The works – “Carmen,” “Merry Widow” (pictured at right) and “Hats” – are from Divas Ascending, a series of 14 suspended sculptures made with retired costumes from the New York City Opera’s archives, a collection comprised of wardrobes from prominent international opera houses. Dresses from “Carmen” and “The Merry Widow” originate from the New York Metropolitan Opera and New York City Opera, respectively; “Hats” is made up of pieces from numerous houses. Divas Ascending is presented by the Salomon Contemporary gallery in New York.
“Carmen” is on view in the lobby of the Meadows Museum, 5900 Bishop Blvd. on the SMU campus; “Merry Widow” and “Hats” are suspended in the Bob Hope Theatre lobby of the Meadows School’s Owen Arts Center at 6101 Bishop Blvd.
“I make sculptures that transform familiar icons of women’s empowerment and entrapment into new objects that confound conventional readings of these clichés, and constellate meaning in a range of emotions: anxiety, ecstasy, liberation and release,” Day said. “In my art, I use tension to suspend, stretch, and shred garments and to create forms that I liken to futurist, abstract paintings in three dimensions. The challenge…was to do justice to the retired costumes, which still have a majesty and degree of craftsmanship unlike any I’d ever encountered. I wanted the sculptures to reflect and refract the specific roles the costumes had played. The interplay between the story of the opera from which each costume came, the moment created by the sculpture, and the physicality of the transformed garment – its materials, its shapes, its colors, floating in this celestial space – is the work that I hope viewers of my installation will appreciate.”
“E.V and I are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with SMU on this traveling exhibit,” said James Salomon, owner of Salomon Contemporary gallery in New York. “Meadows Dean José Bowen gave an enthusiastic thumbs-up to the project, and his team could not be more welcoming.”
Meadows Museum hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tues.-Sat.; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thurs.; and 1-5 p.m. Sun. The Owen Arts Center is open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week. There is no charge to view the costume sculptures. For more information, call the Museum at 214-768-2516 or visit meadowsmuseumdallas.org, or contact the Owen Arts Center at 214-768-2713.