Portals, a site-specific, permanent installation by artist Sandra Muss will inaugurate the woods portion of the Kreeger Museum Sculpture Garden on May 18, 2017. The Kreeger’s expansion of its outdoor exhibition space will afford visitors additional opportunities to experience art in a natural setting. Muss’s installation, which encourages interaction, creates a lyrical environment in the sculpture garden and is intended to be appreciated on many levels, as a literal and metaphorical path into the natural world.
“The five and one-half acre Kreeger Museum Sculpture Garden is a natural extension of the Museum, expanding its exhibition space for contemporary sculpture, while offering a contemplative environment for the public to engage with art and nature, “ says Judy Greenberg, Director of the Kreeger Museum. “Portals (2016) was conceived in response to the environment, reflecting the surroundings and the change of seasons, and encouraging visitors, as they meander through the trees, to interact with the sculpture. The installation provides a significant contribution to this next phase of the development of The Kreeger Museum Sculpture Garden.”
Known for work that explores place, light and movement, Muss’s seven stainless steel and mirrored columns, each ten feet high with proportions that relate to the human figure, are wrapped in wire frames. Installed to create the perception of gateways, or portals, the columns invite visitors to journey through and around them. Like the wardrobe in C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia, Portals open an entryway into a fantastical other realm.
Portals incorporates the rhythms of nature; the vines cling to the wire encasement and change with the seasons. As the ivy vines change with the seasons, they frame—revealing or concealing—the reflections in the mirrored surfaces. The reflected views create a complex visual field and offer a possibility of other realities and glimpses in between the columns.