“Wrestle” Inaugurates New Hessel Museum of Art at Bard’s Center for Curatorial StudiesOctober 18, 2006
Inauguration of New Hessel Museum of Art at Bard College’s Center for Curatorial Studies with Opening Exhibition, Wrestle
Sunday, November 12th, 2006
Noon – 4pm
Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, September 27, 2006—The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College inaugurates the new 17,000 square-foot Hessel Museum of Art with Wrestle, an exhibition of over 150 representative works from the Marieluise Hessel Collection. Curated by Center for Curatorial Studies (CCS Bard) executive director Tom Eccles and independent curator Trevor Smith, Wrestle will open November 12 and remain on view until May 27, 2007.
This compelling overview of the Hessel Collection focuses on works that challenge notions of self and others, offering connections in form and content among works from diverse artistic and social positions. “We have tried to be sensitive to the context and intentions of the artists,” Tom Eccles states, “but we have also tried to craft an exhibition that is contentious, provocative, and faithful to the character of the collection as a whole and the collector’s bold and passionate choices over the past 40 years.”
The exhibition was created, Eccles states, “by the curators’ allowing for the contradictory forces that emerged in the selection of works to inform unexpected juxtapositions that in some cases bridge decades of artistic evolution. The act of struggling became a virtue of the exhibition process, two curators continuously responding to the other’s moves on the game board of the Museum.” Co-curator Trevor Smith adds, “It seemed appropriate to remember that this collection has operated as a flexible critical resource for the Center for Curatorial Studies. Over the years, students, visiting curators and scholars have tested out new cultural and art historical perspectives, evolving their sense of what curatorial practice might become. The selection of works and the juxtapositions we present are not purely art historical matters but a reflection on patterns, serendipitous connections and obsessions that we have discovered as we have explored the collection.”
An innovative two-volume catalogue, also titled Wrestle, continues the curatorial play of suggestive juxtapositions. All works in the exhibition are illustrated along with three specially commissioned artist projects. In addition to essays by Eccles, Smith and CCS faculty member Ivo Mesquita, independent critic Michael Brenson interviews Ms. Hessel and Tom Eccles. Designed by Goto Design, New York, the Wrestle catalogue will be launched at the inauguration of the Hessel Museum on November 12.
A special panel discussion addressing the Wrestle exhibition takes place during the inauguration of the Hessel Museum, and includes curators Tom Eccles and Trevor Smith, as well as invited guests Arthur Danto, Johnsonian Professor Emeritus, Philosophy, Columbia University; Vasif Kortun, Director, Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center, Istanbul; Ute Meta Bauer, Director and Associate Professor MIT, Visual Arts; and Molly Nesbit, Professor of Art, Vassar College. The November 12 opening will also feature a special performance by British conceptual artist Martin Creed, with students of the Bard College Conservatory of Music.
The opening exhibition and Museum inauguration mark the beginning of a revitalized program of exhibitions, artist commissions, and public programs at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College. While much of the Marieluise Hessel Collection has been housed at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College since its founding in 1990, the inauguration of the Hessel Museum marks the first time that selections from this collection will be on permanent public display. Wrestle is the largest presentation of work from the Hessel Collection to date.
In addition to the exhibition in the Hessel Museum, the galleries of the adjacent Center for Curatorial Studies will be used to expand Wrestle to include a number of large-scale installations and significant works from the collection.
Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Giovanni Anselmo, Janine Antoni, Vanessa Beecroft, Alighiero E Boetti, Daniel Buren, Larry Clark, Martin Creed, Rineke Dijkstra, Valie Export, Luciano Fabro, Robert Gober, Nan Goldin, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Mona Hatoum, Eberhard Havekost, Gary Hill, Roni Horn, Isaac Julien, Imi Knoebel, Yayoi Kusama, Sol LeWitt, Robert Mapplethorpe, Christian Marclay, Malerie Marder, Paul McCarthy, Ana Mendieta, Mario Merz, Marisa Merz, Bruce Nauman, Cady Noland, Gabriel Orozco, Tony Oursler, Nam June Paik, Giuseppe Penone, Sigmar Polke, Richard Prince, Jason Rhoades, Pipilotti Rist, Doris Salcedo, Thomas Schütte, Cindy Sherman, Thomas Struth, Do-Ho Suh, Rosemarie Trockel, Karlheinz Weinberger, Lawrence Weiner, and Christopher Wool.
About the Center for Curatorial Studies and Hessel Museum of Art
The Center for Curatorial Studies and Art in Contemporary Culture is an exhibition and research center dedicated to the study of art and exhibition practices from the 1960s to the present day. Founded in 1990 by Marieluise Hessel and Richard Black, the Center initiated its graduate program in curatorial studies in 1994. The Center’s original 38,000-square-foot facility, designed by architect Jim Goettsch and design consultant Nada Andric, was completed in December 1991. Expanded and completely renovated in 2006, the Center now offers 9,500 square feet of exhibition galleries, advanced collection storage facilities, classrooms, a library and archive, and offices for faculty, staff, and visiting curators and scholars.
Located in a new 17,000 square-foot building, designed by Goettsch Partners architects, the new Hessel Museum of Art, which houses the internationally recognized Marieluise Hessel Collection, extends the reach of the existing Center for Curatorial Studies. The new Museum features intimate rooms encircling two large, central galleries, and is linked to the existing CCS by an atrium named for Audrey and Sydney Irmas.
The naming of the new Hessel Museum of Art is in recognition of more than fifteen years of leadership on the part of Ms. Hessel to Bard College and its Center for Curatorial Studies. Marieluise Hessel’s generous support includes the permanent loan of the Marieluise Hessel Collection to the Museum, a gift of over 14,000 art publications to the CCS library, continued support of the graduate program, and the new Museum building. Additional support for the new Museum was provided by Ms. Hessel’s husband, Edwin Artzt. Laura-Lee Woods and Melissa Schiff Soros and Robert Soros provided the funding for the renovation of the CCS library, archive, and student lounge.