Re-Classifying History by Catherine Wagner
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Catherine Wagner, Columbus, Penelope, Delilah, 2005. Courtesy of artist
To inaugurate the opening of the remodeled de Young Museum by Herzog and de Meuron, artist Catherine Wagner was asked to create a body of work from the collection that rested in storage during construction. In this special conversation, join Wagner and Janna Keegan, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art and Programming, as they take a look back at this 2005 inaugural exhibition and other events throughout the 125 years of the de Young Museum.
This event is part of Virtual Wednesdays, a weekly YouTube broadcast bringing you unique viewpoints exploring diversity, resilience, and creative spirit in the arts as we aim to reframe our exhibitions and collections. View upcoming Virtual Wednesdays programs.
About Catherine Wagner
Over the course of her career, Catherine Wagner has been observing the built environment as a metaphor for how we construct our cultural identities. In 2001, Ms. Wagner was named one of Time Magazine’s Fine Arts Innovators of the Year. Her work is represented in major collections such as the de Young Museum, LACMA, SFMoMA, The Whitney Museum, MoMA, among others.
About Re-Classifying History
Isolating her subjects among a black expanse, Wagner created tableaux that subvert traditional notions of history. By maintaining the structures of support built around statuary for shipment and containment she challenges the creation of a canonical history through her use of fictive narrative. Figures of antiquity shed their patina of accepted truth and become objects, myths unto themselves waiting to be unveiled. Even chairs by famous designers or craftspeople alike that have risen to the degree of institutional preservation invoke questions of tiered society when arranged in conversation with one another. Some of our most basic tenets rise to the fore when a museum’s collection is examined from an unusual angle.
No registration required. Free online event.
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