Carnegie Museum Of Art Announces 2013 Carnegie International Acquisitions

Carnegie International exhibitions have helped to shape museum’s collection

Pittsburgh, PA…Lynn Zelevansky, the Henry J. Heinz II Director of Carnegie Museum of Art, announced today the second round of major acquisitions from the 2013 Carnegie International, which remains on view until March 16. Since its founding, the museum has made significant acquisitions from the Carnegie International, which was initiated in 1896 by Andrew Carnegie, resulting in particularly strong holdings in contemporary art from the late 19th century to the present.

Exhibition co-curators Daniel Baumann, Dan Byers, and Tina Kukielski, along with Zelevansky, have worked to identify key objects from the exhibition that will significantly enhance and complement the existing collection. This is the second of three rounds of acquisitions from the 2013 Carnegie International. The first round was announced in December 2013.

Ei Arakawa / Henning Bohl
Japanese, b. 1977 / German, b. 1975

Helena and Miwako, 2013
Video; color, sound; 37:17 min.
Edition 1 of 2 + 2AP

3 Bent Inuyarai, 2013
Steel and fabric
3 elements, each: 43 5/16 x 61 x 21 5/8 in. (110 x 155 x 55 cm)

2 Corrugated Inuyarai, 2013
Steel and fabric
2 elements, each: 38 9/16 x 43 5/16 x 24 13/16 in. (98 x 110 x 63 cm)

4 Soccer Balls (the day when soccer became money), 2013
Styrofoam, fabric, and wooden boxes
Soccer balls: 9 in. diameter; Boxes: 12 x 12 x 12 in. (30.5 x 30.5 x 30.5 cm)

A. W. Mellon Acquisition Fund

 

Ei Arakawa has developed an extensive and international performance practice involving friends, random passersby, and other artists. Henning Bohl produces offhandedly elegant objects that play with their status as art. His colorful paintings, accomplished installations, and sculptures act as three-dimensional metaphors of art design, everyday objects, or furniture.

For the 2013 Carnegie International, they joined forces to produce a sci-fi road movie and installation in collaboration with Arakawa’s mother, Miwako; his brother, Tomoo; and Bohl’s 10-year-old daughter, Helena. The personal histories of this family-like unit unfold, along with questions surrounding generation, play, and parenthood, over their three-week tour of historical playground structures throughout Japan. The group’s travels focus on the now-infamous prefecture of Fukushima, Arakawa’s hometown and site of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that caused widespread destruction and triggered a nuclear power plant disaster.

 

Nicole Eisenman
American, b. 1965

Ariana’s Salon, 2013
Oil on canvas
82 x 65 in. (208.3 x 165.1 cm)

Prince of Swords, 2013
Plaster, wood, burlap, ceramic, and crystal
77 x 46 x 27 in. (195.6 x 116.8 x 69.6 cm)

The Henry L. Hillman Fund

 

The work of Nicole Eisenman spans the absurd and abject to the introspective and irreverent, drawing on sources as varied as the iconography of classical myths and popular culture in general. Epic subjects worthy of history painting, such as icy arctic expeditions, go hand in hand with scenes of family dinners or casual gatherings of friends at a beer garden.

Ariana’s Salon depicts a salon gathering for friends and artists in a tiny New York City apartment, that of the poet Ariana Reines. We see a nude performer obliquely, partially obstructed by a doorway and seen from a spot in the crowd that has spilled into another room. As in other paintings of group activities or celebrations, Eisenman investigates the character of individuals within the collective frame.

Prince of Swords is one of five new sculptures that Eisenman created specifically for display in the museum’s grand Neoclassical Hall of Sculpture. Interspersed among plaster casts of works of classical antiquity, her sculptures evoke an archaeological playground of modern times. Prince of Swords sits on a second-floor balustrade, his feet dangling over the edge and his hands blackened from the clutch of his smartphone. Sculpture represents a new aspect of Eisenman’s practice. Her installation in the Hall of Sculpture, which united her sculptures and paintings, was awarded the 2013 Carnegie International Carnegie Prize.

