Sites of Impermanence

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Sites of Impermanence
February 8 to May 11, 2024
The National Academy of Design
519 West 26th Street
2nd Floor
New York, NY

The National Academy of Design is pleased to present Sites of Impermanence, an exhibition of art and architectural works by the recently elected 2023 National Academicians Alice Adams, Sanford Biggers, Wille Cole, Torkwase Dyson, Richard Gluckman, Carlos Jiménez, Mel Kendrick, and Sarah Oppenheimer. The exhibition will run from February 8 to May 11, 2024, at 519 West 26th Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY, the Academy’s new permanent Chelsea location. A public opening reception will be hosted on Thursday, February 8, from 6 to 8 pm. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 12 to 6 p.m.

Sites of Impermanence
Sanford Biggers
Sugar Sell the Pie, 2023
Antique quilts, wood, gold leaf, mirror base 
63 3/8 x 18 1/4 x 12 1/2 in.
161 x 46.4 x 31.8 cm

Although disparate in their approaches to material and subject matter, the artists and architects featured in Sites of Impermanence form a vivid cross-section of responses to urgent contemporary conditions and the underlying histories that have shaped them. From site-specific projects to sculpture, drawing, architecture, textile, and interactive installation, the selection of works in the exhibition reflects on a bounty of ideas (critical environmental challenges, the ongoing effects of slavery, the blurred lines between human and machine) to chart pathways towards transformation and liberation.

Sites of Impermanence
Alice Adams
Untitled, 2020
Felt pen on graph paper
17 x 22 in.

Exhibiting a broad range of art and architectural works, Sites of Impermanence engages and unpacks a host of temporal and spatial concerns, exploring ideas of impermanence from a thoroughgoing understanding of formal interventions and the mutability of place. Artists Willie Cole and Sanford Biggers employ materials, laden with historical references, culturally and spiritually repurposing the familiar schemas and objects that recur through both their practices. Architect Richard Gluckman expands the built environment by adapting existing structures to meet the wants of contemporary culture.

2023 National Academicians video featuring Torkwase Dyson

Alternatively, artist Torkwase Dyson and Carlos Jiménez, principal of Carlos Jimenez Studio, navigate human, landscape, and urgent ecological concerns. Mel Kendrick’s sculptures invite critical observations on the nature of perceiving place and time, calling attention to how the natural world shapes our perception of place and how both nature and our perception of it change over time. Concerned with an emphasis on aspects of architecture and landscape, Alice Adams’ work deals in the layers of both architecture and the body, recognizing the “skin of architecture,” pointing to internal and external structures like mesh and webbing that undergird many architectural projects.

Sites of Impermanence calls for visitors to consider their impact within public spaces, blurring the boundaries between human, object, and architecture. Pivotal to this premise is Sarah Oppenheimer’s manipulations of architectural space, which are conceived to question our agency and the impacts of our presence in sites that are physical, architectural, and infrastructural.

Sites of Impermanence Public Programs Series:
  • Torkwase Dyson and Sarah Oppenheimer in Conversation with Untapped. Moderated by
    Tiffany Jow.
    Date: Wednesday, February 21, 6:30 p.m.
    Moderated by Tiffany Jow, Untapped Editor-in-Chief, the evening will celebrate
    Sites of Impermanence and the one-year anniversary of the design journal.
    Produced in partnership with Untapped
  • More programs to be announced in the new year

Sites of Impermanence is organized by Sara Reisman, Chief Curator, and Natalia Viera Salgado, Associate Curator.

Sites of Impermanence opens on February 8 until May 11, 2024 at The National Academy of Design

©2024 The National Academy of Design