The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art. in Ridgefield, CT, was founded in 1964 by Larry Aldrich, a retired fashion designer. He is involved in contemporary art of the 60s including now famous artists such as Richard Serra and Frank Stella. He focused on living with contemporary art; so the new building, completed in 2004, retains the sense of being in a minimalist home.
The theme of the current exhibit centers around undisclosed facts, and our tour was given by Richard Wenzel. Undisclosed Facts is made up of four artists working in a variety of mediums, and each has a different way of expressing the theme.
The first artist is Kay Rosen, her exhibition is called H is for House. She plays with words through her images. Each piece has multiple interpretations, and makes you work to understand them. Its two large rooms occupy their own walls facing each other. Look at her work before looking at the medium she uses. It will only impress you more after you see.
The next exhibition is Just Left Feel Right by Suzanne McClellan. Her pieces make you work hard to see what she is saying, incorporating text that takes time to decipher. McClellan uses several mediums, each expressing the sound of the words through the texture of the piece. Many of his plays are about American culture, especially the performers and their names.
Third is Beth Campbell with My Potential Future Past. The exhibition contains drawings, sculptures and installations. Campbell begins by exploring the daily decisions she makes, drawing attention to the little things that can lead to desirable or undesirable outcomes. She then moves on to larger parts of the story, picking out small details from big stories and linking them into what initially appear to be family trees. Mobiles seem to give a more abstract presence to these ideas.
The latest exhibition is After the Contemporary by William Powhida. Powhida creates a “retrospective of the future”, as if we were in the year 2050, looking back on current times leading up to this present. In his exposition, there is no final draft, there are notes written in the margins of the introductions. Powhida predicts a future that does not look too bright, neither for the art world nor for the world in general. The focus is on the growing corporatization of art and humanity, and what this means for the future of both.
Each of the exhibits requires a lot of time, so be sure to give yourself that time to absorb and process. The current exhibition lasts until September 4. The next one opens October 1 and includes Anissa Mack, Alex Schweder, and Ward Shelley, as well as a photography collection titled Shared Space: A New Era. The Aldrich Museum is located at 258 Main St in Ridgefield Ct, and is open Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Monday and Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. More information, including admission fees, can be found on their website www.aldrichart.org.
Photos courtesy of Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art