Aspen Museum of Art delays outdoor installation by Gaetano Pesce

The Aspen Museum of Art has delayed the installation of Gaetano Pesce’s “My Dear Mountains,” which was to cover the museum’s facade and was due to open Thursday night.

“We have had a bit of a delay with the project and we hope that the (opening) dates will only be pushed back by a few weeks,” museum director Nicola Lees said on Wednesday.

Technical challenges arose during installation this week, Lees said.

Part of the installation was fixed outside the museum for part of the day on Monday, when part of Hyman Avenue was also closed for installation.

The envisioned work had been described as a puffy vinyl and nylon shroud with LED lights depicting a sunset over the mountains. The images were shared in pictorial renders with the Aspen City Council in September, when the council unanimously approved permission for the outdoor installation.

The museum will again this week open the indoor part of the Pesce exhibition, which includes 25 works in polyurethane resin and felt and mountain-shaped vases, some of which will be sold at the end of the exhibition in October to support museum programming.

The museum will also this week open the “Mountain/Time” group video exhibit, which will fill all three levels of the museum’s gallery space with immersive video installations by 12 artists. “Mountain/Time” and the indoor portion of “My Dear Mountains” will open Thursday evening for museum members and Friday for the general public.

Lees said the museum now plans to hold a second opening reception for Pesce’s outdoor installation when they are able to execute it.

“We just want to make sure we deliver on Pesce’s vision,” she said. “It’s a pretty ambitious project.

Pesce, 82, is a world-renowned Italian architect and designer who is said to have had an undying love for Aspen since visiting in 1971 for the International Design Conference. The project is funded in part by the Italian Ministry of Culture and has been hailed by council members and local artists as a historic moment for art in Aspen.

“I think our city and I would be honored to have him, and I think we should invite the delegation from our Italian sister city to come over the next summer,” Councilwoman Rachel Richards said during a meeting in September 2021.

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Mildred D. Field