August 3, 2018
BMA Unveils Commissioned Neon Sculpture By Tavares Strachan on Historic Façade
Artwork will be formally illuminated at public event with the artist on Wednesday, August 8
BALTIMORE, MD (August 3, 2018)—The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) announces it will present Tavares Strachan: In broad daylight, a new site-specific work commissioned by the museum that will be on view beginning August 8, 2018. For this installation, New York-based artist Strachan has rendered the words “In broad daylight” in a flowing neon script, setting the BMA’s historic façade aglow day and night for the next nine months. This simple statement can be interpreted as a question, an exclamation, an affirmation, or a challenge. The significance of the work shifts in relation to the perspectives of its viewers, reflecting the beliefs, values, and experiences of those that encounter it.
“In broad daylight invites viewers to see the museum in a new light while they consider the meaning of the illuminated words,” said BMA Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director Christopher Bedford. “It also signifies the BMA’s commitment to the city of Baltimore and to doing all that is required to become an indispensable part of civic life in 2018 and beyond.”
A reception with the artist will be held on Wednesday, August 8 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. This free event will include refreshments and live music. The neon work will be formally illuminated at 8 p.m.
New York-based conceptual artist Tavares Strachan explores the intersection of science, art, and the environment to create works that are ambitious in scale and scope. Many of his projects investigate the nature of invisibility, calling into question the conditions that frame and legitimize certain cultural knowledge and histories while obscuring and erasing others. Strachan also aims to build and connect communities through his work by making networks of power more visible, prompting viewers to reconsider their social roles at the local and global levels. The perceived authority of language is the subject of Us, We, Them (2015), a neon sculpture that questions declarations of affiliation, locality,
and identity. A Children’s History of Invisibility (2017) highlights topics often overlooked by society, creating an A-to-Z index of under-known histories. Overlooked figures are also brought forward in a series of collaged portraits, including 19th-century Korean empress Queen Min (2016– 17), 20th-century musical innovator Butch Morris (2015–16), and Tibetan mountaineer Tenzing Norgay (2015–16). Their biographies remain largely unknown, yet their cultural influence has been broad and complex.
Strachan (born 1979, Nassau, Bahamas) received a BFA in Glass from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2003 and an MFA in Sculpture from Yale University in 2006. He has had solo exhibitions in New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, Tel Aviv, and London, among others. In 2013, he represented the Bahamas in the nation’s inaugural pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale. Seen/Unseen (2011) was a closed exhibition that took place in an undisclosed location in New York City. His neon work, I Belong Here (2012), is on view in Solidary & Solitary: The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection, a nationally touring exhibition that will open at the BMA in summer 2019. In 2018, he was named the first artist-in residence at the Allen Institute, a nonprofit founded by philanthropist Paul G. Allen.
About the Baltimore Museum of Art
Founded in 1914, the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) inspires people of all ages and backgrounds through exhibitions, programs, and collections that tell an expansive story of art—challenging long-held narratives and embracing new voices. Our outstanding collection of more than 97,000 objects spans many eras and cultures and includes the world’s largest public holding of works by Henri Matisse; one of the nation’s finest collections of prints, drawings, and photographs; and a rapidly growing number of works by contemporary artists of diverse backgrounds. The museum is also distinguished by a neoclassical building designed by American architect John Russell Pope and two beautifully landscaped gardens featuring an array of modern and contemporary sculpture. The BMA is located three miles north of the Inner Harbor, adjacent to the main campus of Johns Hopkins University, and has a community branch at Lexington Market. General admission is free so that everyone can enjoy the power of art.