“I’ve ventured into an area where sculpture could kill you,” said artist and CHF grant recipient Dannielle Tegeder, and her audience laughed nervously, stealing glances up at the large-scale (and sharp-edged) mobile that dangled over their heads. Addressing guests at a cocktail reception to celebrate the opening of her new solo exhibition at the Montclair Art Museum, Dannielle quickly put the crowd at ease by letting them know that a professional fabricator had been brought in to help install the piece, ensuring the safety of all visitors.
The mobile is one of three elements that make up Infrastructure, the project that CHF funded through our Business Accelerator Grants program. (Our grant helped to cover the cost of materials and the fabrication of the mobile.) The exhibition also includes an indoor wall installation and a series of animations—digital renderings of Dannielle’s drawings set to original music by composer Matthew Evan Taylor—that run on monitors outside of the building.
The mobile and wall installation are in the museum’s Laurie Art Staircase, an expansive space ringed by windows on three sides, which allows the pieces to be visible outdoors, even at night. The fluctuations in natural light also constantly change the way the works are perceived throughout the day.
During the reception, which was held on Saturday, June 4th, 2016, Dannielle shared some of the logistical challenges involved in mounting the show. Huge scaffolding had to be brought in so that she and her assistants could reach the farthest edges of the wall, and many of the elements were drafted with tape. In total, the process took three weeks, and required more than 100 rolls of tape to complete.
The inspiration for the exhibition came from the artist’s own upbringing. As a child, she was often surrounded by the mechanical drawings made by her father and uncles, who worked as steamfitters in industrial buildings. Infrastructure speaks to the hidden architecture of edifices—both an homage to the invisible elements that hold together our communities, and a metaphor for how we as individuals connect as we move through the world.
Dannielle Tegeder’s Infrastructure exhibition will be on view until June 2017 at the Montclair Art Museum.