Barton Lidice Benes, Mark Dion, Cui Fei, Vanessa German, Jean Shin, Jan Staller, and Penelope Umbrico
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Cabinets of Wonder: The Art of Collecting, an exhibition of works by established and emerging artists that encourages curiosity about the world.
Cabinets of Wonder or Curiosity Cabinets, from the German term Wunderkammer, are historically strange collections of natural objects, art, or bizarre artifacts that Illustrated the collectors’ rare knowledge, prestige or power. They can also be considered museums for our imagination, containing the objects and stories that demonstrate our curiosity for collecting. A contemporary interpretation of the traditional Wunderkammer (Wonder Cabinets), this exhibition presents the work of contemporary artists who collect and re-display familiar objects from nature and every day life. In an era of high-tech mass production, these artists lend themselves to a labor-intensive, manual process that transforms the mundane into the marvelous.
Collecting is a human activity that always fascinates. Anything can be an object for collecting, from cooking spoons to paintings of cooking spoons. We collect things as a pastime, as a mission in life, or just because we can’t help it. Collecting shines a searchlight – directly or indirectly – on the relationship between the objects we desire, and their relationship to us, or to society. The exhibition Cabinet of Wonder: The Art of Collecting encourages viewers to consider their own habits of collecting whether is it clay bar figures or stamps.