 

Wade Guyton                                           
American, b. 1972

Carcass Ocho, 2013
Suitcase, seven glass tequila bottles stained with Epson UltraChrome ink, Epson UltraChrome on newsprint, and bubble wrap
Dimensions variable
Gift of the artist

Wade Guyton makes large-scale artworks that act like paintings and drawings, but are created using flatbed scanners, desktop computers, and wide-format Epson inkjet printers. Printed on linen that is folded and run (and re-run) through the printers, the artist’s designs meet the physical limitations of automated production technologies and streak, snag, crease, and misalign as the fabric feeds—or is pulled—through. While Guyton’s works reflect the flattened and fragmented visual landscape of the screen age in which we live, as objects they behave like traditional paintings, changing and being changed by our perception of the space in which they appear.

Carcass Ocho functions as both an evocative artifact from a unique performance and a succinct, wry, and complex expression of the artist’s practice. The empty tequila bottles (used in a 2013 Carnegie International performance), covered in the same ink used in his paintings, are displayed alongside the suitcase that transported them to Pittsburgh from New York City. Each bottle is wrapped in a newly minted critical text on his artwork, and as a whole, it displays a more improvisatory aspect of Guyton’s practice.

 

Mark Leckey
British, b. 1964

Pearl Vision, 2012
Video; color, sound; 3:10 min
The Henry L. Hillman Fund

Mark Leckey exemplifies the influence of digital culture on human interaction today. Especially interested in the ways that technology impacts and mediates our lives, Leckey is known mostly for his video narratives that explore aspects of human–machine interaction. Pearl Vision portrays the artist’s interactions—and mystical union—with a snare drum.  He communicates by way of rhythmic pulses of information akin to computer code, set to an electronic voice-beat. By the end of the video, the silver surface merges with the artist’s skin.

Pearl Vision employs a combination of video and digital animation to blur the distinctions between the drum and its player. The artist writes about the work, “I chose a chrome snare because I knew how well chrome works in CGI. I wanted it to be very illusionistic, I wanted to make a picture with great verisimilitude…. And also it is a self-portrait: I’m sitting at the drum as if it’s a computer. But the drum is using me for its own purposes—by gratifying my desires it gets to be used; played. And I wanted the drum to become confused with myself. I possess it, it possesses me in a type of mutual absorption.” (Kari Rittenbach, “Chrome & Flesh: An Interview with Mark Leckey,” Rhizome Journal, December 17, 2012)

 

Zanele Muholi
South African, b. 1972

6 gelatin silver prints from the series Faces and Phases
Each: 30 x 20 in. (76.2 x 50.8 cm)

A. W. Mellon Acquisition Fund

 

Collen Mfazwe, August House, Johannesburg, 2012

Simphiwe Mbatha, August House, Johannesburg, 2012

Charmain Carrol, Parktown, Johannesburg, 2013

Ricki Kgositau, Melville, Johannesburg, 2013

Sane, Pietermaritzburg, Kwazulu Natal, 2012

Lebo Ntladi, Newtown, Johannesburg, 2011

 

Born in 1972 in Umlazi, South Africa, photographer Zanele Muholi lives and works in Johannesburg. She began her photographic series Faces and Phases in 2006, working first in the townships of South Africa and then beyond. By the time the series is complete, Muholi intends to amass hundreds of portraits, giving visibility to the various faces of black LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex) communities around the world.

The portraits are classically beautiful, stylized pictures of the black lesbian community of South Africa, individuals who are discriminated against and sometimes brutally beaten or raped. A self-described “visual activist,” Muholi sees her work in photography and film as a lifetime endeavor aimed at redefining the face of Africa both within and outside the continent. Muholi was the winner of this year’s Fine Prize, for an emerging artist in the 2013 Carnegie International.These six works join six photographs from the same series acquired in December 2013.

 

Paulina Olowska
Polish, b. 1976

Hatter, Actress from a Puppet Theater, 2011
Graphite on paper
63 x 43 11/16 in. (160 x 111 cm)
The Henry L. Hillman Fund

One of a series of four large drawings based on the Rabcio Puppet Theater in Rabka Zdrój, Poland, this beautiful portrait demonstrates Paulina Olowska’s conceptual investment in popular art forms. In recent years, Olowska has become interested in the history of the puppet theater, a folk entertainment with deep roots in many traditional societies.

