Los Carpinteros, Artists’ rendering of Free Basket

On June 20, the sculpture park 100 Acres: the Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park opened at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA.) The park’s eight inaugural pieces included commissioned works by international artists such as Andrea Zittel, the Dutch studio Atelier van Lieshout, and Denmark’s Jeppe Hein. The Cuban duo Los Carpinteros presented Free Basket, its first public artwork in the U.S.

Free Basket reflects two constant motifs in the pair’s work: an ironic and deconstructive outlook on objects and rituals and the creative use of cutting-edge technology. Free Basket takes the form of a modified, dark orange basketball court on which the artists have depicted the bouncing of the ball: towering, graceful arcs of different sizes made by invisible players, constructed of steel and painted red and bright blue.

Lisa Freiman, curator of contemporary art and director of the park, characterized the works on view there as a departure from the usual sculpture-park fare—“plop art” that has no relationship to its site and isn’t “really public in terms of the experience of it or the meaning of it.”

The installation by Los Carpinteros—aka Marco Antonio Castillo Valdés and Dagoberto Rodríguez Sánchez—“ fuses this two-man collective’s interest in surrealistic architecture and Indiana’s love of the sport,” wrote the New York Times. At the same time, it offers a beguiling invitation that both encompasses and extends beyond contemporary art: according to Time Out Chicago, it’s “hard to imagine a more community-friendly spot.” And yes, Freiman and her fellow curators at the IMA hope that visitors will shoot baskets there.

For more on Los Carpinteros and their recent exhibition in Spain, see the May 3 CAN blog post, “Los Carpinteros’ Madrid Debut Makes Waves in the Spanish Press.”