Simultaneously formal and lyrical, constructed and poetic, Don Gummer’s three-dimensional works explore ideas about balance, stability, energy, and space. Best known for abstract, large-scale sculptures that seem to reach, swirl, or expand upward, Gummer has long been invested in creating pieces with presence. Influenced by the structured beauty of floorplans, the artist began a series of large, wooden wall reliefs in the early 1970s. This early project has become a lifelong pursuit, and his ongoing series of reliefs often reimagine architectural plans by placing the schematics of one building on top of another. In the 1980s and 1990s, Gummer’s work expanded in scale and material as he began to design free-standing sculptures that incorporated various metals and stained glass. Today, Gummer’s works can be found in numerous public collections and have been displayed in locations from Massachusetts to Japan.
This exhibition features large-scale sculpture as well as wall reliefs and maquettes from four decades of the artist’s career. Visitors to the Starr and Alpert Galleries are invited to explore Gummer’s interest in the act of construction and spatial relationships by viewing wooden wall reliefs created between 1977 and 2021. The exhibition premieres the artist’s newest work, titled Colosseum, along with a preparatory drawing that provides insight into Gummer’s artistic process. Outside, on the Museums’ grounds, large sculptural works enliven the green space and engage in a dialogue with each other, the landscape, and the surrounding architecture.
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Above Images: (Left) Atelier Jianshu Over R.M. Schindler’s Packard Residence, 2005, oil on wood by Don Gummer (American, born 1946). Loan courtesy of the artist. (Right) Open House, 2015, aluminum and painted aluminum by Don Gummer. Loan courtesy of the artist.