About

About

Coqui

©Tom Otterness

Tom Otterness was born in Wichita, Kansas in 1952. He came to New York City in 1970 to study at the Arts Students League, and in 1973 took part in the Whitney Independent Study Program. In 1977 he became a member of Collaborative Projects, a pioneering community of independent artists, and took a leading role in organizing Colab’s 1980 Times Square Show, which was called “the first avant-garde art show of the ‘80s” by the Village Voice. Otterness is one of a handful of contemporary artists invited to design a balloon for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, for which he devised a tumbling Humpty-Dumpty in 2005. Otterness lives and works in New York. 

 

Otterness may well be “the world’s best public sculptor,” as the art critic Ken Johnson opined in the New York Times in 2002. Public art is his focus, and Otterness has had major outdoor exhibitions of his sculptures on the Park Avenue Mall in New York (2003), in more than a dozen sites in downtown Indianapolis (2005), on the grounds of the Beverly Hills city hall (2005-06) and throughout Grand Rapids,  Michigan (2006). His first solo exhibition, held at Brooke Alexander Gallery in New York in 1983, featured elements of The New World (1991), a white plaster frieze of 250 nude “Ur-people,” as essayist Hayden Herrera called them, eventually destined for the plaza of the Edward R. Roybal Federal Building in Los Angeles, a General Services Administration commission.

 

In the U.S., Otterness has completed at least three dozen public commissions, including Life Underground (2004), his celebrated multi-figural bronze sculpture installation for the New York Metropolitan Transportation Agency at the 14th Street station on the Eighth Avenue subway lines. His international commissions include public plazas in Münster, Germany (1993), Toronto, Canada (2007), and Seoul, South Korea (2010), and a large public park in Scheveningen, the Netherlands (2004). In 2013, Creation Myth, a gateway park for the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, N.Y., was dedicated.

 

Otterness has exhibited his work at Marlborough Gallery in New York, John Berggruen Gallery in San Francisco, and other important contemporary art galleries. His most recent exhibition, Metal on Paper: Silverpoint, Copperpoint & Steelpoint Drawings, opened at Marlborough in September 2015. Works by Otterness are included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Eli Broad Family Foundation, the Brooklyn Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Carnegie Museum, the Museo Tamayo in Mexico City, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, and others. He was elected a member of the National Academy in 1994. 

 

Most recently, Otterness has installed The Tables from the collection of the Whitney and 50 new sculptures in niches at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, as part of the group exhibition, The Value of Food. On a personal note, Otterness has practiced Tai Chi, martial arts, and boxing in the school of William C. C. Chen since the 1970s, and his studio features a boxing bag. Some early boxing fights in the 1970s were filmed as part of his punk art, and he has won prizes for his Tai Chi.

Biography

TOM OTTERNESS

  

1952    Born in Wichita, Kansas

1970    The Art Students League, New York, New York

1973    Independent Study Program, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

1977     Member, Collaborative Projects, Inc. New York, New York

 

The artist works in Brooklyn, New York.

 

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2015    Tom Otterness: Metal on Paper, Marlborough Gallery 57th Street, New York, NY

2014    Tom Otterness: Creation Myth, Marlborough Gallery 57th Street, New York, NY

2012    Tom Otterness, Marlborough Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco

            Tom Otterness, The Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, Palm Beach, Florida

2011    Tom Otterness: Animal Spirits, Marlborough Gallery, New York, New York

2007    Tom Otterness: The Public Unconscious, Marlborough Chelsea, New York, New York

2006    Tom Otterness in Beverly Hills, Beverly Hills, California

            Tom Otterness, Marlborough Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco

Tom Otterness in Grand Rapids: The Gardens to the Grand, Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2005    Tom Otterness on Broadway, New York, New York

            Tom Otterness in Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana

2004    Several Strange Objects, John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, California

2003    Free Money on Park Avenue, Park Avenue and 57th Street, New York, New York

            Bombeater, Skoto Gallery, New York, New York

2002    Tom Otterness: Free Money and Other Fairy Tales, Marlborough Gallery & Marlborough Chelsea, New York, New York          

            See No Evil, Marlborough Gallery, New York, New York

            What the Hay, Utica, Montana

            Tom Otterness, Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn Harbour, New York

1999    Tom Otterness, Galería Marlborough, Madrid, Spain

Tom Otterness: Gold Rush—New Sculpture and Drawings, John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, California

1998    Tom Otterness: The Marriage of Real Estate and Money and Other Recent Projects, PBCC Museum of Contemporary Art, Lake Worth, Florida

1997    Otterness, Marlborough Gallery, New York, New York

             Life Underground, Battery Park City Authority, New York, New York (through 1998)

1996    Tom Otterness: Marriage of Real Estate and Money, Motel Fine Arts, New York, New York

1995    Tom Otterness, On the Commons: Recent Sculptures, MetroTech Center, Brooklyn, New York

            Tom Otterness: The Tables, Wichita Art Museum, Wichita, Kansas

Tom Otterness: Drawings and New Sculpture, Brooke Alexander Gallery, New York, New York

Tom Otterness: Recent Sculpture, Public Art Fund at Doris Freedman Plaza, New York, New York

1994    Tom Otterness: Recent Drawings and Small Objects, Gallery of Contemporary Art, Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois

1993    Galerie Weber, Münster, Germany

Tom Otterness: New Sculpture, John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, California

Tom Otterness: The Tables, The Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

1992    Tom Otterness, Brooke Alexander Gallery, New York, New York

1991    Tom Otterness: The Tables, Sculptures and Drawings, Institut Valencia d’Art Modern, Centre Julio Gonzalez, Valencia, Spain; traveled to Portikus/Senckenbergmuseum,

             Frankfurt, Germany; and Haags Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, The Netherlands

