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Monday, Oct. 31, 2011

Lynden Addresses Permanence in 'Dressing the Monument'

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The Lynden Sculpture Garden's final "Inside/Outside" exhibition, titled "Dressing the Monument," underscores the theme of the 18-month series, which has juxtaposed the transitory and permanent nature and the interior and exterior of a physical place. These concepts culminate in an extensive exhibition with artwork by 12 artists from the United States and Switzerland. Whether in the gallery or on the grounds, the artists reframe the illustrious Lynden collection of paintings and sculptures by using common industrial or organic materials valued for their impermanence and subject to the whims of nature's elements.

Hanging from the ceiling in the living room is Kasper Müller and Tobias Madison's hammock-like sculpture constructed of cables, fishing nets and exposed bulb lighting. Covering two windows are Nicholas Frank's Tower of the Impressionists, photograms that portray buildings since demolished. Mounted on the walls, the small Adirondak Working Drawings 1-6 by Brad Killam and Michelle Grabner depict the artists' concept for the sculpture Adirondak. The concept gained form in the gardens, as a metal grate dangles from a tree branch, with another grate slanted on an angle into the ground. Inside, Hannah Weinberger's original, bell-like musical composition delicately rings in the background.

The outside installations, completely integrated into the surroundings, more thoroughly reflect the theme. Open-Air Writing Desk by David Robbins places a smooth, curved, wood top on legs made from tree stumps. One leg stretches through the top into a post with signs directing the viewer to "The Renewable Wilderness Within." John Miller and Richard Hoeck place a mannequin dressed for cold weather on a Lynden Garden bench, with the mannequin's hand resting on a shopping cart, in a piece titled A Better Coat Than Mine. Where does he belong amid these priceless, esoteric sculptures? Lucas Knipscher scatters tiny glass mushrooms and ceramic broken bamboo sticks next to towering trees and immense steel structures. This requires the viewer to observe the disparity between the unnoticed and unavoidable, the transportable and immovable.

Other installations on the grounds remain from past exhibitions, adorning the Lynden with the inevitable process of decay. These installations add an ephemeral vision to one the Bradleys insisted last forever. Through this series, the Lynden has saluted the past and present with an eye toward the future.

"Dressing the Monument" continues through Nov. 27.
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