Media Archive: 2021 Exhibitions

Carnegie Museum of Art Announces 2022 Exhibitions

The 2022 program features surveys of work by Gordon Parks and Zoe Zenghelis and a contemporary group show that explores labor and economic inequality in America. Engaging with themes of American industry through local and national lenses, the 2022 exhibition program ushers in the 58th Carnegie International, which will explore the geopolitical footprint of the United States since 1945.


L-R: Zoe Zenghelis, Shapes in Space, 1992, oil on canvas, 45 × 55 cm. Private Collection.


Gordon Parks, Workmen in the Power House, 1944, Gelatin silver print, printed, 2021, 10 × 8 in. The Gordon Parks Foundation.


Margarita Cabrera, from Space in Between, Border Patrol uniform fabric, copper wire, thread and terracotta pot. Image courtesy of the artist and Talley Dunn Gallery.

Pittsburgh, PA (December 1, 2021) – Carnegie Museum of Art announces its 2022 season with exhibitions leading up to the 58th Carnegie International. Each exhibition probes local concerns and national histories within the broader context of the world today, as part of the museum’s wider vision to present the work of living artists while engaging with the collection. The group exhibition Working Thought, opening March 3, examines the ways in which contemporary artists have explored labor and economic inequality in America in their work across media. Opening on March 26 in the Heinz Architectural Center is Zoe Zenghelis, a solo presentation of paintings by artist and founding member of OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture). Gordon Parks in Pittsburgh, 1944/1946, opening on April 30, highlights an important chapter in Parks’s landmark career when he traveled to Pittsburgh to photograph World War II efforts at the Penola Grease Plant. On September 24, the Carnegie International, North America’s oldest exhibition of contemporary art, will return to Pittsburgh for its 58th edition.

Working Thought, March 5 – June 26, 2022
Bringing together works from the museum’s collection alongside new commissions and loans, Working Thought examines the many ways contemporary artists have engaged with the critical issues of labor, class, and economic inequality that have shaped American life past and present. Working Thought will include over 30 featured artists, including Fred Lonidier, who merges strategies of conceptual photography with activism; Margarita Cabrera, whose work invites the collaboration and involvement of immigrant communities; and Jessica Jackson Hutchins, whose kiln-fused glass works respond to contemporary issues, in addition to works by Theaster Gates, Cameron Rowland, Rodney McMillian, Jessica Vaughn, Andrea Bowers, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, and many others. As part of this show, Carnegie Museum of Art will present public programs that further connect art and labor with May Day (International Workers Day). On April 21, 2022, from 6–9 p.m. in the Hall of Architecture and throughout the exhibition galleries, artists and curators will come together in dialogue with visitors and regional musicians will perform contemporary interpretations of work songs. On April 23, 2022, beginning at 10 a.m. in the Hall of Sculpture, artists in the exhibition will be partnered with local community organizations for collaborative art making in preparation for May Day. More information about these events will be forthcoming in 2022 on CMOA.org. Working Thought is curated by Eric Crosby, Carnegie Museum of Art’s Henry J. Heinz II Director.

Zoe Zenghelis, March 26 – July 24, 2022
This solo exhibition celebrates Zenghelis’s work at the intersection of painting and spatial imagination. The painting survey, a first for the museum’s Heinz Architectural Center, brings into dialogue her independent painting practice with the collaborative projects of the architectural firm, OMA, and the teaching methods that she developed as an art educator. Her practice has defied disciplinary classifications, resulting in works populated with buildings, fragments, and abstract tectonics that construct worlds of imagination and longing. Seductive metropolitan formations blended into dystopian landscapes, floating buildings captured in disturbing stillness, and idle fields merged with urban grids— Zenghelis’s work offers a contemplative critique of the built environment and a way of thinking about space through the medium of painting. A programmatic highlight of this show will be a roundtable discussion and gallery tours open to the public, taking place on April 30, 2022 at 10:30 a.m. The discussion will revolve around the topic of spatial imagination and painting and take place in Carnegie Museum of Art’s theater with the curatorial team, artist, and contributors to the exhibition publication. Prior to and after the roundtable, exhibition tours will be offered to event attendees, led by the curatorial team. Registration for this event will be forthcoming in early 2022 on CMOA.org. Zoe Zenghelis is curated by Theodossis Issaias, associate curator of the Heinz Architectural Center and Hamed Khosravi, architect and educator at the Architectural Association School of Architecture.

