Museum Studies brings together the work of twelve internationally-renowned contemporary artists, all of whom find inspiration in the vocabulary, procedures, and conventions of museum practice. Taking their cue from the essential but often mundane duties of art handlers, conservators, critics, curators, and registrars, the artists whose works are presented here explore aspects of the museum’s functionality that generally remain out-of-sight or unacknowledged.
Museum Studies sheds light on such necessities as the wooden shipping crate, the salient information affixed to the backs of paintings, the obtuse language used in art publications, and the conservation and repair of artworks, resulting in a cleverly deadpan take on the “aesthetics of administration.” More than revealing what might be unnoticed by or unknown to even the seasoned museum visitor, Museum Studies is part confession, part critique, and an off-handed “how-to guide” for running an exemplary institution.
Offering another narrative for contemplation within the gallery space, the artworks in this exhibition pull back the curtain on the daily rituals of the museum—what some have called “our twenty-first century cathedral.”
This exhibition has been made possible with the support of the Berman Foundation.