Creating unique relationships between land and sky

Alexander Calder

Alexander Calder

Alexander Calder, whose illustrious career spanned much of the twentieth century, is one of the most acclaimed and influential sculptors of our time. Born in a family of celebrated, though more classically trained artists, Calder utilized his innovative genius to profoundly change the course of modern art. In the 1920s, he began by developing a new method of sculpting: by bending and twisting wire, he essentially “drew” three-dimensional figures in space. He is renowned for the invention of the mobile, whose suspended, abstract elements move and balance in changing harmony. From the 1950s onward, Calder devoted himself to making outdoor sculpture on a grand scale from bolted sheet steel. Today, these stately titans grace public plazas in cities throughout the world. Two Discs and Stainless Stealer by Alexander Calder are on gracious loan to Tippet Rise from the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Smithsonian Institution’s museum of international modern and contemporary art, located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Learn more at Calder.org.

Patrick Dougherty

Patrick Dougherty

Photo: Just For Looks, 2006. Max Azria Melrose Boutique, Los Angeles, CA. David Calicchio

As one of today’s most admired living sculptors, Patrick Dougherty composes with nature—wielding saplings and sticks to build monumental structures that echo, play and tussle with the land. Dougherty has literally worked with nature at Tippet Rise, crafting sculpture from local willows. He returned to the art center in 2022 to make a companion piece for his 2015 work, Daydreams. At the heart of both pieces is a reproduction 19th-century schoolhouse. The new work, Cursive Takes a Holiday (2022), adds an installation of intertwining branches to the outside of the schoolhouse, creating a series of circular spaces that visitors can step inside and out of, while Daydreams features woven branches connected indoors and out.
Learn more at www.stickwork.net.

Francis Kéré

Francis Kéré

Known for engaging communities and creating structures sympathetic to their natural environment, Francis Kéré is among the vanguard of architects working today, and was the recipient of the 2022 Pritzker Architecture Prize. His work is globally recognized for their debt to African vernacular architecture and their relationship to the unique sites they inhabit. At Tippet Rise, Kéré has created Xylem (2019), a gathering pavilion, inspired by the wooden and straw toguna structures sacred in Dogon communities in West Africa. Named to evoke the vital internal layers of a tree’s living structure, Xylem is constructed of locally and sustainably sourced ponderosa and lodgepole pine. Here, visitors to Tippet Rise are encouraged to gather to converse or contemplate the views or sit and meditate in solitude. Learn more at www.kere-architecture.com

Ensamble Studio

Ensamble Studio

Partners Antón García-Abril and Débora Mesa lead the team at Ensamble Studio that blurs the lines between land, art, architecture, structure, and sculpture. Using found materials, their work transcends architectural boundaries and time periods to produce a pure and direct emotional impact. At Tippet Rise, Ensamble has created structures cast from the land that map a constellation on the land. The 26-foot-tall Beartooth Portal (2015) was made from the ground beneath it, composed of two vertical rocklike forms that stand approximately 25 feet apart at ground level and lean together at the top. The similarly designed 22-foot-tall Inverted Portal (2016) and creates equal parts shelter, sculpture, and landscape. The 98-foot-long, 13-foot-tall Domo (2016) was acoustically designed for superior sound projection for outdoor performances. The Folds (2022), a series of 16 ghostly chairs cast from malleable concrete canvas, are installed across the art center, including at the site of Ensamble Studio’s other works. Learn more at www.ensamble.info.

Mark di Suvero

Mark di Suvero

Widely recognized as one of the most influential artists of his generation to emerge from the abstract expressionist era, Mark di Suvero revolutionized the world of sculpture and profoundly influenced fields such as modernist architecture, design, and land art. His large-scale steel sculptures, breaking away from the walls of museums, are meant to be experienced outside. His work transcends time and space, opening ideas about the relationship between art and nature. Tippet Rise is proud to present three of di Suvero’s works: Proverb (2002), a meditation on the tiny tools we use to measure infinity, Beethoven’s Quartet (2003), a clever commentary on the composer’s seminal work, and Whale’s Cry (1981-1983), a whale caught in the moment of breaching into another dimension. Juxtaposed against the Beartooth Mountains, di Suvero’s pieces offer viewers a dialogue of Titans, between Earth and Sky. In 2020, Tippet Rise and The Red Panel produced a series of poetry films featuring di Suvero. Learn more at www.spacetimecc.com.

Stephen Talasnik

Stephen Talasnik

With ongoing installations around the world, sculptor Stephen Talasnik describes himself as a structural artist. Inherently site specific, he draws inspiration from imaginary architectural model structures, which he materializes into natural sculptures that fold into and accentuate the contours of the surrounding landscape. At Tippet Rise, Talasnik created Satellite #5: Pioneer to bring NASA’s mapping of the sky down to earth. Models of his proposed sculptures for Tippet Rise, Galaxy and Archaeology, are on display in the Olivier Music Barn.
Learn more at www.stephentalasnik.com.

Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei

Photo courtesy of Ai Weiwei Studio

The contemporary artist Ai Weiwei is world renowned for creating timely and striking multifaceted pieces in a range of mediums such as sculpture, installations, film, performance, and photography. His conceptual works make strong aesthetic statements that resonate with current phenomena across today’s geopolitical world. At Tippet Rise, his work Iron Tree stands on a rise and, from a distance, blends seamless into the landscape. The work is composed of 97 different iron elements interlocked using tenons and mortise keys, symbolizing individualism within a larger society. Learn more at aiweiwei.com.