Art and Architecture: Come as You Are | Aziz + Cucher, Shahzia Sikander, Lora Urbanelli, Marina Zurkow | An Art Book Series Event

April 29, 2015

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FREE - Auditorium doors open at 5:30 p.m.

This event celebrates the publication of Come as You Are: Art of the 1990s  and the exhibition by the same title, on view at the Montclair Art Museum this spring before embarking on a national tour. Featuring four artists from the exhibition and moderated by MAM director Lora Urbanelli, the panel examines the insights achieved by, and challenges inherent in, creating a history of a relatively recent era, many of whose key issues—surrounding identities, digital technologies, and globalization—remain urgent today

Alexandra Schwartz, author and the founding curator of contemporary art at Montclair Art Museum, who conceived and curated this exhibition and the accompaying publication was originally scheduled to moderate this event. She was not able to moderate because of a family emergency,  and Lora Urbanelli substituted for her.

 85 1/4 x 36 1/4   inches, sheet: 92 1/4 x 43 3/4 inches. Indianapolis Museum of Art; Koch   Contemporary Art Purchase Fund,
Aziz + Cucher (Anthony Aziz and Sammy Cucher), Man with a Computer, 1992. 
From the series Faith, Honor and Beauty.
C-Print, image: 85 1/4 x 36 1/4 
inches, sheet: 92 1/4 x 43 3/4 inches. Indianapolis Museum of Art;
Koch Contemporary Art Purchase Fund, 2012.126; courtesy of the artists.
© Aziz + Cucher

Come as You Are: Art of the 1990s (University of California Press, 2015) is the first major museum survey to historicize art made in the United States during this pivotal decade. Showcasing approximately sixty-five works by forty-five artists, the book includes installations, paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, video, sound, and digital art. Come as You Are offers an overview of art made in the United States between 1989 and 2001, a period bookended by two indelible events: the fall of the Berlin Wall and 9/11. The book is organized around three principal themes--the “identity politics” debates, the digital revolution, and globalization; its title refers to the 1992 song by Nirvana and to the issues of identity that were complicated by effects of new technologies and global migration. All the artists in the exhibition made their initial entry into the art historical discourse during the 1990s, and they reflect the increasingly heterogeneous nature of the art world during this time, when many women artists and artists of color attained unprecedented prominence. Contributors include Huey Copeland, Jennifer González, Suzanne Hudson, Joan Kee, Frances Jacobus-Parker, Kris Paulsen, Paulina Pobocha, and John Tain.

Copies of the book are available for purchase and signing at the end of the event.

Collaborative team Aziz + Cucher (Anthony Aziz and Sammy Cucher) are recognized as pioneers in the field of digital imaging and are highly accomplished in the field of multi-channel video installations. They have worked together since 1992, addressing a variety of social and political issues such as the post-human and how recent developments in technology have impacted our lives. Their work has been exhibited internationally with solo exhibitions at the Herzliya Museum of Art, Israel; Stiftelsen Art Center, Bergen, Norway; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; the Photographer’s Gallery, London; and the Indianapolis Museum of Art. In 1995, they represented Venezuela at the Venice Biennale. Their work in the permanent collections of museums including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Musée de l’Elysee, Lausanne; the Indianapolis Museum of Art; La Maison Européene de la Photographie, Paris; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; and the National Gallery of Australia. Aziz + Cucher are recipients of a 2015 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Digital and Electronic Art. They are both members of the Fine Arts Faculty at Parsons The New School for Design.

Shahzia Sikander, Cholee Kay Pechay Kiya? Chunree Kay Neechay Kiya?( What is   Under the Blouse? What is Under the Dress?), 1997. Vegetable color, dry   pigment, watercolor, tea on hand-prepared wasli paper, 16 5/8 x 12 1/8   inches. Marieluise Hessel Col
Shahzia Sikander, Cholee Kay Pechay Kiya? Chunree Kay Neechay Kiya?( What is 
Under the Blouse? What is Under the Dress?), 1997. Vegetable color, dry 
pigment, watercolor, tea on hand-prepared wasli paper, 16 5/8 x 12 1/8  inches.
Marieluise Hessel Collection,
Hessel Museum of Art, Center for 
Curatorial Studies, Bard College,
Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.
Courtesy of  Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York © Shahzia Sikander

Shahzia Sikander is a Pakistani-born international artist whose pioneering practice takes Indo-Persian miniature painting as a point of departure while experimenting with scale and media, including animation, video, and mural. Recipient of the Art Prize in Time-Based Art from Grand Rapids Museum (2014), the inaugural U.S. Medal of Art (2012) and the MacArthur "Genius" Award (2006), Sikander’s work helped launch a resurgence in the miniature painting department in the nineties at the National College of Arts in Pakistan. She holds a BFA from the National College of Arts, Lahore, Pakistan, and an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Her recent work is the subject of an upcoming solo exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain in summer 2015. 

Lora Urbanelli joined the Montclair Art Museum as Director in January 2009, assuming artistic direction at a moment of great excitement, as it celebrated its 95th year with the exhibition, Cezanne and American Modernism.  Now post-Centennial celebrations, she is leading the staff and Board in refining the mission and relevance of the Museum, increasing an emphasis on art education, developing a contemporary art program, increasing audience access, and defining community service. Urbanelli came to Montclair from the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine, where she increased fundraising efforts and the professional staff, strengthened community relations, and led a successful strategic planning process. Before her arrival at the Farnsworth, she served as the Interim Director of the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, where she had previously been its Assistant Director and Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs. She has an MFA in Museum Studies and Art History from Syracuse University and a BA, magna cum laude, in Studio Art from Rutgers University.

Marina Zurkow is a media artist focused on near-impossible nature and culture intersections. She uses life science, materials, and technologies to foster intimate connections between people and non-human agents. Recent solo exhibitions of her work include bitforms gallery in New York; the Montclair Art Museum, New Jersey; and Diverseworks, Houston; her work has also been featured at FACT, Liverpool; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Walker Art Center; Smithsonian American Art Museum; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; National Museum for Women in the Arts; Borusan Collection, Istanbul; 01SJ Biennial, San Jose; Brooklyn Academy of Music; Museum of the Moving Image; Creative Time; The Kitchen; Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria; Transmediale, Berlin; Eyebeam; Sundance Film Festival; Rotterdam Film Festival; and the Seoul Media City Biennial, among others. Zurkow is the recipient of a 2011 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship and has been granted awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts, New York State Council for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, and Creative Capital. She is a full time faculty at NYU’s Interactive Technology Program (ITP) in Tisch School of the Arts, and currently a PNCA Research Fellow. She lives in Brooklyn, and is represented by bitforms gallery.

 Eyetest," 2002. Nine-episode animated   series created with Macromedia Flash and distributed on DVD. Courtesy of the   artist and bitforms gallery nyc
Marina Zurkow, "Braingirl, episode 5: Eyetest," 2002.
Nine-episode animated series created with Macromedia Flash
and distributed on DVD. Courtesy of the artist and bitforms gallery nyc

In its seventh year the program series An Art Book, initiated and organized by Arezoo Moseni, is a celebration of the essential importance and beauty of art books. The events showcase book presentations and discussions by world renowned artists, critics, curators, gallerists, historians and writers.

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