Oct 15 — Dec 05, 2009
Featuring work by: Henry Munyaradzi, Bowa Devi, Louise Bourgeois, Francesco Clemente, Alfredo Jaar, Linares Family, Sigmar Polke, Alighiero e Boetti, Georges Liautaud, Workshop of Kane Kwei, Agbagli Kossi, Acharya Vyakul, Nancy Spero, Claes Oldenburg, Jose Bedia, Ethnographic Anon
On the twentieth anniversary of Magiciens de la Terre, Fleisher/Ollman is pleased to announce Back to Earth, an homage to the groundbreaking 1989 exhibition that sought to address the problem, articulated by the show's curator, Jean Hubert-Martin, of "one hundred percent of exhibitions ignoring eighty percent of the earth."
Magiciens de la Terre, presented in Paris at the Pompidou Center and the Parc de la Villette, included work by fifty artists from the "centers" (United States and Western Europe) and 50 from the "margins" (Africa, Latin America, Asia, and Australia). It was the first exhibition to display such disparate artists-from superstars of the 1980s New York art scene to craftsmen living in secluded rural villages-on equal footing, without the assumed superiority of Western art and culture.
Extremely controversial when it opened, Magiciens de la Terre had lasting effects on the discourse of contemporary art, prompting a deeper conversation about the context, ritual, community, and function of global art-making. These topics remain wholly relevant today.
This seminal exhibition has served as a touchstone for Fleisher/Ollman, whose program advocates against artificial distinctions between vernacular and academic art. Back to Earth acknowledges the contributions of Magiciens de la Terre by presenting the work of 25 artists included in the original exhibition, and speaks to the gallery's continuing curatorial goal of aesthetic and cultural bridge-building.
Select artists in Back to Earth: Revisiting Magiciens de la Terre include:John Baldessari (United States), Jose Bedia (Cuba), Joe Ben, Jr. (Native American Navajo), Alighiero e Boetti (Italy), Louise Bourgeois (United States), Francesco Clemente (Italy), Bowa Devi (India), Alfredo Jaar (Chile), Kane Kwei (Ghana), Agbagli Kossi (Togo), Georges Liautaud (Haiti), Felipe Linares (Mexico), (Henry Munyaradzi (Zimbabwe), Sigmar Polke (Germany), Twins Seven Seven (Nigeria), Acharya Vyakul (India), Zush (Spain).
For further information or images, please contact Amy Adams or Claire Iltis at 215.545.7562.