Contemporary Sculpture at Chesterwood: 40 YRS

June 30 – October 8, 2018

Curated by Maxwell Davidson III and Charles C. Davidson, Maxwell Davidson Gallery, NYC

40 YRS” is in celebration of “Contemporary Sculpture at Chesterwood,” of its commitment to preservation and to art, and of its continually expanding and forward-looking vision,” said co-curator Charles C. Davidson. “This show takes from some of the finest sculptors of a century of art-making, presents them outside the traditional gallery or museum space, and creates a relationship between past and present, artist and institution, and, most importantly, between art and viewer.
— Co-Curator Charles C. Davidson

In 2018, Chesterwood is commemorating forty years of exhibiting outdoor contemporary sculpture at Daniel Chester French’s former home and studio in Stockbridge, MA. The very first Contemporary Sculpture at Chesterwood exhibition featured George Rickey’s two stainless steel Rickey sculptures: Two Planes, Horizontal and Vertical and One Up, One Down Eccentric.  Forty years later his work continues to be relevant and eagerly sought after for outdoor public spaces and museum collections.  Kinetic sculpture by Rickey and others will be featured in the exhibition at Chesterwood from June 30 – October 8, 2018. 

Chesterwood is notably one of the earliest venues in the United States to showcase large-scale works in an outdoor setting. The idea for a contemporary outdoor sculpture show was initiated at a Chesterwood council meeting in October, 1974.  While the council suggested featuring neo-classical works to reflect the style and legacy of Daniel Chester French, the 1978 inaugural exhibition included ground-breaking abstract works forged from materials such as cement, lucite, and steel. Since then, Chesterwood has exhibited sculpture by almost six hundred emerging and established artists, including Leonard Baskin, Morgan Bulkeley, Herbert Ferber, Glenda Goodacre, Albert Paley, and Richard Stankiewicz.  Following the inaugural exhibition, George Rickey contributed works to six more exhibitions spanning the years from 1985 to 2001.

The 2018 Contemporary Sculpture at Chesterwood exhibition (free printable map available here) is generously sponsored by the Nancy Woodson Spire Foundation and co-curated by Maxwell Davidson III and Charles Davidson of the Maxwell Davidson Gallery in New York.  Founded in 1968, the Maxwell Davidson Gallery has maintained an involvement in and commitment to the field of kinetic sculpture; the gallery has long established itself as a pioneer in the field of kinetic art worldwide and presented Outdoor Kinetic Sculpture, George Rickey, Pedro S. de Movellán in July 2017.



List of Works

Alexander Calder Crossed Blades (2).jpg

Alexander Calder

Crossed Blades (intermediate maquette), 1967
Painted sheet metal
85 x 76 x 87 in.
Courtesy of the Thompson Family Foundation

Pedro S de Movellan Untitled 2018.jpg

Pedro S. de Movellán (b. 1967) 

Untitled, 2018

Hard-coated natural anodized aluminum, polyurethane-based automotive painted aluminum, stainless steel;
maximum height: 103 in.; maximum swing: 73 in.
Courtesy of the artist and Maxwell Davidson Gallery


George Rickey (1907–2002)

Rectangle and Square, Unfolding, Gyratory, 1995
Stainless steel
height: 171 in., max. 225 in.; width: 86-1/2 in., max. 162 in.; radius: max. 123 in.
Lent by Matthew Bender IV

Mary Ann Unger Unfurling.jpg

Mary Ann Unger (1945–1998)

Unfurling, 1986
19-1/2 x 28-1/2 x 36-1/2 in. 
Mary Ann Unger Estate and Maxwell Davidson Gallery


Stephen Day Triple Column Twist 1982 (2).jpg

Stephen M. Day (b. 1945)

Triple Column Twist, 1982
Painted steel
144 x 48 x 48 in.
Lent by the artist


Roger Phillips (b. 1930)

Dimensions of Split Disc on Two Squares, 2013
Stainless steel and painted aluminum
94 x 67-1/2 x 49 in.
Lent by the artist

Kenneth Snelson B Tree II (2).jpg

Kenneth Snelson (1927–2016)

B Tree II, 1981–2008
Stainless steel
108 x 114 x 130 in.
Courtesy Marlborough Gallery


Mary Ann Unger Beehive Temple.jpg

Mary Ann Unger (1945–1998)

Beehive Temple, 1987
Painted aluminum
51 x 29 x 32 in.
Mary Ann Unger Estate and Maxwell Davidson Gallery

Lin Emery Octet.jpg

Lin Emery (b. 1926)

Octet, 2017
Polished aluminum
150 x 60 in.
Lent by the artist

George Rickey Open Trapezoids Excentric One Up One Down Variation V, 1984.jpg

George Rickey (1907–2002)

Open Trapezoids Excentric, One Up One Down, Variation V, 1984
Stainless steel
155 x 22 x 23 in. 
Courtesy of Maxwell Davidson Gallery


Mark di Suvero (b. 1933)

For Lincoln, 2018
Stainless steel
147 x 115 x 70 in.
Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery


John Van Alstine Sisyphean Holiday XXX, 2015.jpg

John Van Alstine (b. 1952)

Sisyphean Holiday XXX, 2015
Riverstone/ galvanized and powder coated steel
73 x 64 x 24 in.
Lent by the artist


Out of Site: Contemporary Sculpture at Chesterwood

June 16 - October 9, 2017

Sharon Bates, Guest Curator

2017's annual contemporary sculpture exhibition, Out of Site: Contemporary Sculpture at Chesterwood, celebrated Chesterwood as a site for creativity. The exhibition featured the work of 14 artists invited by guest curator Sharon Bates to develop new projects or to adapt existing works that directly respond to the environmental, cultural, and aesthetic attributes of the landscape at Chesterwood. A number of sculptors in the show have exhibited their work nationally and internationally and have been engaged in public commissions. Some of the artists have also exhibited their work at Chesterwood in the past. For others, this was their first opportunity to make site-specific work in an outdoor setting. Artists: Roberley Bell, Roger Bisbing, Colin C. Boyd, Matt Crane, Douglas Culhane, Brian Kane & Michael Oatman, Matt LaFleur, Portia Munson, Derek Parker, Amy Podmore, Chrissy Scolaro, Amelia Toelke and Deborah Zlotsky.
Guest Curator, Sharon Bates. 

Matt LeFleur,  The Camp , 2017, wood and paint

Matt LeFleur, The Camp, 2017, wood and paint