Pied-a-Terre by Toland Grinnell
- Dates: July 13, 2007 through May 4, 2008
- Collections: Contemporary Art
- Location: This exhibition is no longer on view on the 4th Floor
- Description: Pied-a-Terre by Toland Grinnell (long-term installation). [07/13/2007 - 05/04/2008]. Installation view.
- Citation: Brooklyn Museum Digital Collections and Services. Records of the Department of Digital Collections and Services. (DIG_E_2007_Grinnell)
- Source: born digital
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August 2007: A newly acquired installation piece by Brooklyn-born artist Toland Grinnell, Pied-a-Terre, which explores issues of consumer culture, excess, and luxury, will be on long-term view on the Brooklyn Museum’s fourth floor, adjacent to the Museum’s recently reopened Period Rooms.
Grinnell’s Pied-a-Terre originally comprised an apartment for two that folded out into thirty-four hand-crafted matching traveling trunks, each with its own unique function, from master bedroom to kitchen sink. There are even trunks for the family dog. The Brooklyn Museum installation of twenty components includes a stove, a sink, a tableware canteen, a wine rack, and recycling containers, among other things. Taken together, the elements of this elaborate sculpture explore the nature of consumerism and the power of excess.
“I have always thought of Pied-a-Terre as having something to do with just how much stuff we all need just to be ‘civilized’—100 years ago not everyone had a kitchen sink or a set of chairs—but today you need all of that and a whole lot more,” says Toland Grinnell.
In the work the ordinary necessities of everyday life—beds, sinks, and stoves—are transformed into luxuries when they are taken out of context in the great out-of-doors. Goods that seem rudimentary in the domestic sphere appear opulent at the campsite. Grinnell emphasizes that metamorphosis in the piece, where a host of consumer goods, including seventeen suitcases, are not only assembled to make a compact and portable living environment reminiscent of big-game hunting and Adirondack camps but are also repackaged to reflect the contemporary fascinations with designer label luxury goods, in this case complete with the artist’s gilded “TG” monogram.