Press Room /  Press Releases

January 19, 2011


Extraordinary Sculptures of Ordinary Objects

February 16 | May 8, 2011


Press and Members Preview:  Tuesday, February 15, 6:30 pm

Interview opportunities with curator Rene Barilleaux, museum director William J. Chiego, and artists in the exhibition.


Organized by the McNay’s Chief Curator and Curator of Art after 1945, New Image Sculpture assembles works by emerging and mid-career artists who freely appropriate from art history, ethnographic artifacts, fashion, folk art, hobby crafts, popular culture, and the world of do-it-yourself. These artists transform widely available materials, many found on the shelves of hardware stores and building suppliers, into fanciful re-creations and interpretations of ordinary and mundane things. Styrofoam, corrugated cardboard, and duct tape replace marble and bronze as primary materials, while ersatz tractors, musical instruments, sofas, and suitcases take the place previously held by portrait busts or minimalist cubes.


Drawing on art movements including Dada, Nouveau Réalisme, Arte Povera, and Pop art, as well as various other developments in realism, these disparate artists all use recognizable imagery and common materials. Often fabrication techniques are conspicuous as an element of the finished work. Some artists employ labor-intensive and obsessive approaches, emphasizing craft and the handmade with obvious evidence of the artist’s process, despite the use of ephemeral materials.


The 13 artists and artist collectives in New Image Sculpture create unique visions of the world we encounter on a daily basis. Regardless of what they make or how they make it, in the end these artists transform ordinary stuff into objects of extraordinary engagement.


A full-color, 128-page book surveying the work of these artists, with text by the exhibition’s organizer René Paul Barilleaux and critic Eleanor Heartney, accompanies the New Image Sculpture exhibition.


Artists in New Image Sculpture: Conrad Bakker, Libby Black, Tom Burckhardt, Margarita Cabrera, Chris Hanson and Hendrika Sonnenberg, Dennis Harper, Kiel Johnson, Kevin Landers, Jean Lowe, Okay Mountain, Kaz Oshiro, Mark Schatz, Jade Townsend


This exhibition was organized by the McNay Art Museum.


Funding is provided by the Flora Crichton Visiting Artist Fund, The Ewing Halsell Foundation Endowment for Visiting Artists, the King Ranch Family Trust Endowment for Visiting Artists, the Nathalie and Gladys Dalkowitz Charitable Trust, the Mays Family Foundation, the Director’s Circle, and the Host Committee.


Media sponsorship is provided by the San Antonio Express-News.


Images: Margarita Cabrera, Arbol de la Vida (John Deere Tractor, Model #790) (detail), 2007. Ceramic, slip paint, and steel hardware. Courtesy of Walter Maciel Gallery, Los Angeles, California.

Kaz Oshiro, Trash Bin #7, 2004. Acrylic and bondo on stretched canvas. Courtesy of the artist and Artist Pension Trust, Los Angeles, California.

Tom Burckhardt, Kunztruk (detail), 2008. Enamel on cardboard, wood, and Variform. Courtesy of the artist.

Chris Hanson and Hendrika Sonnenberg, Soap Box (detail), 2004. Polystyrene and hot glue. Collection of Robert Speyer.

Libby Black, You Never Call, You Never Write (detail), 2008. Paper, hot glue, acrylic. Courtesy of Marx & Zavattero, San Francisco, California.


The McNay

Built by artist and educator Marion Koogler McNay in the 1920s, the Spanish Colonial Revival-style residence opened as Texas’s first museum of modern art in 1954. Today more than 100,000 visitors a year enjoy works by modern masters including Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.  In June 2008, the museum opened the 45,000-square-foot Jane and Arthur Stieren Center for Exhibitions designed by internationally renowned French architect Jean-Paul Viguier. Nearly doubling the McNay’s exhibition space, the Stieren Center includes outdoor sculpture galleries.



Tuesday–Friday, 10 am–4 pm; Thursday, 10 am–9 pm;

Saturday, 10 am–5 pm; Sunday, noon–5 pm.

The McNay is closed on Mondays, New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.


General Admission

McNay members, free; Children 12 and under, free; Adults, $8; Students 12 and under, $5;

Seniors (65+),  $5; Active Military, $5. 

An extra admission charge of $5 applies during special exhibitions. There is no charge for general admission on Thursday nights and on the first Sunday of the month. At these times, the extra admission charge applies only for entrance to the special exhibition.


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