Exhibitions: Unfolding Tales: Selections from the Collection

Fred Wilson: Grey Area (Brown Version)

Fred Wilson (American, b. 1954). Grey Area (Brown Version), 1993. Paint, plaster, wood, Overall: 20 x 84 in. (50.8 x 213.4 cm); Each bust: 18¾ x 9 x 13 in. (47.6 x 22.9 x 33 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of William K. Jacobs, Jr. and bequest of Richard J. Kempe, by exchange, 2008.6a–j

Long-Term Installation

Contemporary Art Galleries, 4th Floor

The works of art in these galleries use the formal elements of color, line, and shape to suggest narratives that reveal themselves directly or disclose themselves more subtly over time. The selection shows that the languages of figuration and abstraction are equally capable of telling tales and evoking the untold. The stories they call forth are shaped by literature, history, film, and current events, as well as sights and sounds encountered in daily life and nocturnal dreams. Together, the works present a wide range of contemporary media and materials, sometimes unconventional.

Unfolding Tales highlights our recent acquisitions and presents them alongside notable works that have entered our collection over the past four decades. In collecting contemporary art, we now focus on works of the twenty-first century, which has seen the rise of Brooklyn as one of the most vibrant centers of cultural production in the world. Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Dumbo—now established artists’ enclaves—have given way to Red Hook, Bed-Stuy, the Gowanus Canal, Bushwick, and Sunset Park as frontiers that offer artists prospects for affordable studio spaces. We began collecting recently created works of art in the mid-nineteenth century. Unfolding Tales demonstrates our continuing commitment to living artists and to collecting distinctive art of our time.

The exhibition is organized by Eugenie Tsai, John and Barbara Vogelstein Curator of Contemporary Art, and Rujeko Hockley, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Museum.

The generous support of the John and Barbara Vogelstein Contemporary Acquisitions Challenge has made possible many recent additions to the collection featured in Unfolding Tales: Selections from the Collection. This exhibition was also made possible in part with support from the FUNd.

The creation of the contemporary galleries was made possible in part through support provided by the New York City Council through the efforts of council member Bill de Blasio.