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revised version below has the new, corrected photo-link. Thank you in
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kind consideration and support of the artists. Nature's power is unleashed this fall with two timely exhibitions that serve as a clarion call for environmental awareness. The two shows open Nov. 5 through March 1.
These two artists headline Art Basel season this year with important messages: on the heels of the new report by the United Nations, warning that damage to our oceans is worse than previously thought, and the the dangers of de-forestation and rain forest fires.
Maren Hassinger and Clifford Ross have created two bold new shows just
in time to reach the global audiences for Art Basel. More details below.
Would you like photos, or interviews?
Clifford Ross, Wood Wave LIV, 2017. Triptych UV cured ink on maple veneer.
Caption for first photo at top: Clifford Ross, Hurricane LI, 2009. Archival pigment print.
The power of nature is unleashed with two timely, powerful exhibitions at the Boca Raton Museum of Art for the new season. Both of these original shows ─Maren Hassinger: Tree of Knowledge and Clifford Ross: Waves ─ will kick off the museum’s 70th anniversary season (on view November 5th - March 1st).
The museum is presenting both exhibitions together because the two shows sound a clarion call for environmental awareness. These shows also remind viewers that the beauty of nature can still inspire us, despite the over-saturation of society by hand-held devices and screens.
The two exhibitions are presented side-by-side in adjoining galleries.
The artist Maren Hassinger
with children from Pearl City, the historic African American
neighborhood where the majestic 100-year-old banyan tree, the "Tree of
Knowledge," still stands today. The children joined hundreds of
community members to create together thousands of aerial branches from
recycled newspapers for Hassinger's new monumental installation.
Clifford Ross in the ocean surf, photographing hurricane waves.
The Clifford Ross
exhibition features a new approach to his monumental depictions of
ocean waves that the artist captures during extreme weather. The result
is the most comprehensive survey of his process ever shown in a museum.
new report warns that many cities around the world will experience
annual flooding events by 2050 that previously occurred only once per
world's oceans have been warming since 1970 and have absorbed 90
percent of the planet's excess heat, killing off vast stretches of coral
reefs. Absorbing massive amounts of carbon has made the ocean more
acidic and inhospitable to corals that millions of species depend on for
I first began photographing these hurricane waves 30 years ago, most of
us were unaware that global warming was seriously damaging our oceans,” said Clifford Ross. “Now, as I look back on my work, it takes on a whole new meaning.”
Above - the two artists headlining the new season: Clifford Ross and Maren Hassinger.
MAREN HASSINGER: TREE OF KNOWLEDGE
Renowned sculptor and performance artist Maren Hassinger was commissioned by the museum for a residency that explored the staying power of nearby Pearl City, Boca Raton’s historic African-American neighborhood.
This is the largest installation that Hassinger has ever created in her long and celebrated career. Her new site-specific installation is based on Pearl City’s landmark, the “Tree of Knowledge." This majestic, 100-year-old banyan tree still stands today
and is protected by the Historic Preservation laws. The tree has served
the people of Pearl City since the dawn of the 20th century, as a gathering place for sharing stories and communal spirit.
The majestic 100-year-old banyan tree at Pearl City is the inspiration for Maren Hassinger's Tree of Knowledge.
(photo by Aylin Tito)
Hassinger vigorously engaged the public to recreate the tree’s aerial roots by gathering many groups over several months.
People from the community and visitors to the museum spent hundreds of hours twisting by hand thousands of recycled newspapers.
Thousands of recycled newspapers were twisted to mimic the aerial roots of the banyan tree for Maren Hassinger's
new installation Tree of Knowledge
banyan “branches” will be suspended from the ceiling of the main
gallery, representing the community-based “Creation-Stations.” The
participants’ names will be incorporated into the monumental new work.
want visitors to the museum to think about the endurance of the tree
and the endurance of the people who live beside it,” said Maren Hassinger. “I hope they realize it’s possible to build a world in which, like this installation, people work together side by side. Both the tree and the residents have inspired me with their mutual endurance.”
Gallery images: installation of Maren Hassinger's Tree of Knowledge.
In new reports, the United Nations warns that fires such as those causing de-forestation in the Amazon elevate concerns for the planet’s natural life support systems. This global call to action urges countries, companies and consumers to build a new relationship with nature.
The destruction of the world’s largest rainforest calls attention to the need to prevent ecosystems from declining to a point of no return, with dire consequences for humanity.
This year, the leading scientists of the world warned that civilization was in jeopardy due to forest clearance, over-usage of land, climate change, and pollution, putting a million species at risk of extinction.
Left - historic photo of the Tree of Knowledge in Pearl City. Right - the tree today, current photo.
Hassinger’s new installation is about nature as knowledge and about education. The twisted ropes of newspaper are made of words and stories.
