One of the final exhibitions in the current Milwaukee Art Museum facility, will encourage visitors to explore the entire museum while major changes are underway. During the next 12 months, a number of MAM galleries will be renovated or modified in anticipation of the new Calatrava addition.
Since Interventions, sponsored by Marshall Field's Project Imagine, is also the first exhibition in 2000, the exhibition will feature artists who are laying the framework for the art of the next century and exploring the range of artistic possibilities at the dawn of the new millennium. Curated by MAM Chief Curator and Curator of Contemporary Art Dean Sobel, the exhibition will present the work of 10 leading international contemporary artists, but instead of presenting these artists' work in one large gallery, the art will be dispersed into discrete locations throughout the museum. In this way, the artists will "intervene" with existing permanent collection galleries, entrances, lobbies and grounds. To view the exhibition, visitors will navigate the entire facility, aware that this is one of the last times they will be able to experience the museum in its current configuration, a layout that has remained essentially unchanged since 1988.
The works in the exhibition represent a range of media, nationalities and working methods. Following a practice that's becoming common within the contemporary art world, video, sculpture and photography are most strongly represented. The U.S. artists in the exhibition are Robert Gober, Cheonae Kim, Sharon Lockhart, IÃ±igo Manglano-Ovalle, whose piece will premier in this MAM exhibition and Elizabeth Peyton. The exhibition will also include Martin Honert of Germany whose work in the exhibition will be the first time this artist is shown by a U.S. museum. International artists include Cornelia Parker of Great Britain, Douglas Gordon of Scotland, Ilya Kabakov of Russia/U.S. and Rineke Dijkstra of the Netherlands.
In an ambitious installation by Robert Gober, viewers will look down into a suitcase which features a view through a sewer grate to the floor below, where one can glimpse found objects and four wax legs in running water. As in all of his work, Gober gives familiar objects a surrealistic twist as a way to explore the depths of the conscious and subconscious worlds.
Scottish artist Douglas Gordon, well known for his video projections of altered Hollywood movies (in 24-Hour Psycho he slowed down the running time of Alfred Hitchcock's famous thriller to extend an entire day), will present the U.S. premier of a two-projection video called Confessions of a Justified Sinner featuring footage of the 1931 horror classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
A 40-by-80 foot sculpture in the form of a boat, titled The Boat of My Life, is by Russian-born artist Ilya Kabakov. Viewers are allowed to walk on the boat to examine various articles Kabakov has collected to recount his flight from the Nazis during World War II. This work, installed in galleries previously used to display American 17th- and 18th-century art, is also MAM's contribution to the city-wide International Arts Festival in February.
London-based artist Cornelia Parker will install a sculpture of suspended chalk fragments from the white cliffs of Dover. Titled Edge of England, this work making its U.S. premier is intended not only as a meditation on the artist's homeland but, given the fact that these cliffs are frequently used for suicide jumps, a comment on the fragile nature of the human condition.
A group of paintings by American artist Elizabeth Peyton will describe the sensitivity she feels toward her personal pantheon of cultural heroes. Reflective of 19th-century French or 1920s German painters of cafÃ© or cabaret life, Peyton illustrates in her lusciously painted portraits figures from her own milieux such as musicians Liam and Noel Gallagher of the band Oasis and Britain's Prince Harry.
Certain works take the notion of "intervention" quite literally. The installation by Gober requires that a hole be cut through the floor of one level so viewers can see through to the level below. Other artists' work will intervene in more subtle ways. Peyton's intimate portraits will be hung in permanent collection galleries where earlier portraits have been shown. Questions regarding context will arise when her work is seen among museum objects from other time periods and in other styles.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a full-length, illustrated catalogue including a discussion on the museum's involvement with site specific art over the last 30 years.
Milwaukee Art Museum 750 North Lincoln Memorial Drive, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202 USA t.414 224 3200
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