Inside/Outside: Nancy Popp + Paul Druecke
Nancy Popp + Paul Druecke
July 26-October 26
Opening reception: Saturday, July 26, 5-8 pm
Picnic with the Artists, August 21, 2013, 6-8 pm
Knitting Circle with Artist-in-Residence Nancy Popp, March 23, 2014, 2-5 pm
Knitting Circle with Artist-in-Residence Nancy Popp, July 20, 2014, 1-4 pm
Conversations with Sculpture: Modern and Contemporary, July 26, 2014, 3:30-5 pm
Life and Death on the Bluffs: A Reading with Paul Druecke, Martha Bergland and Paul G. Hayes, September 7, 2014, 3 pm
The opening of Inside/Outside: Nancy Popp + Paul Druecke on July 26 will be preceded by Conversations with Sculptures: Modern + Contemporary (3:30-5 pm), an expansive, interactive, ambulatory conversation hosted by dancer/choreographers Elizabeth Johnson and Cate Deicher and artists Nicholas Frank and Jenna Knapp. The Conversations series, which has shaped programming at Lynden in July as we prepare for a performance of Trisha Brown's "Early Works" on July 27, has been considering Brown's earliest dances in the context of Lynden's monumental sculptures--both products of the '60s and '70s. This final segment will bring the conversation up to the present by looking at the approaches Druecke and Popp take to sculpture and performance. Popp will be performing the latest iteration of Untitled (Street Performances) during the event.
The Inside/Outside series explores Lynden's evolution from private residence to public institution, and in this latest installment Nancy Popp (Los Angeles) and Paul Druecke (Milwaukee) use visual markers--lines, paths, stencils and engraved stones--to reimagine Lynden's history and spaces. In a new installment of Popp's Untitled (Street Performances) and in Garden Path, Druecke's site-specific intervention, they create a physical and conceptual dialogue between their pieces and practices. Both artists have extensive backgrounds with site-specific work, often addressing the history of a place and its cultural implications by illuminating its political and social context and exploring relationships among artist, audience, and institution.
Nancy Popp's Untitled (Street Performances) draw on the traditions of durational, corporeal performance and political intervention to explore relations between body and site. Though Popp often performs on urban streets or at building sites--where her interventions are unannounced and sometimes disrupted--at Lynden she has had the opportunity to study the grounds over the course of three residencies to choose a path through the trees. She marks her paths, whether in built or natural environments, with orange mason line, creating large-scale three-dimensional drawings with a material meant to aid bricklayers in keeping their bricks straight. Popp was immediately drawn to Lynden's trees, which she saw as living in the shadows of the monumental sculptures, and to the cracks in the glass of the former swimming pavilion, which make their way into a series of photographs in the gallery.
Popp is introducing a new element into her performance at Lynden, a hammock knit from mason line that will hang along the route. Popp layers personal meaning onto the hammock's association with relaxation and sleep. In April 2013 she suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle accident. The period of recovery, in which a community of friends and loved ones cared for her as her bones worked themselves back together, became associated with networks, webs, and knitting. The Lynden hammock is both a collective and public project, involving two knitting assistants and a series of public knitting events around Milwaukee where spectators could take a turn or talk to Popp and her assistants about the project, and Popp could make her own connections to a new community.
Paul Druecke has solicited strangers door to door, christened a park and courtyard, rolled out the red carpet, been a benefactor, initiated a Board of Directors, and memorialized the act of memorialization. Recent stints as a resident in Spaces World Art Program and a Mary L. Nohl Fellow resulted in permanent, public installations of bronze plaques that commemorate their own legitimacy; a further iteration of this project was included in the 2014 Whitney Biennial.
In Garden Path, Druecke--operating from afar--shapes the viewer's experience by insinuating boundaries and choices into his installation. Garden Path winds eastward from the arbor entrance of Lynden's formal garden to the grass verge bordering Brown Deer Road, outside Lynden’s perimeter fence, crossing lawns, a patio, a parking lot and a prairie. It commemorates Vocation by paying homage to the often invisible workers who care for Lynden’s sculptures and grounds; but it also introduces a subtly transgressive perspective by placing a carefully manicured path, complete with planters and engraved markers, in an otherwise path-less sculpture garden, and by ultimately inviting visitors through the boundary fence and “just outside” the garden’s pastoral sanctuary. One steps through the fence and into the middle of Laundry Day, a one-hundred-foot mural that operates as a window into the imagined life of Lynden when it was a private residence, with laundry hanging in what is now a parking lot.
Druecke sees a parallel between Garden Path and his series of bronze plaques: “It’s interesting to see how effectively the path inhabits its form, inviting engagement through its vernacular function--visitors have been walking on it since I began installing it several weeks ago--but complicating that engagement with aesthetic considerations that tend to lead one away from individual sculptures at Lynden rather than toward them." The custom carpets in the entrance and gallery, a kind of continuation of the path that reference plats--and therefore boundaries--of different vintages, offer a similar complication, though in a different context. Visitors feel compelled to use the outdoor path, but by locating the carpets indoors, in a gallery, the artist has presented viewers with another set of choices. Druecke is also exhibiting two photographic panoramas and a silk-screened text piece in the gallery. The varied mediums and range of projects resonate with Druecke's interest in time, the existential insecurity that underwrites so much “mark-making,” and an exploratory reworking of boundaries between self and other.
Shepherd Express review of the exhibition: http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-permalink-23919.html
Wisconsin Gazette review of the exhibition: http://www.wisconsingazette.com/art-gaze/artists-explore-lyndens-gardens-inside-and-out.html
About the Artists
Nancy Popp is a Los Angeles-based artist and educator. She has exhibited at such venues as the 2011 Istanbul Biennial, Turkey; the Manifesta 9 Biennial, Belgium; the Getty Center, Los Angeles; Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center; Rowan University, New Jersey; SUNY, New York; galleries in Los Angeles, Düsseldorf, Belgrade, and Tijuana; and many other public sites and institutions. She holds degrees from Art Center College of Design, Pasadena and the San Francisco Art Institute, and is a recipient of the California Community Foundation’s Visual Arts Fellowship and was a Lucas Artist Fellow at the Montalvo Arts Center. Recent exhibitions include DB14 (the Dallas Biennial), Monte Vista Projects and Gallery KM in Los Angeles as well as a group exhibition at the Luckman Gallery at California State University, Los Angeles. More information: http://www.nancypopp.com
Paul Druecke lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His work was included in the 2014 Whitney Biennial. A co-authored discussion of his work will be included in the forthcoming Blackwell Companion to Public Art, and his second book, Life and Death on the Bluffs, was recently published by Green Gallery Press. Druecke was a 2010 recipient of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation's Mary L. Nohl Fellowship, and he is an invited Resident at the Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik in Berlin in 2014. He has created projects with the Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne; The Suburban, Chicago; Outpost for Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Green Gallery, Milwaukee; Many Mini Residency, Berlin; and the Contemporary Art Museum Houston, among other venues. His work has been featured in Camera Austria and InterReview, and written about in Artforum, Art in America, Artnet.com and Metropolis.com. More information: http://www.asocialevent.com