2013 Blue Angel II Bass Museum Art Public Basel

PROJECT OVERVIEW

"Blue Angel II is a 40-foot sculpture leaning on the front façade of the Bass Museum of Art in Miami for the Art Public sector of Art Basel Miami and part of the Bass Museum's Temporary Contemporary. It consists of industrial sheets of polished and powder-coated steel, joined together by rivets into one long sheet- the size of an airplane wing. Installed on the front façade of the building, the shimmering mirrored collection of metal appears as if it has crashed onto the site.Referencing crashed airplane fuselage in sheer scale and material, Blue Angel II is an allegorical memorial for our post 9/11 collective memory. The mirrored surface of the exterior implicates both the viewer and site through its reflective distortions. Michelle Lopez creates allegorical inversions of familiar cultural icons in order to circumscribe truths about our current societal landscape.Nicholas Baume, director and chief curator of Public Art Fund and curator of Art Basel’s Public sector in Miami Beach, selected Michelle Lopez to participate in this year’s exhibition states:‘Michelle’s work engages a certain tradition of minimalism. But it also brings it to a very personal perspective. Her work expresses both a formal elegance, but there is a violence to it as well, but that violence where she is manipulating and pulling and pushing the material itself ultimately leads to a very poetic - a very beautiful play of the machine made and the hand touched.’"

-Michelle Lopez: Blue Angel II, Bass Museum of Art, Miami, 2013, excerpts from the Simon Preston Gallery press release.

Art Basel announces Nicholas Baume, Director and Chief Curator of Public ArtFund, as curator of Art Basel's Public sector in Miami Beach.

"The Public sector sites work by some of the world’s leading and emerging artists into the cityscape of Miami Beach. For the third consecutive year, Public will transform Collins Park into an outdoor exhibition space with large-scale sculpture, video, installation and live performance. Produced in collaboration with the Bass Museum of Art, the sector includes works presented by the show’s international galleries. A night of performances and events, free and open to the public,traditionally opens this sector.

Curated for the first time by Nicholas Baume, Director and Chief Curator of Public Art Fund, this year’s edition of Public will reflect Baume’s deep commitment to and relationship with art in the public sphere.

Nicholas Baume comments: 'The growing importance of Art Basel's Public program,reflects both the strong desire of artists to work in ways that initiate a direct encounter with the public, and the investment that many galleries now make to help artists realize their most ambitious ideas. The result is an opportunity for everyone in Miami to engage with great contemporary art in a highly accessible public setting.'

Marc Spiegler, Director of Art Basel, says: 'Nicholas’s contributions to public art through his leadership at the Public Art Fund have been exceptional. We are looking forward to seeing how he will transform Collins Park in Miami Beach this December.'"

About Nicholas Baume

Nicholas Baume has been Director and Chief Curator of Public Art Fund since September 2009. Recent Public Art Fund exhibitions include solo projects by Ugo Rondinone, Thomas Schütte, Oscar Tuazon, Monika Sosnowska, Paola Pivi, Rob Pruitt, Eva Rothschild, and Ryan Gander; the group exhibitions Statuesque and Common Ground; a major career survey, Sol LeWitt: Structures, 1965 – 2006; and the blockbuster project Tatzu Nishi: Discovering Columbus. Prior to joining Public Art Fund, Baume served as Chief Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.

-Art Basel, Miami Beach, December 5 to 7, 2013 excerpts from the press release.

One Rivet Fundraising Campaign, Director Greg Poole

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BLUE ANGEL II
8'x  15'x 40'
mirrored stainless steel, powder-coated steel, rivets, steel
Bass Museum, Miami
2013
BLUE ANGEL III
mirrored aluminum, powder-coated, steel
FIAC, Jardin des Plantes, Paris
2014

PROCESS NOTES
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A part of Nicholas Baume’s exhibition at Miami Basel “Art Public.” The work remained as a permanent part of Bass Museum’s outdoor space through Spring 2014. At this scale, the work felt analogous to the wing of an airplane or an extreme wilted Chamberlain.

I received a NYFA Fiscal Sponsorship Grant allowing me to fundraise and produce an ambitious public project: a 40-foot Blue Angel at the Bass Museum of Art for Miami Basel Public (2013), curated by Nicholas Baume. I organized a crowd-funding campaign, One-Rivet, in conjunction with Nicholas Baume, curator at the Public Art Fund. In the Bass Museum installation, I decided to take the airplane wing scale and create a Blue Angel at 40 feet to lean against the facade of the Bass Museum. The effort required collaboration with architects, structural engineers, riggers, and a team of riveters who helped me assemble sheets of stainless steel in the same manner as the construction of an airplane’s exterior shell. Moving my work outdoors to confront a large, public space proved an important part of my artistic development.

My work experientially examines collapsed structures on micro (individual and figurative) and macro (political and social) levels. I am an interdisciplinary artist, investigating iconic systems of power and consumption primarily through sculpture and installation. The exploration of materials is an important part of my practice and I have expanded the usage of industrial materials to their outermost limits in order to expose the boundaries of our own constructions/constrictions of culture.

I seek out perverse contradictions and loopholes within our shared cultural icons as they signify “–isms:” consumerism, nationalism, patriotism, terrorism, minimalism, machismo. I tamper with this culture of familiarity to expose oxymorons of society and self, through acts of physical violence and allegorical inversions, in order to undo and critique the chosen iconography. I move in reverse and find the human frailty inherent in these forms and then punch the piece to wilt through the choice of materials and manipulation of form. These emblems of culture translate into how we present ourselves bodily: appropriated, hybrid, hung, or vulnerable, even tragically monumental.

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