Exhibitions: Raw/Cooked: Michael Ballou

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    Raw/Cooked: Michael Ballou

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    • February 1, 2013: The third exhibition in the second season of Raw/Cooked, on view at the Brooklyn Museum April 12–July 7, showcases the work of Williamsburg artist Michael Ballou. Ballou is the eighth artist in the continuing Raw/Cooked series, presented with support from Bloomberg and highlighting the work of under-the-radar Brooklyn artists. The Museum offers each of the participating artists a variety of unconventional spaces in which they may make art interventions, creating projects that draw inspiration from the architecture of the building and/or works from the Museum’s collection.

      The participants this season were recommended by an advisory panel of leading Brooklyn artists that includes Michael Joo, Paul Ramírez Jonas, Amy Sillman, and Mickalene Thomas, who each proposed three people for consideration. The panelists were asked to recommend artists who have no gallery representation and have not participated in a major museum exhibition. Final selections were made by Eugenie Tsai, John and Barbara Vogelstein Curator of Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Museum.

      Ballou, recommended by Sillman, is a multimedia artist whose work ranges from objects and images to performance art and site-specific installations, often in collaboration with other artists. For Raw/Cooked, Ballou will transform three spaces in the Museum. Dog Years, a monumental sculptural construction featuring pieces from Ballou’s Animal Heads series, will fill a floor-to-ceiling vitrine in the fourth-floor Decorative Arts gallery. Go-Go, a light and sound installation, makes the fifth-floor Elevator Lobby into a luminous space for visitors to relax. On a shelf in the Luce Visible Storage • Study Center, also on the fifth floor, Ballou will install Pencil Holders, a collaborative project that brings together his imaginative sculptural constructions with original texts contributed by authors invited by Ballou to respond to the Luce Center’s holdings.

      Ballou’s work ranges from objects and images to performance art and site-specific installations, often made in collaboration with other artists. In the 1990s Ballou was one of the founders and leading artists involved with the Four Walls Slide and Film Club, an informal monthly venue for collaborative and homespun time-based works, hosted for years in Ballou’s Williamsburg garage studio. Born in New York City, he grew up in Saint Louis and received a B.F.A. from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He has lived and worked in Williamsburg since 1983.

      The final exhibition of the second season of Raw/Cooked will present the work of Caitlin Cherry, selected by Joo. Raw/Cooked continues the Brooklyn Museum’s long tradition of collecting and presenting work by both emerging and established Brooklyn artists. Over the past decade the Museum has presented several exhibitions focused on the borough’s artists, among them Open House, featuring the work of 200 artists, as well as solo exhibitions of work by Fred Tomaselli, Lorna Simpson, and Mickalene Thomas, and GO: a community-curated open studio project, on view through February 24, 2013.

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