Museum to re-open Sept. 12 with new fall exhibitions


Works by sculptor Martin Puryear mark the reopening of the UC Berkeley Art Museum.

06 September 2001 | The UC Berkeley Art Museum, closed since spring for seismic retrofitting, reopens Sept. 12 with a set of new exhibits.

The fall exhibition program includes a display of large-scale sculpture by Martin Puryear and a museum retrospective of Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, a Korean-American conceptual artist.

Construction on the museum’s interior will be finished in time for the opening, but exterior work will continue into the fall. That work includes installation of seismic safety braces and work in the sculpture garden. Gallery visitors should be minimally impacted by construction, museum officials say. The building’s Durant Street entrance, along with the sculpture garden and museum café, will remain closed through year’s end.

When completed, passersby will most likely notice six steel braces fixed to the museum’s exterior. Designed to support the concrete structure during an earthquake, each brace is anchored to a number of foundation piers set deep in the ground and topped with a large concrete lid. The piers, which are three feet wide and average a depth of more than 60 feet, are fitted with steel reinforcement and then filled with concrete. The braces should be installed by late October.

In June, workers also started installing braces across the skylights at the back of the museum galleries. Extensive measures were taken to prevent dust — from holes drilled into the concrete walls — from entering the building’s ventilation system and affecting the collection. Builders also began preparing the museum lobby and atrium for six steel columns, which were installed in late August, in time for the upcoming exhibition openings.

On view in the galleries
Artist Martin Puryear’s use of materials — mostly wood, sometimes in combination with tar or wire mesh — together with his devotion to crafting by hand, relate his abstract sculptures to fine woodworking, furniture making and boat making.

Sculptures by the artist will be on display through Jan. 13, 2002. Puryear fans can meet the artist at 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 13, in 160 Kroeber Hall.

With “The Dream of the Audience: Theresa Hak Kyung Cha,” the museumm presents film, video, mail art and artist books created by this influential yet underexposed artist, who lost her life at age 31.

The Berkeley alumna’s work explores personal themes of geographic exile and displacement, with a focus on language. The exhibit is on display through Dec. 16. In conjunction with this exhibition, three Berkeley students who completed B.A. degrees in spring 2001 will receive the Theresa Hak Kyung Cha award.

The award, which includes $2,000 per recipient, was established by an anonymous donor. It recognizes students whose academic emphases reflect those of Theresa Cha: comparative literature, art practice and Asian-American studies.

The recently-graduated students — Vesna Rodic, Maria Gamboa and Yueni Zhong — will accept their awards at the Sept. 12 exhibition opening.


Home | Search | Archive | About | Contact | More News

Copyright 2000, The Regents of the University of California.
Produced and maintained by the Office of Public Affairs at UC Berkeley.

Comments? E-mail