Tom Otterness, Nancy Drysdale Gallery, Washington, D.C.1

1990    James Corcoran Gallery, Santa Monica, California; traveled to Brooke Alexander Gallery, New York, New York

            The Tables, Lannan Foundation, Los Angeles, California

1987    The Tables, Brooke Alexander Gallery, New York, New York

            Projects: Tom Otterness, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York

             Sculpture and Drawings, John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, California

1986    Tom Otterness, PPG Plaza, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

1985    Brooke Alexander Gallery, New York, New York

1984    Galerie Rudolf Zwirner, Cologne, Germany

1983    Tom Otterness, Recent Drawings, Brooke Alexander Gallery, New York, New York

             Sculpture, Brooke Alexander Gallery, New York, New York

 

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

 

Arts Council of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana

Beelden Aan Zee Museum, The Hague, The Netherlands

Eli Broad Family Foundation, Santa Monica, California

Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas

Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, Delaware

Gateway Foundation, St. Louis, Missouri

Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, New Jersey

Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Institut Valencia d’Art Modern, Center Julio Gonzalez, Valencia, Spain

IVAM Center Julio Gonzales, Valencia, Spain

Kemper Art Museum, Kansas City, Missouri

Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, New York

Miami Art Museum, Miami, Florida

Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City, Mexico

Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn Harbor, New York

Palm Beach Community College Museum of Art, Lake Worth, Florida

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, California

The Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, New York

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel

The Miyagi Museum of Art, Sendai, Japan

The Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, New York

Weatherspoon Art Gallery, Greensboro, North Carolina

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 PUBLIC COMMISSIONS

 

2014    Other Worlds, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar

2013    Creation Myth, Memorial Art Gallery Centennial Sculpture Park, Rochester, New York

2011    Big Girl Playground, Ridgehill, Yonkers, New York

2010    Otterness’s Playground, Silver Towers, New York, New York

            Free Money, Wi City Blooming, Ilsan, Korea

           Centennial Sculpture Park, Rochester, New York (commissioned by Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester)

            Wild Life, Connell, Washington

            Another World, Happy Hallow Park & Zoo, San Jose, California

            Play Garden Park, Fulton, Mississippi

2008    Millipede, Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas

            Large Covered Wagon, DUMBO Brooklyn, New York (through January 2009)

Social Invertebrates: Millipede, Scorpion, Walking Stick, Phoenix Convention Center, City of Phoenix, Office of Art and Culture, Phoenix, Arizona

New Direction, Hunterdon Museum of Art, Clinton, New Jersey

2007    Coqui, P.S. 20, New York, New York

            Matriculated Nature, City of Claremont, California

            DNA, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida

            Immigrant Family, 18 Yonge Street, Toronto, Canada

2005    Amorphophallus Titanum, New York Botanical Gardens, Bronx, New York

            Humpty Dumpty, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, New York, New York

            Large Frog and Bee, Montefiore Children’s Hospital, Bronx, New York

            Large Covered Wagon, Pioneer Park, Walla Walla, Washington

2004    Life Underground, 14th Street Subway Station ACEL Lines, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York, New York

El Coqui Gigante de Las Cavernas del Río Camuy, Parque de Los Cavernas del Río Camuy, Camuy, Puerto Rico

Untitled, Museum Beelden aan Zee, The Museum Foundation, Scheveningen, The Netherlands

            Tornado of Ideas and Horse and Rider, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas

2003    The Return of the Four-Leggeds, Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, Washington State Arts commission, Spokane, Washington

2002    Mortellito Memmorial, Branchbrook Park Station, New Jersey Transit, Newark, New Jersey

Makin’ Hay, Utica, Montana; Sun Valley, Idaho; traveled to The University of Washington, Pullman, Washington; The Outdoor Art Collection, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California; and San Antonio, Texas (acquired by the Alturas Foundation; through 2009)

2001    Suspended Mind, Carl Sagan Discovery Center, Montefiore Children’s Hospital, in collaboration with Rockwell Group, Bronx, New York

            The Lesson, Little Red School House, New York, New York

            Independence School, P.S.234, New York, New York

2000    Time and Money, Public Art Fund, Hilton Times Square, Hilton Hotel Corporation, New York, New York

1999    Gold Rush, United States Federal Courthouse, General Services Administration, Sacramento, California

The Music Lesson, Music Building, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, North Carolina Arts Council, Greensboro, North Carolina

Feats of Strength, Western Washington University, funded in partnership with Washington State Arts Commission, Art in Public Places Program, Bellingham, Washington

Rockman, United States Federal Courthouse Minneapolis, General Services Administration, Minneapolis, Minnesota

1998    The Gates, Cleveland Public Library, in collaboration with Maya Lin, Cleveland, Ohio         

1997    Law of Nature, United States Federal Courthouse Portland, General Services Administration, Portland, Oregon 

            Visionary, Metro Tech Center, Brooklyn, New York

1996    The Marriage of Real Estate and Money, Roosevelt Island, New York, New York

1995    Dreamers Awake, Wichita Art Museum, Wichita, Kansas

1994    Upside-Down Feet, Krannert Museum of Art, Kinkead Pavilion, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois

1993    Upside-Down Feet, Krannert Museum of Art, University of Illinois, Champaign,  

            Illinois

            Die Überfrau, State Library, Munster, Germany; Architect: Bolles-Wilson

1992    The Real World, Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Park, Battery Park City Authority, New York, New York

1991    The Frieze, Weatherspoon Art Gallery, Greensboro, North Carolina

The New World, The Edward R. Roybal Federal Building, General Services Administration, Los Angeles Federal Building, Los Angeles, California

1984    Kings Parade, Buchhandlung Walther Koenig, Cologne, Germany