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E.V. Day: SNAP!
On view 2 May– 30 November 2013
The Glass House has opened its first site-specific exhibition: SNAP! by E.V. Day. Conceived for the building known as Da Monsta – designed by Philip Johnson in 1995 as a visitor centre and now a gallery – SNAP! interprets the pavilion's peculiar geometry and atmosphere both inside and out. Day has roped the exterior of Da Monsta with massive climbing webs and populated the interior with an ensemble of recent sculpture that tease out the ‘noir’ qualities of Johnson's late work.
SNAP! signals the transformation of the Glass House from a static house museum to a place of active cultural exchange. It also highlights the National Trust for Historic Preservation's commitment to reinvigorating its historic sites with innovative programming. According to Estevan Rael-Gálvez, senior vice president of historic sites at the National Trust:
Historic sites must be dynamic, relevant and evolving. They must foster an understanding and appreciation of history and culture that is critical, layered, and sensory. Installations like this one at the Glass House not only reinvigorate the site's legacy as a locus of creativity but also establish it as a thought leader in the intersection of historic preservation and contemporary art.
Glass House Director Henry Urbach adds:
SNAP!interacts boldly and playfully with Da Monsta. By foregrounding themes of the body, identity, and power, Day's work opens up new readings of the building and the site.
Da Monsta, located near the Glass House gate, is a jagged neo-Expressionist building of curves and contours. Responding to Johnson's statement that ‘the building is alive’, the artist has cast a net, capturing and staking Da Monsta to the ground. The dynamic interplay between Day and Da Monsta continues inside. Five recent sculptures – Spinneret (a study for Spidey Striptease), Silver Mummified Barbie, Wet Net, Pollinator, and Bandage Dress (white with chain) – occupy the first gallery. The second gallery presents an installation of tight directional lines that ricochet from Da Monsta's unique contours. The recorded sound of a purring animal below the floor further exposes its strange alive-ness.
E.V. Day is best known for large-scale installations such as Divas Ascending at Lincoln Center, commissioned by New York City Opera and comprising retired costumes from their archives. Bride Fight, a high-tension string-up of two duelling bridal gowns, was exhibited at Lever House as part of their collection, and G-Force, 200 thongs stretched to resemble jet fighters suspended in air force flying formation at the Whitney Museum's Altria court near Grand Central Station. Last spring, inspired by her residency at the Monet Foundation, she recreated a living version of Monet's water lily garden as an environmental backdrop for her photo series with Kembra Pfahler at The Hole Gallery.
Day received her MFA in Sculpture from Yale University School of Art. The first work in her Exploding Couture series, Bombshell, was included in the 2000 Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art and is now in the museum's permanent collection. She has had many solo exhibitions, including a mid-career survey at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University. Day has been awarded grants and residencies from The Versailles Foundation's Munn Artists Program at Claude Monet's Garden in Giverny, ArtPace San Antonio, New York Foundation for the Arts, Dieu Donné Paper Mill, and The Atlantic Center for the Arts. Day's work is held in the permanent collections of The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Museum of Modern Art, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, The New York Public Library, Lever House, The Saatchi Collection, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The National Museum of Women in the Arts, The Smithsonian Institution, and many private collections.
About the Glass House
Built between 1949 and 1995 by architect Philip Johnson, the Glass House is a National Trust Historic Site located in New Canaan, CT. The pastoral 49-acre landscape comprises 14 structures, including the Glass House (1949), and features a permanent collection of 20th-century painting and sculpture, along with temporary exhibitions. The tour season runs from May to November and advance reservations are required. For more information, and to purchase tickets, visit www.theglasshouse.org
The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a privately-funded nonprofit organization that works to save America's historic places to enrich the nation’s future. www.preservationnation.org
The Glass House
199 Elm Street
Open Thursday – Monday, 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Tickets start at $30, including tour of the site.