Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Old New Museum

The final exhibit at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in its Chelsea location is an exhibit exploring a concept near and dear to my heart: How our physical environment affects the way we live. Critical Space, which opens on Jan. 26, surveys a large selection of Andrea Zittel’s domestic spaces, uniforms, installations, drawings and documentation. More than 75 of these objects, produced between 1991 and 2005, will be on view at the New Museum, including A-Z Escape Vehicles, small transportable capsules customized by individuals seeking an ideal place for introspection, and A-Z Raugh Furniture, faux-rock landscapes substituted for indoor furniture, meant to hide dirt and serve multiple functions (pictured above).

This is exactly the type of exhibit that the Times' Nicolai Ouroussoff -- in his rave review of the New Museum's new building in the Bowery, which doesn't open until late 2007 -- says is filling a void left by the the elder statesmen of the museum world. "The informality of the arrangement reflects how the contemporary art world is changing as barriers between the various arts dissolve. Creation is a collaborative act in which the audience plays a role: at the New Museum, art, architecture, graphic design, film and the public will all jostle for attention."

The New New Museum [Polis]