Ordinary Madness

Carnegie Museum of Art, Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, 10/15/2010 - 01/09/2011

4400 Forbes Avenue


Ordinary Madness mines Carnegie Museum of Art’s rich holdings of contemporary art to suggest an unsettling observation: that the ordinary is in fact laced with the contradictory, uncanny, and surreal. On view will be a wide array of works that engage the everyday from various skewed (or perhaps clear-eyed) vantage points, illuminating the bewildering experiences we subconsciously accept as part of our daily life. The exhibition presents a series of comparisons across media and time period, revealing how artists engage these conditions of dissonance and fracture—so integral to art-making and yet threatening to a comfortable understanding of the world around us.

At the heart of the exhibition are the strengths, quirks, and unique history recorded in the museum’s collection of contemporary art. Ordinary Madness will revisit major works acquired through past Internationals, and bring out others that have not been on view in many years, if ever.

Featuring work by Vito Acconci, Pawel Althamer, Robert Arneson, Lynda Benglis, John Bock, Charles Burchfield, James Lee Byars, Paul Cadmus, Anthony Caro, Paul Chan, Larry Clark, Trisha Donnelly, Red Grooms, Edward Hicks, David Hockney, Isa Genzken, Robert Gober, Dan Graham, Philip Guston, Rachel Harrison, Karen Kilimnik, Mike Kelley, Barry Le VaReginald Marsh, John McCracken, Henri Michaux, Mary Miss, Senga Nengudi, Catherine Opie, Damian Ortega, Laura Owens, Ken Price, Doris Salcedo, Peter Saul, Lara Schnitger, Joe Tilson, Christopher Wool, and others. Two evenings of 16mm film screenings, on October 22 and November 10, will show work in the collection by Kenneth Anger, Bruce Conner, Carolee Schneemann, Ed Emshwiller, George Kuchar, Roger Jacoby, Hollis Frampton, and Stephanie Beroes.

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Pawel Althamer

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