Jim Neel “Babel”

KOHLER Experience Center

May. 24, 2024 - Nov. 1, 2017

6 West 22nd Street
New York, 10010
Phone (212) 337-3224


The John Michael Kohler Arts Center is pleased to announce that Kohler Co. has dedicated space for a satellite gallery in its new KOHLER Experience Center, located at 6 West 22st Street in Manhattan’s bustling Flatiron district.

The gallery space, to be curated by the Wisconsin-based Arts Center, will feature work created by artists during their time in the celebrated Arts/Industry artist residency program. Now in its 44th year, Arts/Industry is a unique collaboration between the John Michael Kohler Arts Center and Kohler Co. that allows artists to explore the use of industrial technologies in the creation of new bodies of work.

The inaugural exhibition in the KOHLER Experience Center space will feature elements from Babel, a major sculptural installation by Alabama artist Jim Neel. Babel was created during Neel’s 2008 Arts/Industry residency in the Kohler Co. Pottery. Neel slip-cast 50 large-scale, vitreous china chimpanzees, then outfitted the figures to be battle-ready and arranged them in military formation. Exploring mankind’s compulsion to go to battle, Babel speaks to what Neel says is the human species’ historical tendency to be “slow learners,” and the ongoing state of warfare between human communities. Made from unglazed ceramic, Neel’s stalwart army conjures a ghostly military force. Selections from this installation will be on view in the showroom’s main window on West 22nd Street.

“The work by Neel represents the many draws of the Arts/Industry residency program for artists,” said Kristin Plucar, Arts/Industry program manager at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center. “The Kohler Co. factory is an environment singularly suited to support artists in the creation of works they may not be able to accomplish in their home studios. This satellite gallery space will showcase the work that results from this extraordinary collaboration, and the Arts Center deeply appreciates this demonstration of Kohler Co.’s ongoing commitment the creative arts.”

Arts/Industry is an artist residency program of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center. It is made possible by major support from Kohler Co. Participating artists receive travel, housing, a stipend, featured exhibitions at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, and 24/7 access to studios in the Kohler Co. Foundry and Pottery facilities in Kohler, Wis. Residencies typically last from two to six months.

The KOHLER Experience Center is a new global retail concept created to serve the fast-growing segment of architecture and interior design professionals working on projects around the world and to offer consumers on-site product immersion making it easier than ever to experience and buy KOHLER products. The Manhattan flagship is the first to open globally, with London, Los Angeles, Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Taipei opening later in the year. Each KEC will showcase a piece from the Kohler Arts Industry Program.

KOHLER Experience Center (KECNYC)
6 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10010
212-337-3224; www.kohlerexperiencecenternyc.com

More information about Arts/Industry can be found at jmkac.org/artsindustry.

The John Michael Kohler Arts Center
Founded in 1967, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center is a catalyst for creative exchanges between artists and local, national, and international audiences. Central to its mission is promoting understanding and appreciation of the work of self-taught and contemporary artists through the curation of original exhibitions, commissioning new works of art, interactive learning, and the presentation of music, theatre, and dance.

The Arts Center’s collection focuses primarily on works by artist-environment builders, self-taught and folk artists, and works created in the Arts/Industry residency program. Today, with well over 20,000 individual works of art by 30 different art-environment builders in the collection, the Arts Center is the world’s leading center for research and presentation of this work.

Looking to the future, the Arts Center will continue to generate innovative explorations in the arts and foster engagement among diverse communities to nourish and enrich the lives of all.

Admission to the John Michael Kohler Arts Center is by voluntary donation. The Arts Center is supported by corporate and foundation donors, government grants, and its many members. It is a 501(c)3 (nonprofit) organization; donations are tax deductible. The Arts Center is not an entity of Kohler Co. or its subsidiaries. More information about the Arts Center can be found at jmkac.org or by calling 920-458-6144.

John Michael Kohler Arts Center
608 New York Ave., Sheboygan, WI
920.458.6144 www.jmkac.org
Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tuesdays and Thursdays: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturdays and Sundays: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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