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Opening Reception: Lucy Pullen & Tom Butter

Being Close (2019) T.Butter_L.Pullen, image 2.jpg

Please join us for the opening reception of a site-specific, interactive sculptural collaboration by Lucy Pullen and Tom Butter. This work is the first collaboration between Pullen and Butter and is a kinetic sculpture located on the grounds of the museum and operated by a mechanism controlled by a viewer.

A book moves through the trees above three planar forms. The book is open and face down, as if temporarily set aside, on a very long track. It runs above three forms that profile the city.  A wheel, turned by hand, moves the book from the clearing to the woods and back again. There are places to sit, between pairs of jagged red lines that stem from New York City’s open data. This mechanism, too, is over our heads. On pause from contemporary urban life, a hand on the wheel turns the mechanism. Movements are incremental. There might be progress.

Tactics is a working title originally influenced by Reading Position for a Second Degree Burn, Stage 1 & 2 (1970), by Dennis Oppenheim. He naps on a beach for 5 hours with a book, open and face down on his chest, making a sunburn silhouette. Another influence is Robin Redbreast's Territory/Sculpture (1969) by Jan Dibbets. He alters flight patterns of a highly territorial bird by moving the bird's nest atop a pole, one day at a time, from the woodland border to the center of the field.

Throughout our collaboration Being Close emerges as the title because it evokes the various kinds of proximity present in the piece. Our sculpture describes a state, in spatial and psychological terms, of intimacy, striving for a goal, the distance between urban and rural settings, narrow margins, effort and ambition, and physical spaces.

- - L. Pullen & T. Butter



TOM BUTTER (b. 1952) lives and works in New York. He has been making sculpture in New York since 1977, and exhibiting internationally since 1980; most recently at Studio 10 and The Knockdown Center. He teaches visual art at Parsons The New School for Design and conducts in-depth interviews with artists.

LUCY PULLEN (b. 1971) is a Canadian artist based in New York. She has been making sculpture since 1994. Her work as been exhibited across Canada and the US, at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle and most recently at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Kitchener-Waterloo.

The opening reception will be from 3pm-6pm with an artist talk at 5pm. This piece will be on display from June 22 - September 8.

Earlier Event: June 8
Opening Reception: Glenn Goldberg
Later Event: June 22
Opening Reception: Kyle Morrison