The last piece in the Nasher Sculpture Center’s reveal-a-thon of 10-public-artworks-to-mark-its-10th-anniversary was announced this morning at Dallas City Hall. Mayor Mike Rawlings and the Nasher’s Jed Morse did the honors, and not surprisingly, the work will be out front at City Hall.
New York-based artist Rachel Harrison, generally known for her witty sculptures that reference high art and pop culture history, is going to draw a little attention to “The Dallas Piece,” the bronze Henry Moore that’s stood — generally unloved, occasionally urinated on and frequently surrounded by barricades — on City Hall Plaza since 1978. Harrison saw the work blocked by fencing on a recent visit to Dallas. On her inquiry, the barriers were removed, and now she’ll be pointing that out — with a large, pink-ish red arrow (above, in artist’s rendering).
Her work caps the Nasher’s all-around-city public-art commissions that have been rolled out over the past several months. The Dallas-wide art exhibition officially opens Oct. 19.
The full release:
Nasher Sculpture Center Commissions Sculpture by Artist Rachel Harrison at City Hall for City-Wide, Public Art Exhibition Nasher XChange
First citywide, museum- organized public sculpture exhibition in the United States to feature 10 works throughout Dallas; On view October 19, 2013 to February 16, 2014 in celebration of Nasher’s 10th anniversary
DALLAS, Texas (August 29, 2013) – The Nasher Sculpture Center is pleased to reveal the plans for a newly commissioned object by artist Rachel Harrison that will be located in the heart of downtown at Dallas City Hall. This project represents the artist’s first ever public art commission. Nasher XChange is the first museum organized, citywide art exhibition in the United States, which will be on view at 10 locations from October 19, 2013 through February 16, 2014, in celebration of the museum’s 10th anniversary.
Rachel Harrison is a New York-based artist known for using a wide variety of materials including a bevy of consumer products and found objects alongside abstract forms she creates by hand to create combinations of seemingly incongruous things.
For the Nasher XChange Harrison is fabricating a giant pink arrow to be installed in the plaza at City Hall in downtown Dallas. The arrow will point to an existing sculpture at the site, Henry Moore’s 1978 The Dallas Piece. Harrison’s project grew out of a recent visit to Dallas City Hall during which she was surprised to see Moore’s outdoor sculpture encircled by metal barricades. For Harrison the barricades recalled the metal stanchions now commonly found surrounding sculptures in museums, a peculiar feature Harrison has sometimes referred to in her own work. Following Harrison’s inquiry about the Moore at City Hall the barricades around it were removed. Her giant arrow on the plaza calls attention not only to Moore’s piece but to the barrier formerly around it and the conditions that frame our encounters with works of art.
Harrison’s project speaks moreover to the unique history of the site at Dallas City Hall. Built in 1978 I.M. Pei’s modernist landmark was part of a broader effort to reimagine the future of Dallas through bold city-planning in the years following the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963. In this sense Harrison’s intervention alludes almost by chance to Dallas’s tradition of design in the public realm and to the ways in which art has been sometimes imagined to support civic ends.
Rachel Harrison lives and works in New York. Recent solo exhibitions include CCS Bard/Hessel Museum of Art, Annandale-on-Hudson (2009); Portikus, Frankfurt (2009); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2010); Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover (2013); and S.M.A.K., Ghent (2013). Her work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam among many others.