JUNE 2009 > ANY POSSIBLE RELATION - Sculpture Dedication at Paul Mellon Arts Center

Sculpture Dedication at the Paul Mellon Arts CenterChoate Rosemary Hall CTBy Artist Paige Bradley / Gift of John ForryJune 13, 2009

At the dedication of the Paul Mellon Arts Center in 1972, alumnus Edward Albee christened the spectacular I.M. Pei-designed facility "an auditorium of ideas." Today, the description seems as apt as ever." On June 13th, the sculpture, "Any Possible Relation", by Paige Bradley, was donated to the Paul Mellon Arts Center. The donor of the sculpture, Mr. John Forry, entered Paige's Brooklyn studio in early 2005 when the figures were still in clay. As she was turning the figures, it was then Forry and Bradley began conceiving of the sculptures as a dynamic, moveable work.

The sculptures seem take numerous positions so that the energy of the Work is in constant flux. When the man and woman face each other, they appear close to embrace. Yet as one figure turns away, it feels as if one is not being heard and is misunderstood. When both figures turn away we want to ask, "Why do they not see that they want the same things? Why don't they communicate?" All at once it becomes a political conversation, a cultural conversation and a very private and personal conversation. Whether it is music, film, acting, dance, visual arts or architecture, a poignant work is one that breaks through walls of silence and speaks honestly of the human condition. Alumnus George Negroponte, whose Work is exhibited in the MoMA, says "At Choate I learned a kind of political language I'm applying in life. Artists today are not just making work, but paying attention to cultural issues". The sculpture "Any Possible Relation" reminds us to take care how we (as a race, a community, or an individual) position ourselves to others because it is directly relative to what we will get in return.


As one of the largest donors of our time, Paul Mellon's love of art resonates through the Choate Arts Center. After attending Choate, Paul Mellon graduated from Yale 1929. In 1936 he had purchased his first British painting, and, by the mid-1960s, amassed a major collection. London art dealer Geoffrey Agnew once said of his acquisitions: "It took an American collector to make the English look again at their own paintings." Paul Mellon commissioned I. M. Pei to build the East Wing of the National Gallery where he and his wife donated more than 1,000 works. His generosity extended to other museums, including the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Yale University Art Gallery. At Choate Rosemary Hall, the Arts Center proudly carries Paul Mellon's name, a name synonymous with the arts, education, and generosity.

Few secondary schools can boast an arts curriculum as distinguished and varied as Choate Rosemary Hall. From Glenn Close to Michael Douglas, talented alumni came to Choate for education as well as inspiration. A warrior for the arts, Headmaster Seymour St. John dedicated the Arts Center in 1972 with the words, "We have liberated our musicians and artists from basements and attics all over the campus... We hope now that no student will leave our campus without having been touched by the arts."

Thanks to the generous gift by John Forry, the new addition of Paige Bradley's dynamic bronze sculpture underlines Choate Rosemary Hall's commitment to the arts as it continues to grow within and beyond the walls of the Paul Mellon Arts Center--the "auditorium of ideas." Annually, Paige Bradley has several exhibitions, and her work can be seen in selected galleries throughout the world. In the spring of 2007 she moved her studio from New York City to London, where she currently works full time.