Archive for the ‘Exhibitions’ Category

Enter the archive

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013
Jeff Koons sculpture being installed during 1988 Carnegie International

Jeff Koons sculpture being installed during 1988 Carnegie International

Some say that the Carnegie Museum of Art was the first museum of modern and contemporary art in the U.S. It is true–as far as American institutions go–the Carnegie has been around the block. It opened in 1895 and a year later started an annual exhibition to bring work by the best and most talented artists to Pittsburgh. We inherited this model of an exhibition and hence thought it pertinent to reflect back on how it all went over these 117 years. Now, enter the archive: a visual history as told through installation photos and films (some seen for the first time), a few choice artworks, and a good amount of text. It opened over the weekend and will be up through the run of the 2013 Carnegie International.

Carnegie International in the 1990s and 2000s

Carnegie International in the 1990s and 2000s

 

Carnegie International in the 1960s

Carnegie International in the 1960s

 

 

 

The Film Collection – On view through March 2014

Friday, June 28th, 2013
harry smith_heaven and earth magick 1962

Still from Harry Smith’s Heaven and Earth Magick, 1962

This month we opened our new and improved modern and contemporary collection galleries. The installation is a component of the 2013 Carnegie International (as is the Playground Project, which also opened this month in the Heinz Architectural Center) and highlights the major role the International has played in forming the museum’s collection. As the show has been curated by different individuals over its nearly 120 year history, and as those individuals have chosen to acquire certain things rather than others, the collection has a unique character reflective of personal tastes and interests.  Sometimes major artists were missed, but with the benefit of hindsight, the museum has continued to fill in the gaps through new acquisitions. Works that weren’t in Internationals past are included in the reinstallation as well, to create a cohesive presentation of many of our best works.

Film and video is one facet of artistic practice that showed up late on the International‘s radar, appearing for the first time in the 1985 iteration. In the meantime, the Film and Video department was doing really innovative things, bringing some of the most important filmmakers to Pittsburgh to present their work and building an outstanding collection. Rethinking the collection galleries has given us the opportunity to make room for this frequently overlooked segment of our holdings (and history), so we’ve built an elegant new “black box” space in gallery 14.  Over the course of the next 8 months–through the run of the International– this gallery will be home to a roughly chronological, rotating program of works by 11 major artists (see the full upcoming schedule after the jump). Most of the films that will be on view were acquired during the Film and Video department’s first ten years (1970-1980), and some were presented in person by the filmmaker.

First up: Harry Smith‘s Heaven and Earth Magick (1962), a surreal collage film composed from Victorian-era catalogues and exercise manuals that Smith produced over a period of five years using a randomizing selection process called sortilege, inspired by the Surrealist practice of automatic writing.  Smith adopted a strategic regimen of sleep deprivation, working to the point of exhaustion and then transferring his dreams to film upon waking. The resulting animation revolves around a male magus character who, after injecting a female figure with magic potion, finds she has disintegrated and must be reassembled.

Heaven and Earth Magic includes references to the Kabbalah, 19th-century philology, and the writings of Dr. Wilder Penfield on open-brain surgery and the concept of the Homunculus, evincing Smith’s nearly encyclopedic knowledge of esoterica and mysticism. The artist was an avid collector of everything from pop-up books and forgotten folk records (he famously compiled the Anthology of American Folk Music, released in 1952) to Native American costumes, string figures, and Fabergé eggs. His interest in ethnic artifacts and everyday ephemera, as well as obscure forms of knowledge and the occult, was rooted in a search for universality underlying the diversity of human endeavor.

Stop by and see the film before July 8th, when we’ll switch it out for a compilation of Kenneth Anger‘s early work.

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See you at MOCA Cleveland this Friday!

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

 

Dark Stars_for Blog

 

If you happen to be in the Cleveland area this weekend, you have to check out MOCA Cleveland!

Since its reopening last year, with a sharply elegant new building designed by Farshid Moussavi Architecture, the museum of contemporary art has hit the ground running. Artist commissions such as David Altmejd’s sprawling vitrine installation The Orbit, and Kate Gilmore’s new sculptural installation and video Love ‘em, Leave ‘em are particular highlights of MOCA’s “investment in producing new projects with artists, new artwork and new culture,” to quote chief curator David Norr.

Another refreshing aspect of the museum’s programs are the thoughtful group shows through which the curatorial team have been able to explore current tendencies and preoccupations of contemporary art practice. Assistant curator Rose Bouthillier’s current exhibition Dark Stars  is a tightly composed and deeply intelligent instance of this. Bouthillier details the focus of the exhibition in her curatorial statement: “Dark Stars considers time as a subject in contemporary art, exploring how objects and images bring the past into the present. The exhibition’s title refers to the phenomenon of a dead star’s light continuing to travel through space, appearing to remote viewers long after it has gone dark. Works by Carol Bove, Michael Byron, Annie MacDonell, R.H. Quaytman, and Cerith Wyn Evans convey a similar sense of duration and delay.”

A highlight of the exhibition is Canadian artist Annie MacDonell’s The Shape of Time, Revisited (2012) in which she restores the wooden hand of an antique fortune telling mannequin while meditating on George Kubler’s 1962 text The Shape of Time: Remarks on the History of Things. “However fragmentary its condition,” intones MacDonell in the video aspect of her project, “any work of art is actually a portion of arrested happening, or an emanation of past time. It is a graph of activity now stilled, but a graph made visible like an astronomical body, by a light that originated with activity…” Dark Stars is an example of the way in which an inspired curatorial theme can invigorate a single work, elucidate its connection to other seemingly disparate practices, and create spaces for dialogue with a broader discourse. Bouthillier has a marvelous way of making it seem as simple as that.

This weekend marks the opening of another exciting group exhibition, Realization is Better than Anticipation, co-curated by Bouthillier and Megan Lykins Reich, director of programs and associate curator. Regionally focused, with emerging and established artists in and around Cleveland, Detroit, and Pittsburgh, this exhibition promises to be an exuberant consideration of art-making, or as Bouthillier and Lykins Reich put it: “‘realization’ is taken as equal parts practical (doing, constructing) and alchemical (magical, transformative).”

The opening party (featuring cocktails, live music, and performances) is this Friday June 28th, 7–10 p.m. See you there!

 

Steel City Angels Present

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

2013 Carnegie International October 5, 2013–March 16, 2014 carnegieinternational.org

Ei Arakawa/Henning Bohl, Phyllida Barlow, Yael Bartana, Sadie Benning, Bidoun Library, The Collection, Nicole Eisenman, Lara Favaretto, Vincent Fecteau, Rodney Graham, Guo Fengyi, Wade Guyton, Rokni Haerizadeh, He An, Amar Kanwar, Dinh Q. Lê, Mark Leckey, Pierre Leguillon, Sarah Lucas, Tobias Madison, Zanele Muholi, Paulina Olowska, The Playground Project, Pedro Reyes, Kamran Shirdel, Gabriel Sierra, Taryn Simon, Frances Stark, Joel Sternfeld, Mladen Stilinović, Zoe Strauss, Henry Taylor, Tezuka Architects, Transformazium, Erika Verzutti, Joseph Yoakum. More information

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Sorry I haven’t posted

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

cory_arcangel_cma_exhibiton-5910

Sorry I haven’t posted… We opened Cory Arcangel: Masters on November 2nd, 2012, with a special artist talk with Cory. The same evening we also launched a social media intervention designed by Cory. Here are some of the results. Visit us during this last week of the exhibition and don’t miss Arcangel’s band, Title TK, perform this Saturday at the Carnegie Lecture Hall. They open for Bonnie Prince Billy.