May 1997: From July 25, 1997 to January 25. 1998, the Brooklyn Museum of Art will present Current Undercurrent: Working in Brooklyn, an exhibition that will focus on artists, many at the start of their careers, who have shown in, and are represented by, galleries and alternative spaces located in Brooklyn. Approximately 50 paintings, works on paper, and sculptures will be augmented with files filled with small works by about 200 other artists, accessible to the public during specific Museum hours. The contents of these files will vary periodically to give exposure to a maximum number of artists. In September, the exhibition will be enhanced with a program of videos by Brooklyn artists.
Current Undercurrent, part of the Museum’s ongoing Working in Brooklyn series, highlights the diversity and achievement of Brooklyn’s artistic community with works by such artists as Karen Arm, Louise Belcourt, Jean Blackburn, Jane Fine, Kara Flammond, Rachel Harrison, Shari Mendelson, James Siena, Amy Sillman, and Fred Tomaselli.
Though originally pioneered by artists seeking inexpensive lofts, Brooklyn has grown into a diverse artistic community and continues to attract young talent with its energy and strong sense of diverse, liberal traditions. By including a wide selection of artists, each with different styles and approaches, Current Undercurrent will illustrate the ever-growing importance of the borough of Brooklyn as a vital determinant of contemporary art worldwide.
The exhibition was co-organized by Charlotta Kotik, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and Joe Amrhein of Williamsburg’s Pierogi 2000 Gallery, which is known for its inclusive flat files of works by both established and emerging artists. The video art program, to be shown in September in the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor auditorium, has been co-curated by the Museum and Momenta Art, a Brooklyn non-profit art space that focuses on the works of emerging artists in the Williamsburg community. Artists were also chosen from Arena, a Cobble Hill gallery that features salons on Sunday afternoons.
Working in Brooklyn, a resumption of the Museum’s renowned exhibition series of 1985-90, comprises exhibitions of Brooklyn art as well as conversation panels between contemporary Brooklyn artists. The new Working series was initially revived with the exhibition Glenn Ligon: Evidence of Things Not Seen (September 21, 1996–February 9, 1997) and continues with Current Undercurrent. Planned to continue through the end of the century, future Working projects include exhibitions by artists Bing Hu (February 27–September 13, 1998) and Joan Snyder (April 1998).
Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1995 - 2003. 1997, 088-89.