On the Grounds

Zen Jail

JPW3

2019
Laser-cut aluminum, wood, tree trunk, cast aluminum sculpture, and flora

Courtesy of the artist

Marcy & Michael Klein Plaza

Zen Jail is an open-ended work in progress, adapting to its new home in Sarasota, after time in a park in Miami. The artist, JPW3 (b. 1981, Tallahassee, FL), sourced a piece of wood from a tree that grew in Sarasota and has turned it into a scope for the viewer/participant to meditate—or spy—on passers-by from the sunken bench seat. A tea plant is growing, that will be harvested and brewed in a series of interactive performative events that will riff on tea ceremonies around the world. Passion flower (passiflora) vines grow onto the framework of Zen Jail, providing a micro-ecosystem for butterflies (especially the endangered Monarch Danaus plexippus) and other pollinators to assist in habitat restoration. Zen Jail will evolve and grow as the site responds to the community’s engagement. It may be a meditation site, a site for music and performance, a site for reflection, a playspace—how would you like to play with Zen Jail?

JPW3's Zen Jail is a site specific art installation at Sarasota Art Museum
JPW3, Zen Jail (2016/2019)

Courtesy of the artist

Untitled

Olivier Mosset

2019

Acrylic on masonry

Courtesy of the artist

Marcy & Michael Klein Plaza

Olivier Mosset's Untitled (2019) site specific installation at Sarasota Art Museum
Olivier Mosset, Untitled (2019)
Acrylic on masonry

Courtesy of the artist

Olivier Mosset's Untitled (2019) site specific installation at Sarasota Art Museum
Olivier Mosset, Untitled (2019)
Acrylic on masonry

Courtesy of the artist

Olivier Mosset (b. 1944,  Switzerland) is one of the most influential artists to emerge from the radical art revolutions of the 1960s and perhaps the most powerful in the ongoing discourse on “the death of painting”. Seeking to reject the mere commodification of art—objects transacting as base currency—and hoping to elevate the practice with greater spiritual, aesthetic, and intellectual meaning, Mosset and his cohorts playfully disrupted notions of authorship and ownership. Trained in the beaux-arts tradition, Mosset’s work disrupts illusionistic conventions in art and returns to the foundation of painting with pure color and form.

Mosset represented Switzerland in the 1994 Venice Biennial and has influenced generations of artists, such as Odili Donald Odita, whose work can be seen in the Loggia. Coming of artistic age in the 1960s, Mosset was steeped in avant-garde gestures designed to actively resist the commodification of art. As a member of BMPT,a mid-1960s, Paris-based art group composed of painters Daniel Buren, Olivier Mosset, Michel Parmentier, and Niele Toroni, Mosset aimed to create artwork that referred to nothing but itself. Mosset continued to focus on pure color, shape, and authorship after BMPT disbanded, as seen with the prints featured here and the site responsive painting installation on the façade of this building designed by Paul Rudolph in 1959. Mosset has collaborated with architects such as Jean Nouvel, subtly enhancing architectonic features with his reductive monochromes. In this case, the metal casements of previous doors became the frame for a painting, playing on the notion that a painting is always a portal to another dimension or plane. A young boy, upon visiting Mosset’s collection of the minimal artists who have been influenced by him remarked “You know, where there is less to see, you look more carefully.”

La Musa Azul

Carl Abbott

2019

Wood, stucco, latex paint, and banana plants
Courtesy of the artist
Marcy & Michael Klein Plaza

As one enters the Plaza, the eye is drawn toward two “Abbott Blue” walls converging in a portal. These diagonal gestures define the entrance to the site-responsive, interactive installation, La Musa Azul, featuring one of the signature blue hues that has defined Carl Abbott’s (b. 1944) creative practice since his youth, where he was captivated by the wild irises and petunias of his Georgia childhood. The sculpture defines Abbott’s intersecting attributes as both a colorist and a landscape designer, and employs his signature diagonal gesture, used as a device to lead both body and vision. Visitors are invited to wander the grove, sit in quiet contemplation or simply marvel at the musa trees (Latin name for the banana genus), and enjoy the shared etymology of “muse”, origin of the word museum—a muse in the grove. Trees have long provided our “first architecture”—providing shelter—and sacred groves throughout time and across cultures have provided a respite from the bustle of our “profane”, workaday lives—much needed during this current time.

Carl Abbott, La Musa Azul
Carl Abbott, La Musa Azul, 2019
Wood, stucco, latex paint, and banana plants

Courtesy of the artist

Coming Together

Jose Alvarez (D.O.P.A)

2020

Ink on vinyl

Courtesy of the artist and GAVLAK Los Angeles / Palm Beach

Thomas McGuire Hall

Jose Alvarez (D.O.P.A), Coming Together (2020) Ink on vinyl, Photo: Rich Schineller
Jose Alvarez (D.O.P.A), Coming Together (2020)
Ink on vinyl

Courtesy of the artist and GAVLAK Los Angeles / Palm Beach
Photo: Rich Schineller

Jose Alvarez (D.O.P.A) (b. 1961) was born in Venezuela and currently resides and works in South Florida. Alvarez’s work spans various media, including performance, works on paper, and large-scale vinyl installations – all grounded in the exploration of common human experience.

Coming Together was created for Sarasota Art Museum in 2020 — all in the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic that has produced feelings of isolation and disconnectedness to many.

