Modernism: On and Off the Grid, curated by Niko Vicario, brings together works engaged with the legacy of Modernist architecture and design. Martin Beck, VALIE EXPORT, Dan Graham, Dorit Margreiter, Gerwald Rockenschaub and the architectural collective Superstudio work variously in film, video, photography, sculpture and across and between media. The works in this exhibition—the earliest made in the early seventies and the most recent completed in 2007—replicate, modify, and critique Modernist aesthetics, illuminating form’s relationship to history, subjectivity, and social space.
Martin Beck was born in Austria in 1963 and currently lives in New York. Beck’s practice extends to writing, exhibition-making and designing, intervention, photography and video, illuminating the socio-economic and historical determinants of exhibition-making with particular emphasis upon the formal language of Modernism as it pertains to art, architecture and design, frequently collaborating with Julie Ault. Recent exhibitions include Installation (2006) with Ault at Secession in Vienna and The details are not the details (2007), a solo exhibition at Orchard in New York.
VALIE EXPORT was born in Austria in 1940 and now lives and works in Vienna. She studied at the School for the Arts and Crafts in Linz and, subsequently, attended the Hoehere Bundeslehr- un Versuchsanstalt for Textile Industry in Vienna. VALIE EXPORT’s work is comprised of films, video environments, photography, installation, performance, objects, sculptures, and writings on art history and feminism. Her practice intersects architecture, film, and the body from a feminist vantage, illuminating the gendered visions defining conceptions of the body, the gaze, and the city. She represented Austria in the 1980 Venice Biennale. Her work was presented in a retrospective at MAMCO Musee d’Art Moderne et Contemporain in Geneva in 2004 and her films have been shown in film retrospectives in London (1987), San Francisco (1987), New York (1988), Linz (1992), and in Cologne (1996).
Dan Graham was born in Illinois in 1942 and currently lives in New York. Since the mid-1960s, Graham’s practice has included essays, performances, videos, installations, and architectural/sculptural designs—most famously his glass pavilions—that are variously presented and constructed in relation to a particular site as well as for the gallery. Graham’s work engages with the intersection of the social and the perceptual, variously absorbing and critiquing the formal languages and social functions of television and architecture. Graham’s work has been exhibited within the retrospective Dan Graham Works: 1965-2000 at the Museu Serralves, Porto, Portugal, ARC/Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Kroller-Muller Museum, Otterlo, The Netherlands, and Kunsthalle Dusseldorf, Germany. Work was shown at Skulptur Projekte Munster (1987, 1997), at several Venice Biennales, and at Documentas 5, 6, 7, 9 and 10.
Dorit Margreiter was born in Austria in 1967 and currently lives and works in both Vienna and Los Angeles. She studied first at the Universitat Wien and later at the Hochschule fur angewandte Kunst, also in Vienna. Margreiter’s work explores the relationship between film and video and the physical and social dimensions of architecture, often creating installations for the presentation of film and video works to augment and accentuate this relationship. In 2006, Margreiter’s work was exhibited in solo exhibitions at the Kunst-Werke in Berlin in 1997 and at the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien in 2003. Her work was included in the group exhibition Deplacements curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist at the Musee d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris in 2003 and in assorted exhibitions at the Generali Foundation.
Superstudio was an Italian architectural collective based in Florence and active from 1966 until 1978. Superstudio made films, photocollages, and exhibitions that critiqued Modernist form, ideology, and exhibition structures in favor of a utopian vision and aesthetic that was progressively twinged by irony. In 1972, they created an exhibition environment at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 2003, William Menking and Peter Lang curated a retrospective called Superstudio: Life Without Objects which originated at the Design Museum in London and which traveled to Artists Space, Storefront for Art and Architecture and the Pratt Manhattan gallery.
Modernism: On and Off the Grid was organized by Niko Vicario as part of the requirements for the master of arts degree in curatorial studies.
CCS Bard student-curated exhibitions are made possible with support from the Rebecca and Martin Eisenberg Student Exhibition Fund, Mitzi and Warren Eisenberg, and the Patrons, Supporters, and Friends of the Center for Curatorial Studies. Special thanks to the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.