February 19, 2009 - The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum - Robert Lazzarini: Guns and Knives
February 19, 2009

Robert Lazzarini: Guns and Knives

Robert Lazzarini, gun (i), 2008
Courtesy of the artist and Deitch Projects, New York

Opening at The Aldrich—
Robert Lazzarini 
Guns and Knives

Sunday, March 1, 2009; 3 to 5 pm

Round-Trip Transportation from NYC Available


258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT 06877



Artist Robert Lazzarini will continue his exploration of the reconfiguration of objects in Guns and Knives at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum. This exhibition marks Lazzarini’s most ambitious manipulation of gallery space to date, and will remain on view through September 13, 2009.

The installation will feature all new work, including five .38 Smith and Wesson Model 10 revolvers and a cluster of kitchen knives, addressing repetition of the single object and variation within the group. Each sculpture on display is built from actual materials of functioning weapons, however they have been mathematically distorted in so many different directions that there is no standard perspective.

Lazzarini has augmented The Aldrich’s Leir Galley by subjecting the space to subtle wall transformations using compound planar and sine-wave distortions. He activates not only the sculptural figures, but also the visual ground on which they are presented, emphasizing the dislocation of the viewer within the space. The lighting in the gallery reduces shadows and further alters the viewer’s perception of dimension.

This body of work is a meditation on fear and violence, contrasting reductive display with charged subject matter and its inherent rational and irrational aspects. Lazzarini says, “The work comes out of my thoughts on murder and the corporeal implications of these particular objects.”

Aldrich director and exhibition curator Harry Philbrick comments, “As there is no normative point of view, the installation forces viewers to move around the objects within the space, and to observe firearms, sometimes for the first time, in an unusual way. For instance, for a viewer to observe a revolver as they imagine it in their mind’s eye, they might have to position themselves so that they are forced to look directly down the barrel of the gun. This contributes to the physical apprehension of the viewer in confronting the object.”

Robert Lazzarini will give a gallery talk about Guns and Knives at Behind the Scenes, a members-only private preview, on Friday, February 27, 2009, from 6:30 to 8 pm at the Museum.

The Museum will celebrate the exhibition at a public reception on Sunday, March 1, 2009, from 3 to 5 pm. Refreshments will be served. Round-trip transportation from New York City is available.

ALSO OPENING: In addition to Robert Lazzarini: Guns and Knives (through September 13, 2009), the Museum will celebrate the debut of Dave Cole: Flags of the World (through May 31, 2009); Alejandro Diaz: Blame it on Mexico (through June 7); Frank Poor: Enon Cemetery—Main Street Sculpture Project (through May 24); and David Taylor: Frontier/Frontera (through May 31) at the reception.

ALSO ON VIEW: Full Circle: Ten Years of Radius (through June 7, 2009); Kwang-Young Chun: The Soul—Journey to America (through May 24); and Video A—Harry Shearer: The Silent Echo Chamber (through May 31) will also be on view.

The Aldrich is supported, in part, by the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Institute for Museum and Library Services.

Robert Lazzarini is represented by Deitch Projects, New York. The Museum wishes to thank Waqas Wajahat, New York, for his help in realizing this exhibition.

Guns and Knives will travel to Deitch Projects in November 2009 following its debut at The Aldrich.

THE ARTIST: Robert Lazzarini, born 1965 in New Jersey, received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts. He is primarily known for his sculptures and installations that alter perception and explore the relationship between image and object. His work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally in venues such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Wadsworth Atheneum, the Tapei Museum of Contemporary Art, the Deste Foundation, and the Kunsthalle Berne. His work is in the permanent collections of Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Milwaukee Art Museum; The Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC; the Newark Museum, NJ; the Toledo Museum of Art, OH; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and Davidson College, NC, among others. Lazzarini is currently a Visual Arts Fellow at the Neiman Center for Print Studies, Columbia University; he lives in New York and works in Brooklyn.

THE MUSEUM: The Aldrich is one of the few non-collecting contemporary art museums in the United States. Founded on Ridgefield’s historic Main Street in 1964, the Museum enjoys the curatorial independence of an alternative space while maintaining the registrarial and art-handling standards of a national institution. Exhibitions feature work by emerging and mid-career artists, and education programs help adults and children to connect to today’s world through contemporary art. The Museum is located at 258 Main Street, Ridgefield, CT 06877. All exhibitions and programs are handicapped accessible. Free on-site parking. Regular Museum hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 12 noon to 5 pm. For more information call 203.438.4519.

Pamela Ruggio

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
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