Tim Prentice (b. 1930) is known for his innovative work in the field of motion in sculpture. Prentice has been a resident of Connecticut since 1975, and After the Mobile marks his first solo museum exhibition since 1999. The title of the exhibition refers to Alexander Calder, a former Connecticut resident who in the 1930s adopted the term mobile at the urging of Marcel Duchamp to describe his balanced, moving wind-driven constructions. Calder’s playful Mobiles, and later George Rickey’s delicately balanced minimalist, kinetic sculpture, each defined their time.
Prentice’s contribution to the field strongly relates to the rise in the past half century of systems theory the understanding that cohesive systems are interrelated and independent parts are resilient to external disruption, having the ability to move but always returning to their original form. Prentice’s seemingly complex but simple systems of bent, articulated wire and metal or plastic planes are incredibly sensitive to moving air and seem to be extremely fragile, but are actually quite robust, giving in to the wind’s force, but always recovering with their motion revealing the rippling and fluid patterns of moving air.
After the Mobile, organized by Exhibitions Director Richard Klein, will feature twenty indoor works, five outdoor works, and a video portrait of the artist, presented both in the Museum’s galleries and Sculpture Garden, with the indoor exhibition on view from March 29 to October 4, 2021, and the outdoor installation on view from September 19, 2021 to April 24, 2022.
Tim answered a few questions about his exhibition and working with The Aldrich.
Q As a Connecticut-based artist, what does it mean to you to have an exhibition at The Aldrich?
A I was invited by The Aldrich to participate in a group show in 1995 and expressed my gratitude by filling one of the galleries with a blizzard of yellow turkey feathers. I am thrilled that the Museum thinks well enough of my current work to invite me back.
As a Connecticut based artist I can’t think of a higher honor in the state than to have a show at The Aldrich.
Q How do you expect visitors’ experiences of your work change between the indoor galleries and Sculpture Garden?
A The indoor works must be lightly constructed in order to catch the gentlest air currents to best effect. Pieces that are exposed to the unpredictability of the weather must perform at two widely spaced extremes: to show interesting movement on a calm day and also be able to stand up against the violence of a gale force wind.
Q How do you stay inspired in the studio and at home?
Top image: Tim Prentice, Long Yellow Zinger, 2008. Private Collection. Courtesy of the artist