2013 Carnegie International

Carnegie Museum of Art, Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, 10/05/2013 - 03/16/2014

4400 Forbes Avenue


The 2013 Carnegie International brings together 35 artists from 19 countries, including a series of large-scale new commissions—presenting a broad spectrum of artworks, attitudes, and voices. It exposes powerful reinterpretations of the figure as a site of resistance, emancipation, and healing. It confronts everyday existence in all its beauty, imperfection, and confusion. It elucidates how abstraction can be employed as a tool to engage with the world. It makes a claim for the importance of place and reads history against the grain, paying homage to the multiplicities and dissonances that make our world richer and the future more interesting.

Despite social media, the Internet, and our global information economy, it still makes a difference if you live in Tehran, a village near Kraków, Johannesburg, or Los Angeles. Yet all of the artists in the exhibition, while working from and within a local context, translate their views into pictures, sculptures, concepts, or installations that can be understood by a broad audience.

On the one hand playful and experiential, the exhibition also takes a serious look at our contemporary world. A massive sculpture takes over public space to transform the museum entrance; a comprehensive photographic investigation dissects the culture of James Bond; and musical instruments made from former weapons play wondrous sounds. History is a constant subject for artists in the 2013 Carnegie International, from little-known episodes such as legendary potter George E. Ohr’s program of self-promotion to overlooked art forms like puppetry to powerful recollections of the Vietnam War told from an unexpected perspective. A photographic catalogue of utopian communities celebrates the successes and failures of American idealism. Large-scale immersive transformations of space include a major architectural intervention in the museum’s distinguished Hall of Architecture, a library of a thousand books transported into the museum’s Hall of Sculpture, and the remodeling of the Café as a cabaret. And Pittsburgh finds its way in through hundreds of portraits taken on the streets of Homestead, a former steel town, and through a neighborhood-based art lending collection in the historic Braddock Carnegie Library.

The 2013 Carnegie International is a multidimensional enterprise that celebrates the role of art in our lives. Its centrality is further investigated and enhanced by two other exhibitions hosted within the International—The Playground Project and the reinstallation the museum’s permanent collection of modern and contemporary art.

The exhibition includes Ei Arakawa/Henning Bohl, Phyllida Barlow, Yael Bartana, Sadie Benning, Bidoun Library, Nicole Eisenman, Lara Favaretto, Vincent Fecteau, Rodney Graham, Guo Fengyi, Wade Guyton, Rokni Haerizadeh, He An, Amar Kanwar, Dinh Q. Lê, Mark Leckey, Pierre Leguillon, Sarah Lucas, Tobias Madison, Zanele Muholi, Paulina Olowska, The Playground Project, Pedro Reyes, Kamran Shirdel, Gabriel Sierra, Taryn Simon, Frances Stark, Joel Sternfeld, Mladen Stilinovic, Zoe Strauss, Henry Taylor, Tezuka Architects, Transformazium, Erika Verzutti, and Joseph Yoakum.

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Yael Bartana
Lara Favaretto

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