Indepth Arts News: |
2000-07-01 until 2000-09-24
Saint Louis Art Museum
St. Louis, MO,
The Saint Louis Art Museum presents WONDERLAND, an exhibition of work by ten highly
regarded contemporary artists who create and transform spaces for mental, physical and
sensuous exploration. The premise of the exhibition is that inspiration, curiosity and marvel – the
basic elements of wonder – may be derived from our experiences within various types of
constructed environments. The exhibition is comprised of ten works of art installed at the Museum
in the weeks immediately preceding the opening of the exhibition on July 1, 2000.
The ten artists participating in the exhibition – Janet Cardiff, Olafur Eliasson, Teresita Fernández,
Stephen Hendee, Bill Klaila, Joep van Lieshout, Ernesto Neto, Pipilotti Rist, Gregor Schneider,
and Jennifer Steinkamp – have created works of art whose constructed or alternate realities
inspire, and in some cases rely on, our physical involvement with them. Exhibition curator
Rochelle Steiner conceived WONDERLAND as an exhibition that would encourage interplay
between viewers and the works of art in unexpected ways. We set out to create a ‘wonderland'
through which individuals would travel and become engaged, says Steiner, who is the Museum's
assistant curator of contemporary art, so we pursued artists whose work inspires a sense of
movement and discovery. In essence, the exhibition is rooted in the belief that to wander is to
All of the pieces chosen for the exhibition focus on visitors' movements through environments
that have been conceived for particular sites in and around the Museum. Many utilize new or
non-traditional media, including video projection, audio recordings, as well as
computer-generated sound and visual imagery, transforming high- and low-tech media into
sublime works of art. Eight of the works of art are being created specifically for WONDERLAND.
The artists will transform spaces within and outside the Museum's historic Beaux Arts-style
building designed by Cass Gilbert as the permanent, central core of a wondrous temporary
structure built as the Palace of Fine Arts for the 1904 World's Fair. The site of the Fair is now an
urban park, an environment where nature and culture merge.
The exhibition is accompanied by an innovative 192-page color catalogue designed by J. Abbott
Miller of Pentagram and published by The Saint Louis Art Museum, available fr $49.95. The
publication not only will serve as a permanent document of these artist-created installations, but
also will provide new and interdisciplinary ways of understanding contemporary art, architecture,
landscape, and the experience of these internal and external spaces. Interviews with the artists
and the book's essays will consider the exhibition's themes and address larger aesthetic, cultural
and social issues. The contributors are Giuliana Bruno, Professor of Visual and Environmental
Studies, Harvard University; Beatriz Colomina, Associate Professor of Architecture, Princeton
University; Terence Riley, Chief Curator, Department of Architecture and Design, The Museum of
Modern Art; Margie Ruddick, landscape architect; and Rochelle Steiner, Assistant Curator of
Contemporary Art at The Saint Louis Art Museum. A special color section documenting the
installations on site at The Saint Louis Art Museum will be inserted later.
WONDERLAND has been made possible by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts,
Inc. and Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation, with additional assistance from McCarthy
Construction Company and Millman Lumber Co.
The Saint Louis Art Museum
Rochelle Steiner, assistant curator of contemporary art at The Saint Louis Art Museum
Joep van Lieshout
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, 1998.
Collection Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.
Photo: Glenn Halvorson.