Bosco Sodi: Origen

, Early Chinese Art, Buddhist Sculpture, Harvard Art Museums
A grouping of terracotta spheres of varying sizes displayed on an outdoor concrete terrace.

“Bosco Sodi: Origen” (installation view, outdoor Broadway terrace). Photo: Caitlin Cunningham Photography.

Early Chinese Art, Buddhist Sculpture, Harvard Art Museums

A new site-specific installation by Mexican artist Bosco Sodi creates a space for contemplation and reflection, marking the first outdoor public art display for the Harvard Art Museums.

A new installation of sculptures by Mexican-born artist Bosco Sodi (b. 1970) places 14 of the artist’s handmade clay spheres at the Harvard Art Museums and marks the first-ever presentation of art on the museums’ outdoor Broadway terrace. Sodi’s practice explores the earth’s elements, marrying age-old traditions of sculpting clay with a contemporary vision of creating simple universal forms that prompt reflection. Drawing on centuries-old techniques passed through the Zapotec culture, Sodi works with Oaxacan artisans, using local clay to sculpt each sphere, drying it outside for up to eight months, and then firing it in a kiln built upon a beach. The resulting terracotta forms reveal the effects of nature’s forces—the sun, sea air, and fire—as demonstrated by the cracks, chips, and blackened and crusty patches that distinguish each sphere. In a first for a U.S. installation of the artist’s work, Sodi will also unveil three gold-glazed spheres as part of his site-specific arrangement. Moving from outside to inside the museums, these gold spheres connect to and engage with the meditative atmosphere evoked by the installation of Buddhist figures in Gallery 1610.

Locations of the spheres:
• Outdoor Broadway terrace (accessible via the stairs and ramp adjacent to the museums’ Prescott Street entrance)
• Galleries 1600 and 1610 (Level 1)

Curated by Mary Schneider Enriquez, Houghton Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Harvard Art Museums.

This installation is supported by the Melvin R. Seiden and Janine Luke Fund for Publications and Exhibitions. Modern and contemporary art programs at the Harvard Art Museums are made possible in part by generous support from the Emily Rauh Pulitzer and Joseph Pulitzer, Jr., Fund for Modern and Contemporary Art. Related programming is supported by the M. Victor Leventritt Lecture Series Endowment Fund.

Online Resources

Watch related videos on YouTube: a recording of a livestreamed discussion between artist Bosco Sodi and curator Mary Schneider Enriquez, and a timelapse of the installation of Sodi’s spheres.

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