Mel Kendrick’s Markers, five new cast concrete sculptures, are both a bold departure from the artist’s characteristic use of wood as his primary medium and a natural evolution of the formal motifs and self-evident processes that have become synonymous with his work. All five works are installed on the Oval Lawn of Madison Square Park.
Since the mid-1970s, Kendrick’s method has involved slicing and gutting blocks of raw wood, then reconfiguring and reconstituting their interiors atop the shell of the block from which they originated. In Markers, Kendrick applies the same aesthetic and procedural methods to cast concrete, a new process and material for the artist. The black-and-white concrete is poured in layers, striations, and rippling surfaces which contain the fossil memory of previous action. Inspiration for the Markers varies widely, from the black-and-white marble found in Gothic Italian Cathedrals to the simplest methods of marking–placing one object on top of another. Their location in Madison Square Park also references the numerous monuments installed throughout the New York City park system.
About the Artist
Mel Kendrick was born in Boston, MA and lives and works in New York City. He received a B.A. from Trinity College in Hartford, CT and a M.A. from Hunter College in New York. For more than three decades Kendrick has been producing a body of work that reveals an obsessive appreciation for the intricacies of his material and highlights an engaged and laborious creative process. The works that result constitute a philosophical, rather than formal, abstraction deftly deploying a variety of techniques, forms and color treatments to address themes of wounding and repair, interiority and externality, positive and negative volume.
Kendrick has exhibited extensively and to great acclaim since the mid-1970s at institutions including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and Brooklyn Museum, New York. His work is included in many significant public collections, including those of Art Institute of Chicago; Brooklyn Museum, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, most recently the Francis J. Greenburger Award and the Academy Award for Art from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Mel Kendrick is represented by David Nolan Gallery.
Major Support for Mad. Sq. Art is provided by Founding Partners Agnes Gund and Anonymous. Substantial support is provided by Ronald A. Pizzuti, Toby Devan Lewis, and Henry Luce Foundation. Support for Markers is generously provided by David Nolan Gallery, Gail Monaghan, Francis Williams, Raymond Learsy, Wynn Kramarsky, and Ted Poretz. This project is supported in part with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Mad. Sq. Art is made possible by the leadership and generosity of the many friends of Madison Square Park Conservancy.