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"Inner Eye: Contemporary Art from the Marc and Livia Straus Collection"
2000-01-30 until 2000-04-16
Neuberger Museum of Art
Purchase, NY, USA United States of America

An exhibition devoted to new visual experiences, Inner Eye: Contemporary Art from the Marc and Livia Straus Collection presents a visual and intellectual challenge to the definition of a work of art. From this rich and diverse collection, co-curators Budd Harris Bishop, founding director of the University of Florida's Harn Museum of Art, and Dede Young, the Harn's former curator of exhibitions, chose examples of some of the most enigmatic and multi-layered work of our time.

In the 1960s, Marc and Livia Straus, residents of Chappaqua, New York, began collecting contemporary works which, at the time they were made, provoked the response, Is this artNULL The majority of the 36 works in the exhibition were acquired in the 1980s and 1990s. During these past two decades, the Strauses have continued to pursue challenging works, primarily in painting, sculpture and photography. This is the first exhibition of this size and scale to be drawn from the Straus's private collection.

Many of the works have multiple, even contradictory, meanings. While a number of the artists have used unconventional materials for their work, some continue to explore new content in traditional media. James Brown, Jeff Gompertz and Callum Innes are represented with sublimely beautiful paintings in relatively conventional formats, while Jeff Koons, Julie Trager and Damien Hirst appear with works made of unexpected parts, such as basketballs, aquariums, mohair and plastic refuse containers. The exhibition includes work by major contemporary artists including the Starn Twins, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Anselm Keifer, Barbara Kruger, Claes Oldenburg, Louise Bourgeois, Richard Gober, Kiki Smith and Richard Long, as well as a number of younger, lesser-known artists.

Marc and Livia Straus have given us the unparalleled opportunity to assemble a challenging exhibition from their large collection that goes to the heart of what characterizes contemporary art. It presents works of art by leading practitioners of new methods, new media, new ideas and new formats of art, says Budd Harris Bishop. This is an interactive exhibition - the works in this show are not complete without the addition of the viewer's own memories, experiences and insights, which lend a dramatic variety of interpretation to the art's meaning.

Inner Eye: Contemporary Art from the Marc and Livia Straus Collection was organized by the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida, Gainsville. Presentation at the Neuberger Museum is funded by the Westchester Arts Council and the Friends of the Neuberger Museum of Art

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