New Directions/Jean Shin: Host
The third in MAM's annual New Directions series of contemporary art exhibitions is a major new outdoor sculpture by acclaimed artist Jean Shin. Titled Host, it is on long-term view on the Museum’s grounds beginning September 22, 2013, and the first commission in an outdoor sculpture garden celebrating the Museum’s Centennial. It is accompanied by related materials, including a video of the production of the sculpture, through January 15
One of today’s leading public artists, Jean Shin has worked directly with the MAM community to create Host specifically for the Museum. Fabricated from metal forks, knives, and spoons, many of which have been donated by residents of the Montclair area, Host takes the form of a tree that has been severed into three parts: the stump, the trunk, and the branches. Using intimate, everyday objects from our homes to generate this image of nature, Host speaks to both the resilience and vulnerability within the community. The flatware serves as a metaphor for personal and family histories, symbolizing the ritual of the family meal, the passing-down of heirlooms, and the conceptions of “home” that are at once personal and universal. The imagery of the tree refers to the suburban landscape: a source of pleasure and reassurance, but also, in recent years especially, of anxiety, reminding us of our fragile existence in the face of pressing ecological issues and economic challenges.
Jean Shin is nationally recognized for her monumental installations that transform everyday objects into elegant expressions of identity and community. For each project, she amasses vast collections of a particular object—prescription pill bottles, sports trophies, sweaters—which are often sourced through donations from individuals in a participating community. These intimate objects then become the materials for her conceptually rich sculptures, videos and site-specific installations. Distinguished by her meticulous, labor-intensive process, and her engagement of community, Shin’s arresting installations reflect individuals’ personal lives as well as collective issues that we face as a society
Her work has been widely exhibited in major national and international museums, including in solo exhibitions at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art in Arizona (2010), Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC (2009), the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia (2006), and Projects at The Museum of Modern Art in New York (2004).
Other venues have been the New Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Art and Design, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Asia Society and Museum, The Brooklyn Museum, Sculpture Center, Socrates Sculpture Park, and Frederieke Taylor Gallery in New York City. Site-specific permanent installations have been commissioned by the US General Services Administration Art in Architecture Award, New York City’s Percent for the Arts and MTA Art for Transit. She has received numerous awards, including the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Architecture/Environmental Structures (2008) and Sculpture (2003), Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, and Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Biennial Art Award. Her works have been featured in many publications, including Frieze Art, Flash Art, Tema Celeste, Art in America, Sculpture Magazine, Artnews, and The New York Times. She is represented by Tierney Gardarin Gallery, New York.
Born in Seoul, South Korea and raised in the United States, Shin attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 1999 and received a BFA and MS from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. She lives and works in New York City.
New Directions, Montclair Art Museum’s contemporary art exhibition series, spotlights emerging and mid-career artists working in all media, including painting, sculpture, installation, photography, video, sound, digital, and performance art. Marking the launch of MAM’s new contemporary art program, New Directions debuted in Fall 2011 with Marina Zurkow: Friends, Enemies, and Others; working primarily in digital animation, Zurkow makes videos, prints, and objects exploring environmental themes. September 2012 saw the opening of Saya Woolfalk: The Empathics; Woolfalk examines issues of ethnic and gender identity through installations, textile-based sculptures, painting, video, and performance.
Children's Etiquette Workshop
New Directions/Jean Shin: Host is made possible with generous Exhibition Angel support from the Vance Wall Foundation, Rose and John Cali, Holly English and Fred Smagorinsky, Tracy Higgins and James Leitner, Ann and Mel Schaffer, and Margo and Frank Walter.
All Museum programs are made possible, in part, by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Vance Wall Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and Museum members.