Founded by artists in 1928, SculptureCenter is New York City’s only contemporary art museum solely dedicated to sculpture. SculptureCenter considers the history and legacy of sculpture as a framework to understand the diverse activity taking place in the field of contemporary art. Since 2002, SculptureCenter has presented work by more than 650 emerging and established artists, commissioned major works from artists of international reputation who have not had significant exposure in New York, and organized group exhibitions that identify and explore themes and trends in contemporary art.

Project Description

SculptureCenter is pleased to announce the first US solo exhibition of Danish artist Tue Greenfort, whose interdisciplinary practice deals with the overlap of public and private realms, natural and cultural history. Commissioned through SculptureCenter’s Artist-in-Residence program, Greenfort is producing a new body of work that considers art’s role in reaffirming and dismantling assumptions about nature and the environment.

Through extensive research, discussions with experts, artists and environmentalists, the exhibition and artwork presented examine the site of Jamaica Bay, a marshland that spans the outer boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens in New York City. Greenfort’s exhibition and the discussions hosted around it will seek to uncover parallels and contextualize relationships between art, ecology, and politics, using the actualities of the specific site of Jamaica Bay, as well as its broader implications.

By focusing on the site of Jamaica Bay, the exhibition charts an exploration of wetlands, while examining the specific role of the marshland within the water systems of New York. Although they are significant ecosystems, wetlands such as swamps and marshes have a limited recreational function for humans; in fact they can often be inhospitable, a quality that affects their visibility and popularity. While swamps and marshes serve humans, as well as the multitudes of other species they support, they are often the dumping ground for waste and at environmental risk. Questioning the role of human desire and pleasure seeking in forming ideas of nature, as well as directing larger ecological concern and attention; the exhibition accounts for the conflicting interests that drive understandings of natural environments. Greenfort’s exhibition looks at the inherent contradictions following perceptions that some types of ‘nature’ are more significant than others.

In addition to Greenfort’s exhibition, SculptureCenter will also present SC Conversations: The unpopular environment?


T.J. Demos

Martin P. Schreibman

Kirsten Swenson

“The unpopular environment?” is a seminar organized in conjunction with the exhibition Tue Greenfort, on view at SculptureCenter, and similarly examines ideas around art and environmentalism, questioning our relationship with, and understanding of the concept of nature. Greenfort’s exhibition extends out of research into Jamaica Bay and this program broadly examines the construction of value around particular landscapes, while addressing Jamaica Bay’s newfound significance as a natural flood barrier, in anticipation of future weather events.

The program consists of an introduction made by Tue Greenfort and three short presentations by the speakers, followed by a facilitated conversation with audience participation, led by Ruba Katrib, SculptureCenter Curator.

T.J. Demos is a writer and critic teaching in the Department of Art History at University College London, London. He recently guest edited a special issue of Third Text (no. 120, 2013) on the subject of “Contemporary Art and the Politics of Ecology,” and is currently at work on a book on the subject for Sternberg Press.

Martin P. Schreibman is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biology at the City University of New York’s Brooklyn College and Founder and Director Emeritus, the Aquatic Research and Environmental Assessment Center (AREAC) at Brooklyn College

Kirsten Swenson is Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, and co-editor, with Emily Eliza Scott, of the forthcoming volume Critical Landscapes: Contemporary Art and the Politics of Land Use (University of California Press, 2014).

This project is part of Marfa Dialogues NY and is supported by the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.

Special Thanks

Ballroom Marfa
Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
The Public Concern Foundation