April 28, 2015 - The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum - Circumstance: six solo exhibitions to open
April 28, 2015

Circumstance: six solo exhibitions to open

B. Wurtz, Untitled (pan painting), 2013. Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York.

May 3–October 25, 2015

Reception: Sunday, May 3, 2–5pm

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT 06854

T +1 203 438 4519



The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum to open Circumstance exhibitions by Poundstone, Shaver, Stiler, Umbrico, Uras, and Wurtz

During the new spring exhibition series, Circumstance, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum will become a maze where cultural hierarchies are intentionally obscured, and craft, historical design, and everyday objects sit beside works of art, demonstrating how artists take inspiration from their surroundings. 

From May 3 through October 25, artists Virginia Poundstone, Nancy Shaver, Ruby Sky Stiler, Penelope Umbrico, Elif Uras, and B. Wurtz will reveal never-before-seen aspects of their practice after having taken center stage in the development, conceptualization, and presentation of their work.

The Circumstance suite of exhibitions—organized by exhibitions director Richard Klein and curator Amy Smith-Stewart—will highlight inspiration and its influence across object-making, underscoring the intersection of installation art and exhibition design, and showing how the convergence of fine art, design, and non-art objects within the exhibition format informs creative expression.

The galleries will be transformed into “rooms” designed by the artists, where they will show their own work alongside artworks by other artists they have selected or objects of their choosing, offering interconnected narratives about the works of art and their makers, and confronting us with larger questions about history, culture, and society.

This series of exhibitions captures the ethos of Museum founder Larry Aldrich, a proponent of living with “new art,” who stated in a 1961 Art in America article, “I wonder if many more people might not find it easier to respond and relate to art if they could see it in a more ‘lived-in’ atmosphere than the high-ceilinged, large-display areas which exist in most museums.”


Virginia Poundstone: Flower Mutations
Taking formal inspiration from Giacomo Balla’s series of Futurist Flowers as well as traditional American flower-pattern quilts, Poundstone will present a new outdoor sculpture and an earthwork; indoors she will curate a room of artworks and objects that investigate the visual representation of the flower through abstraction in art and design. Her work and objects from her collection will be presented alongside influential works by artists spanning generations and art movements, on loan from institutions nationwide. 
Nancy Shaver: Reconciliation
Shaver’s work utilizes found objects to speak about the sociology of material culture and how economics are manifested in clothing and the worlds of decoration and embellishment. Reconciliation will juxtapose recent sculpture made from women’s clothing fabric and thrift stores finds with Depression-era photographs by Walker Evans and images of the artist and clothing designer Sonia Delaunay. Shaver feels her practice resides midway between the make-do aesthetics of the sharecroppers in Evans’s photographs, and the high-art 1920s Parisian fashion world of Delaunay. 

Ruby Sky Stiler: Ghost Versions
Stiler’s experimentation with Hydrocal plaster evolved alongside her interest in the scholarly history of classical plaster cast replications. Her cast reliefs originate in the detritus of previous works and fragments of left-over materials salvaged around her studio, making ghostly references to objects she describes “as not present and no longer in existence.” Her installation at The Aldrich will display her own wall-scale plaster reliefs with a selection of loaned classical casts. This interplay of references, espousing both the high and low, explores questions of taste, originality and value. 

Penelope Umbrico: Shallow Sun
Umbrico’s photographic process utilizes found images from Internet sources such as Flickr, eBay, and Craigslist. At The Aldrich, Umbrico will place her practice in the continuum of the evolving history of photographic imagery, using the Museum’s camera obscura to explore the technologies of both analog and digital reproduction and how light—traditionally the most central element of photography—has become disembodied from the natural world, with even the sun being reduced to a mere artifact.
Elif Uras: Nicaea
The ceramic works of Uras explore, in her words, “shifting notions of gender and class within the context of the East-West conflict paradigm.” Working onsite in Iznik (Nicaea), where the most renowned tiles and ceramics of the Ottoman Empire originated, she creates sculptures that incorporate the nonfigurative visual vocabulary of traditional Turkish art with Western figuration. For The Aldrich, Uras will transform a gallery into an interior courtyard complete with a ceramic fountain—a prominent feature in Turkish and Islamic architecture. 

B. Wurtz: Four Collections
B. Wurtz has, since 1990, produced an ongoing body of work that he refers to as “pan paintings.” These wall pieces are made from ordinary aluminum take-out containers, supermarket roasting pans, and acrylic paint. For The Aldrich, Wurtz will cover the walls of an entire room, salon style, with “pan paintings” and showcase functional domestic objects from his own collection—cut glass, steel/enamel, and stoneware—offering a compelling dialogue about high art, decorative art, form and function, as well as the act of collecting. 

Founded by Larry Aldrich in 1964, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum is dedicated to fostering the work of innovative artists whose ideas and interpretations of the world around us serve as a platform to encourage creative thinking. The Aldrich is one of the few independent, non-collecting contemporary art museums in the United States and the only museum in Connecticut devoted to contemporary art. Throughout its 50-year history, the Museum has engaged its community with thought-provoking, interdisciplinary exhibitions and programs.

Reception and transportation
The free opening, on Sunday, May 3, from 2 to 5pm, will offer visitors the chance to meet exhibiting artists, enjoy gallery tours, participate in family activities, and take in New England’s spring season. Gourmet picnic fare will be available for purchase. Direct round-trip transportation from MoMA PS1 to the reception is available. To reserve seats on the shuttle please contact the Museum: T +1 203 438 4519 / www.aldrichart.org

The Aldrich, in addition to significant support from its Board of Trustees, receives contributions from many dedicated friends and patrons. Major funding for Museum programs and operations has been provided by the Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts; the National Endowment for the Arts; the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation; and the Leir Foundations. Support for Education and Public programs has been provided by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, Joyride Ridgefield, the Newman’s Own Foundation, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, Ridgefield Education Foundation, The Cowles Charitable Trust, and The Gage Fund. Generous support for exhibitions has been provided by the SAHA Association, The Coby Foundation, and The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Inc. HamletHub; Morris Media Group, publishers of Ridgefield Magazine; and WSHU Public Radio are the official media sponsors of The Aldrich in 2015.
Pamela Ruggio, communications director
T + 1 203 438 4519 / pruggio [​at​] aldrichart.org


Circumstance: six solo exhibitions to open at The Aldrich
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
Share - Circumstance: six solo exhibitions to open
  • Share
Click to subscribe to e-flux and be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements
Subscribe to e-flux
Be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements.
Subscribe to architecture
Explore the most recent content from e-flux architecture and urbanism
Subscribe to e-flux programs
Keep up-to-date on all upcoming talks, screenings, and exhibitions at e-flux in New York