Past Sculpture Exhibitions

A Rich History

Three temporary sculpture exhibitions are developed annually, most curated by and for Meijer Gardens. These special exhibitions are shown within the large indoor galleries and associated indoor and outdoor spaces. The sculpture exhibition program is dedicated to sculpture traditions of all periods and exhibitions have ranged from large-scale presentations of modern masters such as Auguste Rodin, Pablo Picasso and Henry Moore to contemporary masters such as George Segal, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, Mark di Suvero, Anthony Caro and Richard Hunt.

Exhibitions 2011-present

Jun 16, 2020 - Jan 3, 2021

Past Event

George Segal: Body Language

This exhibition focuses on George Segal's remarkable versatility in representing body language across different media, including not only his trademark plaster sculptures but also various print techniques.

Sep 20, 2019 - Mar 1, 2020

Past Event

Rebecca Louise Law: The Womb

This exhibition of new work explores the intimate relationship between humankind and nature. At the heart of the exhibition is an installation offering the viewer a solitary, sublime experience of being enveloped in nature. Accompanying mixed media artworks examine the womb as a natural cocoon.

Feb 1, 2019 - Aug 25, 2019

Past Event

A National Treasure

Although never formally trained in the visual arts or art history, Fred Meijer was deeply interested in cultural endeavors and history, and had a long interest in sculpture.

Sep 14, 2018 - Jan 6, 2019

Past Event

Process and Presence

Through the finest examples of three-dimensional practice (sculpture, ceramics, performance, installation and video art), this exhibition emphasizes the relationship between disability and the fundamental human experiences of change and embodiment.

Limited Time Only
Exhibitions

May 25, 2018 - Aug 19, 2018

Past Event

Masayuki Koorida: Beyond Existence

Masayuki Koorida: Beyond Existence

Limited Time Only
Exhibitions

Feb 2, 2018 - Apr 29, 2018

Past Event

Drawn into Form: Sixty Years of Drawings and Prints by Beverly Pepper

Drawn into Form: Sixty Years of Drawings and Prints by Beverly Pepper

Limited Time Only
Exhibitions

Sep 15, 2017 - Jan 7, 2018

Past Event

Rodin and the Contemporary Figurative Tradition

Rodin and the Contemporary Figurative Tradition

Jan 27, 2017 - Aug 20, 2017

Past Event

Ai Weiwei at Meijer Gardens: Natural State

This landmark exhibition will feature internationally renowned artist and activist Ai Weiwei. Opening on January 27, 2017, “Ai Weiwei at Meijer Gardens: Natural State” is his first show in the upper Midwest as well as the first of its kind for the artist at a botanical garden or sculpture park.

Sep 16, 2016 - Dec 31, 2016

Past Event

Almost Home: Grand Rapids in Focus

Almost Home: Grand Rapids in Focus

This exhibition invites artists to reflect on their experiences with Grand Rapids as the conceptual foundation of new work.

Limited Time Only
Exhibitions

Feb 26, 2016 - Aug 14, 2016

Past Event

Mimmo Paladino: Present into Past

Mimmo Paladino: Present into Past

Sep 18, 2015 - Jan 3, 2016

Past Event

Tradition and Innovation: Japanese Ceramics Now

This exhibition is a survey of work by ceramic artists working in Japan today. From the functional to the sculptural, 25 carefully selected works that acknowledge tradition but embrace the avant-garde will be on display.

Jan 30, 2015 - Aug 16, 2015

Past Event

Splendors of Shiga: Treasures from Japan

Splendors of Shiga: Treasures from Japan will display more than 60 Japanese works of art from the 8th century to the present day.

Limited Time Only
Exhibitions

Sep 19, 2014 - Jan 4, 2015

Past Event

Highly Recommended: Emerging Sculptors

Highly Recommended: Emerging Sculptors

May 23, 2014 - Aug 17, 2014

Past Event

David Nash exhibition

This groundbreaking exhibition is exclusive to Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park and will host to Nash’s works in the sculpture galleries, conservatories and across the gardens and grounds.

Jan 31, 2014 - Apr 27, 2014

Past Event

Committed to Paper

More than forty selected major works by more than twenty sculptors—including Magdalena Abakanowicz, Anthony Caro, Louise Nevelson, George Segal, Antony Gormley, Roxy Paine, and others—will be featured.

Sep 18, 2013 - Jan 5, 2014

Past Event

Shattered: Contemporary Sculpture in Glass

A sculptural entity in its own right, contemporary glass is marked by creative, conceptual and formal explorations in keeping with the dynamic persona of contemporary art at large.

