The Arts Center is pleased to announce that Kohler Co. has set aside exhibition space in the new Kohler Experience Center’s main showroom (located at 7 West 22nd St. in Manhattan) to feature work created by artists during their time in the celebrated Arts/Industry artist residency program.
The inaugural exhibition in the Kohler Experience Center space will feature elements from Babel, a major sculptural installation by Alabama artist Jim Neel. Babel was created during Neel’s 2008 Arts/Industry residency in the Kohler Co. Pottery. Neel slip-cast 50 large-scale, vitreous china chimpanzees, then outfitted the figures to be battle-ready and arranged them in military formation. Exploring mankind’s compulsion to go to battle, Babel speaks to what Neel says is the human species’ historical tendency to be “slow learners,” and the ongoing state of warfare between human communities. Made from unglazed ceramic, Neel’s stalwart army conjures a ghostly military force.
“The work by Neel represents the many draws of the Arts/Industry residency program for artists,” said Kristin Plucar, Arts/Industry program manager at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center. “The Kohler Co. factory is an environment singularly suited to support artists in the creation of works they may not be able to accomplish in their home studios. This satellite exhibition space will showcase the work that results from this extraordinary collaboration, and the Arts Center deeply appreciates this demonstration of Kohler Co.’s ongoing commitment to the creative arts.”
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website