NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Cheekwood Estate & Gardens announces the acquisition of a new work by internationally acclaimed contemporary artist Alicja Kwade: a group of seven large, highly polished stone spheres titled Pars pro Toto. Upon its installation this fall, the piece will be the first new work to be added to the Ann & Monroe Carell Jr. Family Sculpture Trail since its opening in 1999 and will continue the tradition of bringing world-class monumental sculpture to Cheekwood’s grounds. The acquisition has been made possible through the generosity of Kathryn and David Brown, Edie and David Johnson, and Julie Carell Stadler. This gift follows one made by the Ann & Monroe Carell Foundation in 2016 to both endow and renovate the Ann & Monroe Carell Jr. Family Sculpture Trail, which was completed in 2020.
“We’re thrilled to add a work by Alicja Kwade to the permanent collection,” says Cheekwood President and CEO Jane MacLeod. “Pars pro Toto will not only delight our visitors and prompt them to consider the powerful connections between art and nature, but will also further establish Cheekwood as a significant destination for outdoor contemporary art.”
The Polish-born, Berlin-based Kwade has achieved a remarkable amount of critical success over the past decade and established herself as one of the leading artists of her generation. Her work, which examines the experience and perceptions of space, time and science, has been exhibited widely, including notable presentations at the Venice Biennale in 2017 and the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Roof Garden Commission program in 2019.
“Kwade’s sculptures are simultaneously enigmatic and approachable. Her constellation of spherical sculptures for Cheekwood will dynamically activate and connect spaces along the Hickory Loop of The Carell Trail,” says Cheekwood Curator-at-Large Marin R. Sullivan.
Each of the spheres of Pars pro Toto are made of different types of natural stone quarried from sites around the world. Kwade has exhibited previous variations of this work for major international venues and is realizing this latest version specifically for Cheekwood. The 1.5-mile sculpture trail, which is already home to 10 permanent contemporary sculptures including works by Siah Armajani, Jenny Holzer, John T. Scott and James Turrell, was recently reopened following a 15-month renovation to add a new trailhead, curate new horticulture experiences and enhance accessibility for visitors. Kwade’s attention to the material particulars of the specially quarried stones, as well as their metaphorical evocations of earthly matter and celestial bodies, will resonate with many other works in the permanent collection while at the same time bringing a new, exciting vision of contemporary sculpture to Cheekwood.
Cheekwood is considered one of the finest American Country Place Era estates in the nation. Formerly the family home of Mabel and Leslie Cheek, the extraordinary 1930s estate, with its 30,000 sq ft Mansion and 55 acres of cultivated gardens and expansive vistas, today serves the public as a botanical garden, arboretum, and museum with historic rooms and art galleries, showcasing works from its permanent collection as well as traveling exhibitions. The property includes 12 distinct gardens and a 1.5-mile woodland trail featuring modern and contemporary outdoor sculpture. Cheekwood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, and is a USA Today Top 10 Botanical Garden. In 2020, the grounds were awarded a Level II National Arboretum Accreditation by The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and The Morton Arboretum. Cheekwood is located just 8 miles southwest of downtown Nashville at 1200 Forrest Park Drive. Daily hours of operation: Tuesday through Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission to Cheekwood must be purchased in advance online at cheekwood.org. For further information, call 615-356-8000 or visit cheekwood.org.