“I hope the community and all of the visitors to the museum take a moment to think about the materials used in the project,
which are not traditional art materials, and realize that this giant
project was made not by artists, but by the public, working together,”
adds Maren Hassinger.
adults and children from the community welcomed my project with
enthusiasm and proceeded to twist and twist to create the aerial
branches. Their enthusiasm and spirit of camaraderie is uplifting and contagious," says Hassinger.
is a natural material, made from trees, and throughout the installation
there will be fans that evoke the wind blowing gently through nature,
as opposed to the hurricane winds of Ross’s work.
the theme of nature for our new season at the Museum, how appropriate
that Maren Hassinger would choose this legendary tree, known as the Tree
of Knowledge, as the subject for her site-specific installation,” said Irvin Lippman, the executive director of the Boca Raton Museum of Art.
“From its inception to its installation, this has involved audiences of all ages from every corner of our community to participate in the making of the aerial roots from streams of recycled newspapers. Much in the manner of the Banyan tree, we are all connected to one another,” adds Irvin Lippman.
Hassinger’s new exhibition will also feature the installation Love - an experiential portal for visitors to walk through. As the entranceway into the museum’s main galleries, it will surround visitors with hundreds of recycled pink plastic bags that will completely cover all of the surfaces around them. The shopping bags are filled with the air of human breath, and contain human love notes inside.
by Maren Hassinger. This installation will serve as the entryway
featuring hundreds of recycled pink plastic bags, surrounding
visitors.The bags are filled with human breath and contain human love
Maren Hassinger (still from her video Pink Trash).
CLIFFORD ROSS: WAVES
On the subject of Clifford Ross: Waves, Irvin Lippman adds: “It would seem obvious that a museum with a coastal address such as ours would naturally be ever fascinated by the subject of waves.
The subject of Clifford’s photographs in this new exhibition, however,
goes deeper into the unpredictable shapes of waves, as much about
abstraction as realism.”
The effect of being engulfed in a room full of his work is profound, causing some viewers to claim they can actually hear the sound of the ocean waves although there is no sound component.
Ross is celebrated worldwide for his Hurricane Waves
series, monumental images that were photographed by the artist during
storms and while hurricanes were off-shore, while he was attached by a
tether to his assistant who remained on land as Ross braved the ocean
The size of these images is humbling. The angle of vision, from as low as possible, is calculated to inspire awe. The waves dominate us, framed or cropped; we feel their full force.
These waves invoke the power of wind as well as the power of water, the great cyclical forces of nature that generate energy.
major survey includes his monumental hurricane wave images. The
exhibition also features a site-specific installation of extremely
large-scale prints on wood, as well as the artist’s Digital Waves - A computer generated video displayed on an LED wall that has been acquired by the museum for its collection.
Other sections include: the Horizons series (photographs that explore movement with the added power of obstruction); his Hurricane Scrolls; and the Grains series of bold abstract works exploring the purity of color.
“The pure abstraction of the Grains
series is an antidote to the hurricane, a space to calm down. A quiet
end to this stormy story where we can recompose our thoughts,” said
While it explores the limits of photography and abstraction, this exhibition is also a dramatic declaration about climate change.
exhibition is a thorough survey of my working methods,” said Ross. “an
effort to show all the ways I have approached the subject of ocean
waves. But there’s also a deeper theme of addressing climate change –
unavoidable in this day and age."
A work from Clifford Ross's Digital Waves series (computer generated videos displayed on an LED wall) has been acquired by the museum for its collection.
the apocalyptic quality of the show does not erase the basic lyricism
and beauty that I see in nature. When I started out, wanting to
celebrate nature by creating bodies of work that were an homage to the
sublime, I didn’t understand that the images were also capturing
evidence – evidence of our negative impact on nature."
"The ferocity, the forms of these waves were partially due to global warming. This project has come full circle, as much a meditation on the medium of photography as it is a photographic reflection of our world,” said Clifford Ross.
MORE ABOUT THE TWO ARTISTS:
Above - the two artists headlining the new season: Maren Hassinger and Clifford Ross.
has work held in the permanent collections of the Hammer Museum in Los
Angeles; the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American
History & Culture in Baltimore; the California African American
Museum in Los Angeles; Portland Museum of Art; The Studio Museum in
Harlem; Williams College Art Museum in Williamstown; and the San
Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others.
many awards include: the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Women’s
Caucus for Art, Maryland Institute College of Art; Joan Mitchell
Foundation Grants; Anonymous Was a Woman; and the Pollock-Krasner
Foundation, among others.
The works of Clifford Ross
are held in the collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles,
The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Museum of Fine Arts in
Houston, among others. He is the editor of the book Abstract
Expressionism: Creators and Critics, and is Chairman of the Helen
Frankenthaler Foundation. His work has been widely exhibited in the
United States, Europe, Brazil and China.
has lectured in numerous university and museum settings, including
Princeton, Yale, and New York University. Ross is a member of the Yale
School of Art Dean's Advisory Board.
our 70th anniversary in 2020, the Boca Raton Museum of Art encompasses a
creative campus that includes the Museum in Mizner Park, Art School,
and an Artists Guild. As the "Official Art Museum of the City of Boca
Raton," the Museum has provided seven decades of cultural and artistic
service to the community, and to many visitors from around the
world. Open 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays;
10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. on Thursdays; and 12:00-5:00 p.m. on Saturdays and
Sundays. Visit www.bocamuseum.org for more information.