Three-Dimensional Works from the Tweed Collection
The Tweed Museum acquired these works over several years, some dating as far back as the 1950s and 1960s. The practice of collecting three-dimensional works has continued sporadically throughout the decades. Many are indicative of the era in which the artists made them, from the early Modernist abstract constructions of Charles Biederman and the welded sculptures of Katherine Nash and Joan Bayard-Gruenwald to the contemporarysculptures made in the 1980s and 1990s by Sterling Rathsack and Alan Houser and the most recently-acquired pieces from the 2000s to the present. Many of the artists featured are from Minnesota or have Minnesota connections.
This compilation of mostly abstract works are not only diverse in form, but are also comprised of a variety of different media, such as bronze, ceramic, wood, plaster, steel, paper, fiber, steel, bronze, found objects, and deer antlers. While many of the works themselves achieve symmetric balance, thereby making them visually appealing, combined in this gallery space, they provoke a sense of asymmetry because of the heterogeneity of the works and the materials used.
As with paintings and other two-dimensional works, one can develop the visual skills to see and ‘read’ a sculpture by looking at its formal and sensory qualities and the arrangement of the elements. Upon viewing each work, notice the lines and silhouettes — their use of space, proportion, balance and orientation, texture, color and pattern, and their movement within the space, and with each other — that together constitute a dialogue. Some of the works are architectural, and some are allegorical, offering a deeper cultural or political message. As one art critic wrote, we must consider how an abstract sculpture is “put to use, not as a way to reproduce a representation of the world, but rather as a tool of expression for the different realities of life,” an idea that also speaks to a kind of asymmetry.