That Place: Selections from the Collection
Our home, our street, our city, our country, these are familiar locations, places that define our lives. Yet places can be more than physical. Some of the works on view in these galleries evoke a literal place, either domestic or communal. Others, however, approach the concept of place metaphorically, with evocations of a social and cultural place or references to art history that offer a point of departure, where traditions can be reworked or reconsidered. The past—both personal and collective—occupies a significant place in our memories from which we see the present and imagine the future. Not limited to dwelling, the concept of place transcends geographical and temporal boundaries to include race, ethnicity, and gender in the creation of places where past and future, illusion and reality, meet.
That Place highlights recent acquisitions and presents them alongside notable works that entered the collection over the past four decades. The Museum’s collecting of contemporary art now focuses on work 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—today established artists’ enclaves—have given way to Red Hook, Bed-Stuy, Gowanus, and Bushwick as frontiers that offer artists prospects for affordable work places. The Brooklyn Museum began collecting recently created works of art in the mid-nineteenth century; That Place demonstrates the Museum’s continuing commitment to living artists and to collecting distinctive art of our time.