The artist Edmund de Waal will discuss his inspiration for creating “Elective Affinities,” a site-specific installation at the Frick Collection. Participants will learn how de Waal’s sculptures—made of porcelain, steel, gold, alabaster, and glass—were created to resonate with the visual experience of the collection and its history, beginning with Henry Clay Frick’s roots in Pittsburgh. De Waal will discuss how he positioned his abstract sculptures to prompt a reconsideration of the museum’s spaces and its masterpieces. Teachers will then have a hands-on opportunity to experiment with de Waal’s materials and compose ensembles of their own.
Acclaimed as both an artist and writer, Edmund de Waal is known for his awarding-winning family memoir The Hare with Amber Eyes (2010), as well as installations of porcelain vessels housed in minimal structures, often created in response to collections and archives or the history of a specific place, such as Waddesdon Manor and Chatsworth House, both in England.