CCS Bard Presents “Keith Edmier 1991-2007,” October 20 – February 3October 5, 2007
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—This fall the most comprehensive exhibition to date of this celebrated American artist, Keith Edmier 1991–2007, is on view in the galleries of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, from Saturday, October 20, through Sunday, February 3, 2008. A highlight of the exhibition is the CCS commission Bremen Towne, a full-scale recreation of Edmier’s childhood home. “Edmier’s work is always at the edge of the acceptable boundaries of artistic virtues and taste,” writes curator Tom Eccles, CCS Bard executive director, in the book that accompanies the exhibition.
Concurrently with Keith Edmier 1991–2007, the CCS Bard Hessel Museum presents, Exhibitionism: An Exhibition of Exhibitions of Works from the Marieluise Hessel Collection. This new installation of the Hessel Collection, curated by White Columns director Matthew Higgs, presents a series of exhibitions in each of the 16 galleries in the newly inaugurated Hessel Museum.
The opening reception for both exhibitions is from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 20. (Limited free seating on a chartered bus is available to the opening from New York City.) On Sunday, October 21, guided tours of the exhibition at 2:00 p.m. are offered by Keith Edmier, Matthew Higgs, and Tom Eccles. Reservations are required for both the chartered bus and guided tours; call 845-758-7598 or e-mail email@example.com. All programs are open to the public without charge.
“Bremen Towne is a full-scale sculptural reproduction of the interior spaces from the ranch house where I grew up in the southwest Chicago suburb, Tinley Park. It is made to resemble what it would have looked like when I first moved there with my parents in 1971. Essentially, it is a brand new home,” explains Edmier. The installation “functions as a curated space. An exhibition of those things, which influenced my early aesthetic development, in the surroundings that helped shape who I am.”Bremen Towne is the largest physical manifestation of the artist’s fascination with reclaiming, or at least rethinking, the past through sculpture and installation. This extraordinary installation represents the culmination of Edmier’s psychological archeology.
Ranging from Edmier’s earliest works, such as I Met a Girl Who Sang the Blues (1991) through Bremen Towne, Keith Edmier: 1991-2007 presents a remarkable overview of Edmier’s work. It demonstrates not only the power of the artist’s use of his autobiographical landscape as a foil for considering a collective experience, but also his technical expertise as a sculptor. Many of Edmier’s works build upon and expose the intersections between his personal world and such American cultural touchstones as motorcycle stuntman Evel Knievel and 70s icon Farrah Fawcett, with whom he collaborated, as well as Janis Joplin and John Lennon. “Through the act of sculpture he voraciously pursues his memories,” writes curator Tom Eccles, citing both Jill Peters (1997), a “virginal portrait of his childhood sweetheart standing awkwardly in her sweater, skirt, and bobby socks” constructed in wax from a yearbook picture, and Beverly Edmier, 1967 (1998), a portrait of the artist’s mother, in which the yet-to-be-born artist is revealed through the stomach of his seated mother.
In conjunction with the exhibition, the Center for Curatorial Studies and Booth-Clibborn Editions, London, are very pleased to publish Keith Edmier 1991-2007, a new book exploring Edmier’s work in remarkable depth. Including essays by Tom Eccles, Douglas Fogle, and Caoimhin Mac Giolla Leith; a thorough guide to the source material for Edmier’s work by the artist’s longtime friend, Jade Dellinger; an interview with Keith Edmier by artist Matthew Barney; and a comprehensive bibliography, the book will be officially released at the opening reception of Keith Edmier 1991-2007 at CCS Bard on October 20.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1967, Keith Edmier grew up the suburban subdivision of Bremen Towne in Tinley Park, 45 minutes southwest of Chicago. After graduating high school, Edmier pursued a career in special effects in Hollywood. Encouraged by special effects master Rick Baker, Edmier briefly attended the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia. After leaving art school he moved to New York to enter the art world. Edmier’s work has been shown at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and is in the collections the Tate Gallery, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Israel Museum. He is the recipient of the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation 2001 Biennial Award.
The Center for Curatorial Studies and Hessel Museum of Art
The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College (CCS Bard) is an exhibition and research center dedicated to the study of art and exhibition practices from the 1960s to the present day. The Center’s graduate program is specifically designed to deepen students’ understanding of the intellectual and practical tasks of curating exhibitions of contemporary art, particularly in the complex social and cultural situations of present-day arts institutions. With more than 9,500 square feet of gallery space and an extensive library and curatorial archive, CCS Bard offers students intellectual grounding and actual experience within a museum.
In November 2006, CCS Bard inaugurated the Hessel Museum of Art, a new 17,000-square-foot building for exhibitions curated from the Marieluise Hessel Collection of more than 1,700 contemporary works. The new museum features intimate rooms encircling two large central galleries, and is scaled so that approximately 10 to 15 percent of the collection can be shown at any one time. The Hessel Museum extends the reach of the CCS Bard exhibition program, providing a place to test out the possibilities for exhibition-making using the remarkable resources of the collection as a whole.