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The Everyday Sublime

May 2, 1998 – June 10, 1998

Featuring works by

Richard Artschwager, Hanne Darboven, Laura Evans,
Peter Fischli & David Weiss, Robert Gober, Jonathan Seliger, Kate Shepherd, George Stoll, and Rirkrit Tiravanija

When we think art, we usually think oil-on-canvas, bronze, marble, or wood–things that look like art, or at least employ the kind of artifice (for example, illusionistic painting) we’re used to.  But the artists of “The Everday Sublime” find beauty and thought in everyday objects and events, in things that seem forbiddingly ordinary.

Planks of wood.  Cardboard cartons.  Tissue paper.  Newspaper.  Empty beer bottles.  Pizza boxes.  These are the current legacy of Marcel Duchamp’s famous readymades.  But, unlike Duchamp, the artists of “The Everyday Sublime” manipulate their objects and materials to affect a surprising transformation of them.  Tissue is wood; cardboard is canvas; packing crates are sculpture; a Thai lunch is performance artwork.  And vice versa: for the challenge to us isn’t just to determine what things are or what art is, but also, in the first place: how do we determine what things are and/or what art is–what are our criteria.

“Sometimes, as Sherlocck Holmes recognized, the most important thing to happen is nothing, as when the dog does not bark.” –Arthur Danto

“The traditional artistic ethos can only be reproduced today under the cover of irony: Peter Fischli and David Weiss render their things not in marble but in polyurethane.  Who knows whether the reproduction of the traditional role of the artist is used by Fischli and Weiss as an ironic device or whether irony is deployed to make this role acceptable again.” –Boris Groys

“Then perhaps the subject returns, not as illusion, but as fiction.  A certain pleasure is derived from a way of imagining oneself as individual, of inventing a final rarest fiction:  the fictive identity.” –Roland Barthes

“We asked twenty-seven people, “Do you know where the Double Negative is?”  Not one person knew.  The twenty-eigth was a worker at the Lost City Museum.  She had never visited it but at least she knew.  She gave me a photocopied hand drawn map of where to go.  We were getting closer.” –Rirkrit Tiravanija

“The truly liberating thing about art is that it makes us doubt our own existance.  It is no coincidence that it was an artist who said this.”

Works In Exhibition

Exhibition View

Exhibition View

Richard Artschwager (foreground)
Robert Gober (center of room)
Laura Evans (Back of room, right)

Peter Fischli & David Weiss (Back of room, left)
Untitled, 1993-1994
Painted polyurethane
Eleven elements (planks, stripping, and anchors)

Jonathan Seliger (on table)
For a Family, 1996-1997
Oil, alkyd, acrylic, moulding paste, varnish on canvas
9 3/4 x 16 1/2 x 16 1/2 inches each

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Untitled (Jorge Pardo, Sarah Seager, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Lincoln Tobier)

Rirkrit Tiravanija Untitled (Jorge Pardo, Sarah Seager, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Lincoln Tobier) 1993 Found glass, plastic bottles, cardboard boxes, and plastic bag

Dimensions variable

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Exhibition View

Exhibition View

Kate Shepherd (against wall)
Stacked Yellow Boxes (4), 1998
Latex paint on cardboard boxes, 31 boxes in four stacks
72 x 70 x 12 inches

Richard Artschwager
Untitled (1000 cubic inches), 1996
Plywood, pine and steel hardware in five parts
Edition of 12
Dimensions variable

Robert Gober (foreground)
Newspaper “Bush sent forth…” and Newspaper “Inventory sellout…,” 1993
Photolithography on Super Fine Mohawk paper and twine
Edition of 10

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Opus 26 (Exhibition View)

Hanne Darboven Opus 26 (Exhibition View) 1989-1990
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Opus 26

Hanne Darboven Opus 26 1989-1990 Compact disc recording and 106-page music score

Composed by Hanne Darboven and Friedrich Stoppa
Exhibition installation inlcudes string quartet instruments, chairs, and music stands.
Edition of 50
Chairs courtesy of Mackeen Gallery, Boston. String instruments courtesy of Johnson String Instrument, Newton, MA

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Brown Lunch Bags

Laura Evans Brown Lunch Bags 1998 Rabbit skin glue on brown paper bags

21 elements with overall dimensions variable

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