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Press Release

CCS Bard Hessel Museum of Art Presents At Home/ Not at Home: Works from the Collection of Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg

DECEMBER 19, 2010

Mark Primoff

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.–This summer, the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College (CCS Bard) presents At Home/Not At Home: Works from the Collection of Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg in the Hessel Museum of Art. Curated by White Columns director and CCS Bard faculty member Matthew Higgs, the exhibition includes major works by more than 100 artists including Kai Althoff, Jeremy Deller, Peter Doig, David Hammons, Mary Heilmann, Elizabeth Peyton, and Rirkrit Tirvanija. The exhibition will be on view from June 26 through December 19, 2010.

Concurrently, in the CCS Bard Galleries, the Center will present an exhibition of work by French-artist Philippe Parreno. Philippe Parreno at CCS Bard is part of a series of retrospectives taking place from 2009 to 2011 at Kunsthalle Zurich, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, and the Serpentine Gallery in London. Philippe Parreno will be on view from June 26 through September 26, 2010.

Both exhibitions open on Saturday, June 26, with a reception from 1 to 5 p.m. On Sunday, June 27, CCS Bard will present a series of special programming related to the Philippe Parreno exhibition, which will include a discussion between Philippe Parreno and Simon Critchley, chair of philosophy at the New School for Social Research in New York, as well as a screening of the single-channel version of Zidane: A XXIst Century Portrait

Free transportation to and from the opening reception on June 26, as well as the special programming on June 27, is available on a chartered bus that leaves from New York City. For details and reservations, please call CCS Bard at 845-758-7598 or write


At Home/Not At Home

At Home/Not At Home is an exhibition of works drawn from the collection of Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg. Based in Westchester County, in the northern suburbs of New York City, the Eisenbergs have, over the past 20 years, organically and intuitively assembled one of the most idiosyncratic collections of contemporary art in the United States. At any given time, the Eisenbergs and their family live with some 500 works of art in their unprepossessing suburban home. Densely installed in almost every available space, from the children’s bedrooms to the family’s den, in a manner not unlike the 19th-century salons, theirs is a collection that is lived with and negotiated on a daily basis.

The exhibition’s title, At Home/Not At Home, is also the title of a 1982 recording by the Belgian musician Wim Mertens’s group Soft Verdict. In the context of this exhibition, the title alludes to two distinct types of social space: private space (“At Home”), and public space (“Not At Home”). This threshold between the private domain and the public realm is at the heart of the exhibition, which temporarily displaces artworks from a private suburban residential setting and restages them in the form of an exhibition in the public galleries of the Hessel Museum of Art.

In conjunction with the exhibition, CCS Bard will publish a new book, also titled At Home/Not At Home, which explores the Eisenberg collection and themes addressed in the show in further detail. The publication includes a foreword by CCS Bard executive director Tom Eccles, essays by Matthew Higgs and Bob Nickas, and short texts by Hilton Als, Kirsty Bell, Johanna Burton, Connie Butler, Thelma Golden, Laura Hoptman, Anthony Huberman, Maria Lind, and Scott Rothkopf on specific works included in the exhibition. The new publication also includes a project by Higgs titled “21 Questions,” in which the curator invited 21 individuals, all of whom have had either a personal or professional relationship with the Eisenbergs, to pose a single question to them. The questions are printed in the catalogue alongside Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg’s responses.

The At Home/Not At Home exhibition and catalogue are the result of an ongoing dialogue between Higgs, the CCS Bard graduate program and the collectors, Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg. As part of their first year of studies, CCS Bard graduate students are asked to work with a faculty member on a project that features original research on exhibition practices of the past 50 years and culminates in a collectively organized presentation within the museum.

At Home/Not At Home represents a continuation of such projects with Higgs and the CCS, which began in 2008 when he, alongside curators Gianni Jetzer and Trevor Smith, led a program that resulted in the student exhibition Second Thoughts, a project that investigated and ultimately reworked Higgs’s own Exhibitionism: An Exhibition of Exhibitions of Works from the Marieluise Hessel Collection at the Hessel Museum of Art (2007) . Both Exhibitionism and the subsequent Second Thoughts drew from the extensive collection of Marieluise Hessel, which is housed at CCS Bard and includes artworks from the 1960s until the present day. At Home/Not at Home builds upon that experience, creating a unique opportunity for the graduate program to engage with a collection that has a very different character, yet is equally incisive and expansive. If comparisons were to be made between Marieluise Hessel and the Eisenbergs, they would certainly highlight the distinct personalities and passions embodied within their respective collecting practices, their commitment to education, and the value they place upon museums and the independence of the curator. They have both provided considerable resources, not least the artworks themselves, with the central idea that we are merely guardians of the artworks, whether they are publicly or privately held. 

In addition to the exhibition and the accompanying catalogue, Martin and Rebecca, along with Warren and Mitzi Eisenberg, have provided the support for Scottish artist Luke Fowler to be the CCS Bard artist in residence for 2010. Commissioned as part of Higgs’s yearlong project, Fowler’s residency provides an innovative extension of the At Home/Not At Home exhibition and an opportunity for graduate students to work closely with an artist in the production of a new work.


The Center for Curatorial Studies and Hessel Museum of Art at Bard College

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.


For further information, call 845-758-7598, e-mail, or visit


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Press Contact:                                                  CCS Bard Contact:

Mark Primoff                                                            Ramona Rosenberg                                      

845.758.7412                                                845.758.7574

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This event was last updated on 04-15-2014