Four SeasonsMay 18 – March 30
On display from May 18 through March 30, Four Seasons is an installation of four sculptures—each standing more than 15 feet high—by contemporary American artist Philip Haas. Encompassing Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter, the works are inspired by the 16th-century creations of Italian Renaissance painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo.
About Four Seasons
Contemporary artist Philip Haas's monumental portrait busts reimagine the paintings of celebrated Italian Renaissance master Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1526–93). Inspired by Arcimboldo's series Four Seasons, Haas has created sculptures in painted fiberglass of the 16th-century painter's four human portraits.
Haas offers a fresh perspective in the classical form by presenting the works in three dimensions on a colossal scale. The sculptures are placed in dialog with one another in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory Courtyard, where visitors can view the formerly two-dimensional figures in the round. Haas's work is part of an art historical tradition that references the work of antecedents, creating contemporary forms rooted in the history of art.
As in Arcimboldo's paintings, all of the features of the four sculpted figures are rendered in simulated plant materials corresponding to the seasons. Haas's selected medium accentuates the original works' visual puzzle of natural forms.
Smaller-scale maquettes of the Four Seasons are on view in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library Rotunda through October 27.
About Philip Haas
Philip Haas is an American artist and filmmaker. He has presented solo exhibitions at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, and London's Dulwich Picture Gallery. Additionally, he has exhibited sculpture at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Piazza del Duomo in Milan, and the Gardens of Versailles in France. His paintings, sculptures, and films have been featured in installations at the Sonnabend Gallery, New York, and Robilant + Voena in London and Milan.
Haas is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and has taught in the visual arts and creative writing programs at Princeton University. He lives and works in New York and London.
Additional support provided by the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation and the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation
Admission to Four Season is included in any All-Garden Pass. See prices by date.
Four Seasons in the News
New York Magazine
Full-page photo montage
Video interview with the artist
Segment on the national morning show "Wake Up with Al"
New York Daily News
An Associated Press article picked-up by multiple news organizations throughout the country
The Hollywood Reporter
A featured profile of the former-filmmaker's art.
Highlighted as one of the best summer attractions.
About Giuseppe Arcimboldo
Renaissance artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1526–93) rose to prominence in the mid-16th century. The "composite portraits"—paintings in which subjects are depicted in mosaic-like assemblies of objects such as fruits, vegetables, and even babies—are among the artist's most well-known work today.
Contemporaries referred to Arcimboldo's composite portraits as scherzi (jokes), as they presented clever and amusing visual puns. At the same time, the images show evidence of serious investigations of nature. Arcimboldo's work also suggests an interest in the Doctrine of Signatures, a theory of herbalism in which plants were used to treat body parts they were thought to resemble physically.