June 16–September 7, 2011
Opening Reception: June 16, 6-8 p.m.
Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
Parsons The New School for Design
66 Fifth Avenue, New York
NEW YORK, May 31, 2011—The Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons The New School for Design presents (re) collection, an exhibition that explores the daily lives of art objects and the role of institutional art collections in the 21st century. The exhibition is on view from June 16–September 7, 2011, with an opening reception on June 16 from 6-8 p.m.
(re) collection features approximately 40 works from The New School’s art collection, including pieces by Larry Bell, Clegg and Guttman, Camilo Egas, Shirin Neshat, Roxy Paine, Peter Saul, Richard Tuttle, and Carrie Mae Weems. The collection reflects The New School’s historic commitment to art as a vehicle for sociopolitical change, while new acquisitions support the vision of the university as an environment for innovative thinking and artistic experimentation. The exhibit will showcase newly acquired work, such as Trevor Paglen’s The Fence (Kickapoo, Texas), 2010, which visually captures the electromagnetic border that surrounds the United States; brings to light works rarely seen due to fragility, scale or subject matter, such as Roxy Paine’s 1995 conceptual work Plug-in Painting; and debuts a newly restored Camilo Egas mural, Harvest Festival, Ecuador, 1932, commissioned for the entrance to The New School’s Martha Graham Studio located within its historic West 12th Street building designed by Joseph Urban.
“At the most pragmatic level, the exhibition looks at what we have defined as the collection cycle, the nuts and bolts of collections management,” said Silvia Rocciolo and Eric Stark, curators of the collection, who organized the exhibition in collaboration with John Wanzel, a recent MFA Fine Arts graduate of Parsons. “At a deeper level, the exhibition addresses institutional memory. It is an examination of the shifting intellectual and creative landscape within the university and its relationship to a dynamic global environment. Implicit in the collection is a tension, between the need to conserve history and perpetuate a legacy, and the need to sustain a relevant dialogue with the present.”
The collection was established in 1960 with a grant from the Albert A. List Foundation, whose founders Albert and Vera List were dedicated patrons of the arts and of The New School. Now grown to approximately 1,800 postwar and contemporary works of art, the collection encompasses nearly all media and works by some of the most innovative and creative artists of our time. Installed throughout the university campus, the collection offers students and faculty a rare opportunity to engage with art on a daily basis, making it a distinctive component of their educational experience.
“Ultimately, (re) collection refers to the question of meaning,” said Wanzel. “What does it mean to be an institutional art collection at the beginning of the twenty-first century?”
Said Radhika Subramaniam, Director and Chief Curator of the SJDC: “The daily life of the New School art collection is actually amid university life, in our hallways, offices and conference rooms. Bringing the collection into the gallery offers us an rare opportunity to pause, not only to reflect on the role of these works within this institution, but also on our relationship to them as artists, designers and critics.”
For more information, visit the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center website [www.newschool.edu/sjdc] or the New School Art Collection website [www.newschool.edu/artcollection].
The Sheila C. Johnson Design Center is an award-winning campus center for Parsons The New School for Design that combines learning and public spaces with exhibition galleries to provide an important new downtown destination for art and design programming. The mission of the Center is to generate an active dialogue on the role of innovative art and design in responding to the contemporary world. Its programming encourages an interdisciplinary examination of possibility and process, linking the university to local and global debates. The center is named in honor of its primary benefactor, New School Trustee and Parsons Board Chair Sheila C. Johnson. The design by Lyn Rice Architects is the recipient of numerous awards, including an Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects.
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Location: 66 Fifth Avenue at 13th Street, New York
Gallery hours: Open daily 12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. and Thursday evenings until 8:00 p.m.; closed all major holidays and holiday eves and the last two weekends of August (20/21 and 27/28)
Info: Please contact 212.229.8919 or visit www.newschool.edu/sjdc