Fröbel Studio: The Institute for Creativity
Rare Gallery is pleased to present Fröbel Studio: The Institute for Creativity, Eamon O’Kane‘s third one-person show at the gallery. O’Kane transforms nearly the entire exhibition space into an interactive installation that demonstrates how the pedagogical ideas of one man, Friedrich Fröbel, profoundly affected the course of modern art, architecture, and design. The show runs from October 17 until November 14, with an opening night reception on Thursday, October 17.
Fröbel Studio makes direct visual and conceptual reference to the educatioal play materials known as Fröbel Gifts – the colorful spheres, cylinders, and tubes that were developed in the early 1800s by Friedrich Fröbel, the inventor of Kindergarten. These tools are still instrumental the world over in unlocking creativity at an early age by teaching children about three-dimensional shapes and colors, and their relationship to the environment and nature.
O’Kane’s installation is an integral part of his ongoing exploration of the symbiotic interplay of art, architecture, design, and pedagogy. It includes a plethora of educational activities and playthings as well as paintings, drawings, digital prints, videos, and architectural components by Eamon that not only reference Fröbel’s learning methods, but also the aesthetic ideas of the game-changing Modernist artists, architects, and designers so influenced by his teachings – particularly Wassily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian, Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, and Charles Eames.
Despite all of its significant art historical references and influences, Fröbel Studio is ultimately meant to be enjoyed by youngsters in the company of their families and teachers. For this reason, O’Kane and RARE have reached out to elementary schools in the New York metropolitan area to invite them to bring their classrooms to the gallery to experience the installation. (Elementary schools interested in scheduling student field trips to the gallery are encouraged to direct inquiries to Andrew Everett, Gallery Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
O’Kane has exhibited widely and is the recipient of many awards and scholarships, including the Taylor Art Award, the Tony O’Malley Award, and a Fulbright Award. He has participated in exhibitions curated by Dan Cameron, Lynne Cooke, Klaus Ottmann, Salah M. Hassan, Jeremy Millar, Mike Fitzpatrick, Sarah Pierce, Jeanne Greenberg-Rohatyn, Angelika Nollert, Yilmaz Dziewior, and Apinan Poshyananda. O’Kane has also taken part in EV+A, Limerick, Ireland seven times, receiving an EV+A open award in 2005 from Dan Cameron. In 2006, he was short-listed for The AIB Prize and received a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant. The artist has over forty solo exhibitions to his credit, with shows in Berlin, Copenhagen, Dublin, Frankfurt, London, New York, and Zurich. His artwork is included in numerous public and private collections worldwide. O’Kane is Professor of Visual Art at Bergen National Academy of the Arts in Norway.