1392 Grand Reopening | e-flux

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum is pleased to announce the grand reopening of the Museum on June 13, 2004, after a fourteen-month-long, $9 million renovation and expansion project that doubled the Museum’s previous size. Designed by Charles Mark Hay of Boston-based Tappe Associates, the plan incorporates the restoration of the Museum’s historic 1783 building and the construction of a new white clapboard and Connecticut granite building.

Founded in 1964 by art collector and fashion designer Larry Aldrich, The Aldrich has been a leader in the exhibition of cutting-edge art for forty years. Aldrich exhibitions such as Art at the Edge of the Law, The Nude in Contemporary Art, and Family, as well as solo exhibitions by Janine Antoni, Mark Dion, Robert Gober, and Ann Hamilton, have garnered international attention. Just an hour’s drive from New York and a scenic trip from Boston, The Aldrich is located in the colonial New England town of Ridgefield, Connecticut. The juxtaposition of the art of today with the Museum’s historic setting has long been an Aldrich trademark. The opening of the new Aldrich continues this tradition.

The Aldrich’s 25,000 square feet of new and redesigned space accommodates twelve new galleries, including a screening room, a sound gallery, a 22-foot-high project space, a 100-seat performance space, a state-of-the art education center, and improved visitor amenities, such as a Museum store. The Cornish Family Sculpture Garden is a redesigned two-acre outdoor exhibition space.

“Every aspect of The Aldrich’s programs will be enhanced by our new 25,000-square-foot facility. The screening room and sound gallery will let us do more with video, film and multi-media installations, and our new galleries will help us showcase the art of today and tomorrow,” said Aldrich director Harry Philbrick. “The Aldrich is often thought of as a place for artists to experiment and push boundaries without the limitations of an envelope, creative or administrative. We finally have the proper architectural envelope.”

EXHIBITIONS AND PROGRAMS

Five exhibitions will be on view at The Aldrich from June 13 through September 1, 2004. Into My World: Recent British Sculpture is a group exhibition of nine emerging and mid-career British sculptors; The Drawn Page is an exhibition of works on paper by twenty-six contemporary artists; Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawing #1123, Planes with Broken Bands of Color, covers over 1,800 square feet of the over-sized project gallery; Passing By is a project by Ann Lislegaard that guides viewers through the Museum’s construction using sound only; and Paint Pours, an installation by Paul Henry Ramirez, has been specially created for the Museum store.

The Aldrich’s inaugural outdoor installations will include Jon Conner: Self-Sufficient Barnyard (The annual amount of livestock needed to feed a family of four); Nina Levy’s Big Baby; Jason Middlebrook’s The Beginning of the End; and a collaborative project with artist Mary Lum titled Interchange, created with students from the Museum’s Art Lab program.

To fund the expansion, a $9 million capital campaign is well under way, with almost $7 million already committed. The Kresge Foundation recently awarded a $500,000 challenge grant to the Museum to support the capital campaign. Fourteen months after the groundbreaking, the Museum’s interior galleries will open to the public on June 13, with the landscaping and Cornish Family Sculpture Garden slated for completion in September 2004. The entire project and capital campaign will be completed by December 31, 2004, to coincide with the Museum’s fortieth anniversary.
Museum hours:
Tuesday through Sunday, 12 noon to 5 pm

www.aldrichart.org