Gordon Parks in Pittsburgh, 1944/1946, April 30 – August 7, 2022
Through Parks’s recently rediscovered photographs of Pittsburgh workers, this exhibition provides an insightful view of World War II–era America that still resonates today. In March 1944 and September 1946, Gordon Parks traveled to Pittsburgh on assignment for the public relations department of the Standard Oil Company to photograph the Penola Grease Plant. An established photographer known for his unparalleled humanist perspective, Parks was tasked with photographing the plant, its workers, and the range of their activities manufacturing lubricants to support U.S. military efforts during World War II. The resulting photographs—dramatically staged and lit, striking in their compositions—endure as an insightful interpretation of World War II–era America. Photographs in this exhibition will have specific relevance for members of the Pittsburgh community; local visitors might recognize acquaintances, friends, or even family members in these images. The exhibition will be paired with special programming and community events to spark engagement with this unexplored body of Parks’s photographs of the Steel City, with additional information forthcoming in early 2022 on CMOA.org. The exhibition and its accompanying publication have been made possible through a partnership between Carnegie Museum of Art and the Gordon Parks Foundation. Gordon Parks in Pittsburgh, 1944/1946 is curated by Dan Leers, curator of photography at Carnegie Museum of Art.

58th Carnegie International, September 24 – April 2, 2023
The 58th Carnegie International is North America’s longest-running survey of contemporary art in America and Carnegie Museum of Art’s signature exhibition since 1896. With every edition of the exhibition, Carnegie Museum of Art has the potential to transform itself through collaboration with international curators, artists, and partners that engage with the museum. The International positions Carnegie Museum of Art as a leading global museum and historical laboratory for exhibition-making as a tool to engage with pressing concerns of the time. Curated by Sohrab Mohebbi, the Kathe and Jim Patrinos Curator of the 58th Carnegie International, alongside a Pittsburgh-based curatorial team and an international curatorial council, the exhibition addresses the question of international from the local context of the United States. Carnegie Museum of Art will be announcing commissions, special projects, and participating artists on a rolling schedule starting in Spring 2022.

Support
Carnegie Museum of Art is supported by The Heinz Endowments and Allegheny Regional Asset District. Carnegie Museum of Art receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Premier Partners
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and NOVA Chemicals.

Health and Safety
Since the start of COVID-19 pandemic, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh has continued to follow government and public health guidance to keep staff and visitors safe. To prevent the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant in areas with high transmission, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly recommends that every person—vaccinated and unvaccinated—wear a mask when inside public spaces. For that reason, all visitors aged 2 and above are required to wear masks while inside our museums, and our staff members and volunteers will be wearing masks, too. Visitors experiencing COVID-19 symptoms are kindly asked to remain at home. To learn more about our Health and Safety measures, please visit cmoa.org/visit/health-safety.

Mission
Carnegie Museum of Art creates experiences that connect people to art, ideas, and one another. The museum is committed to global engagement and regional advancement. We champion creativity and its importance to society with experiences that welcome, inspire, challenge, and inform. Our core activities—collecting, conserving, presenting, and interpreting works of art—make those experiences possible. Our collection of over 34,000 works emphasizes art, architecture, photography, and design from the 19th century to the present. In addition, the museum houses the archive of more than 70,000 images by Pittsburgh photographer Charles “Teenie” Harris, whose work comprises one of the most detailed and intimate records of Black life in America. Through its programming, exhibitions, and publications, Carnegie Museum of Art frequently explores the role of art and artists in confronting key social issues of our time, combining and juxtaposing local and global perspectives. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum of Art was founded by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1895. To learn more, please call 412.622.3131 or visit CMOA.org.

For press inquiries, please contact: Elle Moody at Elle@suttoncomms.com:.

Carnegie Museum of Art Announces Sara Greenberger Rafferty, a New Exhibition of Photographic Works

This solo exhibition features new works by the multimedia artist, including a site-specific mural installation produced specifically for Carnegie Museum of Art.

Sara Greenberger Rafferty, Search Emoji, 2021, fused and kiln-formed glass and hardware. 70 1⁄4 x 87 1⁄2 x 1 in. Courtesy the artist and DOCUMENT, Chicago.

Pittsburgh, PA (September 22, 2021) – Carnegie Museum of Art announces Sara Greenberger Rafferty, opening October 15, 2021 and on view through February 6, 2022. For this solo exhibition and 85th installment of Carnegie Museum of Art’s Forum series, Rafferty extends her exploration of glass as a photographic medium with a series of new works that addresses notions of aesthetics, consumerism, and identity.

