Come as You Are: Art of the 1990s | Montclair Art Museum
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Montclair Art Museum to Present First Major Historical Survey of
Art of the 1990s


Exhibition will feature more than 60 works in a range of media by 45 artists including

Doug Aitken, Mark Dion, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Glenn Ligon, Sharon Lockhart,

Julie Mehretu, Prema Murthy, Shirin Neshat, Catherine Opie, Gabriel Orozco, Diana Thater,
 Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Kara Walker


Exhibition is largest and most ambitious to date in Museum’s Contemporary Art Program;

debuts at MAM before embarking on national tour


MONTCLAIR, NJ, January 12, 2015—Beginning February 8, 2015, the Montclair Art Museum will present Come as You Are: Art of the 1990s, the first major museum survey to examine the art of this pivotal decade in its historical context. The exhibition showcases approximately 65 works by 45 artists born or practicing in the United States—including Doug Aitken, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Glenn Ligon, Julie Mehretu, Prema Murthy, Shirin Neshat, Catherine Opie, Gabriel Orozco, Diana Thater, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Kara Walker—and will comprise installations, paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photography, video, and digital art. Come as You Are will focus on three principal themes: the “identity politics” debates, the digital revolution, and globalization, and will explore a range of geopolitical milestones and social issues from 1989 to 2001—from the fall of the Berlin Wall to 9/11—through the perspective of artists working at that time. Come as You Are will be on view at MAM February 8 – May 17, 2015, and will then travel to Telfair Museums in Savannah, GA; the University of Michigan Museum of Art; and the Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin.

            Come as You Are is the largest and most ambitious exhibition presented by the Montclair Art Museum’s Contemporary Art Program since it was established in 2010, and is organized by Alexandra Schwartz, the first curator of contemporary art at MAM. MAM is developing a fully illustrated catalogue for Come as You Are, co-published by the University of California Press. It will be the first comprehensive publication on the art of the 1990s to date and will lay groundwork for future research and study of both the works included in the exhibition and the period as a whole.

            “The Montclair Art Museum is thrilled to present this unprecedented exhibition, which so powerfully brings into focus the role of contemporary art in reflecting the tremendous societal shifts of the 1990s,” said the Museum’s director, Lora Urbanelli. “Come as You Are will underscore the interplay between MAM’s historical and contemporary collections, and the growth of our Contemporary Art Program. That program builds on the Museum’s roots established by one of MAM’s founders—William T. Evans—who was committed to collecting early 20th-century works, which were the contemporary art of his time. We look forward to bringing to light for our audiences the tremendous impact the 1990s had on the art world and our lives today.”

            “Come as You Are writes a history of the 90s through the lens of the visual arts,” said Alexandra Schwartz, curator of contemporary art at MAM. “Where we are today as a culture was, in many ways, defined by the 1990s, and the issues these artists confronted then are still very much in play now. We hope to ignite a conversation about the 1990s—about the art, about the social and political concerns that these artists faced and addressed, about where technology is leading us. Visitors should emerge from this exhibition with a better understanding of why this was such a watershed decade.”


Media Contacts:


Meryl Feinstein
Resnicow Schroeder Associates


Michael Gillespie
Montclair Art Museum


Catherine Mastrangelo
Montclair Art Museum


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