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Art: Lecture

Public Art Fund Talks: Josiah McElheny


Wednesday Apr 11, 2012 (6:30–8pm)



Public Art Fund (Venue Partner)

The New School, John Tishman Auditorium

66 West 12th Street



$10; Students FREE

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Public Art Fund says…

Public Art Fund is pleased to present a talk by Josiah McElheny, an American artist whose multifaceted artistic practice has incorporated decorative and functional traditions of glass, as well as research, writing, and curating to explore materiality and its relationship to the ways in which we see and experience objects. Often using narratives inspired by the histories of art, design, and glass as points of departure, McElheny has created massive sculptures of shining chrome and transparent glass that layer myriad references as diverse as twentieth-century fashion, modernist design, sixteenth-century Italian painting, and even the Big Bang theory.  One of the artist’s seminal public projects, The Metal Party, commissioned by Public Art Fund in 2001, was a re-creation of a party organized in 1929 by students of the Bauhaus in Dessau, Germany. Taking the original "Party" as a point of departure, McElheny produced a hyper-reflective environment of metallic surfaces complete with mirrored and clear glass spheres that alternated on the ceiling above an aluminum floor. In recent years, McElheny’s use of diverse forms of artistic practice – from publishing to working with institutional collections, among other platforms - has embraced new model for public engagement that extends the very notion of public art.

Josiah McElheny (b. 1966, Boston) lives and works in New York City. He attended the Rhode Island School of Design where he trained under Master Glassblower Ronald Willkins. After completing his BFA, Josiah worked as an apprentice to renowned glassblowers Jan-Erik Ritzmna, Sven-Ake Caarlson, and Lino Tagliapietra. McElheny is the recipient of a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (1995), the 15th Rakow Commission from the Corning Museum of Glass (2000), and a MacArthur Fellowship (2006). He has exhibited widely, including solo shows at the Museo de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (2009), Moderna Museet, Stockholm and Museum of Modern Art, New York (2007), Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela, Spain (2002), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2001), The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston (1999) and the Seattle Art Museum (1995). Group shows include CCS Bard, New York (2011), the Power Plant, Toronto (2009), Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2006), CCA Watts Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (2003), Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (2001), Whitney Biennial, New York (2000) and The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago (1998). Josiah opens his newest exhibition, Some Pictures of the Infinite, this June at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. Tickets are $10 / FREE to all students with valid ID