On the schedule at the Berkshire Museum, in Pittsfield, Mass., from January 15 through March 27, 2011, is an exhibition of cardboard sculptures called Henry Klimowicz: Constructs. The exhibition includes Disk II/Bright Star, a circular work measuring 20 feet in diameter suspended from the ceiling of the Crane Room. An earlier site-specific installation by Klimowicz, Paper and Light, remains on view.
Henry Klimowicz: Constructs is on view at Berkshire Museum from January 15 through March 27. Entrance is included with regular museum admission, which is $13 for adults and $6 for children. Members and children aged three and under enjoy free admission. Berkshire Museum is open from 10am to 5pm on Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5pm on Sunday. For more information, visit www.berkshiremuseum.org or call 413.443.7171. The exhibition kicks off with a special opening reception on Saturday, January 15, from 5pm to 7pm, which is free and open to the public.
hands-on workshops with Henry Klimowicz at Berkshire Museum
Klimowicz will offer a closer look at his distinctive process, and guide visitors as they create their own cardboard art, in a series of hands-on workshops. On February 12, 19 and 26, he will be in the galleries from 2 pm to 3 pm for a Hands-on Workshop with Henry Klimowicz. These special workshops are appropriate for all ages. Materials are provided. Participation is included with regular museum admission.
The artist begins with disused cardboard and methodically transforms it into large-scale pieces, incorporating intricate patterns that suggest the work of bees, insects, and spiders. They display meticulous attention to detail and a meditative quality that encourages the viewer to engage at several levels, considering the artist’s process and the time invested in the work as well as its interplay between the concepts of waste and of aesthetic beauty. The work is playful and accessible, and implies a dialogue between art and the natural world that places it firmly within Berkshire Museum’s nexus of art, science and natural history.
“Cardboard is simple and straightforward. It is also a severely limited material. It has an ever-present cultural bias related to its past uses as a container or its present statues as waste. I love that when I fully use the material it transcends its cultural confines,” Klimowicz says. “If I can make a beautiful thing from cardboard, I have then said that anything can be made valuable, fruitful, or hopeful. I see the work as very positive because of the lengths that have been traveled by the material from trash to beauty. It is a statement about the possible—that all things can be redeemed, often for more then what was deposited. And that creativity can be that redeemer.”
Henry Klimowicz: Constructs is born out of Berkshire Museum’s continuing commitment to nurture new talents in the contemporary art world, and serve as a gathering place for innovative work that crosses boundaries between natural history, science and the arts. It follows the Museum’s Artist-in-Residence program (instituted in 2009) and the creation of the BerkshireBase and Wider Window Gallery display spaces. The Ellen Crane Memorial Room most recently played host to a collection of new and recent sculpture by Joe Wheaton and Susan Rodgers. Upcoming at Berkshire Museum in 2011 is an exciting exhibition of contemporary and modern art from the collection of Jane and Jay Braus, also including major works gifted by the Brauses to the museum since 1988.
“One of the great pleasures of my job is to open the doors of the Ellen Crane Room—a grand, sky-lit space that, more than any other, conjures the legacy and historic roots of Berkshire Museum—and bring in fresh work by contemporary artists. Henry is going to utterly transform that space,” says Executive Director Stuart A. Chase. “This is the sort of work that just has to be seen. Henry encourages us to look at the world in a different way. We hope his work inspires other innovators who are out there blazing fresh trails as well.”