Sites of Reason: A Selection of Recent Acquisitions

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MoMA presents Sites of Reason: A Selection of Recent Acquisitions, an exhibition of 16 works by 13 artists, most of which have been acquired over the last few years and are on view at MoMA for the first time. This exhibition brings together a selection of works that articulate relationships between ideas and the physical world, considering image, text, gesture, and voice—and hybrids of these—as sites of exchange between aesthetic, conceptual, and political concerns. The exhibition’s title is adapted from the phrase “the sight of a reason,” from Gertrude Stein’s groundbreaking prose work Tender Buttons (1914). In an ongoing project, Los Angeles–based artist Eve Fowler has reproduced fragments from Stein’s writings in commercially printed posters originally displayed in public locations throughout L.A. Stein’s aim to free language from its predetermined usage—and Fowler’s act of recontextualization—provide a point of departure for the exhibition. Sites of Reason is organized by David Platzker, Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints, and Erica Papernik, Assistant Curator, Department of Media and Performance Art, MoMA.

The exhibition draws connections between two generations of contemporary artists, including Sol LeWitt, Richard Serra with Nancy Holt, Allen Ruppersberg, Seth Price, Simryn Gill, Liz Deschenes, Charles Gaines, Emily Roysdon, Matt Mullican, Hanne Darboven, and Peter Downsbrough. The works on view inhabit hybrid forms in which characteristics of drawing, video, text, performance, photography, or architecture coalesce. As information migrates across a range of forms, possibilities for interpretation expand, and questions emerge about the assumed role of the artist as singular author.

The exhibition is supported in part by The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern and by the MoMA Annual Exhibition Fund.