May 24, 2013 - Aug 25, 2013

Past Event

Looking East, Facing West: The World of Zhang Huan

Chinese artist Zhang Huan is a sculptor, painter, photographer, performance and installation artist; his impact in broadening the global dimensions of contemporary art has been immense.

Feb 1, 2013 - Apr 28, 2013

Past Event

Connected and Disconnected: The Sculpture of Hanneke Beaumont

Hanneke Beaumont’s figures represent a universal type, neither telling male nor female, that are carefully and pensively posed.

Sep 19, 2012 - Jan 6, 2013

Past Event

Body Double: The Figure in Contemporary Sculpture

This exhibition was a survey of contemporary sculpture around the subject of the human figure as both an object and a metaphor. Considering a wide variety of formal and conceptual approaches by artists from across the United States and around the world, the exhibition illustrated the diversity and depth of the figure in Contemporary Art from more literal terms to those which are implied or symbolically stated. Building on the strength and variety of the figurative tradition of Meijer Garden’s acclaimed permanent collection; this exhibition explored a renewal of interest in the subject from objects to installations while surveying a broad spectrum of concepts, forms and materials.

Oct 1, 2012 - Dec 31, 2012

Past Event

Bernar Venet at Meijer Gardens

Five works were on display on the front lawn.

May 25, 2012 - Aug 26, 2012

Past Event

Beverly Pepper: Palingenesis 1962-2012

Beverly Pepper has been a major force across the international scene since the 1960s. This exhibition focused exclusively on her pioneering efforts in metal beginning with her debut at the famed Spoleto exhibition in 1962 through major recent efforts. Charting her innovation and determination, iconic works from across her repertoire were on view. This was the first major presentation on Pepper in recent years and the first to explore the power and vision of her work in steel. From daring, welded steel of the early 1960s, to pristine geometric works of the late 1960s and 1970s, to the upright sentinels known in public and private collections around the world, the exhibition carried through to ascending monoliths of recent years. This exhibition was accompanied by archival information and a fully illustrated catalogue. Charting her innovation and determination, iconic works from across her repertoire were on view.

Jan 27, 2012 - Apr 29, 2012

Past Event

Essence: The Horses of Deborah Butterfield

American sculptor Deborah Butterfield is among the most respected and acclaimed artists of her generation. Her horses, like Meijer Gardens’ own Cabin Creek (1999), have been the focus of great interest as much for their creative use of materials as for their craftsmanship. This exhibition featured the installation of both large-scale as well as pedestal-size horses. Each unique example was composed of a wide variety of materials from found and reclaimed metals, to branches and earth. Although each sculpture was inspired by a specific horse Butterfield has known, the works are not portraits in the traditional sense, but representations of the essence of that creature. For Butterfield, it is not merely the physical presence of such noble creatures she hopes to convey, but their spirit and energy as well. This exhibition featured the installation of both large-scale as well as pedestal-size horses.

Sep 21, 2011 - Dec 31, 2011

Past Event

Sculpture Today: New Forces, New Forms

World renowned for its collections and exhibition program of Modern and Contemporary sculpture, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park hosted its premier invitational exhibition of work by emerging sculptors. Selected from across the United States and around the world, artists working three-dimensionally and through installations, were included in this first annual event. Artists were chosen from across the contemporary scene anticipating a wide array of conceptual and formal approaches in the ever-evolving definition of sculpture today.

Jun 3, 2011 - Aug 21, 2011

Past Event

Laura Ford: Actual, Factual Fables

The highly inventive figures and animal forms of Welsh born sculptor Laura Ford have been the focus of widespread critical acclaim across the United Kingdom, and increasingly, throughout Europe. Utilizing a wide variety of materials and found objects, Ford provided creatures which initially disarmed or charmed the viewer with humor and warmth, but are ultimately poignant reminders of the frailties of human condition or the inequities of social order. The use of animal imagery to illustrate human circumstances called to mind traditions ranging from Aesop to Beatrix Potter, yet the realization of form and the power of message conveyed is decidedly contemporary. This was the sculptor’s first solo exhibition in the United States. This exhibition was organized by Galerie Scheffel, Bad Homburg, Germany in cooperation with the artist and Meijer Gardens.

Jan 28, 2011 - May 8, 2011

Past Event

Jim Dine: Sculpture

American master Jim Dine has been a major force across the contemporary scene from the origins of the Pop Art movement to the present. Although revered for his paintings and graphic work, his prolific and equally profound endeavors as a sculptor are less well known. This retrospective exhibition was the first of its kind and traced the origins of Dine’s sculpture from rarely scene early work of the late 1950s and early 1960s through to his most current efforts. Iconic themes that have occupied his attention, ranging from tools to the Venus, to the heart and, most recently, Pinocchio, as well as lesser known, but equally reflective subjects were examined in detail. This comprehensive exhibition featured works in the sculpture galleries and neighboring terrace as well in interior garden conservatories. This exhibition was organized by Meijer Gardens.

