"I Am Still Alive: Politics and Everyday Life in Contemporary Drawing" Exhibition

The Museum of Modern Art

poster for "I Am Still Alive: Politics and Everyday Life in Contemporary Drawing" Exhibition

This event has ended.

This exhibition that brings together recently acquired works dating from the 1950s to today that exemplify expressions of a personal existence in the world with decidedly conceptual, ephemeral, even opaque means, on view March 23 through September 19, 2011. The artists in this exhibition comment—often directly—on the state of the world around them, highlighting their place within it, or sometimes simply attesting to the existence of an outside reality full of conflicts and politics in everyday life. The installation takes works by Danh Vo, On Kawara, and Cengiz Çekil as starting points from which to examine how artists have registered urgent, violent, and far-reaching political affairs and profound human emotions and traumas—mental suffering, illness, and death—through gestures that may at first appear slight. Often it is through the simplest of gestures—such as writing and drawing—that the most intimate aspects of an artist's life come to the fore.

In 1970, On Kawara (Japanese, b. 1933) sent a series of telegrams to his Dutch gallerist proclaiming, "I am still alive." Danh Vo (Danish, born Vietnam, 1975) appropriated the chandelier beneath which the Paris Peace Accord, which ended the Vietnam War, was signed in 1973 in the former ballroom of the Hotel Majestic, Paris—an event that led to the artist's exile from Vietnam two years later. For two months in 1976, Cengiz Çekil (Turkish, b. 1945) stamped "I am still alive today" in his small diary each night, a response to increasing military tension in his native Turkey. In all three cases, the simplicity and austerity of the artworks belie the complexity of the realities—political upheaval, displacement, a human life, and languages of protest—that inspired them and that render them politically relevant and emotionally resonant.

[Image: Marcel Odenbach "Edelweisspiraten (Edelweiss Pirates)" (2001) watercolor, pencil, cut-and-pasted printed paper, and gouache on paper 14 1/8 x 18 3/4 in. © 2011 Marcel Odenbach/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Germany]



from March 23, 2011 to September 19, 2011

  • Facebook


    All content on this site is © their respective owner(s).
    New York Art Beat (2008) - About - Contact - Privacy - Terms of Use