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Maker(s):Schiff, Jeffrey
Culture:American (1952-)
Title:Separate Ground
Date Made:1984
Materials:Wood, stone, concrete
Place Made:United States; Massachusetts; Amherst
Measurements:overall: 37 in x 30ft x 35 in; 93.98 cm x 9.144m x 88.9 cm
Accession Number:  UM 1984.29
Credit Line:Gift of Jeffrey Schiff, former Chancellor Joseph Duffey, and Mrs. Lois Beurman Torf (Class of 1946) and Mr. Michael K. Torf
Museum Collection:  University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst

Long wooden deck with a concrete block and rock at one end with the other end built into the hillside. The concrete block has large stone embedded and protruding. Site-specific, public art

Label Text:
Jeffrey Schiff is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, receiving an M.F.A. in sculpture from the Department of Art in 1976. He was invited to create a site-specific installation at the University Gallery (now the University Museum of Contemporary Art) in 1981. Schiff’s artworks are greatly influenced by his travels, and "Revision," the installation at UMass, was a response to his observations in Rome “where architects built on Etruscan foundations and where medieval apartments were constructed among the ruins of coliseums.” For "Revision," Schiff built a new structure inside the Gallery, reversing and restructuring the axes of the existing space. The new structure became a metaphor for the way one culture overlays its identity on an earlier one.

"Separate Ground" was created for a juried alumni exhibition at the University Gallery in 1984 and it was subsequently re-sited at Hillside, the Chancellor’s Residence at the behest of UMass alumna Lois Beurman Torf (Class of 1946) and then-chancellor Joseph Duffy. About "Separate Ground" Schiff has said, “I confined nature as well as honoring it. A well-like plaster form encased part of the rock and a pier extended from it. It was a little stage: a small mountain range on which one could walk.” (Art New England, January 1984, pp. 14-15)

Schiff lives in Brooklyn and is a professor at Wesleyan University. Among his recent projects is "Everywhere Chidambaram," a three-part installation about his observations of Indian life and temple ritual.

public spaces

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