FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 29, 2019, Bloomington, IN – The Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art has announced a contemporary art installation on the ceiling of the Luzetta and Del Newkirk Café and Gift Shop. Created by London-based designer Paul Cocksedge, A Gust of Wind is comprised of satin-finished acrylic cast into sheets that resemble paper. The sheets float across the ceiling, tracing the movement of visitors from the new arboretum entrance, through the café, and into the atrium. One of the United Kingdom’s most inventive designers, Cocksedge employs experimental materials, forms, and technologies to produce design experiences. Paul Cocksedge Studio is an internationally acclaimed design practice founded by partners Paul Cocksedge and Joana Pinho in 2004. Well-known for their in-house design concepts, installations, public interventions, and collectable interior objects, the studio explores the limits of technology in each work.
According to Cocksedge, “Creating a permanent art piece in the U.S. has been a great experience for us, but more than that we enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate with interior designers, academics and curators to create something that helps draw people into a centre of learning. We designed this piece to engage with the architecture that surrounds it, and encourage people to reflect on the changing nature of knowledge as our world becomes ever-more digital.”
The installation is made possible by a gift from Nancy and Bill Hunt, who have also established a fund for contemporary art titled the “Nancy and Bill Hunt Art Acquisition Fund.” In honor of their generosity, the museum is naming the new skybridge on the third floor in their honor. Long-time supporters of the museum, the Hunts are also members of the museum’s National Advisory Board. Bill Hunt, an IU alumnus, has served on a number of volunteer leadership boards throughout IU, including the IU Foundation Board of Directors, Maurer School of Law Board of Visitors, and Kelly School of Business Dean’s Council. Nancy Hunt has been interested in the arts since her first art history class in college. She joined the National Advisory Board of the Art Museum in 2002 and due to her enthusiasm and involvement, Bill also decided to join the advisory board in 2016. Together, Bill and Nancy have made a lasting impact on IU through their support of the museum and contemporary art.
The museum’s commitment to advancing a program for contemporary art is being guided by Elliot Reichert, the Eskenazi Museum of Art’s first Curator of Contemporary Art. The core teaching and learning mission of the museum will drive its engagement with the contemporary. Through exhibitions, artist visits and residencies, public art installations, site-specific commissions, and coursework, contemporary art will serve as the ground for student study, faculty research, and community engagement. Emphasizing living artists with active studio practices, the Eskenazi Museum of Art will invite artists to spend time on campus sharing, discussing, and even making new work.
“Cocksedge’s work operates at the nexus of fine art, design, material sciences, and creative engineering, making this commission the ideal work of art to adorn the museum of a top-tier research university. Evoking a gust of wind sending loose pages into the air, the installation speaks to the fortuity of the creative processes,” said Reichert.
Of Cocksedge’s installation, David A. Brenneman, Wilma E. Kelley Director of the Eskenazi Museum of Art, remarked, “We are excited to unveil this beautiful and playful work by Paul Cocksedge in our newly designed gift shop and café. This café will be an extension of the museum and an exciting place for students and others to convene in the heart of campus. We are grateful to Bill and Nancy Hunt for their support in making contemporary art come alive in our museum.”
The museum recently completed a $30 million renovation that created expanded spaces for engagement and learning as well as a new arboretum entrance that places the museum at the heart of a major student thoroughfare on the IU campus. The Luzetta and Del Newkirk Café and Gift Shop will serve as a central hub for students, the university, and the Bloomington community to relax in a beautiful setting, enjoy coffee and food, explore unique products, and engage with art.
A Gust of Wind will be unveiled at the museum’s official reopening on November 7, 2019.
About Paul Cocksedge Studio
Paul Cocksedge is an internationally acclaimed British designer, who has spent the last decade building a reputation for innovative design, underpinned by research into the limits of technology and materials. His catalogue of work spans design products, architectural projects, installations and sculptures, all infused with the sense of simplicity, joy and wonder that has come to characterise his work.
Having studied under Ron Arad at the Royal College of Art, Cocksedge was nominated for Designer of the Year by London's Design Museum in 2004, just two years after graduation. He established Paul Cocksedge Studio with Joana Pinho in the same year, and the practice has participated in design festivals around the world, adding a sense of playfulness to technologically ingenious sculptures and installations.
He presented his first solo show at the Friedman Benda Gallery in New York in 2013, and in 2017 partnered with the gallery and Beatrice Trussardi to show an exhibition of pieces during Milan Design Week, made from materials excavated from the foundations of his own studio. In 2018, Cocksedge was shortlisted to design the UK Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. Other notable recent projects include designing Swire Properties' VIP Lounge at Art Basel Hong Kong, creating a light installation for fashion brand COS, and a major public installation for London Design Festival. Cocksedge is also working with Arup and Grimshaw on a 33-metre-long canopy for the Oman Botanic Garden, which will be one of the largest gardens of its kind in the world.
Cocksedge has collaborated with major brands including such as British Land, Swire Properties, Swarovski, Fendi, NHS, BMW, as well as private clients, and his work is included in collections at the V&A, MoMA and Vitra Design Museum. His work has received accolades from Wallpaper*, the Design Museum, Homes & Gardens and the German Design Council.
About the IU Eskenazi Museum of Art
Since its establishment in 1941, the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art has grown from a small university teaching collection into one of the most significant university art collections in the United States. A preeminent teaching museum on the Indiana University campus, its internationally acclaimed collection, ranging from ancient gold jewelry and African and Oceanic works to paintings by modern masters such as Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock, includes more than 45,000 objects representing nearly every art-producing culture throughout history.
In 2019, the Eskenazi Museum of Art completed a $30 million renovation of its acclaimed I. M. Pei–designed building. The newly renovated museum is an enhanced teaching resource for Indiana University and southern Indiana. The museum is dedicated to engaging students, faculty, artists, scholars, alumni, and the wider public through the cultivation of new ideas and scholarship.
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