NEW YORK, NY.- The Museum of Modern Art
opened Artists Choice: Amy SillmanThe Shape of Shape, an exhibition of nearly 75 works from MoMAs collection selected by Sillman (b. 1955), an artist who has helped redefine contemporary painting, pushing the medium into installations, prints, zines, animation, and architecture. On view from October 21, 2019, through April 20, 2020, the exhibition includes a wide array of works, many rarely seen, installed in a unique shelving display on the fifth floor of The Jerry Speyer and Katherine Farley Building.
In this exhibition, Sillman presents a highly personal exploration of shapethe ever-shifting boundaries that define what and how we seein modern art. Works spanning vastly different time periods, places, and mediums engage the eccentric forms and unpredictable contours of bodies, fragments, gestures, and shadows. Sillman examines the creation of shape as an act of subjective choicein contrast to art made by following systems, rules, or grids, conventions that have often dominated artistic practice throughout the 20th century. The Shape of Shape is organized by Amy Sillman with Michelle Kuo, The Marlene Hess Curator, and Jenny Harris, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Painting and Sculpture.
Reflecting on her curatorial process, Sillman said, Even though shape is everywhere, we dont talk about it much; its not a hot topic in art, like color or systems. So I decided to look for works in MoMAs collection in which shape does prevail over other considerations. I found a wealth of artworks, far too many to include here, by artists who dig into lifes surfaces, who start with physical perception rather than abstract logic. Often eccentric, poetic, or intimate, these works are like bodies that speak, operating at the hub of language and matter, signs and sensations.
The Shape of Shape includes works by a diverse range of artists, including Henri Matisse (French, 18691954), Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (German, 18801938), Louise Bourgeois (American, born France, 19112010), Romare Bearden (American, 19111988), Thomas Mukarobgwa (Zimbabwean, 19241999), Lois Lane (American, b. 1948), and Charline von Heyl (German, b. 1960), among many others.
The Shape of Shape is the 14th installment of MoMAs Artists Choice series, in which a contemporary artist organizes an installation drawn from the Museums collection. Recent participants in the series, which was inaugurated in 1989, include Peter Fischli (2018), David Hammons (2017), Trisha Donnelly (2012), and the architects Herzog & de Meuron (2006).