According to the artist, the actress pictured in the drawing spontaneously pulled her top hat down over her head during the shoot, obscuring her face and emphasizing her hands, which are the primary tool of expression in puppetry. While the actress’s right hand is gloved and handled in a looser drawing style, the left is drawn in an exquisite level of detail typically reserved for a sitter’s face. This shift in priority underscores the skilled, handicraft nature of puppetry, as well as the sitter’s wish to be identified with her craft rather than her personal appearance.

Olowska’s interest in puppet theater is reflected in her intervention in the Carnegie Café for the 2013 Carnegie International, which was inspired by Pittsburgh-based Lovelace Marionette Theatre Company. An element of that installation—a large wrought-iron sign reading “Puppetry in America is Truly a Lonely Craft”—was acquired by the museum in December 2013.

 

Gabriel Sierra
Colombian, b. 1975

Untitled (Horizontal roller blind and red 60cm. aluminum level), 2013
Horizontal roller blind and aluminum level in drywall
83 x 99 11/16 in. (210.8 x 253.2 cm)
The Henry L. Hillman Fund

Gabriel Sierra creates sculptural interruptions within the coherence of built environments, exploring their physical forms as well as the psychic conditions they produce. His work for the 2013 Carnegie International reflects this approach—Sierra painted the walls of the museum’s Hall of Architecture a rich purple, articulating the forms and patina of the casts inside. The deceptively simple nature of Untitled (Horizontal roller blind and red 60cm. aluminum level) (that is, basic construction materials and tools presented with no mediation other than that they are set into the gallery wall) speaks to a constellation of larger references and conditions, including traditions of the ready-made, institutional critique, and conceptual art practices that introduce minimal interventions to maximize the effect.

 

Frances Stark
American, b. 1967

Bobby Jesus’s Alma Mater b/w Reading the Book of David and/or Paying Attention Is Free, 2013

Inkjet print on paper and video projection with sound, 7:20 min.
Edition 1/5
Purchase: Gift of Nancy and Woody Ostrow

This remarkable new video installation by Los Angeles artist Frances Stark was created for the 2013 Carnegie International. “By turns hilarious and enrapturing, at once cunning cultural critique and self-indictment” (Andrew Russeth,The New York Observer, October 8, 2013), the piece ranges from the deeply personal through contemporary cultural and historical references with incredible wit, honesty, and sophistication.

Complex and provocative, Bobby Jesus’s Alma Mater b/w Reading the Book of David and/or Paying Attention Is Freecenters on Stark’s relationship with Andrew Lacosta, a.k.a. Bobby Jesus, a self-described resident of “planet ’hood” who has become her friend and studio apprentice, while offering commentary on the corruption of education by money. The video takes the form of a propulsive, verse-chorus text projection set to music sampled from two of DJ Quik’s songs, “Catch-22” and “Fire and Brimstone.” The text appears along the horizon line of wallpaper featuring images from Stark’s and Bobby’s biographies, quotes from and references to DJ Quik, and religious imagery that suggests metaphorical parallels for Stark’s relationship to Bobby, who is, in effect, receiving a free education from her. The last part of the title, “Paying Attention is Free” articulates Stark’s desire to empower all people, not just those who attend USC, where she is a professor, to become aware of the politics shaping our daily lives.

 

 

Joel Sternfeld
American, b. 1944

3 dye transfer prints from the series American Prospects
Each: 16 x 20 in. (40.6 x 50.8 cm)

After a Flash Flood, Rancho Mirage, California, 1979, 1979

Near Lake Powell, Arizona, August 1979, 1979

Gresham, Oregon, June 1979, 1979

6 chromogenic prints from the series Sweet Earth
Each: 26 1/2 x 33 1/4 in. (67.3 x 84.5 cm)

 

Leonard Knight at Salvation Mountain, Slab City, California, March 2005, 2005

Old Economy, Ambridge, Pennsylvania, August 1995, 1995

Scott and Helen Nearing at Forest Farm, Harborside, Maine, October 1982, 1982

Dacha/Staff Building, Gesundheit! Institute, Hillsboro, West Virginia, April 2004, 2004

Ruins of Drop City, Trinidad, Colorado, August 1995, 1995

New Elm Springs Colony, Ethan, South Dakota, 2005

 

The Henry L. Hillman Fund

 

Some of the most iconic pictures of the last 40 years have been made by Joel Sternfeld. His powerful work often addresses thoroughly American subjects, as in his projects American Prospects and Sweet Earth.