In D.O.P.A.’s words:

In the act of creating this mural, I thought of the museum as a place of healing. A place that contains within it the possibility of transformation, a place that acts as a vessel of sorts to lift our spirits, celebrate our connections as humans and bring in the possibility of hope. That’s the reason that I named it Coming Together. Not just as an obvious response to our current world atmosphere but actually as a proposal to encourage us to lose ourselves in the objects and activities that we as humans create in order to give our lives meaning. I’ve tried to fill one’s direct and peripheral vision upon entering the space. Continuing my visual inquiry of both the fantastic and the philosophical, I’ve utilized a very bright and welcoming color palette. I try to invite the visitors to contemplate the dance played out in front of them. Ultimately, the painting creates a type of fantastic visual reverie destined to transport the viewer to a higher place. A place of “non judgement” and acceptance. A visual oasis in the midst of an urban setting. A visual testament of our collective story of survival and recovery.

A story where Art becomes not only a vehicle to transport the viewer, but also a tool to heal myself and others.

Force Field

Odili Donald Odita

2019-2020

Latex paint on masonry

Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery

Jan Schmidt Loggia

Odili Donald Odita (b. 1966, Nigeria) is well known for his site-specific kaleidoscopic patterns of hard-edge, colorful shapes. Force Field bathes the Museum’s Loggia with colorful angular forms arranged in a rhythmic composition, with slivers of white acting as visual ellipses, much like phrasing in a jazz riff.

Odili Donald Odita's "Force Field" is a a site specific installation for Sarasota Art Museum
Odili Donald Odita, Force Field, (2019-2020)

Photo: Sarasota Art Museum

28 Colors (Sarasota, FL)

Leah Rosenberg

2019

Latex and acrylic paint

Courtesy of the artist

Museum Lobby and stairwell

For Leah Rosenberg (b. 1979, Michigan), color and process play a primary role in her body of work spanning painting, sculpture, printmaking, food and performance.

In 28 Colors (Sarasota, FL), Leah Rosenberg surveyed our hometown on foot and chose twenty-eight colors to represent specific aspects of Sarasota. On view you will see Purple Hyacinth of the Van Wezel, Sea Star of manatees at MOTE, Vermillion of circus stripes, Tangy Orange of the Sarasota High School team colors, and Oregano of palm tree leaves, among twenty-three other colorful interpretations. The shape of the installation responds to the architecture of the building, transforming from solid stripes in the Lobby that then begin to sway and segment into playful confetti in the stairwell, and ultimately fall back into a structured pattern that mimics the original brick masonry.

Vita in Motu

Christian Sampson

2019

Solar Projection, Color Motion Picture, a durational site-specific installation with dichroic film, acrylic and glass

Courtesy of the artist

Museum Third Floor – Jonathan McCague Arcade

Christian Sampson (b. 1974) works with both tangible and intangible materials – Plexiglas, polymers, wood, dyes, light, reflection and shadow – to experiment with space and perception. His works are often site-specific, uniquely responding to architectural space. The ephemeral and ever-changing nature of these colored light projections aligns closely with early cinematic animation and filmmaking experiments.

The site-specific installation Vita in Motu conscripts the architecture of the building, and the solar system, as collaborators to create an ever-changing dazzling color and light show, reminding us of our place in the universe and that color is light, constantly in flux, and subject to one’s perspective.

Complexus

John Henry

2007

Painted Steel

On loan from the City of Sarasota

Great Lawn

John Henry (born 1943, Lexington, Kentucky) is acclaimed for his monumental sculptures composed of floating beams and primary colors.

Standing 70-feet-tall, Complexus was completed in Henry’s signature style: a grand statement of mass and color constructed with refined, geometric forms. While the sculpture is composed of basic shapes, Henry orients them in a complicated puzzle of floating and leaning pieces, creating a visual paradox – the sculpture appears both grounded as a large steel structure, yet also airy, as pieces float amongst the background of the sky.

Henry’s large-scale sculptures have made their mark on landscapes across the United States. All of his sculptures are designed and constructed in his studio in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
John Henry Complexus 2007 Painted steel
John Henry, Complexus, 2007
Painted steel

The structure the labor the foundation the escape the pause

Xaviera Simmons

2020

Steel, wood, concrete, and acrylic

Courtesy of the artist and David Castillo, Miami; Originally commissioned by Socrates Sculpture Park, New York, with support from the Ford Foundation.

Great Lawn

Xaviera Simmons (b. 1974, New York) engages her sweeping practice of photography, painting, video, sound, sculpture, and installation to explore the construction of landscape, language, and complex histories in the United States and its empire building globally.

Xaviera Simmons, The structure the labor the foundation the escape the pause (2020) Steel, wood, concrete, and acrylic, in three parts: a. 17 × 4 × 12 ft.; b. 14.8 ft. × 10 in. × 7.5 ft.; c. 12.5 × 9 × 26 ft. Courtesy of the Artist, Socrates Sculpture Park, and David Castillo, Miami Photo: Sara Morgan
Xaviera Simmons, The structure the labor the foundation the escape the pause (2020)
Steel, wood, concrete, and acrylic
in three parts: a. 17 × 4 × 12 ft.; b. 14.8 ft. × 10 in. × 7.5 ft.; c. 12.5 × 9 × 26 ft.

Courtesy of the Artist, Socrates Sculpture Park, and David Castillo, Miami
Photo: Sara Morgan

Los Trompos

Héctor Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena

2015/2019

Metal and woven fabric

Courtesy of the artists

Great Lawn

Los Trompos (“The Spinning Tops”), a large-scale, interactive installation designed by award-winning contemporary Mexican designers Héctor Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena, are inspired by the colorful design of a children’s toy top. The vibrant colors on each are made from fabric that is woven in a traditional style by Mexican artisans. Functioning as both artwork and rotating seating spaces, each sculpture acts as a gathering place for relaxation, social interaction and a meaningful art experience.

Los Trompos by Esrawe and Cadena are "Spinning tops" that are installed around the meander of Sarasota Art Museum
Héctor Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena, Los Trompos, (2015)

Photo: Sarasota Art Museum