Phyllis Yes
Paint Can with Brush, 1981
Mixed media with paint
Photo courtesy of Joel Breger

Claes Oldenburg
Three Way Plug, 1965
Offset lithograph and airbrush
Photo courtesy of Joel Breger

Lucas Samaras
Brush, 1968
Silk screen relief
Photo courtesy of Joel Breger

Stephen Hansen
Man on a Limb, 1985
Papier-mâché
Photo courtesy of Joel Breger

ReTooled: Highlights from the Hechinger Collection

September 22, 2018 - December 30, 2018

Groundbreaking 20th-century artists illuminate the overlooked subject of tools with pun, wit and wonder.

Curated by Jared Packard-Winkler and organized for tour by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC, the exhibition is supported by Northern Trust, The Charles M. and Deborah G. Royce Exhibition Fund, the Connecticut Office of the Arts, Turner Construction Co., and a Committee of Honor chaired by Nancy Duffy, Julia Nusseibeh, Candace Procaccini, and Debbie Simon.

          

Featuring more than 40 imaginative paintings, sculptures, works on paper and photographs, the exhibition brings life to the unexpected subject of tools by profiling 28 visionary artists from the Hechinger Collection, including Red Grooms, Walker Evans, Jim Dine, and Claes Oldenburg.

The exhibition consists of four sections that dynamically frame the themes of this collection into accessible categories: Objects of Beauty; Material Illusions; Instruments of Satire; and Tools: An Extension of Self.

Some of the artists represent tools with reverence to accentuate their purity of design. Others transform and distort tools to highlight their tragic obsolescence in a technological age. But all of the works remind us that tools embody the can-do spirit that defines America and the quest to improve our quality of life.

ReTooled: Highlights from the Hechinger Collection was organized by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC. Gift of John and June Hechinger.

International Arts & Artists in Washington, DC, is a non-profit arts service organization dedicated to increasing cross-cultural understanding and exposure to the arts internationally through exhibitions, programs and services to artists, art institutions and the public.  Visit www.artsandartists.org

The Collection was brought together in the 1980s by John Hechinger, owner of a hardware store chain in the Mid-Atlantic region. Hechinger is often credited as one of the major figures in the transformation of the neighborhood hardware store to the “do-it-yourself” home improvement business. His intent to beautify a new company headquarters led to the acquisition of a tool-inspired collection of diverse 20th-century art. 

Hechinger later donated his collection to International Arts & Artists, a non-profit arts service organization based in Washington, DC, dedicated to increasing cross-cultural understanding and exposure to the arts internationally through exhibitions, programs and services to artists, art institutions and the public.

ReTooled: Highlights from the Hechinger Collection was organized by International Arts and Artists, Washington, DC. Gift of John and June Hechinger. The exhibition is supported by Northern Trust, Turner Construction Co., The Charles M. and Deborah G. Royce Exhibition Fund, the Connecticut Office of the Arts, and a Committee of Honor chaired by Nancy Duffy, Julia Nusseibeh, Candace Procaccini, and Debbie Simon.

ReTooled: Highlights from the Hechinger Collection Public Programs 

Thursday, October 4, 6:00 – 8:00 pm.
Art Lecture: Tools as Art.

Sarah Tanguy, former curator of Tools as Art: The Hechinger Collection, explores how she and John Hechinger, Sr. developed this collection with a broad, intergenerational appeal into a unique time capsule that traces the use of tools as a hallmark of civilization and a source of artistic creativity. Reception 6:00 pm, lecture 6:30 pm. followed by Q&A. Advance registration required. Bruce members and students with ID free; nonmembers $15.

Monday, October 15, 10:00 – 11:00 am.
Monday Morning Lecture Series: Claes Oldenburg’s Pop Monuments to the Tool.

Antonia Pocock, PhD candidate at NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts, will explore the tool as a Pop motif, addressing its role in Oldenburg’s work in comparison to that of his peers, Red Grooms, Jim Dine, and James Rosenquist. Advance registration required. Bruce members and students (with ID) free; nonmembers $10 (includes Museum admission). Galleries will be open for one hour following the lecture.

Thursday, October 18, 6:00 – 8:00 pm.
Art Lecture: Workman’s Comp: Jim Dine and Hardware.

Lecturer Susan Tallman is editor-in-chief of the journal Art in Print and author of The Contemporary Print: from Pre-Pop to Postmodern. She is an adjunct Associate Professor of Art History, Theory, Criticism, and Printmedia at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Reception 6:00 pm, lecture 6:30 pm, followed by Q&A. Advance registration required. Bruce Museum members and students with ID, free; nonmembers $15.

Wednesday, November 7, 10:30 –11:00 am.
ReTooled Film Series. Jacob Lawrence: The Glory of Expression

(28 minutes). Just a few years before his death in 2000, painter Jacob Lawrence opened his studio to documentary filmmaker, Linda Freeman, who produced a unique view inside the work of this great American Modernist. Registration required. Films are free for all, but do not include Museum admission.

Wednesday, November 14, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm.
ReTooled Film Series. Paradise Garden

(80 minutes). Celebrated folk artist and preacher Howard Finster created paintings, mixed-media assemblages, and “environments” that merged his religious beliefs with pop-culture and personal imagery. Registration required. Films are free for all, but do not include Museum admission.

Wednesday, November 28, 6:00 – 8:00 pm.
Art Lecture: ReTooled

David Furchgott, President and Founder of International Arts & Artists, will discuss the acquisition and management of the Hechinger Collection by IA&A. Reception at 6:00 pm, discussion at 6:30 pm, followed by Q&A. Advance registration required. Museum members and students with ID free; nonmembers $15.