Neuberger Museum of Art presents the work of MacArthur “Genius” grantee Fred Wilson with a survey of his work, from 1995 to the present, as well as a site-specific installation. A graduate of Purchase College, with which the Neuberger is associated, Wilson returns to his alma mater with his site-specific installation after extensively researching the Museum and College’s collections and archives for several months. Wilson is best known for reorganizing and re-contextualizing works that are in the permanent collections of the museums in which he is exhibiting. These new arrangements are meant to reveal new meanings and perspectives otherwise unseen. The artist explains: “Objects have various lives and these lives are formed by the context that they’re in. Where they’re moved to can change their meaning… My goal is to tease out other ways of looking at and viewing the objects, and see what that elicits.”
The survey of Wilson’s works from 1995 reassesses social and historical narratives. Along with three new works, this collection features 76 studio works, including: Old Salem: A Family of Strangers (1995), which consists of 20 portrait photographs of a collection of dolls found in storage, but not exhibited, at the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts in Winston- Salem, NC; Snuff, (2003) which examines the historical role of Africans in Venice, as inspired by 15th-19th century Venetian paintings; and No Way But This (2013), a series of chandeliers that are composed of Murano glass that is black instead of the traditional pastel, thereby conjuring a history of race relations in Venice. Fred Wilson will be on view through July 30. For more info, visit: neuberger.org.
Image above: Fred Wilson (photo credit: Kerry Ryan McFate)
A version of this article first appeared in the May 2017 issue of ArtsNews, ArtsWestchester’s monthly publication. ArtsNews is distributed throughout Westchester County. A digital copy is also available at artsw.org/artsnews.