Josiah McElheny

Public Art Fund Talks at The New School Wed 11 Apr 2012 6.30PM-8.30PM The New School, Tishman Auditorium
66 West 12th Street
Admission: $10 for single talk, $20 for full series of three talks, free for all students, as well as Public Art Fund members and New School faculty, staff and alumni with valid ID
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Often using narratives inspired by the histories of art, design, and glass as points of departure, Josiah McElheny has created massive sculptures of shining chrome and transparent glass that layer myriad references as diverse as twentieth-century fashion, modernist design, sixteenth-century Italian painting, and even the Big Bang theory. One of the artist's seminal public projects, The Metal Party, commissioned by Public Art Fund in 2001, was a re-creation of a party organized in 1929 by students of the Bauhaus in Dessau, Germany. Taking the original "Party" as a point of departure, McElheny produced a hyper-reflective environment of metallic surfaces complete with mirrored and clear glass spheres that alternated on the ceiling above an aluminum floor. In recent years, McElheny's use of diverse forms of artistic practice—from publishing to working with institutional collections, among other platforms—has embraced new model for public engagement that extends the very notion of public art.

Born in 1966, Josiah McElheny lives and works in New York City. Trained under master glassblower Ronald Willkins, McElheny worked as an apprentice to renowned glassblowers Jan-Erik Ritzmna, Sven-Ake Caarlson, and Lino Tagliapietra. McElheny is the recipient of a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award; the 15th Rakow Commission from the Corning Museum of Glass; and a MacArthur Fellowship. He has exhibited widely, including solo shows at the Museo de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centro Galego de Arte Contempor_nea Santiago de Compostela, Spain; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston; and the Seattle Art Museum. Group shows include CCS Bard, New York; the Power Plant, Toronto; Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio; CCA Watts Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Whitney Museum, New York; and The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago. McElheny opens his newest exhibition, Some Pictures of the Infinite, this June at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston.

Public Art Fund Talks at The New School are organized by the Public Art Fund in collaboration with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School.

Presented on occasion of the Vera List Center's 2011—2013 focus theme "Thingness."