Ronald Bladen: Flying Fortress
October 25 – November 24 2018

Flying Fortress (Maquette), 1974-1978. Whitney Museum of American Art permanent collection.

Loretta Howard Gallery is pleased to present Ronald Bladen: Flying Fortress. The exhibition consists of a single large-scale 22-foot work and two preliminary drawings.

After a competition that included entries by Richard Serra and Claes Oldenburg, Bladen was selected to create Flying Fortress to stand in front of the engineering school at the University of Düsseldorf. Though the project was canceled after the director’s sudden death, Bladen wrote tellingly of Flying Fortress at the time of the commission:

“The motivation of this form was to produce the illusion of a stationary object moving through space yet anchored to the earth. Not to give one that much time to dwell on it but more to feel as it rushes by. There is a front and a back and two sides but only one direction.”

Ronald Bladen is cited as an influence of the younger generation of minimalist artists such as Carl Andre, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, and Lawrence Weiner, who repeatedly referred to him as the ‘father figure’ of Minimal Art. Bladen’s work has been exhibited in solo exhibitions including the Sculpture Center and MoMA PS1 and included group shows at The Museum of Modern Art, Art Institute of Chicago, Whitney Museum of American Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, documenta 4, The Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, “Primary Structures” at the Jewish Museum in New York, and “Scale as Content” at the Corcoran Gallery.

The Flying Fortress model has been shown at Kunshalle Bielefeld, Germany, Weatherspoon Art Gallery, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, The Sculpture Center, Nationalgalerie Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. It is now in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art.

A forthcoming monograph on the artist with an introduction by Mark di Suvero and text by Robert S. Mattison is near completion. For additional information and press inquiries, please contact Gabby Johnson at 212-695-0164 or gabby@lorettahoward.com