Once a department store window dresser, Rafferty draws on her skills as a merchandiser to create alluring artworks that highlight the importance of digital images and also challenge normative notions of beauty and gender. Several of the artist’s Tester pieces feature photographs of colorful make-up palettes to address the role of cosmetics in creating unrealistic societal standards. Rafferty also incorporates images of mannequins which further underscore the disconnect between how bodies are “supposed” to look ❤ Rafferty creates other works in the exhibition by printing images in powdered glass on paper which she then fires in a kiln, burning away the paper and vitrifying the glass. In addition to being a tactile medium that highlights Rafferty’s process-driven practice, glass is a significant choice because of its ubiquity as the material used in touchscreens for phones, tablets, and other personal electronic devices. Tapping and swiping on these devices has created new ways of interacting with images and consumer products, and Rafferty invites a consideration of the ever-changing implications for photography in the digital era.

“My favorite aspect of using the kiln to form, deform, and reform glass is the fact that glass ‘shows’ cuts, breaks, and separations even when it is fully fused together,” states Sara Greenberger Rafferty. “This underscores my commitment to a feminist way of making work, one which resists and questions mastery, completion, and answers. Instead, I work to ‘show my work,’ and ask more questions than I answer.”
versus how they actually look. Backdropping these works, Rafferty presents a new site-specific mural THE DEAD 20TH CENTURY (What was saved) which covers the largest wall in the gallery with thumbnail images of items for sale in online art, design, and furniture auctions.

Other imagery in the exhibition, including magnifying glasses, telephones, and power buttons, references different senses, and Rafferty encourages still deeper connection to the gallery space by including cut flowers in several of the artworks. These flowers, which will be changed several times during the run of the show, were selected by Carnegie Museum of Art’s Youth Arts Initiative. The Youth Arts Initiative is an advisory group focused on the engagement, advancement, and support of local Pittsburgh-area teens, and their selections, made in collaboration with museum staff and the artist, are intended to reflect the changing seasons and evoke the passage of time.

“We’re thrilled to present Rafferty’s new works at Carnegie Museum of Art,” says Dan Leers, curator of photography. “Her innovative, multimedia practice resonates globally in its examination of the role of photography and glass in reinforcing consumerist tendencies and unrealistic ideals of beauty. Rafferty’s art merits an unhurried visit during which we might understand the ways in which we have been conditioned by digital imagery and question its authority and authenticity.”

Prior to her exhibition opening at Carnegie Museum of Art, Rafferty will be in residency at Fallingwater, the 1935 house designed by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright for the Kaufmann family which owned one of the largest department stores in Pittsburgh. There, she will create a new video work scheduled to premiere at Carnegie Museum of Art in February 2022. She will also lead a two-part masterclass in glassmaking and photography taking place on October 2 and 9, 2021. Co-presented by Carnegie Museum of Art, Fallingwater, and Pittsburgh Glass Center, this masterclass is designed for creative people seeking to expand their artistic skill set or just learn about different glassmaking and photographic processes. Participants will be guided through the creation of image transfers to glass and will make two works as part of the instruction. For more information on registration, please visit cmoa.org/event/creating-glass-photographs/.

Sara Greenberger Rafferty (b. 1978 in Evanston, IL, lives and works in Brooklyn, NY) is an Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Photography at Pratt Institute. She received a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and MFA from Columbia University’s School of the Arts. Since 2001, Rafferty has shown widely including solo exhibitions at MoMA PS1, New York; The Kitchen, New York; Eli Marsh Gallery, Amherst College, Massachusetts; and a commissioned sculpture for the Public Art Fund. Gloves Off, the first traveling survey of her work with a fully illustrated catalogue published by SUNY Press, completed a three-venue tour at the end of 2017. Rafferty’s work has also been included in the Whitney and Hammer Biennials and is in the collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Yale University Art Gallery among many others.

A series of events and programs will accompany Carnegie Museum of Art’s presentation of Sara Greenberger Rafferty. Unless otherwise noted, Carnegie Museum of Art events are pay what you wish with registration. To learn more about events and programs related to this exhibition, please visit cmoa.org/calendar/.

Sara Greenberger Rafferty, the 85th installment of Carnegie Museum of Art’s Forum series, is organized by Dan Leers, curator of photography.

Support
Significant funding for the Forum series is generously provided by the Juliet Lea Hillman Simonds Foundation.

Additional support is provided by Nancy and Woody Ostrow, the Ruth Levine Memorial Fund, and The Fellows of Carnegie Museum of Art. Special production support is provided by Bullseye Glass.

Carnegie Museum of Art is supported by The Heinz Endowments and Allegheny Regional Asset District. Carnegie Museum of Art receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Premier Partners
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and NOVA Chemicals.

