MEMPHIS, Tenn. – In May, museum visitors will be able to watch and participate in a massive public art installation—and its subsequent deinstallation —May 8-25 at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.
The Rhode Island-based artist collective Tape Art, known for creating more than 500 temporary murals installed around the world, including reactions to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in New York City and the 2013 earthquake in Fukushima, Japan, will cap the museum’s centennial celebration with a gigantic installation on the Brooks’ façade. This is the latest installment in the museum’s centennial exhibition series.
The process began in August 2016, when Tape Art founder Michael Townsend and creative director Leah Smith traveled to Memphis for a site visit and created a concept that celebrates the images of women in the Brooks’ collection.
Possible contenders include George Romney’s 18th century “Portrait of Lady Wright,” Marisol’s pop art “Virgin Mary (from The Family),” Red Grooms’ “Memphis Minnie (from 2016’s Memphis on My Mind),” “Medusa (from Luca Giordano’s baroque-era Slaying of Medusa),” the young girl depicted in William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s French salon painting “At the Foot of the Cliff” and more.
These concepts will be incorporated into a massive work that is visually inspired by “Girl Tree,” a painting by Memphis’ own Carroll Cloar, a magic realist whose work is included in collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. As part of its centennial celebration, the Brooks dedicated a brand new gallery to Cloar’s work in September 2016.
Using ladders, a boom lift, and a bountiful amount of low-adhesive paper tape, Townsend, Smith and the Tape Art Crew will begin the mural-making process May 8 outside the Brooks Museum.
Like Tape Art installations at the New York Aquarium, the Worcester Art Museum and Grand Rapids’ ArtPrize, the Memphis artwork will be intentionally temporary. The installation will end with an invitation to the public to join in the removal process 4-7 p.m. Wednesday, May 24. Tape Art Finale: Party on the Plaza will have music, art-making, food trucks and more.
Brooks Outside: Tape Art is sponsored by Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs LLP, with special thanks to Ruth and Casey Bowlin and Montgomery Martin Contractors.
About Brooks Museum of Art
Founded in 1916 and located at 1934 Poplar Ave. in historic Overton Park, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art is home to Tennessee’s oldest and largest major collection of world art. More than 10,000 works make up the Brooks Museum’s permanent collection, including works from ancient Greece, Rome and the Americas; Renaissance masterpieces from Italy; English portraiture; American painting and decorative arts; contemporary art; and a survey of African art. The Brooks Museum enriches the lives of our diverse community through the museum's expanding collection, varied exhibitions, and dynamic programs that reflect the art of world cultures from antiquity to the present. For more information about the Brooks and all other exhibitions and programs, call 901-544-6200 or visit www.brooksmuseum.org.
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