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Alexandre Arrechea: Landscape and Hierarchies at ArtYard

September 17, 2022–January 22, 2023

Landscape and Hierarchies, a solo exhibition of brand-new works by Alexandre Arrechea, will be on view at ArtYard from September 17, 2022, through January 22, 2023.

Arrechea has gained recognition as an artist whose creations never cease to inspire, astound, and bring the kind of hope that occasionally only art can. The artist’s solo career spans 20 years as of this exhibition.

Landscape and Hierarchies examines the relationship between individual and collective accountability as well as the impact of human behavior on the environment and society. The exhibition, which Elsa Mora is the curator of, was created especially for ArtYard and features enormous watercolor paintings, sculptures, and multimedia installations.

In Landscape and Hierarchies, Arrechea continues his inquiry into the power dynamics and structures in our daily lives by drawing inspiration from sports. Baseball stadium and playground staples are combined in unexpected ways by Arrechea with elements of nature like glass trees, river water, and morning dew. His work elevates the significance of modest deeds by turning fleeting activities like swinging and painting into momentous ones. The artist also provides a variety of perspectives on his creative process, obfuscating the line between what is private and what is made public while probing the nature of reality.

“In Landscape and Hierarchies, sports is a reflection of humanity,” says Mora, ArtYard Artistic Director and Curator. “Arrechea interrupts the dynamics those at the top of social hierarchies have enacted over generations—competition over cooperation, winners and losers, rules and penalties, the separation of humans from nature. Through his work and creative process, the artist invites us into a collaborative space to co-create a future where people and the planet thrive.”

Arrechea had the opportunity to ponder, experiment, and produce art during a summer residency at ArtYard. During that time, he developed a fascination for the Delaware River, which led to the creation of the largest piece in the exhibition and probably the first of its kind, a 71-foot watercolor entitled River and Ripples that used river water.

Shared Words is another piece in the collection. It consists of five black-and-white photos set above an acrylic grid like a scoreboard that covers the mouths of the subjects. Visitors are encouraged to use white chalk to write words to represent people and give them voices.

A circular putting green with a track for a golf ball is part of the project Landscape and Hierarchies, which is surrounded by a forest of glass-blown sculptures of trees. Video projections on either side of the piece provide other perspectives of the made-up setting.

White Corner 2, 3, and 4 are a series of three videos in ArtYard’s VSG, or Very Small Gallery, that are designed to be viewed via a small aperture and feature two similar people approaching a blind corner with raised weapons but unable to recognize the reciprocity of their projected concerns.

Arrechea is well known for his gigantic projects Nolimits (2013), which included ten sculptures along Park Avenue that were inspired by famous New York City structures, and Katrina Chairs (2016), which were placed at the Coachella Music Festival in Palm Springs, California. He built Dreaming with Lions, an immersive rotunda that was put at Faena Miami Beach in December and resembled a massive forum-like library. Arrechea’s Orange Functional, a sculpture with 20-foot-tall orange branches that appear to blossom into 25 practical basketball hoops, debuted in June at Art Omi, which commissioned it.

ArtYard serves as a platform for creative expression and a facilitator for partnerships that highlight the transformative potential of art. We are an interdisciplinary alternative contemporary art center made up of exhibition space, a theater, and a residency program committed to presenting transformative artwork, encouraging unexpected collaborations, and incubating original new work. We are situated in Frenchtown, NJ perched on the Delaware River a little more than an hour’s drive from New York City and Philadelphia.

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