April 21, 2018
Bookmark and Share

Smithsonian American Art Museum Presents Monumental Installations by Jean Shin


April 15, 2009

Media only:          Laura Baptiste         (202) 633-8494
Media Web site:  americanart.si.edu/pr
Media preview:    Monday, April 27; 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.


Smithsonian AmericanArt Museum Presents Monumental Installations by Jean Shin

Jean Shin is nationally recognized for her monumental installations that transform castoff materials into elegant expressions of identity and community. The exhibition "Jean Shin: Common Threads" will be on view at the SmithsonianAmericanArt Museum May 1 through July 26. It features eight works created since 2000, including the new site-specific installation "Everyday Monuments" commissioned by the museum. The museum is the only venue for the exhibition.


"For the past decade, the Smithsonian American Art Museum has focused on strengthening its commitment to contemporary art and artists through exhibitions, awards and commissions, such as Jean Shin's new work 'Everyday Monuments,'" said Elizabeth Broun, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director at the museum. "I am delighted that the museum is not only celebrating Jean Shin and her thoughtful work that explores issues of community and identity in the galleries this spring, but also Washingtonians who contributed to making 'Everyday Monuments' a success."


Shin employs a meticulous process of dismantling and alteration to create evocative sculptural installations that are composed of everything from broken umbrellas and losing lottery tickets to computer key caps and old music records. The resulting assemblages consist of hundreds, sometimes thousands, of seemingly identical objects culled from the remnants of daily life.


"Shin's artworks are at once rigorously formal and emotionally resonant, mass-produced yet insistently handmade," said Joanna Marsh, The James Dicke Curator of Contemporary Art at the museum, who organized the exhibition. "Shin departs from her predecessors, like Louise Nevelson, by expanding assemblage into the realm of the participatory. She not only focuses on the power of the objects themselves but also their relationship to the environment and the viewer."


Shin's most recent project, "Everyday Monuments," debuts in the exhibition. This major work was commissioned by the museum in 2008. The sprawling installation consists of nearly 2,000 trophies donated by Washington, D.C.-area residents and projected images of the altered trophies. Inspired by the well-known historic monuments and heroic statuary displayed throughout Washington's public spaces, "Everyday Monuments" venerates the accomplishments of ordinary Americansstay-at-home moms, waitresses, janitors, postal carrierswhose everyday labors go unrecognized. Shin transformed each figurine to represent these tasks. The trophies are arranged according to a scale plan of the National Mall, symbolically filling the expanse of Washington's signature public space.


"'Everyday Monuments' epitomizes Shin's art of the past decade," said Marsh. "This stunning evocation of the nation's capital and the American work force touches on ideas of community, memory and the body, all recurring themes in Shin's work. By giving new life and restored purpose to forgotten objects, Shin shows us that value and beauty can be found in the most unexpected places."


                    Jean Shin, detail: "Everyday Monuments," image courtesy of the artist



For the full press release, visit the museum's online press room. RSVP for the preview by Friday, April 24 by e-mailing AmericanArtInfo@si.edu or calling (202) 633-8530.


And check out the progress of the exhibition's installation on the museum's Flickr photostream!


Back to top
| Back to home page

White House Live Stream
Breaking News
alsharpton Rev. Al Sharpton
9 to 11 am EST
jjackson Rev. Jesse Jackson
10 to noon CST


Sounds Make the News ®
Atlanta - WAOK-Urban
Berkley / San Francisco - KPFA-Progressive
Chicago - WVON-Urban
KJLH - Urban
Los Angeles - KJLH - Urban
WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WADO-Spanish
WBAI - Progressive
New York - WBAI - Progressive
Washington - WOL-Urban

Listen to United Natiosns News