Michael Rees and James Carl

Grounds For Sculpture, Hamilton / USA

June 2, 2018–January 5, 2020
October 4, 2018
Grounds For Sculpture
80 Sculptors Way
Hamilton, NJ 08619

T +1 609 586 0616
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Michael Rees: Synthetic Cells 
through July 14, 2019

James Carl: oof 
through January 5, 2020

James Carl: woof 
through March 17, 2019

Grounds For Sculpture (GFS), the 42-acre sculpture park, museum, and arboretum in Hamilton New Jersey, is pleased to present three new exhibitions this season. The exhibitions are currently on view, and are curated by GFS Chief Curator, Tom Moran. Canadian artist James Carl makes his first major US debut with his two concurrent exhibitions: James Carl: oof is on view in GFS’s East Gallery through January 5, 2020; James Carl: woof is on view in the Domestic Arts Building through March 17, 2019. And in the West Gallery, New York-based artist Michael Rees presents an unparalleled dialogue between object, perception, and reality in his exhibition, Michael Rees: Synthetic Cells. Rees is the first artist to employ augmented reality at GFS.

James Carl: oof features a monumentally scaled wall relief constructed from corrugated cardboard. It uses the iconic cast-pulp commercial egg carton as a formal starting point and explodes that structure across the full length of the East Gallery’s 80’ long accordion-shaped wall. Carl’s geometric version of the egg carton is computer-cut, hand-assembled, and installed by the dozens on the vast wall. Carl observes that the work’s visual “noise” will contrast with its acoustic flattening on the space.

As with much of Carl’s work, oof makes use of common materials and cultural reference points in the generation of a visually charged experience. The title of the work alludes simultaneously to the visual punch of the piece and to the French word, oeuf, meaning ‘egg’. “Relief sculpture is explicit in its reliance on architecture to give it a place in the world. It struggles with three dimensionality and autonomy, using spatial illusion, pattern, and implied movement as means to exceed its architectural confines,” says Carl.

Simultaneously, James Carl: woof features works from Carl’s Jalousie series, including seven pieces which are newly created. The exhibition takes its name from the language of weaving: the warp and the woof (or weft) are the primary axes in woven material. The series of sculptures takes its title from the colloquial French name for venetian blinds: jalousie. The individual works are meticulously crafted using the slats of these blinds in a conventional weaving pattern that produces unconventional results.

Michael Rees: Synthetic Cells, opened in GFS’s West Gallery on June 2, 2018. Rees’ sculptures challenge the viewer to experience how the boundaries of physical and digital experience converge. For this project, Rees created seven 10-foot cube inflated vinyl sculptures in varying hues as well as augmented reality “overlays” of animals and insects. These overlays are visible only through the supplied tablets. Hovering a tablet near a “trigger” (found on walls and directly applied to the vinyl skin of several of the cubes) adds another visual layer to the sculpture. Rees describes this exhibition as “a collision of utopias,” referring to the volumetric cubes and the added visual layers that the augments provide.

The augmented reality portion of this project, Site (Para) Site, is guest curated by noted digital experts, Murat Orozobekov and Edward Winkleman, founders of the Moving Image. Digital overlays were created by Michael Rees as well as other invited artists:  Claudia Hart, Chris Manzione, Will Pappenheimer, John Craig Freeman, Tamiko Thiel, and Carla Gannis.

General support for GFS is provided in part by the Atlantic Foundation, the Johnson Art and Education Foundation, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/ Department of State, A Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. Exhibitions supported in part by the following Exhibition Supporters:  Gordon and Lulie Gund.

Grounds For Sculpture (GFS) is a 42-acre not-for-profit sculpture park, arboretum, and museum founded by Seward Johnson. It combines art and beckoning spaces to surprise, inspire, and engage all visitors in the artist’s act of invention. Its collection features over 270 contemporary sculptures by renowned and emerging artists. Exhibitions change seasonally in six indoor galleries. Open year-round, it offers rich educational programs and a robust schedule of performing arts. Hours, directions, and more at www.groundsforsculpture.org.

For additional information: Coby Green-Rifkin, Marketing Director
T 609 249 0208 / cgreen-rifkin [​at​] groundsforsculpture.org

Visitor information
Advanced online ticket purchase recommended. Tickets start at 18 USD.

*Images above: James Carl: (1) jalousie (flank), 2018. Venetian blinds, 53 x 94 x 67 inches. (2) oof, 2018, cardboard, site-specific installation, dimensions variable. Turn Pike Toll, 2018. Plywood, 162 x 183 x 75 inches. Both courtesy of the artist and TrépanierBaer Gallery. Michael Rees: (3) Synth Cell 006 Gradient Clown, Ant, 2017–18. Air-inflated PVC vinyl, ink jet print on vinyl, steel, augmented reality app, 2.4 x 2.4 x 2.4 meters. (4) Synth Cell 007 Stone, Tapping Feet, 2017–18. Air-inflated PVC vinyl, ink jet print on vinyl, steel, augmented reality app, 2.8 x 2.8 x 2.8 meters. Collection of the artist. All photos: Ken Ek.