An expansive new art exhibit in Connecticut is exploring the way objects are displayed on surfaces throughout our homes and our relationship to them. The exhibit, The Domestic Plane: New Perspectives on Tabletop Art Objects, at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, is presented in five separate “chapters,” each with its own curator and one employing a plethora of furnishings from Design Within Reach as props. Featuring art objects from the 20th and 21st centuries, the exhibit presents an experience that could be likened to theater, as “viewers encounter objects that interact with each other, their audience and their setting, forging relationships to be examined and meanings to be discovered in their adventurous methods of display.” More than 70 artists are represented in the show, which runs through January 13.
The largest of the chapters, Objects Like Us, represents more than 50 artists and explores the “relational behavior of intimately scaled objects that personify or embody a human condition or attribute that transmits a performative potentiality, aura or beingness.” Artist and curator David Adamo laid out white chalk in a herringbone pattern to suggest antique parquet. With foot traffic, the chalk will crack and crumble to reveal pathways of interaction from exhibit visitors.
Another chapter, On Edge, considers the table as a territory with the inherent boundary of its “edge” and its relationship with gravity. Using DWR dining tables and a bench, coffee table, desk and dresser, sculpture is placed in positions that test the surface edges, where safety and danger coexist.
Three other chapters complete the exhibition. Kitchen Arrangement, a commissioned installation, provides an immersive exploration of the “home’s primal epicenter: a social space essential to living and an area full of relational potentiality.” Almost Everything on the Table, with more than 30 objects, is largely interactive and invites exploration of metaphysical questions. And finally, with 20 or so objects laid out on a single table, Handheld invites the examination of the relationship between hand and eye.
Founded by Larry Aldrich in 1964, the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum is one of the few independent, non-collecting contemporary art museums in the United States and the only museum in Connecticut devoted to contemporary art.
Pieces from DWR were used exclusively in On Edge. They include the Celine Desk, Cross Extension Table, CTW1 Rectangular Coffee Table, Dulwich Extension Table, Gather Table, Kayu Teak Dining Table and Nelson Thin Edge Double Dresser.
Read more about the exhibit in the Connecticut Post: Extensive Aldrich exhibit explores tabletop art objects