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THE EXHIBITION DAVE MULLER: CONNECTIONS WILL BE ON VIEW FROM JUNE 23 TO SEPTEMBER 8 AT THE CENTER FOR CURATORIAL STUDIES AT BARD COLLEGE
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.- Dave Muller, known as a dynamic and multitalented force in the Los Angeles art scene, is the subject of the summer exhibition at the Center for Curatorial Studies (CCS). Curated by Amada Cruz, director of the CCS Museum, Dave Muller: Connections will be on view from Sunday, June 23, through Sunday, September 8, at the Museum.
Muller's ongoing series of drawings-his personal interpretations of exhibition announcements and invitations- will be the centerpiece of the exhibition at the Museum. Inspired by amateur flyers created by fans of indie-rock bands, Muller began producing watercolors based on the actual exhibition announcements of artists he admired. But these acts of homage are not merely copies, as Muller transforms them and makes them his own. He always retains the factual information, but subverts and reinterprets it with wry humor. In addition to the Museum exhibition, Muller will hold what he calls a Three Day Weekend. This will include an show of works by Los Angeles and local artists.
Muller, who studied at Cal Arts, made his on-campus studio available to other students for exhibitions of their work. After graduation he continued this practice at his loft in downtown Los Angeles with the first Three Day Weekend in 1994. He invited artist friends to exhibit in his studio, providing a space, opening party, and refreshments. While traveling as an assistant to artist Mike Kelly, Muller began organizing Three Day Weekends in other cities, often carrying the artwork himself on the airplanes. He has since organized approximately 30 such events in cities such as London, Tokyo, Athens, and San Francisco, exhibiting works by Los Angeles artists and local artists whose work he encounters during studio visits in each city. He describes the Three Day Weekend as an "artist-run, nomadic project" that can occur in various types of settings, including galleries and even a freight elevator (as at the Frankfurt Art Fair in 2000). These events are collaborative endeavors, as Muller works with each artist to choose work for the show. The CCS Three Day Weekend is planned to take place at an area location popular with Bard students.
Although they take different forms, Muller's parallel art activities-his drawings based on artist announcements and posters and the Three Day Weekends-are related in terms of the issues they raise. The most obvious is what Muller has referred to as "amorphous authorship." In both, Muller appropriates the work of other artists to such a degree that it is often difficult to distinguish who did what. This way of working is related to the techniques he uses as a deejay, which entails sampling the music of various artists to compose something new. A related theme is the identity of artists and how their personas are presented by art world mechanisms (posters and invitations) and structures (exhibitions). Muller's work challenges these promotional systems by offering a friendly alternative, through embracing the social situation in which the contemporary dialogue about art takes place.
The exhibition also will document Muller's generation of artists: as he often uses the ephemera related to the shows of his friends, this will reflect a particular, recent moment in art, particularly in Los Angeles.
As is usual with CCS Museum exhibitions, a catalogue will be printed and distributed worldwide by Distributed Art Press (D.A.P.). This will include essays by Amada Cruz and British artist Matthew Higgs (a kindred spirit who is well acquainted with Muller's work). The exhibition travels to the UCLA Hammer Museum in Los Angeles from October 7, 2002, to January 5, 2003. It is supported by grants from the Peter Norton Family Foundation, Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg, and Kenneth L. Freed.
On June 23, the day of the exhibition openings, free bus transportation will be available from New York City to the Center for Curatorial Studies. A chartered bus will leave from SoHo at 11:00 a.m. and depart from the Center at 4:00 p.m. Reservations are required and can be made by calling the Center at 845-758-7598 no later than Friday, June 21. Transportation is provided through the generosity of Howard and Donna Stone.
The museum is open to the public, without charge, Wednesdays through Sundays from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. An artists' reception will take place on Sunday, June 23, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. For further information, call the CCS at 845-758-7598, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the website www.bard.edu/ccs/exhibitions.
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