Beginning February 8, 2015, the Montclair Art Museum will present Come as You Are: Art of the 1990s, the first major museum survey to examine the art of this pivotal decade in its historical context. The exhibition showcases approximately 65 works by 45 artists born or practicing in the United States—including Doug Aitken, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Glenn Ligon, Julie Mehretu, Prema Murthy, Shirin Neshat, Catherine Opie, Gabriel Orozco, Diana Thater, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Kara Walker—and will comprise installations, paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photography, video, and digital art. Come as You Are will focus on three principal themes: the “identity politics” debates, the digital revolution, and globalization, and will explore a range of geopolitical milestones and social issues from 1989 to 2001—from the fall of the Berlin Wall to 9/11—through the perspective of artists working at that time. Come as You Are will be on view at MAM February 8 – May 17, 2015, and will then travel to Telfair Museums in Savannah, GA; the University of Michigan Museum of Art; and the Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin.

Come as You Are is the largest and most ambitious exhibition presented by the Montclair Art Museum’s Contemporary Art Program since it was established in 2010, and is organized by Alexandra Schwartz, the first curator of contemporary art at MAM. MAM is developing a fully illustrated catalog for Come as You Are, co-published by the University of California Press. It will be the first comprehensive publication on the art of the 1990s to date and will lay groundwork for future research and study of both the works included in the exhibition and the period as a whole.

“The Montclair Art Museum is thrilled to present this unprecedented exhibition, which so powerfully brings into focus the role of contemporary art in reflecting the tremendous societal shifts of the 1990s,” said the Museum’s director, Lora Urbanelli. “Come as You Are will underscore the interplay between MAM’s historical and contemporary collections, and the growth of our Contemporary Art Program. That program builds on the Museum’s roots established by one of MAM’s founders—William T.Evans—who was committed to collecting early 20th-century works, which were the contemporary art of his time. We look forward to bringing to light for our audiences the tremendous impact the 1990s had on the art world and our lives today.”

“Come as You Are writes a history of the 90s through the lens of the visual arts,” said Alexandra Schwartz, curator of contemporary art at MAM. “Where we are today as a culture was, in many ways, defined by the 1990s, and the issues these artists confronted then are still very much in play now. We hope to ignite a conversation about the 1990s—about the art, about the social and political concerns that these artists faced and addressed, about where technology is leading us. Visitors should emerge from this exhibition with a better understanding of why this was such a watershed decade.”

The Artists
Doug Aitken (born 1968, USA)
Laylah Ali (born 1968, USA)
Janine Antoni (born 1964, Bahamas)
Aziz + Cucher (Anthony Aziz, b. 1961 USA and Sammy Cucher, b. 1958 Peru)
Alex Bag (born 1969, USA)
Matthew Barney (born 1967, USA)
Michael Ray Charles (born 1967, USA)
Mark Dion (born 1961, USA)
Jeanne Dunning (born 1960, USA)
Andrea Fraser (born 1965, USA)
Ellen Gallagher (born 1965, USA)
Felix Gonzalez-Torres (born 1957 Cuba – died 1996 USA)
JODI (Joan Heemskerk, b. 1968 Netherlands
and Dirk Paesmans, b. 1965 Belgium)
Glenn Kaino (born 1972, USA)
Karen Kilimnik (born 1955, USA)
Byron Kim (born 1961, USA)
Nikki S. Lee (born 1970, South Korea)
Glenn Ligon (born 1960, USA)
Sharon Lockhart (born 1964, USA)
Daniel Joseph Martinez (born 1957, USA)
Julie Mehretu (born 1970, Ethiopia)
Mariko Mori (born 1967, Japan)
Vik Muniz (born 1961, Brazil)
Prema Murthy (born 1969, USA)
Mark Napier (born 1961, USA)
Shirin Neshat (born 1957, Iran)
Keith + Mendi Obadike (born 1973, USA)
Manuel Ocampo (born 1965, Philippines)
Catherine Opie (born 1961, USA)
Gabriel Orozco (born 1962, Mexico)
Pepón Osorio (born 1955, Puerto Rico)
Laura Owens (born 1970, USA)
Jorge Pardo (born 1963, Cuba)
Jennifer Pastor (born 1965, USA)
Elizabeth Peyton (born 1965, USA)
Jason Rhoades (1965-2006, USA)
Beverly Semmes (born 1958, USA)
Shahzia Sikander (born 1969, Pakistan)
Gary Simmons (born 1964, USA)
Frances Stark (born 1967, USA)
Diana Thater (born 1962, USA)
Rirkrit Tiravanija (born 1961, Argentina)
Mark Tribe (born 1966, USA)
Kara Walker (born 1969, USA)
Fred Wilson (born 1954, USA)
Andrea Zittel (born 1965, USA)
Marina Zurkow (born 1962, USA)

Exhibition Catalog and Programming
The exhibition is accompanied by the definitive catalogue on the art of the 1990s to date. Co-published by the University of California Press and the Montclair Art Museum, it includes four overview essays by exhibition curator Alexandra Schwartz and seven short, thematic essays by some of today’s foremost contemporary art historians along with a comprehensive chronology.

MAM will offer a wide variety of public and family programs in connection with the exhibition. Highlights include:

  • February 11-April 15, 2015 – “Come as You Are: Films of the 90’s”
  • February 2015 – “The History and Future of Internet Art,” (exact date to be announced)
  • March 7, 2015 – 1990s-themed dance party
  • May 14, 2015 – “Identity Politics, Then and Now”

More information on public programs and events will be available in the coming months. For updates, please visit the MAM website at montclairartmuseum.org.

Exhibition Support
Come as You Are: Art of the 1990s is made possible with generous support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Major funding provided by the Susan V. Bershad Charitable Fund, Inc., Holly English and Fred Smagorinsky, Tracy Higgins and James Leitner, Karen G. Mandelbaum, Robert Nossa and Jennifer Odell, Sarah Peter, Ann and Mel Schaffer, Denise and Ira Wagner, Margo and Frank Walter, Furthermore: a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund, and the Judith Targan Endowment Fund for Museum Publications.

Additional support is provided by the exhibition Leadership Committee: James Cohan Gallery, New York/Shanghai, Eileen and Michael Cohen, Barbara Lee Family Foundation, Metro Pictures, New York, and Andrea Rosen Gallery.

Travel Schedule
Montclair Art Museum
Montclair, NJ
February 8 – May 17, 2015

Telfair Museums
Savannah, GA
June 12 – September 20, 2015

University of Michigan Museum of Art
Ann Arbor, MI
October 17, 2015 – January 31, 2016

Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX
February 21 – May 15, 2016

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