Health and Safety
Since the start of COVID-19 pandemic, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh has continued to follow government and public health guidance to keep staff and visitors safe. To prevent the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant in areas with high transmission, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly recommends that every person—vaccinated and unvaccinated—wear a mask when inside public spaces. For that reason, all visitors age 2 and above are required to wear masks while inside our museums, and our staff members and volunteers will be wearing masks, too. Visitors experiencing COVID-19 symptoms are kindly asked to remain at home. To learn more about our Health and Safety measures, please visit cmoa.org/visit/health-safety.

Mission
Carnegie Museum of Art creates experiences that connect people to art, ideas, and one another. The museum is committed to global engagement and regional advancement. We champion creativity and its importance to society with experiences that welcome, inspire, challenge, and inform. Our core activities—collecting, conserving, presenting, and interpreting works of art—make those experiences possible. Our collection of over 34,000 works emphasizes art, architecture, photography, and design from the 19th century to the present. In addition, the museum houses the archive of more than 70,000 images by Pittsburgh photographer Charles “Teenie” Harris, whose work comprises one of the most detailed and intimate records of Black life in America. Through its programming, exhibitions, and publications, Carnegie Museum of Art frequently explores the role of art and artists in confronting key social issues of our time, combining and juxtaposing local and global perspectives. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum of Art was founded by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1895. To learn more, please call 412.622.3131 or visit cmoa.org.

For press inquiries, please contact: Elle Moody at Elle@suttoncomms.com:.

Carnegie Museum of Art Announces Cauleen Smith: Pandemic Diaries

Carnegie Museum of Art Announces Cauleen Smith: Pandemic Diaries

Cauleen Smith, COVID MANIFESTO, 2020–2021 (video still), Courtesy the artist and Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago.

Cauleen Smith, COVID MANIFESTO, 2020–2021 (video still), Courtesy the artist and Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago.

Pittsburgh, PA (September 7, 2021) – Today, Carnegie Museum of Art unveils Cauleen Smith: Pandemic Diaries, a new exhibition by the interdisciplinary American artist that bridges the museum’s online exhibition series with its onsite artistic program. The exhibition, which runs through September 6, 2022 presents two artworks: COVID MANIFESTO (2020–2021), a new film streaming on Carnegie Museum of Art’s website at cmoa.org/exhibition/cauleen-smith and a rotating photographic mural of stills from COVID MANIFESTO installed in the museum lobby.

Beginning in April 2020, Smith initiated COVID MANIFESTO, a series of incisive photographs, social media posts, and short films featuring hand-written personal reflections, political demands, and musings contending with the daily onslaught of local, national, and global events. Through responsive drawings and an installation on her studio desk, Smith works to name interconnected systems, structures, and contemporaries—creating a space to imagine new and liberatory futures. These “living still lifes” feature a decorative assemblage of materials that drive Smith’s practice as she writes out messages such as: “the internet is not the answer”; “we deserve better than back to normal”; and “everybody, everybody out of jail now”.

The exhibition is a continuation and reframing of Smith’s COVID MANIFESTO, which began a few weeks after lockdown in the United States as a series on the artist’s Instagram account. These photographs of handwritten reflections and calls to action were inspired by Smith’s observations of the ongoing pandemic and multiple social justice movements. In November 2020, the artist recreated these
manifestos as short films on display in Piccadilly Circus in London and online in collaboration with The Showroom and CIRCA. The film, streaming for free and accessible to all at cmoa.org/exhibition/cauleen-smith, is accompanied by an ever changing and subtle ambient soundtrack.

In the museum, Smith presents three mural-size video stills that will be shown in rotation, each on display for four months. These colorful overhead shots of the artist manually inscribing notes at her desk appear in large-scale, confronting the realities of (in)access, the dissonance of the “back to normal” mentality, and the fact that the pandemic continues in many parts of the world. A QR code next to this presentation guides visitors to view the streaming film online.

“Situated in both Carnegie Museum of Art and on cmoa.org, Pandemic Diaries reimagines how the museum welcomes audiences while acknowledging the severity of the current public health crisis within the country and around the globe,” says Kiki Teshome, Carnegie Museum of Art’s Margaret Powell Curatorial Fellow. “The video stills, enlarged and expanded on the wall, create an invitation to peer into the artist’s process. Along with COVID MANIFESTO, Smith shares the objects she cherishes, the books she is reading, the incense she is smelling, the questions she is asking, which become representative of the intimacies that were created by the pandemic itself.”

