Sculpture Key West 2009 takes shape
Sculpture Key West 2009 is shaping up to be the most cohesive and challenging exhibition to date. This annual outdoor exhibition, now in its 14th year, opens January 18, 2009, and showcases 32 works by local, national and international artists on the tropical island of Key West, Florida.
Known primarily as an offbeat tourist destination and as the home of reclusive writers like Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams, Key West has recently achieved some critical attention from the artworld at large with this outdoor exhibition of contemporary and cutting-edge sculpture. Sculpture Key West has been working quietly to build a solid reputation of artistic excellence and is attracting world-class curators and artists.
The 2009 show features installations that were selected by a jury led by Shamim M. Momin, Associate Curator of the Whitney Museum in New York and co-curator of the 2008 Whitney Biennial. Additional jury members were Robert Chambers, internationally renowned artist living in Miami; Vera Vasek, SKW board member and artist; Eric Holowacz, Executive Director of The Studios of Key West; and Gavin McKiernan, a Key West arts professional.
This year’s jury selected works with a similar overall theme to give the exhibition a sense of cohesion. As conceived by Momin, sculptures that are site-specific or site-dependent tend to be the most interesting and successful. Works that are environmental, ethereal, ephemeral, works that are constructed on site, or that reference the history of the site are the focus of this year’s exhibition. Many of them will cease to exist after the show is over.
The majority of the artworks will be installed at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, which opens March 1 and West Martello Tower, which opens Jan 18, 2009. Some additional works will be installed at other locations around the island, including Bayview Pond (past home of the Loch Ness Monster) and the White Street Pier. The show closes on April 18, 2009, at all locations.
Some highlights for the 2009 exhibition include: A tower of Cuban bread, a giant glowing halo, silver "ghost flags," a tower of salt (to go with the bread?), a giant line demonstrating the tangent to the earth, a fence in the shape of the detainment center at Guantanamo Bay, a hot-pink trailer filled with snarling dogs and a glowing pink hole in Bayview Pond.
Interesting trends are in evidence among the selected sculptures. This year's show is heavier on video and audio installations, works that light up at night, glow, ring, buzz, and hum. Works that melt, disappear, get eaten or get lost and found are also common, and perhaps will cease to exist before the show closes.
Returning Key West favorites John Martini, Lauren P. McAloon, and Anja Marais are all making large and dramatic works for Fort Taylor. Artists hail from Florida and ten other states (including New York, Alabama, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Tennessee and Wisconsin) as well as two international participants, from Paris and Berlin.
Notable returning and new artists are: Mike Ross (Brooklyn) Cameron Gainer (Minneapolis), Lori Nozick (New York), Steven Durow (New Orleans), Karlis Rekevics (Brooklyn), Andrea Stanislav (Minneapolis), Diana Sphungin (Brooklyn), Blane De St Croix (Boca Raton), Roy Staab (Wisconsin), Richard Medlock (Miami), Karen McCoy (Hartford, CT). Twenty-four are new to the exhibition, eleven artists are returning. Four sculptures will be made by artist collaborative teams.
###For more information, visit www.sculpturekeywest.com or contact Karley Klopfenstein, Karley@sculpturekeywest.com or 305-295-3800