I just read that the Pantone color of the year is Greenery. We all a love green; it is the color of grass, foliage and vegetables, especially cucumbers, spinach and broccoli. It is thought of as a fresh color, one that makes people feel secure and safe in its presence.
Green has been out of favor as a decorating color except as an accent, so I am very pleased to see it is the color of the moment. In light of this new information, I went to the Aldrich Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut, to see an exhibit I thought would be a bit of a lark! Much to my surprise, I loved this crazy exhibit by David Brooks in which he dismembers a beacon of agricultural technology circa 1976, a John Deere combine harvester, into hundreds of individual pieces and arranges every single part into a myriad of sculptural moments. The predominant color of the exhibition is green; John Deere green, of course.
The harvester has countless moving parts; and when it is functional, they all have to work simultaneously. However, in this presentation, all of the innards and shell, many in their found condition, look like Modernist objects. In this exhibition, the machine has been stripped of its functionality while its component parts are displayed in vitrines, on pedestals, on gallery walls where they appear as artifacts. The remarkable thing about this exhibit is that while you know that this was a very large hard-working piece of farm equipment, the components become magical works of art, not dissimilar from a Giacometti I recently viewed in the National Gallery.
It is in the way the parts have been selected, organized and displayed that makes this exhibit fascinating. From the visible wear and tear of the individual parts to the rusted green frame and the recent plating of the some pieces, a formerly monumentally scaled functional object looses its identity as it morphs into a work of art.