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Art & Activism: Drawing the Line

On view:
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Exhibiting Artists

Andrea Bowers, Rico Gatson, Eric Gottesman, Guerilla Girls, Monica Lundy & Walter Maciel, Gordon Parks, Shane Aslan Selzer, and the CMA Permanent Collection

Art & Activism: Drawing the line looks at art as a form of activism and considers different aesthetic strategies that artists have used to address the politically urgent questions of their time. The artists included in the exhibition draw from the emergence of protests and use contemporary art to rethink conventions of gender, sexuality, immigration and race.

Central to this exhibition is the study of ways in which artists have used visual representation to engage audiences beyond the art world. Conversely, these artists have also considered different modes of activism to question, protest, and engage within the institutions of art and use their work to produce evidence of inspirational activism, commentaries on injustice and as tools to prompt social change. These artists question the status quo, record and reflect protest, as well as injustices and hardship, drawing attention to the need for change. We, as the viewers, bear witness to this documentation and hopefully become encouraged to act.

Top Image: Andrea Bowers, Les Répondeuses, 2014, Marker on cardboard sourced from the Louis Vuitton Champs-Elysées store

View the installation images here.


This exhibition is supported, in part, by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew Cuomo, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Also on view

    The Bridge Space Bridge Project: Ryan Frank — Trash Portraits

    Ryan Frank’s Trash Portraits are a series of photographs shot directly over the circular openings of the metal trashcans that are placed on New York City street corners. Frank considers the trashcans on every street corner in all five boroughs as still life portraits illustrating a shared, constantly changing and usually unconsidered public space. Photographs of the circular trashcans are cropped along the edges, printed on photo transparency and mounted to Plexiglas to glow on both sides of the Bridge by the artificial or natural light. Each window in the Bridge has a unique trashcan portrait of a varying size, visible from the Bridge as well as viewable from the lobby and gallery.

    Interspersed along the walls of the Bridge between the windows are photo-cutouts of detailed and enlarged pieces of trash. These wrappers, cans, disposable cups, napkins, crumpled up newspapers, etc., are a comparison of the rocks, dirt and grass that one might find in rural landscapes. The trash cutouts provide the museum visitor with a sense of flow and movement between the windows as if you are walking along any street in New York City.

    Frank shines a light on the issues of consumption, climate change, geography, sociology, and civic responsibility and asks us to look at the hard questions of trash. Where does all the trash go? Why do we generate so much trash? Do we even notice all the trash in our community? What can we do? How can we produce less trash? Can we help?

    This exhibition is supported, in part, by Raymond Learsy, Eileen & Larry Letts, Janet & David Offensend, Shannon & Isaac Green, Joie Jager-Hyman & Josh Zizmor, Bonny Wolf & Michael Levy.

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