Press Room / ROLLIN MARQUETTE: NEW SCULPTURE

January 24, 2007

ROLLIN MARQUETTE: NEW SCULPTURE

Media Contacts
Anne-Marie Wagener, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, (612) 870-3280; awagener@artsmia.org
Lynette Nyman, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, (612) 870-3173; lnyman@artsmia.org
Tammy Pleshek, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, (612) 870-3171; tpleshek@artsmia.org

ROLLIN MARQUETTE: NEW SCULPTURE
January 26–March 18, 2007

Minneapolis, January 24, 2007—–The Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program (MAEP) and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) present a new installation by Rollin Marquette. Using the architecture of the MIA’s new Target Wing as inspiration, Marquette’s site-specific installation in the MAEP galleries combines minimalist forms and repetitive objects to fill the exhibition space with metal and experimental materials. The formal beauty of his sculpture highlights the seductiveness of the materials. Reflecting a strong interest in ballistics and munitions, Marquette’s work forces the viewer to consider the everyday use of materials and technology, along with the science and precision behind them.

Marquette’s new works use the essential elements of steel, wood, and cables, to focus on balance and tension. For instance, an untitled work at Franconia Sculpture Park from 2004, in which a 16-foot-tall galvanized steel plate swayed in the wind, was held in place by nylon rope tied to wooden posts sticking out of the ground almost 100 feet away. Similarly, a 2001 installation at Franklin Art Works featured an 11,000-pound steel structure holding 1,000 feet of rope.

At the MIA, Marquette’s latest sculpture struggles to contain itself inside the walls of the MAEP galleries. A blackened ring of end-cut balsa wood hovers nine feet off the ground. Its circuitous route leads through a rough-cut hole in the wall that exposes metal studs and drywall. The ring is held aloft by eight cables attached to steel-beam supports edging into doorways and nearly bumping against walls. Masts extending from the beams lean back to hold tension on the cables, straining to eke more space from galleries confines. Bunker-like piles of burlap bags filled with scrap metal act as ballast at the end of each beam. These roughened materials contrast against the sheen of marble, limestone, and wood of the MIA’s new wing. The beams have been waxed to take on a warm, leathery texture. Despite the ruggedness of the materials, the structure has a lightness that suggests the ballast must prevent the ring from gently floating away.

Marquette’s work falls firmly in the Post-minimalist realm of Joseph Beuys, Walter DeMaria, and Wolfgang Laib, whose conceptual use of materials examines the relationship between the mind, body, and architecture. Highlighting the inherent content of the materials, Marquette elicits a complex reaction to his sculpture. Marquette’s use of ballistic gelatin, neoprene, and cabling evokes industrial and military culture in the United States, forcing the viewer to reconsider the materials’ everyday use. His preferred medium, steel, “is this great discovery that has changed the world,” he says. Yet its presence is so ubiquitous that it is taken for granted.

Marquette worked for a year with Mark di Suvero and Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens. Best known for his soaring, largescale steel structures. Since then, he has had numerous exhibitions, including his first MAEP exhibition “Common Objects/Obsessive Forms” in 1998. He was awarded a McKnight Foundation artist fellowship in 2004, and Jerome Foundation and Minnesota State Arts Board grants in 1998-99. Marquette has a master of fine arts degree from the State University of New York at Albany and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Clarion University in Pennsylvania.

Opening Reception: Thursday, January 25, from 7 to 9 p.m.
Gallery Talk with Rollin Marquette: Thursday, February 1, at 7 p.m.
Critics’ Trialogue featuring Mason Riddle: Thursday, February 8, at 7 p.m.

Supported by the Jerome Foundation in celebration of the Jerome Hill Centennial and in recognition of the valuable cultural contributions of artists to society. The Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program is an artist-run curatorial department of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

MIA hours: Sunday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.; Closed Monday. Phone: (612) 870-3131. Online: www.artsmia.org.

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