Exhibitions 1999-2010

Exhibitions 1999-2010

Jun 16, 2020 - Jan 3, 2021

Past Event

George Segal: Body Language

This exhibition focuses on George Segal's remarkable versatility in representing body language across different media, including not only his trademark plaster sculptures but also various print techniques.

Sep 20, 2019 - Mar 1, 2020

Past Event

Rebecca Louise Law: The Womb

This exhibition of new work explores the intimate relationship between humankind and nature. At the heart of the exhibition is an installation offering the viewer a solitary, sublime experience of being enveloped in nature. Accompanying mixed media artworks examine the womb as a natural cocoon.

Feb 1, 2019 - Aug 25, 2019

Past Event

A National Treasure

Although never formally trained in the visual arts or art history, Fred Meijer was deeply interested in cultural endeavors and history, and had a long interest in sculpture.

Sep 14, 2018 - Jan 6, 2019

Past Event

Process and Presence

Through the finest examples of three-dimensional practice (sculpture, ceramics, performance, installation and video art), this exhibition emphasizes the relationship between disability and the fundamental human experiences of change and embodiment.

Limited Time Only
Exhibitions

May 25, 2018 - Aug 19, 2018

Past Event

Masayuki Koorida: Beyond Existence

Masayuki Koorida: Beyond Existence

Limited Time Only
Exhibitions

Feb 2, 2018 - Apr 29, 2018

Past Event

Drawn into Form: Sixty Years of Drawings and Prints by Beverly Pepper

Drawn into Form: Sixty Years of Drawings and Prints by Beverly Pepper

Limited Time Only
Exhibitions

Sep 15, 2017 - Jan 7, 2018

Past Event

Rodin and the Contemporary Figurative Tradition

Rodin and the Contemporary Figurative Tradition

Jan 27, 2017 - Aug 20, 2017

Past Event

Ai Weiwei at Meijer Gardens: Natural State

This landmark exhibition will feature internationally renowned artist and activist Ai Weiwei. Opening on January 27, 2017, “Ai Weiwei at Meijer Gardens: Natural State” is his first show in the upper Midwest as well as the first of its kind for the artist at a botanical garden or sculpture park.

Sep 16, 2016 - Dec 31, 2016

Past Event

Almost Home: Grand Rapids in Focus

Almost Home: Grand Rapids in Focus

This exhibition invites artists to reflect on their experiences with Grand Rapids as the conceptual foundation of new work.

Limited Time Only
Exhibitions

Feb 26, 2016 - Aug 14, 2016

Past Event

Mimmo Paladino: Present into Past

Mimmo Paladino: Present into Past

Sep 18, 2015 - Jan 3, 2016

Past Event

Tradition and Innovation: Japanese Ceramics Now

This exhibition is a survey of work by ceramic artists working in Japan today. From the functional to the sculptural, 25 carefully selected works that acknowledge tradition but embrace the avant-garde will be on display.

Jan 30, 2015 - Aug 16, 2015

Past Event

Splendors of Shiga: Treasures from Japan

Splendors of Shiga: Treasures from Japan will display more than 60 Japanese works of art from the 8th century to the present day.

Limited Time Only
Exhibitions

Sep 19, 2014 - Jan 4, 2015

Past Event

Highly Recommended: Emerging Sculptors

Highly Recommended: Emerging Sculptors

May 23, 2014 - Aug 17, 2014

Past Event

David Nash exhibition

This groundbreaking exhibition is exclusive to Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park and will host to Nash’s works in the sculpture galleries, conservatories and across the gardens and grounds.

Jan 31, 2014 - Apr 27, 2014

Past Event

Committed to Paper

More than forty selected major works by more than twenty sculptors—including Magdalena Abakanowicz, Anthony Caro, Louise Nevelson, George Segal, Antony Gormley, Roxy Paine, and others—will be featured.

Sep 18, 2013 - Jan 5, 2014

Past Event

Shattered: Contemporary Sculpture in Glass

A sculptural entity in its own right, contemporary glass is marked by creative, conceptual and formal explorations in keeping with the dynamic persona of contemporary art at large.

May 24, 2013 - Aug 25, 2013

Past Event

Looking East, Facing West: The World of Zhang Huan

Chinese artist Zhang Huan is a sculptor, painter, photographer, performance and installation artist; his impact in broadening the global dimensions of contemporary art has been immense.

