Case Studies from the Bureau of Contemporary Art
New Mexico Museum of Art
November 19, 2010 through March 20, 2011
The New Mexico Museum of Art will present an exhibition of works from its Bureau of Contemporary Art, a fictitious entity created for this exhibition in order to emphasize contemporary art’s prominent place within the museum’s permanent collection. Case Studies from the Bureau of Contemporary Art will be on view November 19, 2010 through March 20, 2011.
As the term “case studies” suggests, the exhibition presents particular lines of inquiry into the contemporary collection. Among these thematic excursions are war and its aftermath; figuration and the human condition; minimalism, monochrome and seriality; and materiality and rawness.
There are nearly forty artists in Case Studies, from New Mexico and beyond, including Dieter Appelt, Erika Blumenfeld, Louise Bourgeois, Sarah Charlesworth, Constance DeJong, Tom Joyce, Sol LeWitt, Agnes Martin, Bruce Nauman, Larry Poons, Kim Russo, Peter Sarkisian, Peter Voulkos, Erika Wanenmacher and Joel-Peter Witkin. The 60+ artworks on display represent ceramics, sculpture, painting, drawing, prints, photography, and video. Acupuncture needles, butterflies, martini glasses, and charred books are among the other unconventional materials to be found in the show.
The museum’s contemporary collection consists of over 5,500 works and is defined as holdings dating from 1970 to the present, although some earlier pieces which would have set the stage for artists working in the subsequent decades are also included in this exhibition, including a 1967 ink drawing by Eva Hesse and a 1959 Robert Ryman painting.
“Case Studies is an occasion to show some of the gems of the collection, and to think about the linkages that bridge works from different moments in time, cultures, and mediums,” says Curator of Contemporary Art and Case Studies curator Laura Addison. “Much of the contemporary collection has been largely unseen. This exhibition will reveal some of those surprises.”
Among the unexpected holdings of the New Mexico Museum of Art collection are a series of Cubanborn artist Ana Mendieta’s Silueta photographs; Delilah Montoya’s exploration of Chicano social issues through the vehicle of a home altar; a large-scale display of 158 pieces of ceramic blackware by Eddie Dominguez; a protofeminist wax sculpture by Louise Bourgeois; and Meridel Rubenstein and Ellen Zweig’s multimedia installation about New Mexico’s atomic legacy.
Case Studies opens with a public reception on Friday, November 19, 5:30-7:30pm, hosted by the Women’s Board of the Museum of New Mexico.
The New Mexico Museum of Art
The New Mexico Museum of Art was founded in 1917 as the Art Gallery of the Museum of New Mexico. Housed in a spectacular Pueblo Revival building designed by I. H. and William M. Rapp, it was based on their New Mexico building at the Panama-California Exposition (1915). The museum’s architecture inaugurated what has come to be known as “Santa Fe Style.” For nearly 100 years, the Museum has celebrated the diversity of the visual arts and the legacy of New Mexico as a cultural crossroads by collecting and exhibiting work by leading artists from New Mexico and elsewhere. This tradition continues today with a wide-array of exhibitions with work from the world’s leading artists. The New Mexico Museum of Art brings the art of New Mexico to the world and the art of the world to New Mexico. The New Mexico Museum of Art is a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs.