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On November 3, the Bruce Museum continues its tradition of offering a biennial exhibition of miniatures for the holiday season. Entitled Downsized: Small-Scale Sculpture by Contemporary Artists, the new show will feature small-scale architectural sculpture by a dozen contemporary artists. It will be on view in the Museum’s Arcade gallery through January 27, 2019.
Enticing viewers to take a closer look, this exhibition of miniatures, models, and dioramas explores interior and exterior architecture in a range of scales. Some works contemplate the structure and its place in history as a monument to architectural creativity. Others pay homage to the history of an urban environment, yet others depict fanciful, surreal places that could only exist in miniature.
The mood evoked by the sculptures encourages observers to suspend their perception of reality and to invent their own narrative. These mixed media sculptures fascinate because of the juxtaposition of size and subject and elicit amazement at the precision of the workmanship.
“While architecture is the common denominator that unifies the show, the shared themes that thread through the work is what appealed to me about these particular artists,” says Kathy Reichenbach, Assistant to the Director and Curator of the Downsized exhibition.
Three of the artists featured in Downsized represent some of the diverse approaches to art in miniature:
While her work appears to be that of a self-taught artist, Beverly Buchanan (1940-2015) was academically trained at the Art Students League – after she earned two masters degrees in the sciences from Columbia University. Her rudimentary shack sculptures, such as Studio Home, created in 2008, are assemblages of wood scraps or foam core, sometimes cheerfully painted. They do not document actual homes, but rather they celebrate the architectural vernacular of the rural southern communities where she grew up and honor the dignity and creativity of the inhabitants.
Frank Poor returns to his roots in the South to photograph buildings and their surrounding landscapes, capturing the essence of abandoned structures. The photos are used to create the sculpture that expresses his feelings about the losses in memory and in place that have happened over time. A haunting, eye-catching example is Cotton Depot – Bishopville, SC, a 2015 work fashioned of basswood and digital transparencies on glass.
The collaborative team of Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz encapsulate moments in snow globes which isolate the characters and situations from the viewer. In the nine-inch tall Traveler 300, from 2014, a crouching figure peers into an isolated house and is himself eyed by a second person hiding behind a skeletal tree in the encapulated snowy landscape – a world within a world within a world.
Downsized: Small-Scale Sculpture by Contemporary Artists is supported by a Committee of Honor co-chaired by Kathleen Metinko and Jan Rogers Kniffen, Michael Kovner and Jean Doyen de Montaillou, and Bob and Gale Lawrence, with additional support provided by the Charles M. and Deborah G. Royce Exhibition Fund and the Connecticut Office of the Arts.
A miniatures show has been a biennial Bruce Museum tradition for over 35 years—come take a peek!
Contact Name: Bruce Museum
Contact Email: email@example.com
Contact Phone: 203-869-0376
$10 adult, $8 senior/student; children under 5 and members free.
The Bruce Museum is accessible to individuals with disabilities. Museum programs are suitable for people of all abilites. Accessible parking is available in front of the Museum for access to the entrance ramp. The galleries, the Museum Store, and the restrooms are accessible. A wheelchair is available upon request.
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