Harry Roseman: Hole in the Wall
When: January 22 - May 19, 2010
About the Show
Last year the Art Center commissioned Vassar College professor of art, Harry Roseman, to design and create a temporary, site-specific installation directly on the walls of the Atrium Gallery, the bright, airy space that serves as the entryway to the main galleries. Hole in the Wall, is an experiential wall drawing that alters the viewer's perception of the Art Center's Atrium Gallery by highlighting particular aspects of the space-the arched ceiling, the asymmetrical layout, the soaring height, and the round window-breathing new life into the distinctive architectural design. The window in particular serves as an inspiration for the concept behind the drawing as it inspired the circles interspersed throughout the composition. Painted in various shades of blue, the circular forms mimic the view through the window at various times of day and night giving the viewer a sense of the passage of time. Undulating and tightly coiled lines appear to radiate out from each circle near the entrance. As one moves through the space, the frenetic energy of the lines gradually softens in intensity, revealing more and more of the brilliant orange that lies beneath the pattern. The lines, rendered in a neutral shade of taupe, reference nature in various ways, recalling wood grain, ripples of water, or even sound waves.
Roseman's site-specific installation is the inaugural exhibition in a new program that provides artists a laboratory-like environment in which to create artwork on site. One of the goals of this project is to offer a new perspective on the museum environment as a place not only where art is exhibited, but also where art is produced. In a recent interview with the artist he stated that, "The very nature of a site-specific work makes it different from any other work I had done before. It becomes a conversation with the space. . . . I looked for ways in which I could be in synchronicity with its ideas and where I could push the conversation and the experience to someplace new."
Roseman is the current chair of Vassar's Art Department and professor of sculpture at the College since 1981. He has been making art in various media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, and photography, for nearly three decades. In addition to his studio work, he has been commissioned to create major works of public art, one of which is a 40-foot polychrome bronze wall-relief in the New York Subway at Wall Street completed in 1990. Another completed in 2001 is a 600-foot relief sculpture entitled Curtain Wall, situated in the arrivals corridor of New York's John F. Kennedy Airport International Terminal.
The Hole in the Wall installation is sponsored in part by the Agnes Rindge Claflin Fund - a gift of the Friends of the Vassar College Art Gallery (now the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center) to the Art Department to bring distinguished lecturers in art and art history to the college and to support other programs for the department and the Art Center.