Sunday, May 8, 2016

Strathmore, Glenstone Unveil Martin Honert Sculpture at Music Center

Group of Teachers by Martin Honert

From our friends at Strathmore...

Strathmore, Glenstone Unveil Work by Sculptor Martin Honert

Artist renders childhood photograph as large scale sculpture

Patrons to the renowned Music Center at Strathmore will be greeted by a new group of regulars with the unveiling of Group of Teachers, the life-size, surreal sculpture by contemporary sculptor Martin Honert, presented in partnership with Glenstone. Created by rendering a three-dimensional sculptural composition of a photograph from the artist’s youth, the work features six teachers from Honert’s boarding school days. Employing illusion, manipulation of scale, and painstakingly rendered surfaces, the work is an obsessive depiction of this moment in the artist’s memory, in which the subjects appear life-size, but not entirely lifelike. Group of Teachers will be on view in the Lockheed Martin Lobby in the Music Center at Strathmore through April 2017. For more information, visit

This work is the continuation of a partnership launched in 2012, in which works from Glenstone Museum are displayed at Strathmore. This is the first freestanding sculpture that has been displayed as part of the partnership.

With Group of Teachers, Honert did not seek to reproduce exact human replicas, but instead to render the aesthetic of an enlarged, pixelated vintage photograph in three-dimensional form. He managed this effect through careful attention to material texture and tonality, incorporating particles of sand and glass into layers of translucent polyurethane, and using a precisely muted palette to paint shadows from the original photograph onto the sculpture’s surface. The resulting Group of Teachers is neither fully recognizable nor completely distant, neither foreboding nor welcoming, no more real or illusory than the memory Honert’s photograph purports to capture. Instead, the work points to the hovering, haunting way that memories burrow and lodge within us, potent yet elusive, impossible to fix in space or time.

Honert came of age in the 1960s in post-war Germany, where questions of memory - historical, cultural, national - were urgent and powerfully charged. Childhood memory is the generative locus for all of Honert’s work, though his is not a project of bringing personal or political traumas to light. In fact, the memories Honert examines are generally banal, unspectacular, even universal.

Honert said of his youth: “My childhood was exactly as dull and boring as every other childhood. Childhood is a theme for me because I think it’s important to discover what’s long past but still in the memory as image.”

His practice is thus a more detached exploration of the nature of memory itself - how ephemeral impressions are sustained over time. The hard-wrung process of giving physical substance to such ungraspable images encompasses the crux of Honert’s art, and teachers, who loom large for children as authorities and enforcers, are especially rich territory for this investigation.

About Strathmore:
Strathmore presents and produces exemplary visual and performing arts programs for diverse audiences; creates dynamic arts education experiences; and nurtures creative ideas and conversations that advance the future of the arts. The organization’s hallmark is the Music Center at Strathmore, with a 1,976-seat concert hall and education complex. Its core campus also includes the historic Mansion at Strathmore, which features an intimate Music Room and art galleries. Most recently, Strathmore opened AMP, a 250-seat cabaret-style venue located just up Rockville Pike from the core campus in the burgeoning Pike District of Montgomery County. Strathmore’s signature education, mission-driven programs include the Strathmore Student Concerts, the Artist in Residence and Strathmore Summer Intensive programs, and its Spring Break @ Strathmore camp. 

About Glenstone:
Since opening its doors in 2006, Glenstone Museum has been providing visitors with a unique experience seamlessly integrating art, architecture, and landscape. Based in Potomac, Maryland, Glenstone is open year-round, free of charge, and welcomes neighbors, art enthusiasts and local arts groups and schools to enjoy its world-class collection of post World War II art. For more information, visit