Dan Steinhilber: Marlin Underground

September 11, 2012 - December 29, 2012

Dan Steinhilber, Marlin Underground, 2012, found objects, audio equipment, sound, Photo courtesy of the artist)

The Kreeger Museum will host a solo exhibition by Dan Steinhilber (b. 1972). Over the past decade Steinhilber has built a national reputation while living and working in Washington, DC. He has shown in such major museums and galleries as the Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh, NC; Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Mass MoCA, North Adams, MA; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh; Des Moines Art Center, Iowa; Baltimore Museum of Art; Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, NY; and the Palazzo delle Papesse Center of Contemporary Art, Siena, Italy. Today Steinhilber is well known for his unique ability to transform mundane materials into extraordinary experiences of art—experiences that open up for viewers the poetic and psychological dimensions of those materials.

For Dan Steinhilber: Marlin Underground the artist will present new work in response to architect Philip Johnson’s celebrated design for the Kreeger home as a space for art and musical performance. Inspired by the secret musical life contained within some of the everyday objects and materials with which he has long been fascinated, Steinhilber has set out to teach (as it were) some of these things—a cardboard box, HVAC ventilation shaft, clothing dryer, or an old squeaky desk chair, for example—to play their own sounds. Steinhilber has always been interested in the sculptural and spatial qualities of sound, but for this project he will return to a longstanding desire to make music. (Steinhilber was once a member of a band that created, recorded, and performed original music.) He will accomplish this as only he knows how, by turning what would seem to be nothing—the random stuff often found in a basement or, in Steinhilber’s case, an artist’s studio—into something remarkable. In the process he will transform the Kreeger’s downstairs galleries into a site where a subculture literally has taken root. The exhibition will also include drawings and an inflatable sculpture.

Support for this exhibition was generously provided by Aon Huntington Block Insurance, The Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, Littler, Steven Sumberg, Ellen and Gerald Sigal, and The David Lloyd Kreeger Foundation.

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