Carissa Rodriguez and In Practice come to SculptureCenter

SculptureCenter presents Carissa Rodriguez: The Maid

Carissa Rodriguez and In Practice come to SculptureCenter

Sometimes it is worth a trip beyond Brooklyn for an art opening. How about a night out in Long Island City?

SculptureCenter presents Carissa Rodriguez: The Maid, the artist's first solo museum exhibition in New York City, and In Practice: Another Echo, an exhibition presented through SculptureCenter's open call commissioning program for emerging artists. The opening of both exhibitions takes place on Sunday, January 28, 2018, from 5-7pm, with both shows continuing through April 2, 2018.

Carissa Rodriguez: The Maid

Carissa Rodriguez examines the material and social conditions in which art is produced and reveals how the canonical figure of the artist is reflected in—and reproduced by—the products of her labor.

Rodriguez’s solo exhibition at SculptureCenter will feature a newly commissioned video work. By engaging the discourse of sculpture through the tools of cinema, the video follows the lives of ‘related’ artworks and recounts the conditional relationships between artist, artwork, and third-party agents (institution, caregiver, surrogate) in familial terms. Through this work, Rodriguez investigates how techniques of modern reproduction—both artistic and biological—are organized around property and kinship structures that are mediated through technology and the law.

Carissa Rodriguez: The Maid is accompanied by a color publication with essays by Katrib and Leah Pires. Carissa Rodriguez’ video commission is underwritten by Valeria Napoleone XX SculptureCenter.
Carissa Rodriguez (born 1970 in New York City; lives and works in New York City) has exhibited in New York and internationally since the mid-1990s. Recent solo exhibitions include the CCA Wattis Institute, San Francisco (2016); Front Desk Apparatus, New York (2013); and Karma International, Zurich (2012).

Carissa Rodriguez, The Maid, production still, 2017. Courtesy the artist


In Practice: Another Echo

Curated by SculptureCenter's 2018 Curatorial Fellow Allie Tepper, In Practice: Another Echo brings together the work of twelve artists and artist teams engaged in reshaping experiences and forms of public space. Often responding to imposed sociopolitical conditions, the artists in this exhibition project voice and language, and make use of responsive and vernacular materials. Rather than glance at the past with nostalgia, these artists share a preoccupation with the present moment: obscuring, adapting, and subverting surrounding signs and physical structures in order to witness, reinvent, and survive the often agitated terrain of contemporary life.

The exhibition features newly commissioned works by: Elena Ailes & Simon Belleau, Nobutaka Aozaki, Cudelice Brazelton, Priyanka Dasgupta & Chad Marshall, Carey Denniston, Jules Gimbrone, Baseera Khan, Juliana Cerqueira Leite, Courtney McClellan, Jon Wang, Carmen Winant, and Lachell Workman

About SculptureCenter

SculptureCenter has been an active contributor to New York City's cultural community since 1928. Originally founded as "The Clay Club" by Dorothea Denslow, SculptureCenter renamed itself in 1944 and in 1948 moved to a carriage house on East 69th Street in Manhattan. Here it established a ground floor gallery space dedicated solely to sculpture with workshops and studio space on the upper floors. Over the course of the next half-century, as the field of sculpture expanded and evolved, SculptureCenter's exhibition and education programs have as well.

In 2001, SculptureCenter purchased a former trolley repair shop in Long Island City, Queens. The building was redesigned by artist and designer Maya Lin, and includes 6,000 square feet of interior exhibition space and a 3,000 square foot outdoor exhibition space. In 2014, the building was expanded and renovated by Andrew Berman Architects.

In 1928 Dorothea Denslow (1900-1971), a sculptor working in Brooklyn, opened her studio to students and local artists as a place to work and learn about sculpture and art, founding the vibrant network and resource that would become SculptureCenter. The growing group of artists operated under the name Clay Club, and in 1930, moved to a carriage house on West 8th street to open a studio and gallery space. During this period they had ongoing solo, group, thematic, and traveling exhibitions, as well as room to teach classes and give artists studio space. From 1928 to 1939, they had annual picnics on Staten Island where members would gather at a natural clay site and construct monumental sculptures. This is documented in archival 16mm film shot at the events, compiled here as Dance of the Mudmixers (below).

From 1941 through 1945, many of the Clay Club members fought in World War II. While they were away, the studios were turned into Sculpture Canteen. In the Servicemen's Program, members of the armed forces could take advantage of the Clay Club's facilities. Members taught classes and provided materials for free. After the war ended, veterans took advantage of the GI Bill to enroll in classes at the Clay Club. Serviceman Visits the Sculptor's Canteen (below) was a silent 16mm film produced by Clay Club members to advertise the program during the war.

In 1950, Clay Club changed its name to Sculpture Center, and relocated to a former carriage house at 167 East 69th Street. The artists, led by Dorothea Denslow, spent the next several years renovating the building themselves, eventually creating a gallery space on the first floor and workshops and studio space on the upper floors. This building was Sculpture Center's home for the next half-century.

In 1953, Sculpture Center had its 25th Anniversary Exhibition, including 87 major works from such sculptors as Alexander Calder, Louise Nevelson, and Isamu Noguchi. Through the 50's, 60's, and 70's, gallery artists showed their work on a rotating basis, while many classes were offered in the workshops and studios. There were several important and groundbreaking exhibitions in this period, including 12 Japanese Sculptors (1976), a survey of works by Japanese sculptors living in New York which highlighted the influences of both cultures.

Sculpture Center continued its tradition of experimental programming with exhibitions such as Touch and See: Sculpture Exhibition for the Blind and Sighted in 1980, a show in which visitors were invited to touch all the sculptures.

In 1981, Sculpture Center hired its first gallery director, Marian Griffiths (1922-2008). Under Griffith's guidance Sculpture Center established many of its innovative programs in support of sculpture in the expanding field. Over the two decades of her tenure, Griffith ushered in a new era for the Sculpture Center with a renewed focus on assisting emerging young sculptors and championing their work.

Some of the highlights the period include 1984's Sound / Art, one of the first surveys of the emerging fields of sound sculpture, audio art, and the way in which sound functions as a medium of expression. Griffiths also oversaw Sculpture Center's Artist-in-Residence program which included exhibitions by artists such as Petah Coyne, Beverly Semmes, and Robert Chambers.

In 2001, SculptureCenter purchased a former trolley repair shop in Long Island City, Queens. This new structure, which was redesigned by artist and designer Maya Lin, includes 6,000 square feet of interior exhibition space, and a 3,000 square foot outdoor exhibition space. SculptureCenter's new home opened to the public in December 2002. The new facility and its emphasis on exhibition space solidified the SculptureCenter's commitment to the exhibition of pioneering works by emerging and established, national and international artists.

In 2014, the Building SculptureCenter Campaign allowed for an expansion to the building, including a new 2,000 square foot addition to the dramatic existing structure. The expansion and renovation significantly improves the quality of the exhibition spaces and visitor circulation and brings the building into compliance with all current building codes including the Americans with Disabilities Act.


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