In 1979 Sternfeld carried an 8 x 10 view camera through the inroads of the regional United States. The resulting series—which he called American Prospects—comprises powerful, ironic tableaus that showcase the modern American’s complex relationship with his or her environment. The series has since become a touchstone of photographic tradition in America.

Sweet Earth is a series of photographs and accompanying texts that chronicle experimental utopias in the United States, in regions as diverse as California’s Mojave Desert, a roof garden in downtown Chicago, and the hills of Western Massachusetts, and from early American transcendentalist movements to more recent back-to-land endeavors. Whether Sternfeld is examining a religious sect, a government assistance program, or an ecologically minded commune for nature-lovers, dominant themes in the series include the tension between success and failure, and the competing ideologies of individualism and collectivism. The museum is acquiring six works from the series of 29 on view in the 2013 Carnegie International.

 

 

Zoe Strauss
American, b. 1970

Homesteading, 2013
Inkjet prints
200 works, each: 5 x 7 in. (17.8 x 12.7 cm)
Installation dimensions variable
Gift of the artist

Zoe Strauss gained recognition for her Under I-95 project, an epic, open-ended narrative in photographs “about the beauty and struggle of everyday life.” She has a particular talent for articulating the complexities of the human condition, often capturing seemingly contradictory traits and desires within a single frame. In December 2013, the museum acquired 15 prints from the Under I-95 project. For the 2013 Carnegie International, Strauss turned her approach to Homestead, a borough neighboring Pittsburgh.

For more than a hundred years, until 1986, Homestead was defined by the imposing presence of the Homestead Steel Works, the 430-acre flagship plant of Carnegie Steel Company (later US Steel). Today, little remains of the Works, save the pump house on the Monongahela River and a monumental row of red brick smokestacks. The defining feature of Homestead is now The Waterfront, a sprawling complex of big-box stores and chain restaurants built in 1999 in the footprint of the demolished plant.

For several weeks around the exhibition’s opening, Strauss lived and operated a portrait studio in the center of Homestead, on E. 8th Avenue, which was open to all Homestead residents. She produced three prints of each portrait she took: one for the sitter, one for herself, and one for CMOA. This is her first-ever series of studio portraits that build from the relationships and strategies she has developed around street photography. It is an index, homage, and an act of honest and optimistic community engagement. It provides the museum an incredible document of one of Pittsburgh’s most important communities, as well as a layered and affecting work of contemporary art.

 

 

Support

Major support for the 2013 Carnegie International has been provided by the A. W. Mellon Charitable and Educational Fund, The Fine Foundation, the Jill and Peter Kraus Endowment for Contemporary Art, and The Henry L. Hillman Fund. Additional major support has been provided by The Friends of the 2013 Carnegie International, which is co-chaired by Jill and Peter Kraus, Sheila and Milton Fine, and Maja Oeri and Hans Bodenmann.

The Lozziwurm playground was made possible by a generous gift from Maja Oeri and Hans Bodenmann.

Major gifts and grants have also been provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Jill and Peter Kraus, Ritchie Battle, The Fellows of Carnegie Museum of Art, Marcia M. Gumberg, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Pittsburgh Foundation, Juliet Lea Hillman Simonds Foundation, Bessie F. Anathan Charitable Trust of The Pittsburgh Foundation, Wendy Mackenzie, George Foundation, Huntington Bank, The Grable Foundation, Nancy and Woody Ostrow, Betty and Brack Duker, BNY Mellon, and The Broad Art Foundation, and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.

 

Carnegie Museum of Art

Carnegie Museum of Art, founded by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1895, is nationally and internationally recognized for its collection of fine and decorative art from the 19th to 21st centuries. The collection also contains important holdings of Japanese and old master prints. Founded in 1896, the Carnegie International is one of the longest-running surveys of contemporary art worldwide. The Heinz Architectural Center, part of Carnegie Museum of Art, is dedicated to enhancing understanding of the built environment through its exhibitions, collections, and public programs. The Hillman Photography Initiative serves as a living laboratory for exploring the rapidly changing field of photography. For more information about Carnegie Museum of Art, one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, call 412.622.3131 or visit our website at www.cmoa.org.

 

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