BMA New Acquisitions Series Part 2 – Sarah Oppenheimer

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American, born 1972
W-120301 and P-010100
Aluminum, glass, and existing architecture

“Like Sarah Sze, Sarah Oppenheimer is an artist that is analyzing and reflecting on contemporary life and redefining what sculpture can be in the 21st century,” says BMA Curator of Contemporary Art Kristen Hileman.

“A current that one can follow throughout the history of art is artists’ interpretation of space.  And the way that artists portray space is more often than not a reflection of cultural outlooks, scientific developments and even the politics of their time.  So, the prevalence of paintings ‘built’ around one-point perspective in the Renaissance tells us something about the values of that period in time,” explains Hileman.

“Cubism in the early part of the twentieth century goes hand in hand with breakthroughs in physics, radical experimentation in literature and theater, and the turbulence of the a world moving into and experiencing World War I.  Similarly, Oppenheimer’s work implies contemporary culture’s interest in melding art and architecture, and in making architecture that questions definitions and basic boundaries such as walls, ceilings and floors (and the limitations they represent) rather than clings to them.

“The work seems to share new ways of looking at different places and ideas simultaneously through the multiple screens of computer programs, as well as expansive views of our universe that come to us through innovative scientific theories.  It is because Sarah’s work both offers a wonderfully intriguing and delightful experience in the galleries and a broader connection to cultural trends and advancements that it is a significant piece for the museum’s collection.”

Sarah Oppenheimer designed W-120301 and P-010100 in response to the architecture of The Baltimore Museum of Art. By inserting aluminum and reflective glass between the building’s interior spaces, the artist alters our perception of existing galleries, the artworks hung within them, and fellow visitors.

*Photos by James Ewing

Nathan L. and Suzanne F. Cohen Contemporary Art Acquisitions Endowment; and gift of the Friends of Modern and Contemporary Art, BMA 2012.1

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