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The Nasher Sculpture Center Presents Elliott Hundley: The Bacchae

Beginning on January 28th and running through April 22, 2012, the Nasher Sculpture Center will be presenting Los Angeles based artist, Elliott Hundley’s “bulletin board” collages and sculptures. Hundley is known for creating art from an eclectic array of found materials such as goat hooves, pine cones, gold leaf, and much more.  In the Nasher’s presentation of Hundley’s work, The Bacchae, the last play by Euripides comes to life in art form through Hundley’s interpretation. 
The Bacchae is a story of familial revenge.  Set in the ancient city of Thebes, The god Dionysus (Bacchus to the Romans) has decided to punish its citizens when they refuse to accept his claim that he is the son of Zeus. After bringing the women of Thebes under his influence, Dionysus leads them out of the city and into the wilderness where they join his followers, the Bacchae, in worshipping him in ecstatic rituals. The god then convinces the king of Thebes, Pentheus, to spy on the women, who, upon discovering him, mistake him for a wild beast. Led by Pentheus’s own mother, Agave, the women rip the king limb from limb. Agave then returns to Thebes, carrying her son’s head as a trophy, still unaware of her delusion. When Dionysus’s influence on her finally loosens, she is horrified to discover that she has murdered her own son.
The artist begins by staging photographs of family and friends depicting characters in the play.  He then builds on the photographs with interpretive materials and forms. Each piece is built upon using hundreds of pins to affix the added materials.  In all, 12 wall reliefs and free standing sculptures will be displayed as artistic representations of passages in the Greek tragedy.
The exhibition, which is organized by the Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University, also includes an illustrated catalogue containing essays by Wexner Chief Curator Christopher Bedford, poet Anne Carson, art historian Richard Meyer, and artist, writer, critic, curator, and educator Doug Harvey. These contributions offer an exploration of the artistic and personal origins of Hundley’s work, its relation to art past and present, and the inspiration he receives from poetry, film and theater, and Greek tragedy and myth.
Note: If you want to learn more about this amazing exhibit, you can take part in 360: Artists, Critics, Curators featuring Christopher Bedford.  This is free with admission, but you must rsvp at or at 214-242-5159.