Thursday, January 21, 2010

James Hyde

As visitors to the Museum have seen this week, we're starting major reinstallations. The Picasso, Miro, Calder exhibition has closed, and those rooms will soon be given over to the art of South Asia, in a new installation entitled Temple, Palace, Mosque. For the first time, our important - even world-renowned - collection of South Asian painting from the Binney Collection will get a prominent place in the museum. It deserves it: this is one of the world's great collections of painting from India, and we're going to install it in rooms that will also have sculpture and other objects from our collection.

That will be a complicated display and it will take some time to set up. In the meanwhile, we're using one of the now-empty galleries just off the rotunda to show our installation-sized group by contemporary artist James Hyde (born 1958).

Entitled Middle Station--Luminous Platforms and Relaxed Seating, this is a collection of glowing coffee tables and of chairs made of galvanized aluminum or vinyl-sheathed styrofoam. Indebted to the American minimalist movement of the 1960s and 70s, to artists such as Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, and Scott Burton, Hyde's work plays with the properties of light and reflection and questions the boundaries between art and utilitarian objects. The installation might be summed up with a quotation from the artist himself: "For me, painting is neither an object or a practice, but a habit of seeing... I'm interested in how furniture constructs the figure. This comes from painterly concerns. I've often been more interested in the pictorial qualities of the painting support than its surface. My furniture can be thought of as pictorial abstractions of a painting panel."

With that in mind, come in, sit down for a while, and be part of the work of art. If you want to know more about Hyde and his work, have a look at his website:

-John Marciari

1 comment:

  1. So cool! I definitely want to make it in, we'll see if I can swing the entry rate.


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