New Museum Celebrates Its 40th Anniversary This Fall

This fall, the New Museum will celebrate its 40th anniversary with a dynamic series of exhibitions, programs, and publications. Honoring its rich legacy of advancing new ideas and promoting the work of groundbreaking artists, the Museum will engage its past, present, and future with the launch of a redesigned Digital Archive; a publication and exhibition exploring the Museum’s four-decade history; and a two-day event bringing together in conversation a range of artists from the Museum’s first forty years. In addition, the Museum will debut two new galleries as the first phase of an expansion, and will open the exhibition “Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon,” which looks to the current cultural moment and beyond, ushering in a new chapter in the institution’s history.

SEPTEMBER 27, 2017
PHASE ONE EXPANSION: New Museum South Galleries and Storefront Window
In September, the New Museum will debut the first phase of its expansion with two new galleries in its adjacent building at 231 Bowery, connected to the Museum’s Lobby, along with a new storefront window display. The Museum will announce further details on the second phase of its expansion into 231 Bowery this fall.

EXHIBITIONS devoted to emerging artists Kahlil Joseph and Petrit Halilaj, both opening September 27, will inaugurate the South Galleries, which are designated for premiering new productions at the Museum. The South Galleries preserve the character of the 231 Bowery building’s original loft spaces, where many artists worked and exhibited. Alex Da Corte will inaugurate the storefront window of the building with an installation, the first in a new series paying homage to the window installations that the New Museum mounted in the 1980s. Kahlil Joseph’s exhibition, the first solo presentation of his work in New York, will debut a new film that draws inspiration from photographer Roy DeCarava (1919–2009) to consider the dimensions of past, present, and future in Harlem and New York City. Petrit Halilaj’s exhibition will present an ambitious new project that begins in Runik, Kosovo, the city in which the artist was born and the site of one of the earliest Neolithic settlements in the region; it will trace residents’ recollections of remaining archaeological objects as personal origin stories. “Kahlil Joseph” is curated by Natalie Bell, Assistant Curator, and Massimiliano Gioni, Edlis Neeson Artistic Director. “Petrit Halilaj” is curated by Helga Christoffersen, Assistant Curator. “Alex Da Corte: Harvest Moon” is curated by Margot Norton, Curator.

EXHIBITION: “Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon”
“Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon” is a major exhibition investigating gender’s place in contemporary art and culture at a moment of political upheaval and renewed culture wars. The exhibition, occupying the three main gallery floors, features an intergenerational group of artists who explore gender beyond the binary to usher in more inclusive expressions of identity. The New Museum has been committed to urgent issues since its inception, devoting many exhibitions and programs throughout its history to issues of representation with regard to gender and sexuality, among them “Extended Sensibilities” (1982), “Difference” (1984–85), “Homo Video” (1986–87), and “Bad Girls” (1994). Following in this tradition, “Trigger” extends the conversation around identity, considering how even a fluid conception of gender is nonetheless marked by ongoing negotiations of power and cannot be understood outside its complex intersections with race, class, sexuality, and disability. The exhibition will feature more than forty artists working across a variety of mediums and genres, including film, video, performance, painting, sculpture, photography, and craft. Many embrace explicit pleasure and visual lushness as political strategies, and some deliberately reject or complicate overt representation, turning to poetic language, docufiction, and abstraction to affirm ambiguities and reflect shifting modes of embodiment. Representing no single point of view, and in some cases presenting productively contradictory positions, “Trigger” will assemble artists for their singular efforts in considering gender’s capacity to represent a more general refusal of stable categorization—a refusal at the heart of today’s most compelling artistic practices. The exhibition is on view from September 27, 2017, to January 21, 2018, and is curated by Johanna Burton, Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Engagement, with Natalie Bell, Assistant Curator, and Sara O’Keeffe, Assistant Curator.

EXHIBITION: “Pursuing the Unpredictable: The New Museum, 1977–2017”
In concert with the Digital Archive relaunch, “Pursuing the Unpredictable” reflects on the New Museum’s history as an alternative museum committed to art, ideas, and institutional practices at the forefront of culture and discourse. The exhibition will present a timeline, designed by Project Projects, featuring highlights from the Museum’s early years through the present, alongside key archival documents, videos, books, and audio recordings that reflect the Museum’s consistent themes and discussions; these materials bear testament to the institution’s ongoing inquiries into the role of art museums. The exhibition is on view from September 27, 2017, to January 21, 2018, and is curated by Alicia Ritson, Marcia Tucker Senior Research Fellow.

ONLINE: Launch of Redesigned Digital Archive
The New Museum will launch its redesigned Digital Archive in September 2017. Design studio Linked by Air has crafted a bold new website that will present over 10,000 archival materials and objects that illustrate the Museum’s distinct forty-year history and its role in advancing contemporary art. Beginning with an interactive chronology and series of dynamic features, the new Archive will foreground the works of hundreds of pioneering artists and tell a larger story about the changing landscape of contemporary art from the late 1970s until today. A leading digital initiative, the Digital Archive preserves the Museum’s institutional memory while embodying its forward-thinking embrace of technology as a means of public engagement.

DECEMBER 2 and 3, 2017
ANNIVERSARY WEEKEND: “Who’s Afraid of the New Now? 40 Artists in Dialogue to Celebrate the New Museum's Anniversary”
Over a weekend in December, the Museum will celebrate its anniversary by hosting an intergenerational group of forty artists in conversation, with extended Museum hours and free admission. Among the participants will be PaweĊ‚ Althamer, Lynda Benglis, Judith Bernstein, Paul Chan, George Condo, Jeremy Deller, Carroll Dunham, Hans Haacke, Sharon Hayes, Mary Heilmann, Carsten Höller, Joan Jonas, Mary Kelly, Ragnar Kjartansson, Paul McCarthy, Donald Moffett, Linda Montano, Howardena Pindell, Faith Ringgold, Dorothea Rockburne, Martha Rosler, Allen Ruppersberg, Anri Sala, Doris Salcedo, and Carolee Schneemann, with the complete list to be announced this fall. The event is organized by Natalie Bell, Assistant Curator; Gary Carrion-Murayari, Kraus Family Curator; Helga Christoffersen, Assistant Curator; Massimiliano Gioni, Edlis Neeson Artistic Director; and Margot Norton, Curator.

Edited by Lisa Phillips, Toby Devan Lewis Director, with contributions by Johanna Burton, Lauren Cornell, Massimiliano Gioni, Joseph Grima, Julia Kaganskiy, Lisa Phillips, Ned Rifkin, Lynne Tillman, and Brian Wallis. Co-published by Phaidon

A rich, illustrated history of the New Museum, 40 Years New captures the New Museum's legendary firsts, major milestones, groundbreaking exhibitions, and prescient curatorial thinking. This book will provide the first history of the bold and experimental spirit that makes the New Museum a model twenty-first-century art museum. The book traces the Museum’s growth, from its beginnings in a loft in Tribeca to its current role on the international stage. 40 Years New will be followed in spring 2018 by an edited volume of writings by Marcia Tucker, the New Museum’s founding director, collecting seminal texts as well as unpublished essays and lectures.

Photo: Dean Kaufman

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