Cauleen Smith is an American artist whose work builds on the historical legacy of the Black radical tradition, understanding the power structures that inform current ways of life and expanding the historical viewfinder to imagine new futures. Operating in multiple materials and arenas, Smith roots her work firmly within the discourse of mid-twentieth century experimental film. Drawing from structuralism, third world cinema, and science fiction, she makes things that deploy the tactics of these disciplines while offering a phenomenological experience for spectators and participants. In addition to her presentation at Carnegie Museum of Art, she is the subject of solo exhibitions currently on view at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston and Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Events and programs based on visitor interaction with the work will be developed throughout the duration of Carnegie Museum of Art’s presentation. Unless otherwise noted, Carnegie Museum of Art events are pay what you wish with registration. More details can be found on cmoa.org.

Cauleen Smith: Pandemic Diaries is organized by Dana Bishop-Root, Director of Education and Public Programs, and Kiki Teshome, Margaret Powell Curatorial Fellow at Carnegie Museum of Art.

Online Exhibition Series
Carnegie Museum of Art’s online exhibition series draws from the museum’s vast film and video collection and is an extension of the museum’s curatorial program in the digital sphere. The online exhibition series offers a channel for local and global audiences alike to experience time-based works previously only accessible in-person. With this initiative, which launched in 2020, Carnegie Museum of Art revolutionized how visitors engage with its significant holdings at a time when many cultural institutions were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Support
General operating support for Carnegie Museum of Art is provided by The Heinz Endowments and Allegheny Regional Asset District. Carnegie Museum of Art receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Premier Partners
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and NOVA Chemicals.

Health and Safety
Since the start of COVID-19 pandemic, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh has continued to follow government and public health guidance to keep staff and visitors safe. To prevent the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant in areas with high transmission, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly recommends that every person—vaccinated and unvaccinated—wear a mask when inside public spaces. For that reason, all visitors age 2 and above are required to wear masks while inside our museums, and our staff members and volunteers will be wearing masks, too. Visitors experiencing COVID-19 symptoms are kindly asked to remain at home. To learn more about our Health and Safety measures, please visit cmoa.org/visit/health-safety

Mission
Carnegie Museum of Art creates experiences that connect people to art, ideas, and one another. The museum is committed to global engagement and regional advancement. We champion creativity and its importance to society with experiences that welcome, inspire, challenge, and inform. Our core activities—collecting, conserving, presenting, and interpreting works of art—make those experiences possible. Our collection of over 34,000 works emphasizes art, architecture, photography, and design from the 19th century to the present. In addition, the museum houses the archive of more than 70,000 images by Pittsburgh photographer Charles “Teenie” Harris, whose work comprises one of the most detailed and intimate records of Black life in America. Through its programming, exhibitions, and publications, Carnegie Museum of Art frequently explores the role of art and artists in confronting key social issues of our time, combining and juxtaposing local and global perspectives. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum of Art was founded by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1895. To learn more, please call 412.622.3131 or visit cmoa.org.

For press inquiries, please contact: Elle Moody at Elle@suttoncomms.com:.

Carnegie Museum of Art Announces Sharif Bey: Excavations

Featuring new work by Bey in response to his recent “excavations” of the collections of Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History, a journey with the people, places, and encounters that informed the Pittsburgh-born artist’s practice and creative identity

Sharif Bay

Sharif Bey, American, b. 1974; Bird Study Skins (detail), 2020–2021; site-specific installation with blue dacnis, blue-gray tanager, rose-breasted grosbeak, and green violetear skins collected between 1909 and 1990; Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Collection of Section of Ornithology

Pittsburgh, PA (September 8, 2021) – Carnegie Museum of Art announces Sharif Bey: Excavations, opening October 2, 2021, and on view through March 6, 2022. The exhibition showcases Bey’s contemporary ceramic and mixed-media sculptures with artworks that first inspired him as a child visiting Carnegie Museum of Art. Also featured are unique, temporary installations by the artist that incorporate artifacts and specimens from Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s collections.

An artist and educator, Bey uses sculpture to draw upon the visual heritages of Africa and Oceania, as well as African American culture, exploring the significance of functional and ritual objects through contemporary reinterpretations of these forms. Working primarily in conventional media, such as clay and glass, Bey’s artistic process amalgamates disparate elements to reclaim and shape ancestral and cultural identities that resonate with his own heritage as an American artist of color.

The exhibition marks a return for Bey, who attended youth arts programs at Carnegie Museum of Art. “Coming from a predominantly African American community and public school, Carnegie Museum of Art was where I first confronted difference,” says Bey. “These experiences were instrumental in shaping my view of how one might interpret a work of art. I began to seek out works of art that challenged me or challenged my formative notions of art,” Bey explains.

