May 6 – September 3, 2018 Opening: May 6, 2018 (3 – 6pm)



‘Built’ was a Park-wide solo exhibition of newly commissioned works by Virginia Overton that refashioned found materials with dynamism and potency. In succinct and elegant forms, often accompanied with wry humor, Overton addressed concepts of labor, economics, and the land in American society. Her choice of materials used in construction and fabrication – combined with her axiomatic approach to process – evoked narratives of self-reliance, creative constraints, and expediency.

At Socrates, Overton created new iterations of ongoing forms in her practice including altered pick-up trucks, a water feature, a truss “gem” sculpture, a suspended work, and a sign. These disparate works were united by a shared role as support structures, both in their materials’ original intent and in Overton’s new generative articulations. Elements like wooden support beams and metal trusses were repeated through the exhibition, revealing these materials’ multiple capacities.

Situated in the rapidly gentrifying, once-industrial waterfront neighborhood of Long Island City, Overton’s materials shed their former functions without nostalgia. Instead, her work exemplified the vitality of creative reuse; the ingenuity of traditional forms and of vernacular making; and an entwined admiration and wonder towards the physical and material world around us.

An adaption of ‘Built’ opened at Don River Valley Park in Toronto in December 2018. Learn More


Cover of catalogue, 9 1/2 x 11″

The ‘Built’ catalogue documents the exhibition and provides new scholarship on Overton’s work, with a focus on her outdoor sculpture. The catalogue includes essays by Johanna Burton, Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Engagement at the New Museum; Kari Cwynar, Curator at the Don River Valley Park Art Program; Leah Pires, PhD Candidate, Department of Art History at Columbia University; and Jess Wilcox, Curator & Director of Exhibitions at Socrates Sculpture Park. The publication was made possible by the Henry Luce Foundation.

Purchase Catalogue


‘Built’ is organized by Socrates Sculpture Park and curated by Jess Wilcox, Director of Exhibitions. The exhibition is made possible with generous support from Lambent Foundation, Henry Luce Foundation, the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, White Cube, and Bortolami Gallery, with additional support provided by Spacetime C.C. The exhibition is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.