In the entryway to White Cube, Green Maze: New Art Landscapes we’ve built a white cube, in fact a double cube, inside which the visitor discovers a kind of graphic green maze. Photo blow-ups are matched with a quotation from a founder figure or key patron for each of the six sites in the exhibition.
These statements—exhortations, even—are intended to greet the visitor and instigate a gentle expedition through the galleries. These visionaries have radically adjusted land that frequently has borne the brunt of industrial processes and are instrumental in the creation of surprising new venues for art.
Here are some historical photos of the six sites along with contemporary photos by Iwan Baan and the introductory quotes from the exhibition:
The Olympic Sculpture Park (USA)
“The Olympic Sculpture Park transforms the last parcel of downtown waterfront, a brownfield, into a visionary space that embraces the energy of urban Seattle and offers contemplative natural and artistic beauty for all to enjoy.”—Mimi Gardner Gates, former Illsley Ball Nordstrom Director, Seattle Art Museum. The Olympic Sculpture Park was previously the site of an oil storage depot.
Stiftung Insel Hombroich (Germany)
“Hombroich is not only a question of building. It is a question of the architecture of life, a question of structures, and the meaning of all forms of life.”—Karl-Heinrich Müller, Art Collector and Founder, Stiftung Insel Hombroich. The Raketenstation Hombroich was a NATO missile site until the end of the Cold War.
Benesse Art Site Naoshima (Japan)
“To encourage young people to come and see contemporary art on Naoshima, it is important to offer them positive experiences that are not ordinarily available in the city.”—Soichiro Fukutake, Director, Benesse Art Site Naoshima. Naoshima and neighboring islands have been used for heavy industrial purposes including, on Inujima, copper refining.
Instituto Inhotim (Brazil)
“Children can’t learn between four walls. Sometimes museums only want to buy very intellectual pieces of art but people want to see things that spur their curiosity and interact with everything.”—Bernardo Paz, Art Collector and Founder, Instituto Inhotim. The reworking of the site at Inhotim, a former farmstead, was loosely based on proposals by Roberto Burle Marx, Brazil’s greatest landscape architect.
Jardín Botánico de Culiacán (Mexico)
“…visitors to the Botanical Garden will enter the experience of the garden itself with its natural charms, and will have an unexpected contact with contemporary art, which is almost non-existent in Culiácan. This will open their minds and generate interest.”—Agustín Coppel, Art Collector and Patron, Jardín Botánico de Culiacán. Culiácan’s Jardín Botánico is currently being revitalized to incorporate contemporary art and to embrace environmentally sustainable practices.
Grand Traiano Art Complex (Italy)
“Contemporary art is a very engaging, vibrant scene. It’s an important platform for the development of creativity, innovation, so it has a very important social role.”—Pierpaolo Barzan, Founder, Depart Foundation, Grand Traiano Art Complex. The Grand Traiano property, containing a former hotel and several incomplete buildings, will soon be a venue for contemporary art and creative industries.