WITNESS TO HER ART AN ANTHOLOGY OF ART AND CRITICISM IS PUBLISHED BY THE CENTER FOR CURATORIAL STUDIES AT BARD COLLEGE ON THE OCCASION OF THE HESSEL MUSEUM INAUGURATION NOVEMBER 12, 2006
Witness to Her Art Panel and Book Launch with Editors Rhea Anastas and Michael Brenson and Curator Helen Molesworth November 12, 2006
Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, November 1, 2006 – On November 12, 2006, the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College will launch Witness to Her Art: Art and Writings by Adrian Piper, Mona Hatoum, Cady Noland, Jenny Holzer, Kara Walker, Daniela Rossell and Eau de Cologne. The book launch and panel will coincide with the inauguration of the new Hessel Museum of Art at Bard College and the opening exhibition, Wrestle. The panel is introduced by Rhea Anastas with presentations by Michael Brenson and Helen Molesworth, chief curator, Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH.
Witness to Her Art changes the way some of the most influential artists of the past 40 years are seen. It presents and interprets six singular experimental works by Piper, Hatoum, Noland, Holzer, Walker, and Rossell along with an artists’ magazine, Eau de Cologne, published by the Cologne gallerist Monika Sprüth. The artists discussed in the book are represented in the Marieluise Hessel Collection, which is on permanent loan to the Center for Curatorial Studies. Several of the book’s featured works are drawn from the Hessel Collection of artists’ publications, newly gifted to CCS Bard.
Witness to Her Art invites reflection on questions of critical autonomy and artistic intention and considers the impact of the feminist revolution across artistic generations. The book juxtaposes diverse artistic practices based upon their assertions of critical intelligence, aesthetic risk, and their dialogues with feminism and conceptualism. Witness to Her Art proposes a postnational approach to contemporary art history. The book’s works were selected to compare contexts of production and reception in the United States and London, Cologne and Mexico City.
The 336-page publication presents the featured artworks in full-page facsimile photography. Its 240 color and 76 black-and-white reproductions place the works in the context of each artist’s history. Witness to Her Art foregrounds the role of the artist in the process of the reception of her work, a critical history which is represented in the volume through its selection of artists’ writings, previously unpublished documents, and contemporaneous criticism. Many of the anthology’s texts are published, translated, or reprinted for the first time. The anthology’s emphases are illuminated by newly commissioned essays by Pamela Franks on Piper; Aruna D’Souza on Hatoum; Johanna Burton on Eau de Cologne; David Levi Strauss on Holzer; Hamza Walker on Kara Walker; and Cuauhtémoc Medina on Rossell.
Witness to Her Art is edited by CCS Bard faculty members Rhea Anastas, an art historian, and Michael Brenson, an independent critic and faculty member at the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts. Witness to Her Art presents essays by Ann Reynolds, associate professor in the Department of Art and Art History and the Center for Women and Gender Studies at the University of Texas at Austin; Janet Kraynak, assistant professor of Contemporary Art at Parsons the New School for Design/Eugene Lang College, New School University; and by Norton Batkin, Dean of Graduate Studies at Bard and director of the CCS graduate program. Brenson contributes a new essay and Anastas introduces the volume.
About the Center for Curatorial Studies and the 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 the1960s to the present day. Created 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 15 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 more than 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.
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