The artist’s formative arts experiences beyond the classroom demystified art-making for Bey and allowed him to see beyond barriers and create by way of his lived experience. In Sharif Bey: Excavations, “excavations” refers to the process of Bey coming back to Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History, places of great importance in his life as a youth and reconsidering them with the critical lens of an adult in midlife. Through this framework of explorations of personal and institutional history, Bey probes three driving questions in this new exhibition: “What makes someone believe they can become an artist?”, “How does what I do connect to who I am?”, and “How do I fulfill a social responsibility to my community?”

Sharif Bey: Excavations includes new work inspired by Bey’s excavations of the collections at Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History that first piqued his interest as a youth. On view are the artist’s mask-like forms, necklaces made from pinch pot-style vessels as beads, and imagery referencing indigenous Tonga axes from Zambia and Zimbabwe, and Kayapo clubs from Brazil. By returning to these museum spaces with the eye of mature artist, he offers visitors a glimpse into the curiosity and critical inquiry that are hallmarks of his practice. Objects he encountered from West Africa, such as a Guinean D’mba headdress and a Kongo Nkisi nkondi power figure, continue to hold sway over his practice in recent years. While Bey celebrates the themes of these objects, such as power, ritual, motherhood, community, and the awesomeness of nature, his work also touches on contemporary questions such as “Who has creative agency? Who gets to speak through an artistic platform?”

“Revisiting collections at Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History throughout various chapters of my life provided me with a unique opportunity to grow with works of art. I later brought contextual and technical knowledge to works that were touchstones during my childhood,” Bey states. “Sometimes young people have encounters that they cannot fully articulate. I must have been nine or ten years old when I first viewed the Nkisi nkondi figure. Of course, I had no knowledge of West African art at the time but for me it was more than a curious object. It had presence but also evoked mystery. It intrigued me. I reflected on who made it and how it was made. It became one of those objects that I would visit like an old friend for years to come.” Bey’s commitment to considering and reconsidering artworks over the course of his life highlights key elements of his creative philosophy: “tolerating uncertainty and being open to ambiguity.”

“Bey’s title goes well beyond that of an artist. He is an educator, a mentor, and an inspiration for all of us at Carnegie Museum of Art as we each continue our own engagement with the arts in service to the public,” says Rachel Delphia, the museum’s Alan G. and Jane A. Lehman Curator of Decorative Arts and Design. “Bey effortlessly embodies a spirit of curiosity, openness, and a commitment to asking big, difficult questions while engaging multiple truths. He always expands the conversation.”

Sharif Bey is an Associate Professor of Art at Syracuse University. Bey earned a B.F.A. in ceramics from Slippery Rock University, an M.F.A in studio art from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a Ph.D. in art education from Penn State University. He is a teaching artist with extensive experience in ceramics, sculpture, community art programming, and art teacher training. Dr. Bey has published numerous articles and served on the editorial board of Studies in Art Education and the Journal of Cultural Research in Art Education and is past editor of The Journal of Social Theory in Art Education.

A series of events and programs will accompany Carnegie Museum of Art’s presentation of Sharif Bey: Excavations. The exhibition opens to the public with an artist’s talk, In Conversation: Sharif Bey at 1 p.m. on Saturday, October 2, 2021, in Carnegie Museum of Art’s theater. Conversations throughout the fall will feature a combination of scholars, artists, and activists expanding on the exhibition context, themes, and materials. Additional learning resources will be provided in conjunction with workshops for K-12 public school students and educators. Unless otherwise noted, Carnegie Museum of Art events are pay what you wish with registration. To learn more about events and programs related to this exhibition, please visit cmoa.org/calendar/.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication, slated for release in early 2022, which explores three of the artist’s driving questions: what makes one believe they can become an artist, how does what I do connect to who I am, and how can I fulfill a social responsibility to my community? These questions are addressed through a series of autobiographical “excavations” written by Bey to highlight seminal places, peoples, and experiences in his artistic journey. The publication includes an essay by James Stewart, Penn State Emeritus professor of African American studies, an introduction by Rachel Delphia, and archival material from the museum’s records curated by Alyssa Velazquez, Carnegie Museum of Art’s Curatorial Assistant for Decorative Arts and Design. The book will be designed in-house by Carnegie Museum of Art Design & Publication studio and complements and extends the exhibition themes.

Sharif Bey: Excavations is organized by Rachel Delphia, Alan G. and Jane A. Lehman Curator of Decorative Arts and Design, with Alyssa Velazquez, Curatorial Assistant for Decorative Arts and Design, and Kiki Teshome, Margaret Powell Curatorial Fellow.

Support
Sharif Bey: Excavations is made possible by The Bessie F. Anathan Charitable Trust of the Pittsburgh Foundation at the request of Ellen Lehman and Charles Kennel, Arts, Equity, & Education Fund, Dawn and Christopher Fleischner, Brian Wongchaowart, the Ruth Levine Memorial Fund, and The Fellows of Carnegie Museum of Art. Additional publication support is provided by Albertz Benda and Friedman Benda.

