Sculpture, Redefined

Eva Rothschild's snakes of color thoroughly inhabit the Nasher Sculpture Center

Eva Rothschild's snakes of color thoroughly inhabit the Nasher Sculpture Center

Eva Rothschild
Currently based in London, Eva Rothschild has received acclaim for her minimalist and post-minimalist sculpture.  Photo courtesy of Nasher Sculpture Center
Eva Rothschild exhibit
Rothschild's piece greets you at the admissions bay and snakes around the museum. Photo by Kevin Todora
Eva Rothschild
Rothschild donated a piece to Two x Two by AIDS and Art.  Photo by Jerry McClure
Eva Rothschild exhibit
Sightings: Eva Rothschild is on display through January 20, 2013. Photo by Kevin Todora
Eva Rothschild
Eva Rothschild exhibit
Eva Rothschild
Eva Rothschild exhibit

The Nasher Sculpture Center has a new piece on display — one that greets you at the entrance. It's colorful, evocative and snakes around the museum. And it was imagined by Dublin-born contemporary artist Eva Rothschild, one of the most significant sculptors of her generation.

Rothschild's Why Don't You (Dallas) installation is reminiscent of the spider-esque Empire she created for the Public Art Fund. The multidirectional archway of steel graced one of the entrances to Central Park in New York City.

Unlike the majority of her work, which is black, angular and spiky (see Tate Britain and Gallerie Eva Presenhuber), Rothschild says the Nasher, "demanded a certain sense of liveliness." That's why she opted for what she calls a "continuous progression" of color. She likes that you're never really sure where the shift in colors starts and ends. 

 "I knew I wanted to utilize the whole space," Rothschild says. She created a model of the space and confessed to using drinking straws to replicate the actual installation.

The creative process began after Rothschild visited the Nasher about a year ago. "I knew I wanted to utilize the whole space," she says, and that included the downstairs. She created a model of the space and confessed to using drinking straws to replicate the actual installation. 

But Rothschild didn't want to take the easy way out and simply paint aluminum. Instead she combined aluminum, fiberglass, epoxy, polyurethane paint and lacquer in the approximately 200 pieces comprising the masterpiece. 

It's important to note that work on this kind of scale cannot be completed in a studio. Rothschild says she enjoyed dreaming up and creating all the parts to this exhibit — corners of the same length and straight lines at varying sizes — which she didn't actually see in its entirety until coming to Dallas for the installation. 

She says that the mostly self-supporting piece is about manipulating basic form and going against traditional architecture. She adds that she wanted "to create a sense of confusion for the eye, where looking becomes the primary source of understanding the art."

Rothschild also insisted on doing a lot of hand-work — visible by the rippling effect on the piece — which she says "feminizes the work." 

Although Rothschild feels more comfortable with darker hues, she's not afraid to step outside her box. And we're grateful for that, because she has adorned the Nasher with a pop of color that heightens and redefines our experience with the space.

Now we're wondering which lucky bidder gets to take home the circular piece she donated to Two x Two for AIDS and Art

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Sightings: Eva Rothschild is on display at the Nasher Sculpture Center until January 20, 2013.