Lunch and art was Byer’s inspiration for show

“The Peaceable Kingdom” by Edward Hicks (American 1780-1849), c. 1837, oil on canvas; Carnegie Museum of Art, Bequest of Charles J. Rosenbloom, 74.7.13.

    (AAPNW-PA) – Opening on Friday, October 15 in the Heinz Galleries and Forum Gallery of the Carnegie Museum of Art, “Ordinary Madness” reflects this cultural institution’s rich holdings of contemporary art, suggesting that the ordinary is in fact laced with the contradictory, uncanny and surreal.

     On view through January 9, 2001, will be a wide array of works that engage the everyday from various vantage points, illuminating the experiences we subconsciously accept as part of our daily life. The exhibition is organized by Dan Byers, associate curator of contemporary art, who got his inspiration for the show from one of his favorite books of poetry, “Lunch Poems” by Frank O’Hara. A curator at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in the 1940s and ’50s, O’Hara would jot down poems over lunch. “I love the idea that he was working with art and then he would go into the world and let the city spur on these poems, and art would be in the background,” said Byers.

     Presenting a series of comparisons across media and time period, revealing how artists engage these conditions of dissonance and fracture—so integral to art-making and yet threatening to a comfortable understanding of the world around us, at the heart of the exhibition are the strengths, quirks, and unique history recorded in the museum’s collection of contemporary art.

     An opening reception and film screening will be held Thursday, October 14,featuring work by Vito Acconci, Pawel Althamer, Robert Arneson, Lynda Benglis, John Bock, Charles Burchfield, James Lee Byars, Paul Cadmus, Anthony Caro, Paul Chan, Larry Clark, Trisha Donnelly, Red Grooms, Edward Hicks, David Hockney, Isa Genzken, Robert Gober, Dan Graham, Philip Guston, Rachel Harrison, Karen Kilimnik, Mike Kelley, Barry Le Va, Reginald Marsh, John McCracken, Henri Michaux, Mary Miss, Senga Nengudi, Catherine Opie, Damian Ortega, Laura Owens, Ken Price, Doris Salcedo, Peter Saul, Lara Schnitger, Joe Tilson, Christopher Wool and others.  Also on Friday, October 22 and Wednesday, November 10, 16mm film screenings will show work in the collection by Kenneth Anger, Bruce Conner, Carolee Schneemann, Ed Emshwiller, George Kuchar, Roger Jacoby, Hollis Frampton, and Stephanie Beroes.

“Second Avenue, New York” (man reading in antique store), June 30, 1969, gelatin silver print © Courtesy Estate of André Kertész/Higher Pictures 2007, by André Kertész, American, b. Austria-Hungary, 1894-1985.

     Coming to the Works on Paper Gallery on Saturday, October 23, “André Kertész: On Reading” and remaining on view through February 13, 2011, is directed by Linda Benedict-Jones, curator of photography at CMA, is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College in Chicago.

     Henri Cartier-Bresson once said of himself, Robert Capa, and Brassaï, “Whatever we have done, Kertész did first.” He was referring to André Kertész, one of the giants of 20th-century photography, whose work spanned more than 50 years.

     The show presents 100 photographs that examine the power of reading as a universal pleasure, made by Kertész in Hungary, France, Asia and the United States over the course of his career. The photos reveal his partiality for the poetry and choreography of life in public and in private moments at home, that illustrate his love affair people have with the written word.




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