Carnegie Museum of Art is supported by The Heinz Endowments and Allegheny Regional Asset District. Carnegie Museum of Art receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Premier Partners
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and NOVA Chemicals.

Health and Safety
Since the start of COVID-19 pandemic, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh has continued to follow government and public health guidance to keep staff and visitors safe. To prevent the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant in areas with high transmission, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly recommends that every person—vaccinated and unvaccinated—wear a mask when inside public spaces. For that reason, all visitors aged 2 and above are required to wear masks while inside our museums, and our staff members and volunteers will be wearing masks, too. Visitors experiencing COVID-19 symptoms are kindly asked to remain at home. To learn more about our Health and Safety measures, please visit cmoa.org/visit/health-safety.

Mission
Carnegie Museum of Art creates experiences that connect people to art, ideas, and one another. The museum is committed to global engagement and regional advancement. We champion creativity and its importance to society with experiences that welcome, inspire, challenge, and inform. Our core activities—collecting, conserving, presenting, and interpreting works of art—make those experiences possible. Our collection of over 34,000 works emphasizes art, architecture, photography, and design from the 19th century to the present. In addition, the museum houses the archive of more than 70,000 images by Pittsburgh photographer Charles “Teenie” Harris, whose work comprises one of the most detailed and intimate records of Black life in America. Through its programming, exhibitions, and publications, Carnegie Museum of Art frequently explores the role of art and artists in confronting key social issues of our time, combining and juxtaposing local and global perspectives. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum of Art was founded by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1895. To learn more, please call 412.622.3131 or visit cmoa.org.

For press inquiries, please contact: Elle Moody at Elle@suttoncomms.com:.

Carnegie Museum of Art Announces Fall Exhibition Wild Life: Elizabeth Murray & Jessi Reaves

Opening September 3, the exhibition juxtaposes the unconventional work of two American artists, both of whom are represented in depth in Carnegie Museum of Art’s collection.

Wild Life Two

Elizabeth Murray, Tangled, 1989-90. Oil on canvas on wood, 83 1/2 x 66 x 19 inches. Collection Dr. Robert Feldman, Cohoes, New York. 2020. The Murray-Holman Family Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York;

Wild Life One

Jessi Reaves, Twice Is Not Enough (Red to Green Chair), 2016. Wood, sawdust, steel, foam, silk, leather, and cotton, 39 x 28 x 32 inches. Collection Hope Atherton and Gavin Brown, New York, New York.

Pittsburgh, PA (July 28, 2021) – Carnegie Museum of Art announces Wild Life: Elizabeth Murray & Jessi Reaves, opening September 3, 2021 and on view through January 9, 2022. Bringing together the work of Elizabeth Murray (1940–2007) and Jessi Reaves (b. 1986), this traveling exhibition highlights how both artists—practicing generations apart—have critically engaged with the decorative, the domestic, and the bodily.

Taking the form of two surveys and a two-person exhibition, Wild Life travels to Pittsburgh from Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH) where it debuted in January 2021. Organized by Rebecca Matalon, CAMH Curator, the show presents Murray’s paintings from the 1960s to the 2000s, chronicling the artist’s exploration of the domestic sphere through surrealism, abstraction, and compositional experimentation, alongside a selection of Reaves’s sculptural assemblages from the last seven years. The presentation will include two additional paintings by Murray and four additional sculptures by Reaves from Carnegie Museum of Art’s collection.

While forty-six years separate the births of Elizabeth Murray and Jessi Reaves, there are intriguing connections in their work that reveal Murray’s lasting influence and historically contextualizes Reaves. Like Murray, Reaves’s work avoids easy categorization, instead offering nuanced and often ambiguous three-dimensional conceptions of the body and the home, wherein both are continuously coming together and falling apart. In their questioning of so-called “good taste,” Murray and Reaves elevate and emphasize the aesthetic value of the “detail”—historically associated with the ornamental, the domestic, and the everyday, and thus the feminine.

“We are thrilled to present Wild Life: Elizabeth Murray & Jessi Reaves at Carnegie Museum of Art. This important exhibition presents a cross-generational dialogue between two admired and unconventional artists, whose individual practices we see in an entirely new light thanks to curator Rebecca Matalon,” says Eric Crosby, the Henry J. Heinz II Director of Carnegie Museum of Art. “Carnegie Museum of Art has collected works by both artists over time as a result of their participation in past Carnegie Internationals. This imaginative exhibition will allow our visitors to discover new connections between the artists and deepen their enjoyment of contemporary painting and sculpture.”

