Saturday, August 09, 2008

IMA Acquires Tim Hawkinson Sculpture

[Note: Above images are not of the IMA's recent installation of the sculpture, hope to post one soon as I can get one, rather these images are borrowed from both and]

You may have noticed when visiting the IMA's contemporary collection that there is a noticable lack of sculpture on display. Filling this gap in the museum's collections has been one of the goals for Lisa Freiman, senior curator of contemporary art. Well, we now have a very nice sculpture by artist Tim Hawkinson to add to our collection. And what a piece it is! The new work:

Tim Hawkinson's
Moebius Ship
wood, plastic, plexiglass, rope,
staples, string, twist ties, glue

Last fall, the Contemporary Arts Society (CAS) put together a group of members to form a selection committee, that would work along with the contemporary curators at the IMA, to select a work(s) in which to acquire for the museum's collection. From the CAS web site:

The Contemporary Art Society fosters ways of seeing, thinking and imagining that expand critical discussions about contemporary art, support Museum and curatorial goals, and results in the acquisition of contemporary art for the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
Being a member of the CAS, I gladly volunteered to be a part of the acquisition/selection committee. One thing I should note as one of the great aspects of being a member of CAS is that all but $25 of you membership fee goes directly into the acquisitions fund. Aside from memberships, funding also comes from funds raised at other CAS organized events. I quite enjoyed being on the selection committee; to see a bit of the thought process behind working in a group like this in order to choose the best course of action in which to spend the acquisitions fund. With some initial direction from Lisa Freiman, who sat with us and discussed some of her thoughts concerning the collection and some of the museums goals for improving the collections and filling particular gaps. We were presented with a list of a dozen artists and works in which we were to consider and discuss as a group. Members of the Selection Committee paired up in groups of two and each given what I will call a dossier on a particular artist in which we were to study and then give a presentation to the other groups. After these presentations took place we then discussed a number of issues... Do we buy a single work of art that is priced very high or do we buy a couple of less expensive works by a single artist or a couple of artists? Do we want to follow common museum trends and acquire work by an artist who is often represented in art museums or take a chance and show something more unexpected or predictable? Do we focus on filling some of the gaps in the collection, like photography or sculpture? Where would the work be placed? Could it be stored? Could the work be properly taken care of? Once we discussed some of these issues and again talked with the curators, our selection committee decided to vote for each of our three favorite works for consideration. With our top three works decided upon, we then presented these works and info to the entire CAS membership in which everyone would then cast their vote for the work we would then use the funds to help purchase. After tallying the votes, Tim Hawkinson (who is represented by Pace Wildenstein Gallery) came out on top. While the actual cost of the piece was beyond our acquisition fund, Lisa set out to help find some private funding to complete the sale. I think we made a great choice for the collection and I think it will make a dramatice impact on visitors to the museum.

With the prospect of seeing the contemporary collection being rotated and reinstalled in the coming weeks, I will tell you what I would like to see, I invision the new Tim Hawkinson work placed in dialogue with one of the other great sculptures in the collection, Bruce Nauman's, Untitled (Hand Circle). I just think that each of these works are aesthetically pleasing and would create an interesting dialogue in relation to each other. I guess we will see if this happens. But until then, swing by the IMA and check out this new acquisition.

[image, from IMA's web site]

Bruce Nauman's
Untitled (Hand Circle)
phosphorus patinated bronze and wire

3 Responses to “IMA Acquires Tim Hawkinson Sculpture”

ChristopherWestPresents said...
August 10, 2008 at 11:12 AM

Love the Hawkinson - not so crazy about the Nauman. But that's just me.

Craig McCormick said...
August 11, 2008 at 3:15 PM

I agree - the Hawkinson is fantastic. Scott, if it's not top secret information, I'd love to know what other contemporary sculptors the IMA is considering.

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