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Camp Iris: Site-Specific Work by Victoria Palermo – Thursday, May 19, 2016


imageFrom May 28 through Labor Day, The Hyde Collection is pleased to present Camp Iris, a site-specific, interactive installation by artist Victoria Palermo, on the front lawn of the Museum complex.

“I’ve known Vicky for many years, and I’m fascinated by the evolution of her work,” noted Hyde Director Erin Coe. “From her early resin sculptures and intricate wallpaper installations, to her colored acrylic constructions and large-scale outdoor installations, her work alters the viewers’ perceptions of the environment while involving their participation to complete it. In this regard, she shares many affinities with the artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, whose work is featured in a major exhibition here at The Hyde.”

Camp Iris features three nearly eight-foot high A-frame structures with transparent, colored acrylic walls held in place by cedar frames and anchored to the ground.Inspired by historic photographs of the Hyde, Hoopes, and Cunningham families in the Museum’s archives, which depicted the original function of the gardens and grounds as a social space for family interactions and community activities, Palermo created a playful, interactive work. The title of the installation refers to the Greek goddess of the rainbow, Iris, evoking mythological themes present in The Hyde’s permanent collection, as well as the visual experience the artist wishes to convey.

The public is encouraged to enter, pass through, or recline in the installation. Each A-frame has a 4 x 6 foot carpeted platform for sitting or lounging. Visitors will look through the transparent colors of the walls to take in surrounding landscape and buildings. As they walk through the piece, the public can experience the changing shapes that are formed as the colors mix and remix, overlapping one another.

“The forms of Camp Iris refer to the architecture of the recreational getaways in the Adirondack forests –forests that supply the lumber for Finch Paper, whose log and pulp piles still appear behind the Museum,” notes the artist. “The design of the work incorporates three aligned, temporary structures — tent shapes like so many A-frame vacation homes built in the Adirondacks during the 1960s.”

Palermo’s installation is presented in conjunction with The Hyde’s new exhibition Christo and Jeanne-Claude: The Tom Golden Collection, which features 123 drawings, collages, photographs, and sculptures by the famed artists, who created large-scale environmental installations such as Running Fence in Sonoma County, California (1976) and The Gates in Central Park (2005).

“Much of my admiration for the life work of Christo and Jeanne-Claude (leaving aside the drop-dead gorgeousness of color, material, and form) stems from their large-scale vision and fearless determination to realize the projects,” Palermo adds. “The Gates in Central Park was a revelation, showing how a work of art can transform a familiar place and create an environment of social interaction. Interactivity with The Gates was a conversation starter — a sense of instant community, making for both an aesthetic and social experience.”

Palermo will present a lecture on Thursday, August 4, at 7:00 pm entitled “Shelter from the Storm: Interactions with Contemporary Sculpture.” The lecture will be held in the Helen Froehlich Auditorium at The Hyde Collection.

About the Artist

Victoria Palermo exhibits both two- and three-dimensional work in galleries and venues across the country, and she has received reviews in national media, including Sculpture magazine and the New York Times. She’s had solo exhibitions at the Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA; the Conduit Gallery in Dallas Texas; John Davis Gallery in Hudson, NY; Marseille, France; and the Courthouse Gallery in Lake George, NY. She has also participated in group shows in Kidspace at MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA; Collarworks, Troy, NY; as well as in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Albany, and Saratoga Springs. Her public projects include a site-specific commissioned work (Up and Down) at the Albany International Airport and a bus shelter built on Main Street in North Adams, MA, sponsored by MASS MoCA. Isosceles Hammock, an outdoor work, is currently installed in the Cary Hill Sculpture Park at Salem Art Works, Salem, NY. Palermo has received awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts. She has also been an artist in residence at Yaddo. She has taught Studio Art at Skidmore College and SUNY Adirondack. She holds a B.S. in Art from Skidmore College and an M.F.A. from Bennington College.