BALTIMORE, MD – The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) and Art + Practice (A+P) present a solo exhibition by artist Maren Hassinger in Baltimore from July 18 to November 25, 2018. Maren Hassinger: The Spirit of Things features a career-spanning selection of sculptures, drawings, photographs of performances, and videos that explore the emotional dynamics of relationships amongst different communities of people and the environments in which they live. The exhibition will be presented in the BMA’s contemporary wing.

“This is the third exhibition the BMA has co-organized with Art + Practice,” said BMA Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director Christopher Bedford. “With her Los Angeles roots, her ties to Baltimore through the Maryland Institute College of Art, and a distinguished and varied career, Maren Hassinger is the perfect subject for this bi-coastal presentation.”

Hassinger (b. 1947, Los Angeles) is the Emeritus Director of the Rinehart School of Sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, which she led for 20 years. During a career that has spanned more than four decades, Hassinger has explored relationships between the industrial and natural worlds in a practice that is both meditative and critical. Since the 1970s, her sculpture has incorporated common materials associated with manufacturing, mass media, and commerce. In abstract compositions such as Interlock (1972-73), The Veil Between Us (2007/2018), and Embrace (2018), she transforms wire rope, newspapers, and plastic bags into evocations of the beauty found in conditions often dismissed as blighted or marginal.

Hassinger is also a formative practitioner of performance art and site-specific interventions, collaborating with Senga Nengudi and other Los Angeles-based artists during the 1970s. Her performances involve dance, as well as movements observed from everyday life, and investigate communal activity and commonalities amongst groups of people. This important body of work will be documented in photographs within the show. Additionally, Hassinger has produced moving videos that address race, gender, and other aspects of identity. Two of the videos show the artist exploring these themes through interactions with her family members. In Birthright (2005), she learns for the first time about aspects of her family’s history by interviewing her uncle. In Wind (2013), she engages in improvisational choreography with her daughter, artist Ava Hassinger, in a beautiful seaside setting.

“Maren’s profound work connects Los Angeles and Baltimore in vibrant and creative ways. We are delighted to provide communities in both cities with the opportunity to learn more about her art in this celebration of her multi-faceted career,” said BMA Senior Curator of Contemporary Art Kristen Hileman. “It was extraordinary to work closely with Maren on a project that has such deep personal resonance for her.”

Maren Hassinger: The Spirit of Things is curated by Kristen Hileman, BMA Senior Curator of Contemporary Art. This exhibition is presented by The Baltimore Museum of Art and Art + Practice.

The Spirit of Things at Art + Practice, Los Angeles