Plus Gallery is thrilled to share the official confirmation of PIXELATED, represented artist Mike Whiting’s largest and most prominent outdoor monumental sculpture exhibition to date, taking place next summer at Denver Botanic Gardens. We first proposed the concept for the exhibition over 5 years ago, around the time Whiting‘s first permanent sculptures for Denver were installed in the Rhino district. Whiting has had a number of awe-inspiring solo exhibitions with Plus Gallery since the early start of his career back in 2004, and has gone on to become one of the more significant, focused and successful artists functioning both in the public and collector realms of contemporary art. He has been a core part of the Plus Gallery family of artists, one whose unique brand of minimalism is timeless, striking and genuinely part of contemporary culture. Though simple in essence, the works are phenomenally elaborate, with immense attention paid towards perfection in construction and highly nuanced finish detailing.
PIXELATED will be the summer focus at the Botanic Gardens, guaranteeing that thousands of people will view Whiting’s artworks in one of the most beautiful settings in Denver. PIXELATED will be accompanied by a catalog in the tradition of the Botanic Gardens’ other major solo exhibitions such as this year‘s Alexander Calder, and previous shows by Deborah Butterfield, Dale Chihuly and Henry Moore.
PIXELATED will consist of approximately 14 outdoor works, both new fabrications currently underway and existing works on loan to the Botanic Gardens, many of which have never been seen before in Denver. We encourage considering the opportunity of acquiring Whiting’s sculptures prior to the exhibition, this is a significant opportunity to support an artist approaching mid-career as his reputation surges onto a deeper national level.
The full press release for the exhibition is as follows:
2018 ART EXHIBITION ANNOUNCEMENT
PIXELATED: SCULPTURE BY MIKE WHITING
APRIL 28 – SEPTEMBER 23, 2018
SAVE THE DATE: PRESS PREVIEW, Friday, April 27, 2018
Denver Botanic Gardens announces its 2018 outdoor exhibition of large-scale sculptures by contemporary American artist Mike Whiting. Pixelated: Sculpture by Mike Whiting, on view April 28 – September 23, 2018 at the Gardens’ York Street location, features brightly-colored metal sculptures created within the pixelated aesthetic of Pac-Man and other 8-bit vintage video games. Several new works will be created to complement and contrast the Gardens’ landscapes. Exhibition-related programs will be announced at a later date. The exhibition is included with general admission.
Mike Whiting says “Gardens are in their own way virtual spaces—carefully created environments. They have the power to transport you, to give you the feeling of faraway places. Similar are the digital environments of video games. The contrast of the sculptures’ geometric and manmade materials can seem at odds with the gardens, but they are connected in the dialogue about the re-presentation of nature.”
Whiting’s work explores the relationships between the natural world and the artificial world of digital media along with two distinct visual styles: 8-bit graphics — which have enjoyed a recent resurgence in games like Minecraft — and minimalist sculpture. Graphics in early video games such as Donkey Kong and Space Invaders were reduced to simplified pixel forms because of technological limitations, while the minimalist art movement created objects that were purposefully simplified. Pixelated investigates the opposite intents of these two artistic approaches that result in a strikingly similar visual outcome.
Three of Whiting’s sculptures are typically on display in Denver’s River North Art District (RiNo): Pinkie (2010), Mr. Green (2010) and Rhino (2010). Pinkie and Mr. Green are part of the Pixelated exhibition. The California-based artist received his BFA from Brigham University in Utah and his MFA from Pratt Institute in New York. He has been the subject of solo gallery and museum exhibitions and part of group exhibitions throughout the U.S.
Lisa Eldred, Director of Exhibitions, Art and Interpretation at the Gardens states, “Mike Whiting’s work offers a wonderful juxtaposition to Denver Botanic Gardens’ natural surroundings. The layered understandings of his sculpture provide an art experience that not only resonates with art and video game enthusiasts, but also with children exploring the world around them through color and form.”
Lenders to the exhibition include Mike Whiting, Brigham Young University Museum of Art and the City of Denver. This project is supported in part by the citizens who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) and is developed in coordination with Plus Gallery, Denver.
About Denver Botanic Gardens: Green inside and out, Denver Botanic Gardens was founded in 1951 and is considered one of the top botanical gardens in the United States and a pioneer in water conservation. Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Gardens’ living collections encompass specimens from the tropics to the tundra, showcasing a plant palette chosen to thrive in Colorado’s semi-arid climate. The Gardens is a dynamic, 24-acre urban oasis in the heart of the city, offering unforgettable opportunities to flourish with unique garden experiences for the whole family – as well as world-class education and plant conservation research programs. Additional sites extend this experience throughout the Front Range: Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield is a 700-acre native plant refuge with an active farm in Jefferson County; Mount Goliath is a high-altitude trail and interpretive site on the Mount Evans Scenic Byway. For more information, visit us online at www.botanicgardens.org.