Coinciding with the exhibition Roni Horn, the Nasher Sculpture Center’s curators have chosen works from the Nasher Collection to complement Horn’s installation and draw connections between Horn and artists of the distant and more recent past. Horn is an avid reader and frequently includes excerpts of literary texts in the subtitles of her works, as with her cast glass sculptures on view in the adjacent gallery. Literary themes appear prominently in other bodies of work too, notably in Horn’s drawings, in which the artist combines excerpts from literature with idiomatic phrases, and also in a series of aluminum sculptures in which the artist embeds the words of poet Emily Dickinson.
The sculptures on view span two centuries, from the experiments of Auguste Rodin, Paul Gauguin, and Honoré Daumier in the mid- to late nineteenth century to works by Horn’s direct predecessors and contemporaries, such as Donald Judd, Carl Andre, and Anish Kapoor, among others. Literary themes explored in this installation are diverse in genre and style, encompassing references to ancient Greek, Irish, and Hindu mythology in the work of Cy Twombly, David McManaway, and Kapoor; the poetry, prose, and criticism of artists who were also writers, such as Jean Arp, Barnett Newman, and Andre; and the writings of modernist poets Charles Baudelaire and Stéphane Mallarmé, who inspired artists like Daumier, Raymond Duchamp-Villon, and Christopher Wilmarth to create work in response to their seminal texts.
In this Foundations installation, viewers will discover the diverse ways in which artists engage with literature, either as writers themselves, in response to texts they found inspiring, or through their relationships with writers as collaborators and friends.