December 8, 2018 - March 9, 2019
Opening Reception: Saturday, December 8, 2018, 5:00 - 7:00 PM
Heritage Falls Park, located near the Vincent Price Art Museum in Monterey Park, consists of a grassy hillside bisected by a tiered fountain with a niche at its source. It was built in the late 1920s by real estate speculator Peter N. Snyder, who originally installed a marble sculpture of a female figure he referred to as “Athena” in the niche in honor of his Greek heritage. The sculpture disappeared under mysterious circumstances shortly after it was installed, and the niche sat empty until 2005, when the Monterey Park Historical Society installed a replacement Athena. Neither the original sculpture nor its replacement bear any of the formal signifiers traditionally associated with the Greek goddess Athena.
In 2016, artist Wang Xu gave Equitable Vitrines, a Los Angeles nonprofit committed to expanding the collective understanding of art in public places, permission to use his sculpture Eve (2015) in a proposal for an intervention at Heritage Falls Park. Wang produced Eve at a marble quarry and commercial sculpture factory in Quyang, China by recovering a damaged statue of the Biblical figure, and re-carving it in the image of a woman who worked at the factory. Equitable Vitrines’ proposal would have temporarily placed Eve in the fountain alongside the replacement Athena, which was also imported from China. Equitable Vitrines rescinded its proposal at the conclusion of a debate of the project’s merits at a meeting of the Monterey Park City Council.
Wang Xu's Garden of Seasons features a new monumental sculpture and a video that reflect on the history of Heritage Falls Park, and more generally on humanity’s utilization of monumental figurative sculpture through the ages. Wang draws a distinction between the techniques used in the production of enduring forms, and the interpretive activity through which their significance is established, contested and revised.
Wang Xu (b. 1986, Dalian China) received his BFA in sculpture from Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, before pursuing an MFA at Columbia University in New York City. He is a 2018 resident of The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and has exhibited recently at 47 Canal, New York; Shanghai Project, Shanghai; and SculptureCenter, New York.
This exhibition is organized and curated by Equitable Vitrines. Major support for the exhibition comes from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts with additional funding provided by Michael Asher Foundation.
All exhibitions at the Vincent Price Art Museum are underwritten by the Vincent Price Art Museum Foundation and East Los Angeles College.