Cheekwood Estate & Gardens continues to grow its contemporary outdoor sculpture collection with the acquisition of Untitled (4×8) from internationally recognized, Brooklyn-based artist Virginia Overton. Overton was born in Nashville in 1971 and maintains strong connections to Middle Tennessee, where her family has owned a farm for more than a century. The Virginia Overton sculpture Untitled (4×8) has been exhibited around the world with two earlier versions in European and American private collections. The third version of the series has been fabricated specifically for Cheekwood and will be permanently installed on The Ann & Monroe Carrell Jr. Family Sculpture Trail, the second addition since the trail’s major renovation and reopening in 2020.
Untitled (4×8) will debut on October 8 in conjunction with the Frist Art Museum’s exhibition of Virginia Overton sculpture, Virginia Overton: Saved, which will be on view October 7 through December 31, 2022.
“The acquisition is a significant addition to our permanent collection as it enables us to celebrate an internationally known artist with roots in Tennessee and continue the tradition of bringing world-class contemporary sculpture to Nashville,” Cheekwood Vice President of Museum Affairs James W. Tottis said.
In addition to sculpture, Virginia Overton’s work includes photography, sculpture and installation, exploring the profound potential of everyday materials. She transforms organic elements, as well as pickup trucks, rusty pipes and other industrial detritus, into sculptures that respond to and shape their surrounding environments. Untitled (4×8) is a marked example of Overton’s oeuvre. It’s made of an oversized steel frame filled with dozens of repurposed metal pipes of different sizes. When viewed head-on, the sculpture creates the effect of looking through a kaleidoscope, fragmenting one’s view while also highlighting the surrounding landscape in changing seasons.
Overton was the first woman artist to have a solo exhibition at the Socrates Sculpture Park in New York and her work has been exhibited widely at major national and international institutions, including Kunsthalle Bern, Frist Art Museum, Institute of Contemporary Art in Miami, Storm King Art Center, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the new terminal at LaGuardia airport in New York. She has also been included in group exhibitions at the Venice Biennale, Frieze Sculpture, London’s Hayward Gallery and Art OMI.
As a top actively collecting art museum in Tennessee with a permanent collection of more than 7,000 works, Cheekwood now joins the ranks of many important private and public collections to which Virginia Overton sculpture and other art belongs, including the Museum of Modern Art, the San Antonio Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
With its intact and picturesque vistas, Cheekwood is distinguished as one of the leading Country Place Era estates in the nation. Formerly the family home of Mabel and Leslie Cheek, the 1930s estate, with its 30,000-square-foot Mansion and 55-acres of gardens, today serves the public as a botanical garden, arboretum and art museum with furnished period rooms and galleries devoted to American art from the 18th to mid-20th centuries.
The property includes 13 distinct gardens including the Blevins Japanese Garden and the Bracken Foundation Children’s Garden, as well as a 1.5-mile woodland trail featuring outdoor monumental sculpture. Each year, Cheekwood hosts seasonal festivals including Cheekwood in Bloom, Summertime at Cheekwood, Cheekwood Harvest and Holiday LIGHTS.
Cheekwood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and nationally as a Level II Arboretum. It is a three-time voted USA Today Top 10 Botanical Garden and in 2021 was recognized by Fodor’s as one of the 12 Most Beautiful Gardens in the American South. Cheekwood is located eight miles southwest of downtown Nashville at 1200 Forrest Park Drive.
It is open Tuesday through Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., with extended days and hours of operation depending on the season. Check cheekwood.org for current hours and to purchase advance tickets required for admission.