What happens when two of Dallas’ most foremost collections come together? Two stimulating exhibitions that explore 125 years of sculpture presented over thousands of square feet in two locations: Pairings: Sculpture in the Nasher & Rachofsky Collections on view May 11–August 18 at Nasher Sculpture Center and The Sensation of Space at The Warehouse on view May 20–November 15. The unprecedented exhibitions will present works from the Nasher Collection alongside works from The Rachofsky Collection.
“This collaboration with The Rachofsky Collection is a tremendous opportunity to showcase the breadth and depth of two extraordinary sculptural holdings in Dallas,” says Nasher Director Jeremy Strick, “and we are so grateful to the generosity of Cindy and Howard Rachofsky for making this partnership possible. Highlighting points of connection and difference, and offering new insights, the exhibition will illuminate the range of practices and possibilities that artists have explored as they put sculpture at the very forefront of contemporary art over the last century.”
In 2003, in celebration of the Nasher Sculpture Center’s opening, Cindy and Howard Rachofsky, arts patrons and collectors of art made after 1945, mounted an installation of sculpture at The Rachofsky House. The Rachofsky’s installation Thinking About Sculpture, complemented the Nasher’s opening by exploring how definitions and methods of sculpture-making evolved in the postwar years. Between the two spaces, the collections presented over 125 years of sculpture in all its various forms, from works by such modern artists as Paul Gauguin, Auguste Rodin, or Medardo Rosso at the Nasher to those by contemporary living artists, including Janine Antoni, Maurizio Cattelan, and Marc Quinn at The Rachofsky House.
Reprising and expanding on that pivotal year for sculpture in Dallas, Pairings: Sculpture in the Nasher & Rachofsky Collections and The Sensation of Space feature these two important collections in dialogue throughout the Nasher galleries and The Warehouse. Presented jointly, works in each collection illustrate how artists continually seek new ways to interpret, investigate, and redefine traditional notions of sculpture. The exhibitions are curated by Nasher Assistant Curator Dr. Leigh Arnold, and Thomas Feulmer Director of Educational Programming at The Warehouse.
“A curatorial partnership between our collection and the Nasher will provide a way to open up new conversations about the practice of sculpture, but also the practice of gathering a collection,” says Howard Rachofsky. “The shape and mission of each collection will be described in rich and meaningful ways through this collaboration, and it’s a real pleasure for Cindy and me to see the through-lines between these objects.”
For Pairings: Sculpture in the Nasher & Rachofsky Collections at the Nasher, the Entrance Gallery displays Mario Merz’s haystack and neon sculpture facing Claes Oldenburg’s oversized stainless steel and aluminum typewriter eraser, juxtaposing Arte Povera and Pop art and the ways these two contemporaries approached similar ideas of outmoded technology and everyday objects through strikingly different materials. Selections in Gallery I, the Foyer Gallery, and Corner Gallery emphasize formal, material, and conceptual relationships among works by such artists as Sol LeWitt and Lee Ufan, whose sculptures reveal a shared interest in the exploration and activation of space; Alexander Calder and Atsuko Tanaka, who each revolutionized how we think about line in space; and Martin Puryear and Anne Truitt, with their painted wood sculptures that mimic, and at the same time humanize, Minimalist sculpture.
The companion exhibition, titled The Sensation of Space, on view May 20 through November 15 at The Warehouse, expands upon ideas set forth at the Nasher. Groupings of works from the two collections will be installed throughout The Warehouse’s 16 galleries, with a focus on material, formal, or conceptual relationships, such as small-scale objects that show a sense of the artist’s touch—from a Phyllida Barlow work made of tape and paper to a Lucio Fontana ceramic to a Willem de Kooning bronze—as well as a gallery dedicated to assemblage spanning almost 100 years, beginning with the Nasher’s piece by Ivan Puni, ca. 1915-16, to a 2006 work by Isa Genzken. Figurative representation in sculpture is investigated in works by such artists as Janine Antoni, Alberto Giacometti, Robert Gober, David Hammons, and Auguste Rodin. The pairing of Constantin Brancusi’s The Kiss with Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ “Untitled” (Perfect Lovers) shows two artists using a pared-down geometric language to generate highly emotive works.
The pairing of these two Dallas collections offers a celebration of the spirit of sculpture and collaboration to depict the artform in its diverse formal and thematic investigations. See Pairings: Sculpture in the Nasher & Rachofsky Collections on May 11 and The Sensation of Space at The Warehouse, May 18. Nashersculpturecenter.org and thewarehousedallas.org