Hyde Park Art Center presents the most ambitious project to date by Sabina Ott in who cares for the sky?, which contemplates the human’s fascination with “the mountain.” With the assistance of Space Haus, a Chicago-based art,design, and engineering firm, Ott will compose an 8,000-cubic-foot mountain out of polystyrene,canvas, cardboard, and wood inspired by Gerturde Stein’s “The World is Round” (1938), the cultural icon’s only children’s book. The story follows a little girl, Rose, in her struggle to climb a difficult mountain in order to understand the world better from the top.
“I chose to focus my work on Stein’s tale in the hopes that the narrative’s innocence, persistence, fortitude and discovery will come through in the installation and connect with the Art Center’s multi-generational audience,” said the Jackman Goldwasser Resident Artist, Ott.
Like Ott’s previous installations, such as her installation last year at the Chicago Cultural Center, “here and there pink melon joy,” this mountain will be an immersive space. Visitors may enter the depths of the mountain via a tunnel that leads to a small cave, scale the exterior, and climb to the peak. The tunnels, caves, and grottos will be filled with sculpture as well as sound, cocooning visitors in Ott’s creative world. Visitors who wish to recreate Rose’s journey may use a ramp embedded in to the peak of this sixteen-foot mountain. Along the interior, Ott has invited fellow artists to create smaller installations embedded into the mountain. The mountain’s intricacies will completely envelop the visitors and transform the main gallery.
Who cares for the sky will also include an ambient video installation to accompany the massive mountain sculpture. Ott will collaborate with sound artist Joe Jeffers to produce a large-scale video work that will be projected on the Jackman Goldwasser Catwalk Gallery from 3 to 10 pm daily.
Sabina Ott received a Guggenheim Fellowship for 2015/16 and recently completed a public art commission for the Chicago Transit Authority and a solo exhibition at the Chicago Cultural Center. Represented by Aspect/Ratio in Chicago, Ott is known for her broad range of work—from painting to installation to sculpture—and her central role in the art world as educator, curator, and founder of Terrain Exhibitions, an exhibition space in Oak Park, IL.. She earned her BFA and MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Exhibiting since 1985, she has participated in more than 100 solo and group exhibitions in Sao Paulo, Brazil; Auckland, New Zealand; Melbourne, Australia and many cities across the US. Her work resides in numerous museum collections including The Whitney Museum of American Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Oakland Museum of Art, and has been reviewed in many publications including Art in America, Art Forum and The New York Times.