13 Jul 2017

Thomas Schütte: Crystal

Clark Art Institute

Reviewed by Christopher Snow Hopkins

There are many different paths to Thomas Schütte's Crystal, a site-specific installation on top of Stone Hill, behind the Clark Art Institute. I chose an open field, passing by dainty flowers, a defunct fire ring, and trampled cow pies.

Crystal is an architectural-scale prismatic structure with a metallic skin and an interior of pine boards. One enters through doors on the northwest side; the southeast side is open and frames a view of cherry and ash trees, as well as the Hoosac Range beyond. This is a contemporary riff on the landscape genre, with finely worked blades of grass in the foreground and a more cursory rendering of mountains in the distance. It might be a work by Jacob Grimmer, except for the irregular, five-sided frame.

This monumental rock crystal "does not clearly communicate its purpose," per official materials, but it sits somewhere in between agrarian architecture and high-tech engineering, a zinc-coated capsule deposited at the woodland's edge.

Exhibition Thomas Schütte: Crystal link
Start date 14 Jun 2015
End date 31 Oct 2017 (in 35 days)
Presenter Clark Art Institute link
Venue 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA, USA map
Image Thomas Schütte, Crystal, 2017, courtesy of the Clark Art Institute
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