David Zwirner Books published Polka Dots in 2016 to coincide with Carol Bove's first exhibition at David Zwirner in New York. Designed by Joseph Logan in close partnership with Bove herself, the book features a text by Johanna Burton and photographs of the artist's Brooklyn studio by Andreas Laszlo Konrath.
From Burton's text: "How, the work seems to ask, do you account for what is produced by and around an object, rather than for the object itself? This is what Henry James meant when he took up the word 'presence' to talk about ghosts; it is what Bove means when she employs the word 'ambience' to describe the porous boundaries of an artwork and the space for a viewer within them. For my own part, it is what I have meant elsewhere when using the word 'atmosphere' to describe a single object (such as an exhibition) made of a number of previously individual objects (such as artworks). The implication of such a question is not that things in and of themselves are beside the point, but instead that things don't end at their edges—a revelation not new to Bove, but inherited from a diverse group of thinkers, from Paul Cézanne to Maurice Merleau-Ponty; Gertrude Stein to Sherrie Levine. In this regard, we might render Bove's operation into an active verb, observing that she 'platforms' a work, both isolating it (removing it from the otherwise infinite ebbs and flows of context) and extending it (to acknowledge that the former is an impossibility). Her work plumbs the stubborn virality of context, which infuses every object, merging with its material DNA, yet refuses its absolutism or stability. Platforms hold things as well as hold the people who encounter them."
Carol Bove was included in the Public Art Fund exhibition The Language of Things, on view in City Hall Park, New York during the summer of 2016. The exhibition featured works, including Bove's Lingam, that suggest different forms of coded communication. The sculpture combines petrified wood and industrial steel, two contrasting materials that appear throughout her work. Bove was quoted in The Wall Street Journal, commenting on the indeterminate age of the petrified wood: "The material speaks a language of direct experience in interaction with the fact that you know it’s unfathomably old."
Bove was also included in the the New Museum exhibition The Keeper, on view during the summer of 2016. The show focused on works related to collection, archivization, and preservation. She installed an arrangement of her sculptures in dialogue with works by Carlo Scarpa, as she had previously done on a larger scale for the 2014 traveling exhibition Carol Bove / Carlo Scarpa.
The 2014 traveling exhibition Carol Bove / Carlo Scarpa brought together works by Bove alongside sculptures, furniture, and exhibition designs by Italian architect Carlo Scarpa. Curated by the Henry Moore Institute and produced in collaboration with Museion and Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, the exhibition considered display strategies, experimentation, and the environment in which art is viewed. Bove herself was closely involved with installation at each venue.
Henry Moore Institute published the accompanying four-language exhibition catalogue with texts by Philippe Duboÿ, Andrea Phillips, and Pavel S. Pyś.
The Equinox at The Museum of Modern Art and Caterpillar on The High Line at the Rail Yards were each comprised of seven sculptures in specific arrangements created by the artist. The MoMA exhibition displayed works on a raised platform in the museum's painting and sculpture galleries, while the High Line exhibition situated Bove's works among vegetation in a then-unfinished portion of the park.
Pictured below: Installation view of The Equinox at The Museum of Modern Art
Each venue demonstrated Bove's interest in the display her work in relation to distinct settings. In her New York Times review of the exhibitions, Karen Rosenberg called Bove "an exquisite calibrator of contextual relationships."
Pictured below: Installation views of Caterpillar at The High Line at The Rail Yards. Photos by Timothy Schenk, courtesy The High Line