CCS Bard Presents: Matters of Fact, on view from March 18 – May 27

March 5, 2012

Selections from the Hessel Collection including works by Robert Mapplethorpe, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Ulrich Rückriem, Anish Kapoor, Anne Collier, among others, including re-installations of historic CCS Bard exhibitions

Special projects by CCS Bard graduate students

On View March 18 – May 27, 2012 at the Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College

Opening reception: Sunday, March 18, 2012 from 1:00-4:00pm

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, NY, March 2, 2012 – The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College (CCS Bard) commences its 20th anniversary year schedule of exhibitions with Matters of Fact, a collaborative project organized by CCS Bard Executive Director Tom Eccles; CCS Bard Curatorial and Program Associate Nathan Lee; and CCS Bard graduate students Suzy M. Halajian and Alicia Ritson, with reinstallations of historic exhibitions by CCS Bard alumnus Kelly Taxter and CCS Bard co-founder, Marieluise Hessel. Opening on March 18, 2012, Matters of Fact will be on view at the Hessel Museum of Art at Bard College through May 27, 2012.

Matters of Fact revisits a number of key encounters from the institutional history of CCS Bard and the Marieluise Hessel Collection: between collector and artist, curator and exhibition, and art and art history. Two historical exhibitions will be restaged in the Hessel Museum’s large central galleries, each focusing on areas of the collection that have not been presented in depth since the museum opened in 2006: Arte Povera and Pattern and Decoration. Matters of Fact will also highlight the work of two artists – Robert Mapplethorpe and Felix Gonzalez-Torres – with whom Hessel had a special affinity and close connection, and both of whose work she collected during their lifetimes. Rarely seen works by major artists such as Anish Kapoor and Ulrich Rückriem, several new acquisitions to the Hessel Collection, and a special presentation by CCS Bard graduate students, will also be on view.

Among the historic exhibitions being restaged for Matters of Fact is a component of Passions and Cultures: Selected Works from the Rivendell Collection 1967 – 1991, one of CCS Bard’s inaugural exhibitions first presented in 1992. Curated by Marieluise Hessel, Passions and Cultures featured an installation of Arte Povera sculpture. Matters of Fact’s installation includes works by Giovanni Anselmo, Jannis Kounellis, Mario Merz, Giuseppe Penone and Gilberto Zorio.

In 2002, first-year CCS Bard students Jimena Acosta Romero, Robert Blackson, Amaya de Miguel Sanz and Kelly Taxter curated the exhibition Too Much Joy, a survey of works from the Pattern and Decoration movement, featuring works by Brad Davis, Valerie Jaudon, Robert Kushner, Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt, Kim MacConnel, Judy Pfaff, Ned Smyth, Robert Zakanitch, Joe Zucker, among others. For Matters of Fact, alumnus Kelly Taxter will reconsider and reinstall this exhibition, and engage once more with a movement that is puzzlingly absent from the art historical record. This re-installation of Too Much Joy will be on view in the newly re-named Robert Mapplethorpe Gallery in the Hessel Museum of Art.

On view in an adjacent gallery will be a selection of Robert Mapplethorpe’s black and white photographs of flowers, along with an audio recording of a conversation between the artist and Marieluise Hessel that took place in 1988. Recorded nine months before Mapplethorpe died of AIDS, the intimate conversation raises questions of objectification and abstraction, race and representation, desire and gender, and touches on Hessel’s quest to acquire Mapplethorpe’s controversial X Portfolio and her intention to one day build a museum to house her collection.

Matters of Fact also showcases a number of Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ seminal pieces from the Hessel Collection, including “Untitled” (North) and “Untitled” (Passport). These works will be contextualized alongside a selection of archival documents culled from the extensive correspondence between Gonzalez-Torres and Hessel. These documents include letters, photographs, newspaper clippings, and a pair of plastic figurines from the artist’s extensive collection.

Intersecting, connecting, and at times disrupting these historical nodes, Matters of Fact presents an additional group of artists, art works, and installation strategies that offer their own set of encounters. Among the works on view will be pieces by artists Ulrich Rückriem, Anish Kapoor and Ernesto Neto and a number of new acquisitions of works by Anne Collier, Isa Genzken, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Robert Heinecken, Marlo Pascual, Martha Rosler, Rosemarie Trockel and Gillian Wearing.

Matters of Fact also includes a black box/cinema space featuring a variety of moving image programs created by CCS Bard Graduate Students Suzy M. Halajian and Alicia Ritson, and CCS Bard Curatorial and Program Associate Nathan Lee.

About the Center for Curatorial Studies

The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College (CCS Bard) is an exhibition, education, and research center dedicated to the study of art and curatorial practices from the 1960s to the present day.

In addition to the CCS Bard Galleries and Hessel Museum of Art, the Center houses the Marieluise Hessel Collection, as well as an extensive library and curatorial archives that are accessible to the public. The Center’s two-year M.A. program in curatorial studies is specifically designed to deepen students’ understanding of the intellectual and practical tasks of curating contemporary art. Exhibitions are presented year-round in the CCS Bard Galleries and Hessel Museum of Art, providing students with the opportunity to work with world-renowned artists and curators. The exhibition program and the Hessel Collection also serve as the basis for a wide range of public programs and activities exploring art and its role in contemporary society.

The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College opened its doors in 1992. Celebrating its 20th Anniversary in 2012, CCS Bard will present a series of exhibitions by students as well as a roster of international artists working in a range of practices.

General information on the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College can be found on its newly re-launched website at:

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