Concrete, drywall, PVC pipes, wire, milk crates. You’d fully expect to see these and similar materials at a construction site but not in an art museum. But the Hunterdon Art Museum’s latest exhibition The Art of Construction encourages viewers to see how common building materials can be bent, twisted and shaped to create intriguing works of art.
Lovina Purple is curating this show. The foundation for this exhibition was first laid when, as a youngster growing up in a developing neighborhood, Purple and her sister would wander through unfinished homes, imagining what they would be like when finished.
“My sister grew up to become an architect,” Purple said, “and it was through her – and that architectural eye — that I began to notice and appreciate the raw materials even more for their own aesthetic beauty.” A gift from her sister of found materials from a construction site helped galvanize the idea for The Art of Construction.
To create this show, Purple approached artists whose works she had seen on exhibition or in open studios. She also combed artists’ registries to find the right blend of different, yet similar, materials that would complement HAM’s unique setting. “I tried to create a connecting thread between works: a similar arc, twist, material or color that makes the whole show have a cohesiveness and its own unique vibe that resonates with the show’s theme,” she said.