Were You Invited?
MATERIAL: metal: bronze, aluminum
DIMENSIONS: overall: 132 in x 312 in x 156 in; overall installation size: 26 ft x 13 ft
CREDIT: Grounds For Sculpture, Gift of The Seward Johnson Atelier
© 2001, The Seward Johnson Atelier, Inc., photo: David W. Steele
Seward Johnson's 'Were You Invited?' is inspired by French Impressionist Pierre Auguste Renoir’s nineteenth-century masterpiece, 'The Luncheon of the Boating Party'. In this specially designed and landscaped environment, viewers can step into the scene and mingle with the diners. In addition to the members of the Impressionist’s boating party are four added figures seated around another table at the far end of the tableau. Joined in convivial conversation are realistic representations of sculptor Seward Johnson with artists Bill Barrett, Red Grooms, and Andrzej Pitynski. A dashing character in period costume brandishes his cane and addresses those at the table asking, “Were you invited?”. Phillip Bruno, collector and art gallery director, posed for this figure. Since 1994, Johnson has been creating life-sized three-dimensional works based on well-known paintings that, as Johnson has said, “allow an intimacy with the paintings that the paintings don’t allow themselves.”