In 1991 David Ireland and Felix Gonzalez-Torres were featured in a group exhibition in Madrid, Spain titled The Savage Garden. This exhibition explores ideas of landscape as metaphor, the grey area between abstraction and representation and the desire to deny categorization in terms of artwork that belongs to a specific medium.
The exhibition Box of Angels expands on the statuary artworks made by David Ireland during 1991 through 1997. The title is taken from an Ireland sculpture, in which he packed a mass of reproduction statuaries into a turn-of-the century museum vitrine.
For Box of Angels, The 500 Capp Street Foundation curators will recreate Boulevard, 1993 a large-scale installation built with concrete lawn ornaments. David Ireland used 130 statues, mostly Venuses, a few Davids and some winged cherubs. Statues like these were first temple icons, then museum pieces, then lawn ornaments. In Ireland's installation, he returns the lawn ornaments to the museum. He covered the staircase with ready-made garden figures, leaving just enough room on the side for visitors to maneuver the steps. He packed so many statuaries into the second floor room of the museum that it became inaccessible, frustrating easy viewing.
Also included in the exhibition is Ireland's, Angel (1997). For this work of art, Ireland temporarily deconstructed the grey fiberglass angel created for Angel-Go-Round (1996) and presented the figure horizontally on the wall for his ICA Maine College of Art exhibition.
In addition to Ireland's iconic works, Box of Angels also features "Untitled" (Passport), (1991) by Felix Gonzalez-Torres. The 23 x 23 x 4 inch stack of blank white paper temporarily resides in Ireland's guest bedroom. "Untitled" (Passport) is a minimalist object embedded with a multiplicity of meaning, graciously on loan from the Marieluise Hessel Collection, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.
Presented by 500 Capp Street, the David Ireland House