Now it's the collectors who are being honored for keeping the arts alive at an attention-grabbing level via maintained auction sales figures, splashy exhibitions and booming art fairs.
Blogs from the latter world this past winter, in New York, Switzerland and Miami, mingled pictures of buttoned-down lawyers and Wall Street types mingling with rediscovered Punk Era pop stars and paparazzi-ready name stars with marquee brands (à la Matthew Barney, David LaChapelle and our region's own Kiki Smith). Now, savvily curated shows at the Hudson Valley's world-class contemporary art palaces - from Westchester north to Bard's Center for Curatorial Studies (CCS), the key reservoir for at least half of the current movement - are focusing solely on private collectors.
Back on May 1, the Neuberger Museum at SUNY-Purchase opened "Living with Art: Collecting Contemporary in Metro New York," featuring six new collections that have been helping set the standards for modern art history. It will be up through August 15.
This Saturday, June 26, CCS Bard's Hessel Museum - itself based on a major contemporary collection - opens up "At Home/Not at Home: Works from the Collection of Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg," curated by the director of one of New York's leading alternative (read: not-for-profit) gallery spaces and featuring one of the more cutting-edge collections featured in the Neuberger show. It will be up through December 19.
Based in Westchester, the Eisenbergs have built their collection over the past 25 years to the point where they are currently housing some 500 works of art, hung salon-style throughout every nook and cranny of their home. The academic idea of the show is to demonstrate the strengths of a well-collected group of works as a means of defining both what's going on in art these days and the many ways in which that art can be seen. Simultaneously, for those not as familiar or comfortable with the sometimes-abrasive elements of what passes as art these days, the exhibition will demonstrate, in an admittedly oblique fashion (expanded through the publication of an accompanying catalogue with images of the pieces in the Eisenbergs' home context), how one can actually live with what one sees these days.
Concurrently, in the CCS Bard Galleries, the Center will present an exhibition of work by French film narrative reorganizing artist Philippe Parreno, who is currently the recipient of a series of retrospectives taking place from 2009 to 2011 at the Kunsthalle Zurich, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, the Serpentine Gallery in London and Bard. His show will be on view from June 26 through September 26.
Both exhibitions open this Saturday, June 26 with a reception from 1 to 5 p.m. On Sunday, June 27, CCS Bard will present a series of special programming related to the Philippe Parreno exhibition, which will include a discussion between Philippe Parreno and Simon Critchley, chair of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research in New York, as well as a screening of the single-channel version of his recent Cannes-premiered film, Zidane: A XXIst Century Portrait.
For more information, call CCS Bard at (845) 758-7598 or visit www.bard/edu/ccs.