View of Robert Indiana, ONE through ZERO. © 2017 Morgan Art Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo by Tom Powel Imaging. Courtesy The Glass House.
ONE through ZERO
May 11–November 30, 2017
The Glass House
199 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT 06840
Hours: Thursday–Monday 9:30am–5:30pm
“Numbers fill my life.
They fill my life even more than love.
We are immersed in numbers from the moment we are born….
By creating them, I’ve invested those numbers with a quality they have never had before.”*
The Glass House is pleased to present the first public installation world-wide of the complete set of Robert Indiana’s ONE through ZERO, ten 6-foot-high COR-TEN steel sculptures that were conceived in 1980 and executed in 2003. Visitors will find these monumental works located in a field just to the south of the Glass House itself, where they have been placed to accentuate the edge of the hill that separates the house from the pond and pavilion below. Taking advantage of the changes of level in the landscape and the visual connections with many highlights of the property, the installation conjoins Philip Johnson and Robert Indiana’s visionary approach to industrial materials, proportion, form and the understanding of space.
The positioning of the sculptures allows them to be seen directly from the Glass House, while establishing sightlines from the artworks to other significant pavilions and structures, including the Studio, Ghost House and Da Monsta. The site is also notable as an area where Philip Johnson considered placing a small chapel toward the end of his life. The installation of ONE through ZERO is in keeping with Johnson’s approach to placing pavilions and structures within the landscape.
The Glass House welcomes visitors to explore how these powerful works interact with our landscape and respond to light and shadow throughout the seasons. The work will remain on view through November 2017. Numbers first appeared in Indiana’s work in the late 1950s. Inspired by abandoned materials that he found in the studio he’d taken on Coenties Slip in lower Manhattan—an old printer’s calendar, and a set of brass die-cut stencils that were relics of the shipping trade—he started to apply letters and numbers to his sculptural assemblages and paintings. Indiana has said that “the numbers had a kind of robustness and…crude vigor which I liked.”
As the Glass House commemorates its 10th year as a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, this 10-sculpture installation is especially appropriate, since COR-TEN steel was a material favored by Johnson and lines the paths linking the Glass House and its sister building, the Brick House. The combination of monumentality, wit and underlying seriousness of intention makes ONE through ZERO especially suited for exhibition at our site, which at its heart continues to celebrate the ethos of Philip Johnson and David Whitney.
The exhibition is organized by Chief Curator & Creative Director Hilary Lewis and Cole Akers, Curator and Special Projects Manager. Architectural and exhibition assistance was provided by Aaron McDonald, ADG McDonald Architects.
The exhibition has been made possible through generous support from the Morgan Art Foundation and the Salama-Caro family.
*Robert Indiana, cited in Indiana’s Indianas: a 20-year Retrospective of Paintings And Sculpture from the Collection of Robert Indiana. Exh. cat. (Rockland: William A. Farnsworth Library and Art Museum, 1982), p. 7.
Robert Indiana (born 1928)
One of the preeminent figures in American art since the 1960s, Robert Indiana has played a central role in the development of assemblage art, hard-edge painting and Pop art. A self-proclaimed “American painter of signs,” Indiana has created a highly original body of work that explores American identity, personal history and the power of abstraction and language, establishing an important legacy that resonates in the work of many contemporary artists who make the written word a central element of their oeuvre.
Indiana’s artwork has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions around the world, and his works are in the permanent collections of institutions including the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the Smithsonian Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C., the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Menil Collection in Houston, the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, New Hampshire, the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, the Stedelijk van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, Netherlands, the Museum Ludwig in Vienna, the Shanghai Art Museum in China, and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. He has also been included in numerous international publications and is the subject of a number of monographs.
The Glass House was built between 1949 and 1995 by architect Philip Johnson. The Glass House is a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation located in New Canaan, CT. The pastoral 49-acre landscape comprises fourteen 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 through 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 our future.
For additional information: Christa Carr, Communications Director
T 203 275 7565 / email@example.com
A tour of the site is included with the cost of admission.