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Working in Brooklyn: Installations

DATES August 03, 1990 through October 15, 1990
COLLECTIONS Contemporary Art
  • April 1, 1990 An exhibition of site specific installation pieces created by ten Brooklyn artists is scheduled to go on view at The Brooklyn Museum on August 3 in the American galleries on the fifth floor, where it will remain on view through October 15. Entitled WORKING IN BROOKLYN INSTALLATIONS, it is the third in a series that focuses on artistic activity in Brooklyn.

    This exhibition is made possible with generous support from the FUNd at The Brooklyn Museum and the Jerome Foundation.

    Charlotta Kotik, Curator of Contemporary Art, who conceived of and organized the critically acclaimed series comments, “The number of artists who live and/or work in Brooklyn has been growing for years, and they are creating an important body of work. The breadth and variety of media used suggested a series of exhibitions that illustrates the diverse accomplishments of Brooklyn’s many known and unknown artists.”

    Each of the artists included was assigned a section of the fifth floor for which they created a multimedia work to be installed on site. The artists are:

    Robert C. Bingham. His architectural installations explore the philosophical question of what is “real” and what is “false” and comment on the state of the rich and poor by juxtaposing such objects as a faux-marble house facade with one of decaying scraps of wood.

    Joanne Brockley. Her installations, created from castaway materials such as stove pipes, wood ladders, and tiles, resemble menacing, surreal creatures.

    Amy Hauft. Through the creation of minimal architectural spaces, she focuses on man and his perceptions of nature, time, and space. Much of the impact of her work is dependent on supplementary wall texts.

    Bill Jones. An artist, photographer, and writer, Jones explores the physical and metaphysical worlds through the medium of projected light.

    Susanne Muel. Employing mylar drawings and backlit design constructions, she uses light and shadow to simulate a blend of formal investigations and personal commentary.

    David Nyzio. Using such materials as iron, algae, water, wood, and insects, Nyzio reflects in his work the evolution of forms as manifested in nature through the use of natural phenomena.

    Ron Rocco. Through the use of the light of laser scanners and other electronic mechanisms such as video and computer-based devices, he explores the fragile relationship between nature and technology.

    Stephanie Rowden. Sound, light, props[,] and viewer involvement are incorporated into her installations which reflect the artist’s interest in theater, amusement parks, illusion and personal spaces.

    TODT. A quartet of artists who have collaborated since 1978, they create elaborate, and often macabre, installations composed of machine parts, medical and military hardware, and popular objects.

    John Toth. Working with fabric and plexiglass sculpture to form what might be seen as nomadic environments, Toth uses semi-transparent materials to make his giant, pre-historic images appear to float.

    The selection process included examining the Museum’s extensive working files and looking through innumerable portfolios. The curatorial staff, aided by a National Endowment for the Arts supported intern, Jeanne Greenberg, also contacted curators and directors of many New York alternative spaces, galleries, and museums for suggestions. The studios of each of the artists considered were visited prior to making the final selection.

    A catalogue accompanies the exhibition. It contains a foreword by Robert T. Buck, Director of The Brooklyn Museum, along with an introduction by Charlotta Kotik, who briefly explores the genre of installations as an art form and discusses each artist’s approach. Also included are a bibliography and biography prepared by Greenberg and black-and-white photographs of previous work as well as of the Museum’s installations.

    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1989 - 1994. 04-06/1990, 088-90.
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  • July 1, 1990 In mid-July a group of Brooklyn artists began work on ten large-scale individual works of art constructed in a variety of media in the fifth-floor galleries of The Brooklyn Museum. These three-dimensional works of art will constitute, when completed, an exhibition entitled Working in Brooklyn/Installations, scheduled to open on August 3 and continue through October 15.

    The third in a series devoted to the work of artists who maintain their studios in Brooklyn, the exhibition was organized by Charlotta Kotik, Curator of Contemporary Art, as were the previous exhibitions which focused on painting and sculpture. She was assisted by Jeanne Greenberg, National Endowment for the Arts intern.

    The ten artists represent the full spectrum of the complex genre of installation art and work in media as diverse as industrial debris and algae.

    Joanne Brockley works with industrial debris to create surreal creatures; John Toth works with fabrics and plexiglass to contemplate the existence and extinction of dinosaurs; and David Nyzio explores evolution through the use of many materials. The concept of time and space is a subject of the work by Amy Hauft; light is an essential element in the separate constructions of Susanne Muel and Bill Jones[;] and Ron Rocco uses modern technology and natural materials to examine the fragile relationship between the man-made and the natural. A quartet of artists known as TODT combine a variety of objects into their ambitious installations; Stephanie Rowden’s environments use audio and visual information to lead the viewer through an imaginary travelogue; and Robert Bingham creates imaginary architectural spaces.

    Working in Brooklyn/Installations is made possible by generous support from the FUNd at The Brooklyn Museum, the Jerome Foundation, and Sydney and Frances Lewis. An illustrated catalogue, documenting each project, will be available in mid-August.

    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1989 - 1994. 07-09/1990, 119-120.
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