the East Gallery and on the first floor on the Domestic Arts Building, GFS presents Jae Ko: Selections, featuring Force of Nature,白 Shiro, the artist’s largest and most ambitious piece to date. The Washington, DC-based artist drew her inspiration from topographic and geologic forms to create a monumental, layered, paper relief sculpture that spans over 80 linear feet transforming the East Gallery. Additional works by Ko, all hand-rolled and color-stained by the artist, as well as a documentary video of the Force of Nature, 白 Shiro installation, can be seen in the first floor of the Domestic Arts building. Force of Nature, 白 Shiro will be open to the public through February 7, 2016. Force of Nature, 白 Shiro was made possible in part through awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and Bank of America. “Grounds For Sculpture is an invaluable asset to the community, making contemporary art accessible to all,” said Bob Doherty, New Jersey president, Bank of America. “Supporting exhibitions such as ‘Jae Ko: Selections’ helps Grounds For Sculpture engage local residents, ultimately contributing to New Jersey’s economic vitality and cultural vibrancy.”
The Museum Building will host the powerful steel sculptures of Pennsylvania-based sculptor Karl Stirner. Karl Stirner: Decades in Steel explores the artist’s masterfully welded and manipulated industrial forms which are often inspired by the huge sections of steel Stirner reclaims from steel manufacturing yards. Stirner is a master of technique and construction, playing with space, surface texture and geometry to create tension or harmony seemingly at his whim. Still actively working at 92 years old, Stirner’s work in steel, as well as his support for the local arts community, has had a profound influence on generations of artists.
On the mezzanine of the Museum Building, exhibiting his works with his father Karl Stirner for the first time, Jonas Stirner follows the creative tradition of welding and manipulating found steel into powerful yet whimsical and thought-provoking sculptures. Based in Florida since the mid-1990s, Jonas has exhibited his work throughout the state and has presented an impressive output of recent sculptures including sculptural reliefs for his exhibition at GFS. Early in his career, Stirner had the unique opportunity to work closely with Robert Rauschenberg as one of the artist’s assistants for 15 years at the renowned artist’s Captiva Island studio.
In the West Gallery, the work of New Jersey/New York-based artist Robert Lobe is featured. Working primarily in the rural woodlands of Sussex County, NJ, Lobe’s richly textured aluminum reliefs are made by hammering sheets of aluminum over natural forms in a technique adopted from the tradition of repoussé, which in French means “to push up.” In Lobe’s work however, rather than working from the inside out, he works from the outer surface, capturing the essence of rocks and trees with pneumatic hammers and hand-made tools. The exhibition also features a selection of masterful collaborative works that incorporate the noted paintings of New York-based painter Kathleen Gilje. Robert Lobe: In the Forest Drawn of Metal featuring Forest Projects, Collaborative Works with Kathleen Gilje is on view from April 11, 2015 – January 17, 2016.
On the mezzanine of the Domestic Arts Building, is an installation by Brooklyn artist, Lauren Clay. Clay, who works primarily with paper, exhibits a new body of work consisting of large papier-mache sculptures along with mural-sized prints of her vibrantly colored hand-marbled paper. These works are heavily influenced by the artist’s interest in eastern philosophies, yoga, and meditative practice. The exhibition title, Drishti, refers to the direction of one’s gaze during meditation. Also included among the works on view is a series of hand-painted paper sculptures which reference the American sculptor David Smith.
ABOUT GROUNDS FOR SCULPTURE
Grounds For Sculpture (GFS), located in Hamilton, New Jersey (midway between Philadelphia and New York), is a forty-two acre not-for-profit sculpture park and arboretum founded by Seward Johnson. Its collection features more than 270 contemporary sculptures by renowned and emerging artists. Exhibitions change seasonally in six indoor galleries. With rich educational offerings, a robust schedule of performing arts, and fun family events, the park is open year-round. Shopping and dining options complement every visit. For hours, admission prices, and a calendar of events, visit www.groundsforsculpture.org.
Susan Grant Lewin Associates