The Retrospective will span five decades of Johnson’s exploration into…'The Visceral Moment'…when viewers engage with a piece of artwork and transcend their own place in space and time to experience a heightened connection to their common humanity.
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Hamilton, NJ (PRWEB) February 11, 2014
On May 4, 2014, Grounds For Sculpture will open the largest and most significant exhibition in its history—a presentation of work by its founder, Seward Johnson. The exhibit will feature more than 150 sculptures, including his much-acclaimed Forever Marilyn, The Awakening, and Unconditional Surrender. Works will be sited in three indoor galleries as well as across the 42-acre park campus. Seward Johnson: The Retrospective will be on view through September 21, 2014.
Johnson, age 83, is an American sculptor and philanthropist who has dedicated his career to public art. His life-like bronze and monumental figures are familiar sights throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. He is also the founder of the not-for-profit Grounds For Sculpture, which opened its doors to the public in 1992 and includes works from such notable artists as Clement Meadmore, Anthony Caro, Beverly Pepper, George Segal, and Isaac Witkin. The park, located in Hamilton Township, New Jersey, welcomes nearly 160,000 visitors annually.
Seward Johnson: The Retrospective will span five decades of Johnson’s exploration into what he refers to as “The Visceral Moment.” He describes this as the pivotal moment when viewers engage with a piece of artwork and transcend their own place in space and time to experience a heightened connection to their common humanity.
Johnson’s best known works are the lifelike sculptures from his Celebrating the Familiar series. These pieces draw attention to the smallest details of ordinary life: a nap on a park bench, a trip to the grocery story, the pleasure a child takes in an ice cream cone. They have been shown internationally, from Istanbul to Rome, as well as across the United States. “I want my work to disappear into the landscape and then take a viewer by surprise,” Johnson said in a 2002 interview with The New York Times, “After he gets over the shock of being fooled, it becomes an emotional discovery. Then he owns the sculpture. People often revisit their favorites. They become like friends.”
Also on view during Seward Johnson: The Retrospective are works from his Beyond the Frame series. An homage to the Impressionist painters, Beyond the Frame works transform well-known paintings such as Claude Monet’s Garden at Sainte-Addresse and Edouard Manet’s Le Dejeuner sur l’herbe into life-sized three-dimensional tableaux. These works, says Johnson, “allow an intimacy with the paintings that the paintings don’t allow themselves.”
A third series, Icons Revisited, includes works inspired by familiar and time-tested images. His Unconditional Surrender captures the famous Times Square V-Day moment when a sailor kissed a nurse. This iconic sculpture, enlarged to 25 feet, has been invited to Times Square, San Diego, Sarasota, and Rome, Italy. Johnson’s Forever Marilyn, a 26-foot-tall, stainless steel and aluminum Marilyn Monroe complete with white billowing skirt has captured the attention of the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Time Magazine, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Today Show, Good Morning America, and others.
Throughout the duration of Seward Johnson: The Retrospective, Grounds For Sculpture will offer hands-on art-making workshops inspired by the humor and humanistic insight of this prolific artist , tours of the park and artwork, screenings of archival footage, an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour with Johnson himself, and more. Visit http://www.groundsforsculpture.org for more information and a calendar of events. The Retrospective opens to the public on May 4, 2014 and is on view through September 21, 2014.
ABOUT GROUNDS FOR SCULPTURE
Grounds For Sculpture (GFS), located in Hamilton, New Jersey (midway between Philadelphia and New York), is a forty-two acre 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 five 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 http://www.groundsforsculpture.org.
ABOUT THE SCULPTURE FOUNDATION, INC
The Sculpture Foundation, Inc. is a charitable and educational organization dedicated to providing exhibitions and contemporary landmark public artworks for communities. The Collection, including more than 150 artists, is on view in urban centers, small towns, regional parks, and cultural institutions worldwide. Visit http://www.sculpturefoundation.org for additional details.
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