Feb 1, 2013 - Apr 28, 2013

Past Event

Connected and Disconnected: The Sculpture of Hanneke Beaumont

Hanneke Beaumont’s figures represent a universal type, neither telling male nor female, that are carefully and pensively posed.

Sep 19, 2012 - Jan 6, 2013

Past Event

Body Double: The Figure in Contemporary Sculpture

This exhibition was a survey of contemporary sculpture around the subject of the human figure as both an object and a metaphor. Considering a wide variety of formal and conceptual approaches by artists from across the United States and around the world, the exhibition illustrated the diversity and depth of the figure in Contemporary Art from more literal terms to those which are implied or symbolically stated. Building on the strength and variety of the figurative tradition of Meijer Garden’s acclaimed permanent collection; this exhibition explored a renewal of interest in the subject from objects to installations while surveying a broad spectrum of concepts, forms and materials.

Oct 1, 2012 - Dec 31, 2012

Past Event

Bernar Venet at Meijer Gardens

Five works were on display on the front lawn.

May 25, 2012 - Aug 26, 2012

Past Event

Beverly Pepper: Palingenesis 1962-2012

Beverly Pepper has been a major force across the international scene since the 1960s. This exhibition focused exclusively on her pioneering efforts in metal beginning with her debut at the famed Spoleto exhibition in 1962 through major recent efforts. Charting her innovation and determination, iconic works from across her repertoire were on view. This was the first major presentation on Pepper in recent years and the first to explore the power and vision of her work in steel. From daring, welded steel of the early 1960s, to pristine geometric works of the late 1960s and 1970s, to the upright sentinels known in public and private collections around the world, the exhibition carried through to ascending monoliths of recent years. This exhibition was accompanied by archival information and a fully illustrated catalogue. Charting her innovation and determination, iconic works from across her repertoire were on view.

Jan 27, 2012 - Apr 29, 2012

Past Event

Essence: The Horses of Deborah Butterfield

American sculptor Deborah Butterfield is among the most respected and acclaimed artists of her generation. Her horses, like Meijer Gardens’ own Cabin Creek (1999), have been the focus of great interest as much for their creative use of materials as for their craftsmanship. This exhibition featured the installation of both large-scale as well as pedestal-size horses. Each unique example was composed of a wide variety of materials from found and reclaimed metals, to branches and earth. Although each sculpture was inspired by a specific horse Butterfield has known, the works are not portraits in the traditional sense, but representations of the essence of that creature. For Butterfield, it is not merely the physical presence of such noble creatures she hopes to convey, but their spirit and energy as well. This exhibition featured the installation of both large-scale as well as pedestal-size horses.

Sep 21, 2011 - Dec 31, 2011

Past Event

Sculpture Today: New Forces, New Forms

World renowned for its collections and exhibition program of Modern and Contemporary sculpture, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park hosted its premier invitational exhibition of work by emerging sculptors. Selected from across the United States and around the world, artists working three-dimensionally and through installations, were included in this first annual event. Artists were chosen from across the contemporary scene anticipating a wide array of conceptual and formal approaches in the ever-evolving definition of sculpture today.

Jun 3, 2011 - Aug 21, 2011

Past Event

Laura Ford: Actual, Factual Fables

The highly inventive figures and animal forms of Welsh born sculptor Laura Ford have been the focus of widespread critical acclaim across the United Kingdom, and increasingly, throughout Europe. Utilizing a wide variety of materials and found objects, Ford provided creatures which initially disarmed or charmed the viewer with humor and warmth, but are ultimately poignant reminders of the frailties of human condition or the inequities of social order. The use of animal imagery to illustrate human circumstances called to mind traditions ranging from Aesop to Beatrix Potter, yet the realization of form and the power of message conveyed is decidedly contemporary. This was the sculptor’s first solo exhibition in the United States. This exhibition was organized by Galerie Scheffel, Bad Homburg, Germany in cooperation with the artist and Meijer Gardens.

Jan 28, 2011 - May 8, 2011

Past Event

Jim Dine: Sculpture

American master Jim Dine has been a major force across the contemporary scene from the origins of the Pop Art movement to the present. Although revered for his paintings and graphic work, his prolific and equally profound endeavors as a sculptor are less well known. This retrospective exhibition was the first of its kind and traced the origins of Dine’s sculpture from rarely scene early work of the late 1950s and early 1960s through to his most current efforts. Iconic themes that have occupied his attention, ranging from tools to the Venus, to the heart and, most recently, Pinocchio, as well as lesser known, but equally reflective subjects were examined in detail. This comprehensive exhibition featured works in the sculpture galleries and neighboring terrace as well in interior garden conservatories. This exhibition was organized by Meijer Gardens.