Massive attack

Wurm and Walker at the Rose, American photography at the Addison, Malpede and Fletcher at MIT
By RANDI HOPKINS  |  April 18, 2006

Erwin Wurm, Fat House/I Love My Time, I Don't Like My TimeA fat house, a fat car . . . no, this isn’t necessarily a disparaging comment on the current state of the American dream. It’s a description of two sculptural forms that figure in Erwin Wurm’s latest exploration of time, mass, and material incarnation, bloated shapes that round out the first major survey of the artist’s comical and provocative œuvre, “I Love My Time, I Don’t Like My time: Recent Work by Erwin Wurm,” which opens at the Rose Art Museum on April 27. The witty Wurm is best known for his series One-Minute Sculptures (1997–present), in which everyday objects and/or human beings are arranged as per the artist’s instructions into precarious or absurd structures that are difficult to sustain even for the requested minute. These fleeting arrangements express Wurm’s interest in extending the ideas of performance and conceptual art into the realm of sculpture — and in providing a bit of darkly comic commentary on the perils of life and of art. The exhibition spans his work from the early 1990s to the present, including new work that invites audience participation.

The nexus of physical and virtual space and the systems we’ve developed to map them out inform the layered paintings on view in “Sarah Walker: Paintings,” which also opens at the Rose on April 27. This is the first solo museum exhibition for Walker, whose inquiry into the way inner landscapes coexist with external perceptions draws on 21st-century genetic mapping, quantum mechanics, and the wide world of the Web.

British-born American photographer Eadweard Muybridge (1830–1904) also saw in art a window to science, and vice versa, as he used his camera to create some of the earliest attempts to map out the way we move. The entire sets of Muybridge’s The Attitudes of Animals in Motion (1881) and Animal Locomotion (1887) are included in the formidable new “In Focus: 75 Years of Collecting American Photography,” which opens at the Addison Gallery on April 28. The Addison started collecting photography in 1934, only three years after it opened, with its prescient initial acquisition of a Margaret Bourke-White photograph. The collection is now both broad and deep — and the gallery is celebrating its 75th anniversary by sharing remarkable works from photographers Ansel Adams to Richard Prince.

In September 2004, artist John Malpede put a serious twist on historical re-enactment when he directed a full-scale performance re-creating a two-day tour of impoverished southeastern Kentucky made by Robert F. Kennedy in 1968. On April 27 at MIT, Malpede will talk about his æsthetically and politically uncompromising work with artist Harrell Fletcher in connection with exhibitions opening at MIT that evening by both artists.

“I Love My Time, I Don’t Like My Time: Recent Work by Erwin Wurm” + “Sarah Walker: Paintings” | April 27-July 30 | Rose Art Museum, Brandeis, 415 South St, Waltham |  781.736.3434 | “In Focus: 75 Years of Collecting American Photography” | April 28-July 31 | Addison Gallery, 180 Main St, Andover | 978.749.4015  | “John Malpede: RFK in EKY” + “Harrell Fletcher: The American War” | April 27-June 9 | MIT’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies, 265 Mass Ave, Cambridge | Artists’ talk April 27, 6:30 pm | 617.253.4415

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Related: Philosophy students, Time and space, Return to the edge of the world, More more >
  Topics: Museum And Gallery , Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Photography, Painting,  More more >
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