Artists Myoung Ho Lee and B. Wurtz both Focus on Single Trees at deCordova Sculpture Park

Artists Myoung Ho Lee and B. Wurtz both focus carefully on single trees in these two samples from larger projects that reflect their own unique creative processes. Their artworks thrive on the trees and sky through seasonal or daily changes of their current settings in deCordova Sculpture Park. My iPhone photos here hint at how they relate to such changes, while quotes give basic background. Links (in red) to intriguing resources reveal fascinating features of both artists’ approaches and results.

For PLATFORM 26, South Korean photographer Myoung Ho Lee adapts …one of his singular Tree photographs for a large-scale billboard set in deCordova’s verdant Sculpture Park. Traveling across South Korea and Mongolia, Lee searches for stunning, solitary trees to photograph. Once he finds the perfect subject, a production crew hoists a blank canvas behind the tree as Lee captures it with his large format camera. He later digitally erases the cranes, ropes, and assistants, leaving only traces of their existence in the final composition. Tree…#2 distills the natural beauty of Lee’s travels, while also revealing the performative nature of photography that is often concealed.” (quote from Trustee description of Sculpture Part art, Tree…#2)

“The photographs, which were taken with a 4×5 camera, depict a wide range of tree species during different seasons and times of day. Entitled Tree, the series was exhibited at Yossi Milo Gallery in New York in 2009. A statement from the gallery reads, “By creating a partial, temporary outdoor studio for each tree, Lee’s ‘portraits’ of trees play with ideas of scale and perception while referencing traditional painting and the history of photography.” ( quote excerpt from Nature Framed by Myoung Ho Lee Ignant Online )

“Kitchen Trees is one of Wurtz’s first large-scale, public sculptures. Its trunk is composed of blue colanders stacked in a slender column with thin metallic branches leading to overturned pots and pans, out of which plastic fruits and vegetables appear to fall. … The sculpture’s form is partially inspired by the bulbous bronze fountain in New York’s City Hall Park where Kitchen Trees was first displayed alongside four other sculptures from the same series.” ( excerpt quotes from Trustees description of Kitchen Trees)

“B. Wurtz was born in 1948 in Pasadena, California, and lives and works in New York. He opened a major solo exhibition This Has No Name at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles in 2018 while simultaneously presenting his first public commission, Kitchen Trees, through the New York City Public Art Fund.” ( quote from B. Wurtz biography on Metro Pictures site, which also presents images of this versatile artist’s sculpture, plus videos and music.)

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