Murray is best known for her monumental, fractured canvases depicting cartoonish, domestic scenes and still lifes. Her earliest works from the late 1960s reflect the influences of surrealism and pop, as well as the work of peers now associated with the Hairy Who and Bay Area Funk movements. Murray then turned to a reduced visual language of gestural and geometric abstraction. However, she never entirely abandoned representational imagery, nor the subject of the domestic sphere, as her paintings from the early 1970s attest. Over time, Murray’s shapes expanded beyond the surface of her compositions to form the frame. In 1980, the canvases—now massive in scale—cracked open into multi-paneled paintings depicting splintering cups, kitchen tables, and fragmented body parts, eventually leading to Murray’s signature, monumental constructions of overlapping and interpenetrating shaped canvases.

Despite the significant critical reception Murray received during her lifetime, her work remains an outlier of sorts, resisting affiliation with a singular historical movement or style. Additionally, her influence on recent generations of artists, as well as her significant impact on broader conversations regarding the daily and domestic, remain under-examined.

Reaves’s eccentric, garish, and surreal sculptures made of ripped, recombined, and reupholstered amalgamations of couches and chairs—often by noted modernist designers such as Marcel Breuer and Isamu Noguchi—extend Murray’s own cartoonish plays into three dimensions. Sumptuous and grotesque in equal measure, Reaves’s work both literally and figuratively performs a process of undoing, a laying bare, or laying to waste, of the modernist ideal of form following function. Her often discomfiting assemblages occupy a space between sculpture and furniture, as they puzzle out and defy a history in which ornament (or craft)—traditionally associated, and pejoratively so, with “women’s work”—and modernist design are assumed irreconcilable. Reaves, like Murray, irreverently plays with color and form, high and low cultural references, and notions of masculinity and femininity.

Wild Life: Elizabeth Murray & Jessi Reaves is accompanied by a full-color exhibition catalogue, co- published by Contemporary Arts Museum Houston and Dancing Foxes Press. The illustrated publication features an essay by Matalon, a conversation between Reaves and writer and musician Johanna Fateman, as well as a reprinted conversation between Murray and editor and filmmaker Kate Horsfield, originally published in a 1986 issue of Profile magazine.

To learn more about events and programs related to this exhibition, please visit cmoa.org/calendar/.

Exhibition Credits
Wild Life: Elizabeth Murray & Jessi Reaves is organized by Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH) and curated by Rebecca Matalon, CAMH Curator. Carnegie Museum of Art’s presentation is organized by Eric Crosby, Henry J. Heinz II Director, with Kiki Teshome, Margaret Powell Curatorial Fellow, and Hannah Turpin, curatorial assistant for modern and contemporary art and photography.

Presenting sponsorship for Wild Life: Elizabeth Murray & Jessi Reaves has been provided by Agnes Gund.
Rebecca Matalon,”

Generous support for Carnegie Museum of Art’s presentation is provided by The Susan J. and Martin G. McGuinn Exhibition Fund.

Carnegie Museum of Art is supported by The Heinz Endowments and Allegheny Regional Asset District. Carnegie Museum of Art receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Premier Partners
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and NOVA Chemicals

Health and Safety
Since the start of COVID-19 pandemic, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh has continued to follow government and public health guidance to keep staff and visitors safe. Given a growing percentage of vaccinated adults across the state, Pennsylvania has lifted all remaining COVID-19 restrictions. Mask- wearing and social-distancing are no longer required at the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh except for summer camp programs. Unvaccinated visitors are strongly encouraged to wear masks, and visitors experiencing COVID-19 symptoms are kindly asked to remain at home. To learn more about our Health and Safety measures, please visit cmoa.org/visit/health-safety.

Mission
Carnegie Museum of Art creates experiences that connect people to art, ideas, and one another. The museum is committed to global engagement and regional advancement. We champion creativity and its importance to society with experiences that welcome, inspire, challenge, and inform. Our core activities—collecting, conserving, presenting, and interpreting works of art—make those experiences possible. Our collection of over 34,000 works emphasizes art, architecture, photography, and design from the 19th century to the present. In addition, the museum houses the archive of more than 70,000 images by Pittsburgh photographer Charles “Teenie” Harris, whose work comprises one of the most detailed and intimate records of Black life in America. Through its programming, exhibitions, and publications, Carnegie Museum of Art frequently explores the role of art and artists in confronting key social issues of our time, combining and juxtaposing local and global perspectives. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum of Art was founded by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1895. To learn more, please call 412.622.3131 or visit cmoa.org.

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