Agnes Denes: Absolutes and Intermediates
The Shed, New York City, on view through March 22, 2020

What the Museum Says: “Agnes Denes rose to international attention in the 1960s and 1970s as a leading figure in conceptual, environmental, and ecological art. A pioneer of several art movements, she creates work in a broad range of mediums, utilizing various disciplines—science, philosophy, linguistics, ecology, psychology—to analyze, document, and ultimately aid humanity. Denes turns her analysis into beautiful, sensual visual forms, poetry, and a philosophy that she has developed over the course of her career.”

Why It’s Worth a Look: Regardless about how you feel about the institution itself (not everybody loves it), you have to give the Shed credit for this overdue look of the 88-year-old’s pioneering career, which is marked by large-scale ecological projects—many as-of-yet unrealized—such as Denes’s seminal Wheatfields—A Confrontation (1982), in which she planted two acres of wheat on the future site of Battery Park City in Lower Manhattan. “Absolutes and Intermediates” is the Shed’s first major retrospective and features new commissions from Denes, including a 17-foot-tall curving pyramid of crystalline 3-D-printed corn-based bricks.

What It Looks Like:

Agnes Denes, Model for Probability Pyramid—Study for Crystal Pyramid (2019). Photo by Stan Narten, commissioned by the Shed; courtesy the artist and Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects.

Agnes Denes, Model for Probability Pyramid—Study for Crystal Pyramid (2019). Photo by Stan Narten, commissioned by the Shed; courtesy the artist and Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects.

Installation view of "Adnes Denes: Absolutes and Intermediates" at the Shed, New York. Photo by Dan Bradica.

Installation view of “Adnes Denes: Absolutes and Intermediates” at the Shed, New York. Photo by Dan Bradica.

Installation view of "Agnes Denes: Absolutes and Intermediates" at the Shed, New York. Photo by Dan Bradica.

Installation view of “Agnes Denes: Absolutes and Intermediates” at the Shed, New York. Photo by Dan Bradica.

Agnes Denes, <em>Model for Teardrop—Monument to Being Earthbound</em> (2019). Photo by Kelly Barrie, commissioned by the Shed; courtesy the artist and Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects.

Agnes Denes, Model for Teardrop—Monument to Being Earthbound (2019). Photo by Kelly
Barrie, commissioned by the Shed; courtesy the artist and Leslie
Tonkonow Artworks + Projects.

Agnes Denes, Model for Teardrop—Monument to Being Earthbound (2019). Photo by Kelly Barrie, commissioned by the Shed; courtesy the artist and Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects.

Agnes Denes, Model for Teardrop—Monument to Being Earthbound (2019). Photo by Kelly
Barrie, commissioned by the Shed; courtesy the artist and Leslie
Tonkonow Artworks + Projects.

Installation view of "Agnes Denes: Absolutes and Intermediates" at the Shed, New York. Photo by Dan Bradica.

Installation view of “Agnes Denes: Absolutes and Intermediates” at the Shed, New York. Photo by Dan Bradica.

Installation view of "Agnes Denes: Absolutes and Intermediates" at the Shed, New York. Photo by Dan Bradica.

Installation view of “Agnes Denes: Absolutes and Intermediates” at the Shed, New York. Photo by Dan Bradica.

Installation view of "Agnes Denes: Absolutes and Intermediates" at the Shed, New York. Photo by Dan Bradica.

Installation view of “Agnes Denes: Absolutes and Intermediates” at the Shed, New York. Photo by Dan Bradica.

Agnes Denes, Model for A Forest for New York (2019). Photo by Kelly Barrie, commissioned by the Shed; courtesy the artist and Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects.

Agnes Denes, Model for A Forest for New York (2019), detail. Photo by Kelly
Barrie, commissioned by the Shed; courtesy the artist and Leslie
Tonkonow Artworks + Projects.

Agnes Denes, Model for A Forest for New York (2019). Photo by Kelly Barrie, commissioned by the Shed; courtesy the artist and Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects.

Agnes Denes, Model for A Forest for New York (2019). Photo by Kelly
Barrie, commissioned by the Shed; courtesy the artist and Leslie
Tonkonow Artworks + Projects.

Installation view of "Agnes Denes: Absolutes and Intermediates" at the Shed, New York. Photo by Dan Bradica.

Installation view of “Agnes Denes: Absolutes and Intermediates” at the Shed, New York. Photo by Dan Bradica.

Installation view of "Agnes Denes: Absolutes and Intermediates" at the Shed, New York. Photo by Dan Bradica.

Installation view of “Agnes Denes: Absolutes and Intermediates” at the Shed, New York. Photo by Dan Bradica.

Installation view of "Agnes Denes: Absolutes and Intermediates" at the Shed, New York. Photo by Dan Bradica.

Installation view of “Agnes Denes: Absolutes and Intermediates” at the Shed, New York. Photo by Dan Bradica.

Agnes Denes, Tree Mountain — A Living Time Capsule” (1992–96). The artist and volunteers planted 11,000 trees on a hill in Finland. Courtesy of Agnes Denes and Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects.

Agnes Denes, Tree Mountain — A Living Time Capsule” (1992–96). The artist and volunteers planted 11,000 trees on a hill in Finland. Courtesy of Agnes Denes and Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects.

The Shed is located at the Bloomberg Building, 545 West 30 Street, New York; general admission is $10.

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