Virginia Overton is a site-responsive artist. She makes sculptures, installations, photographs, and videos that relate to and interact with a venue’s architecture and defining landscape. Ultimately, what she achieves is work that is implicitly site referential, as she underscores an environment’s unassuming or extraordinary attributes by engaging the sensory features of the material.
Her sculptures and installations appear minimally composed, but their engagement with the features of a space—as well as its exterior and the landscape—generates a maximalist sensation from an efficiency of means. Performative by nature, her chosen materials are stimulated by the specificity of their situation; always initiated by the execution of a deliberate action, they maintain a relational experience predicated on a “being there” aesthetic.
Overton’s approach to the exhibition process is a combination of research and on-site decision making. For The Aldrich, she has created thirteen site-reactive sculptures and a video, presented inside the galleries, in the Sculpture Garden, and on the roofline. Each informs the other as the works reverberate throughout the building and boomerang out onto the grounds, offering multiple lines of sight. Many of the sculptures are composed of elements harvested from a dead eastern white pine felled on the Museum’s grounds. Some works feature indigenous materials scavenged on the premises alongside items Overton collected at the studio or recycled from past installations. Overton transposes the energy encapsulated within these objects, draining them of their normative purpose, and imparting them and their circumstances with a new functionality.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website