The Beaverbrook Art Gallery announced its most recent acquisition and new addition of contemporary sculpture to its TD Sculpture Garden: Arriving Home, 2005-2007, by the late American conceptual artist Dennis Oppenheim (1938-2011). Suggestive of a house travelling through space, it consists of a large spiral form constructed of steel and fluorescent, multi-coloured lexan acrylic panels that shimmer and change colour in response to shifting light. Gifted from Montréal businessman Mr. Sam Karpman, it was featured in the 2009-2011 Vancouver Sculpture Biennale, but has now found a permanent home overlooking the spectacular Saint John River.
Gift of Mr. Sam Karpman, MontréalWith the gratefully acknowledged assistance and support of Galerie Samuel Lallouz, Montréal
Dennis Oppenheim, "Arriving Home" 2005-2007
About the Sculpture:Artist: Dennis Oppenheim (September 6, 1938 – January 21, 2011)Nationality: AmericanTitle: Arriving HomeDate: 2005-2007 Medium: Steel, lexan acrylic, perforated metal Dimensions: 305 x 275 x 153 cm (120” x 108” x 60”) (900 lb /408 kg)
According to Director/CEO and Chief Curator, Terry Graff: “The generous gift of this major public sculpture from Mr. Karpman at this pivotal time in the history of the Gallery is a statement-making expression of our exhilarating trajectory -- a most fitting symbol of our expansion and revitalization as an important destination for national and international contemporary art. Arriving Home will enrich the visual experience of Fredericton, and will be a catalyst for more contemporary outdoor sculpture to follow. Through our ambitious plans, we aim to ignite greater public understanding and appreciation of contemporary art and promote New Brunswick as an energetic and progressive place that offers only the highest calibre of cultural activity.”
Beaverbrook Art Gallery Senior Curator, Jeffrey Spalding, who secured the acquisition, calls Arriving Home “an exquisite work by one of the most highly regarded artists of international 20th century and contemporary art.” He also applauds Mr. Karpman, describing him as “an avid, astute and passionate collector of advanced post-war international contemporary art: Mr. Karpman has broad-ranging interests in the art of recent times that encompass a divergent melange of international and Canadian artists of consequence, such as Anish Kapoor, Joseph Beuys and the Fluxus movement, the challenging, ground-breaking work of Feminist legend, Carolee Sncheemann, American Joan Jonas ,the minimalist art of Richard Serra, pop artist Robert Rauschenberg and generations of Canadian artists. We particularly note his ongoing enthusiasm for the art of Quebec: Paul Émile Borduas, Jean-Paul Riopelle, John McEwen, Irene Whittome, to solely touch the surface. We are very honoured to work with Mr. Karpman; soon we will make other announcements of our collaborative efforts. Together with Mr. Karpman and other enthusiastic, dedicated patriots of the arts we are working to enrich the Beaverbrook Art Gallery’s collection as an exemplary, inspiring resource.”
Mr. Karpman has made numerous generous donations to public collections across Canada, including the Art Gallery of Ontario, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Art Gallery of Hamilton, Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Centre Canadien d’Architecture. Upon viewing an image of the newly installed Oppenheim sculpture on the grounds of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, he commented: “This is a wonderful location for the sculpture. A Canadian landscape in its glory! I wish Dennis was here among us.” Mr. Karpman’s statement was immediately echoed by a note the Gallery received today: “The Estate, Family and Friends of Dennis Oppenheim send warm regards to all involved for making possible the permanent siting of Arriving Home in the beautifully landscaped area adjacent to the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, the river and train bridge. Thank you for presenting it in such a remarkable way.”
Dennis Oppenheim was a conceptual artist, performance artist, earth artist, sculptor and photographer who had an outstanding international career. He was also familiar with New Brunswick. In the late 1960s, when he began making earthworks involving sites in the environment, he created an ephemeral work on the Canada/USA border called Annual Rings, 1968. Using a shovel, he cut massive concentric rings in the snow that suggested the pattern of growth rings in a tree that crossed political borders and time zones to link Clair, New Brunswick with Fort Kent, Maine, and to question the relative values of the boundaries and ordering systems by which we live.
Oppenheim is represented by many large-scale public sculptures in major cities around the world, and his work was included in the Venice Biennale (1976, 1980 and 2001), the Johannesburg Biennale (1997), and Documenta in Kassel (1972, 1977). He had solo exhibitions at such venues as the Tate Gallery, London (1972); the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1979); and the Whitney Museum of American Art (1983, 2003); and major retrospectives were presented at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (1974); Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam (1976); Musée d'Art Contemporain in Montréal (1978); and P.S.1 in New York (1991). Oppenheim was recognized by the Vancouver Biennale with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.
Home of the most prestigious and internationally significant art collection in Atlantic Canada, New Brunswick’s Beaverbrook Art Gallery is currently in the throes of a dramatic metamorphosis, both inside and out. Indeed, a new and unprecedented ambition is propelling it forward in an exciting direction aimed at expanding and deepening the visual experience for its many visitors. Along with success in reaching its $25 million campaign goal and the start of construction of its Phase 2 Expansion Project, its monumental exhibition Masterworks from the Beaverbrook Art Gallery continues to be enjoyed by thousands of people on its North American tour. At the same time, the Gallery is making waves with the spectacular Marion McCain Exhibition of Contemporary Atlantic Art (Writing Topography); with the recent inauguration of a new critic-in residence program; with the recent launch of a new visual arts journal for the East coast called Billie: Undercurrents in Atlantic Canadian Visual Culture; and with the recent recruitment of Jeffrey Spalding as Senior Curator, who has been meeting with collectors from across the country to secure many extraordinary gifts that meet the Beaverbrook’s institutional priority of building an outstanding collection.
The Beaverbrook Art Gallery expresses sincere thanks to Mr. Sam Karpman and gratefully acknowledges the assistance and support of Galerie Samuel Lallouz, Montréal.
About the Beaverbrook Art Gallery:
The Beaverbrook Art Gallery was founded by Lord Beaverbrook on September 16, 1959. The Gallery is internationally known for its collection of Atlantic Canadian, Canadian, British, and International works of art. The Beaverbrook Art Gallery “enriches life through art”. As the official art gallery of New Brunswick, and one of Canada’s leading art galleries and most important cultural treasures, its mission is to “bring art and community together in a dynamic cultural environment dedicated to the highest standards in acquisitions, exhibitions, programming, education and stewardship.”
Report courtesy Beaverbrook Art Gallery