Sarah Sze, globally known for creating sculpture that utilizes everyday objects to create multimedia landscapes, will visit Portland the evening of April 30, 2020 to discuss her upcoming installation in Congress Square Park.

In 2012, the Portland Public Art Committee (PPAC) made the decision to commit $250,000 for the commission of a signature public artwork for Congress Square that would exemplify artistic excellence and bring a strong art identity to the heart of the Arts District. Portland’s public art collection currently includes many historic works of art and the PPAC wanted a major contemporary artwork that would add to the range of the collection and put Portland on the map. A 10-member artist selection committee comprised of leaders in Portland’s arts community worked for over a year to identify four artist finalists. Hundreds of local residents participated in a public ‘interview’ of the finalists held at the Portland Museum of Art. The rigorous process led to the selection of artist Sarah Sze.

The Sarah Sze sculpture will be installed as part of the Congress Square Redesign, a large-scale, long overdue, renovation of the major public open space in the heart of Portland’s Arts District.

This event is co-presented by the Congress Square Park Redesign Committee and the Portland Museum of Art.

“I am very excited by the prospect of this project by internationally renowned artist Sarah Sze coming to Portland and occupying such a prominent public location in Congress Square Park. Sze’s proposal is exquisitely sensitive to this jewel-like park, and her approach reflects her deep commitment to the specific nature of this location—its history, character, and resonance within Portland. At the same time, this commission bridges our own community with the most exciting currents of contemporary art, and reflects the qualities that make Sze such an exciting artist on the world stage: her profound understanding of the importance of creating the feeling of intimacy within the public sphere.”

— Jessica May, Deputy Director and Robert and Elizabeth Nanovic Chief Curator, Portland Museum of Art

Sarah Sze is an internationally recognized contemporary artist. Her work is complex referring to architectural, environmental and natural forms. Sze constructs her work by hand, building intricate and often gravity-defying towers that fill entire exhibition spaces. She is included in most of the major museums in the country and has exhibited worldwide. Today, Sze’s works are held in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, among others. Sze is the recipient of the 2003 MacArthur Fellowship, and represented the United States at the 2013 Venice Biennale with her work Triple Point. In 2017, her mural Blueprint for a Landscape was completed for the 96th Street 2nd avenue subway platform in New York. She is a professor at Columbia University. She currently lives with her husband the famed surgeon and writer Siddhartha Mukherjee in New York, NY.


Sarah Sze Lecture Registration

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