Harmony Hammond's Kong, 1981, included in Monumental at Everson Museum, Syracuse, NY.
The Everson Museum provides a unique context for displaying monumentally sized artwork. With four cantilevered galleries revolving around a cavernous central atrium, the building itself is considered to be a colossal work of sculpture. This characteristic, coupled with the galleries’ soaring ceilings and the two-story sculpture court, creates spaces ideally suited for the acquisition and exhibition of largescale work. Monumental features six artists from the Everson’s collection—John de Andrea, Harmony Hammond, Sadashi Inuzuka, Sol LeWitt, Dennis Oppenheim, and Arnie Zimmerman—whose largescale sculptures take full advantage of the expansive gallery space the Everson has to offer.
Artists practice monumentality in different ways using an assortment of materials and methods. While some begin with typically small objects and reimagine them on a massive scale, others construct large installations from objects or materials of a normal size. Regardless of their chosen methods, these artists play with scale to create work that is enveloping and oftentimes overwhelming, providing viewers with an experience very different from that offered by traditionally sized artwork. These sculptures challenge the artist’s technical proficiency as well as push the limits of their material choices. Monumental sculptures require viewers to become physically involved with the work, asking them to look in all directions—even inward—to fully experience each piece. Shifting the typical power dynamic between viewers and artworks, the works in Monumental command attention as they become more closely associated with architectural scale rather than human scale.