Colliding forces, destruction and the potential for transformation are themes Ann Reichlin explores in the monumental sculpture, Counterpoint.
Reichlins oeuvre of sculpture and drawing examines issues of loss and memory as well as personal and collective territories. Fittingly, architecture is the foundation of her inquires. Because of her engaged commitment to architectural form, MWPAI invited Reichlin to create a site-specific sculpture in conjunction with the observance of the 50th anniversary of the Museum of Art building, which was designed by Philip Johnson and opened to the public in October 1960.
Reichlin developed the sculpture in relation to both the Johnson building and its inspiration, the Altes Museum, Berlin (1823-30), designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781-1830). In Counterpoints scale, placement and materials, Reichlin seeks to integrate as well as challenge the Museum of Arts authoritative space. She says, whereas the architecture of the courtyard is symmetrical, refined, spare, and quiet, the piece I am building uses these qualities as a foil. Reichlin shifts focus by positioning Counterpoint off-center and she offers rough wire materials of hardware cloth, screen, and black debris netting to Johnsons surfaces of teak, marble, and brushed aluminum. She juxtaposes the rationality of the architecture and the idiosyncrasies of her sculpture.
As visitors walk through the Museum of Art, they are invited to consider the sculpture and its scale to that of the building, and then to themselves. They might ask, how has Reichlin integrated human scale into the mix? In the Sculpture Court, the experience between the art, the building and the individual is one of direct engagement, one of moving between component parts. From the balcony, however, one has a different experience, which is more like viewing a specimen at an emotional remove.
Between 1998 and 2008 Reichlin created three sculptural interventions in Utica at 914 Whitesboro Street, an abandoned house on the grounds of Sculpture Space, Inc., the artists residency program. This decade-long project is the subject of a smaller exhibition in the Museums Gallery 1 South, and will be on view during the run of Counterpoint.
Reichlins professional accomplishments include a residency at the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh. There she created the installation Schism, which was on view in 2003-04. She has participated in numerous international and national group exhibitions, including at the University of Iceland, the Rose Art Museum, Sculpture Center and the Qualitectonica Foundation. Reichlins work has been published in Stone Canoe, NYFA Current, Sculpture Space [the book] and Sculpture magazine.
Reichlin received her Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Colorado and her Bachelor of Fine Arts in ceramics from the Rhode Island School of Design. She was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Hamilton College from 1997-2001 and an Artist-in-Residence in Sculpture at Brandeis University from 1990-1997. Reichlin was a fellow in Architecture/Environmental Structures with the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) in 2008 and 2000. She currently serves on the Artist Advisory Committee of NYFA. Ann Reichlin lives in Ithaca, N.Y., with her family.