Synopses & Reviews
Sculpture Commissions for the Stuart Collection at the University of California, San Diego, with essays by Mary Livingstone Beebe, Director of the Stuart Collection, and Robert Storr, Senior Curator at The Museum of Modern Art, and interviews conducted by Joan Simon, independent writer and curator, considers each of the fifteen projects commissioned by the Stuart Collection which were created by some of the most significant contemporary artists working today, including:
Ian Hamilton Finlay
Nam June Paik
Niki de Saint Phalle
"The Stuart Collection is one of a kind. Major artists are commissioned for specific places, and again and again the result has been their best work. Landmarks: Sculpture Commissions for the Stuart Collection at the University of California, San Diego is a vivid portrait of the collection and the lively story of it how it came to be." -John Walsh, Director Emeritus, J. Paul Getty Museum
"....the continuous miracle....With its poetic and conceptual jewels the San Diego campus makes it possible in this day and age to think and to dream. And that is the essential quality of the adventure undertaken in 1980 by James Stuart DeSilva." -Pierre Restany, Critic and editor
"The Stuart Collection of environmental sculpture at the University of California, San Diego, is as impressive for what it avoids as for what it so imaginatively accomplishes." -David Joselit, Associate Professor of Art History, University of California, Irvine
In 1981, the Stuart Foundation, an organization dedicated to funding experimental and challenging public sculpture projects, and the University of California, San Diego formed an extraordinary partnership, one which, twenty years later, has yielded fifteen commissioned site-specific sculpture projects throughout the UCSD campus in La Jolla. The internationally recognized Stuart Collection includes work created by some of the most important contemporary artists such as: Jenny Holzer, Robert Irwin, Bruce Nauman, Niki de Saint Phalle, Kiki Smith, and William Wegman, among others. Landmarks: Sculpture Commissions for the Stuart Collection at the University of California, San Diego is the first book on this exceptional collection.
An essay by Robert Storr, senior curator at The Museum of Modern Art, takes the reader on a virtual tour of the campus underscoring the experiential nature of the collection. Exploring how each project makes demands on the viewer both physically and intellectually, Storr initiates the reader into the basic philosophical underpinnings of each work and considers the place of the Stuart Collection project within that artist's body of work.
Mary Livingstone Beebe, director of the Stuart Collection since its founding, offers a rare opportunity to consider both the institutional and creative process and the ways in which they are mutually inflective; from the first call made to the artist to the negotiations endemic in balancing artistic desires and the mandates of a public university, she reveals the substantive details regarding the development of each project. As the steward of one the most successful and challenging sculpture projects in the world, Beebe's honest account is both instructive and heartening.
The artist's voice is also well represented throughout the volume: in-depth interviews with the artists conducted by independent writer and curator Joan Simon are included. The interviews consider the genesis of the project, the signiWcant ideas operative within each, and the artists' thoughts on the production and installation of the work.
In offering a close examination of the specific conditions of the founding and development of the Stuart Collection, the book also serendipitously provides a brief critical history of groundbreaking art produced in the last twenty years. What ultimately emerges from the thoughtful essays and informative interviews is the realization that the Stuart Collection has redefined the arena of public art.
In 1981, The Stuart foundation, a not-for-profit foundation dedicated to funding experimental public sculpture, and the University of California, San Diego formed an extraordinary partnership to create the only major public, site-specific sculpture collection in the world. This collection has redefined the entire arena of public art. Instead of asking artists to create an object, without reference to the site, they required that each artist explore the campus carefully, and create a site-specific piece that could be integrated into the beautifully landscaped, 1,200-acre UCSD campus in La Jolla. The collection includes work by some of the most important contemporary artists, including Niki de Saint Phalle, William Wegman, Bruce Nauman, Kiki Smith, Nam June Paik and Robert Irwin, among others.
About the Author
Mary Livingstone Beebe has been the director of the Stuart Collection since it began in 1981. From 1972 until 1981, she was Director of the Portland Center for the Visual Arts (PCVA) in Portland, Oregon. Prior to that she worked at the Fogg Museum, Harvard University; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the Museum of Art in Portland, Oregon. She lectures extensively throughout this country and in Europe, and serves as a spokesperson on panels, juries, and advisory committees.
Joan Simon is a writer, editor, curator, and arts administrator specializing in contemporary art, working independently for museums, foundations, and publishers in the United States and Europe. Her publications include books and catalogs devoted to artists such as Ann
Hamilton, Susan Rothenberg, Joan Jonas, Jenny Holzer, Gordon Matta-Clark, and Bruce Nauman, including serving as General Editor of the Bruce Nauman catalogue raisonné. Since 1990, Simon has divided her time between Paris and New York.
Robert Storr is an artist and critic, and a senior curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. He most recently curated an exhibition of Gerhard Richter's October 18, 1977 paintings at The Modern, and authored a catalog in conjunction with the show (Gerhard Richter: October 18, 1977). Storr also co-organized Making Choices (1920-1960), the second cycle of MoMA 2000, for which his curatorial projects include The Dream of Utopia/Utopia of the Dream, How Simple Can You Get?, Modern Art despite Modernism, New York Salon, Paris Salon, The Raw and the Cooked, and War.