If you want to get noticed, wear clothes with big polka dots. Or maybe get a facial piercing. With a similar goal in mind — getting attention — the New Mexico Museum of Art is promoting its newest exhibition with a made-up name: The Bureau of Contemporary Art. Invented to help broadcast that the museum’s holdings include more than 5,500 contemporary artworks, the “bureau” focuses on pieces produced since 1970.
Represented mediums vary from flat to dimensional and beyond. In Something Wrong, artist Silvia Levenson offers a dainty glass bowl full of glass hand grenades. Although composed of generally rounded surfaces, its lines are hard and real compared to another example, Peter Sarkisian’s The Gathering Series I (The Cocktail Pieces). Described as “mixed media video sculptures,” these are the results of his explorations into frame and surface.
Among the more than 30 other artists with work presented in the exhibition Case Studies From the Bureau of Contemporary Art are Erika Blumenfeld, Louise Bourgeois, Tom Joyce, Agnes Martin, Bruce Nauman, Eugene Newmann, Kim Russo, and Joel-Peter Witkin.
Some living art is planned for the opening reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19. One of the living is Tim Jag, aka Orangeman, who does things dressed in, and surrounded by, the color orange. Another alive person is the Rubber Lady, who has been around Santa Fe for decades. The performance artist initiated her really rubbery persona to protest this museum’s censorship of a rubber sculpture by artist Brad Smith in the late 1970s.
See it all at the New Mexico Museum of Art, 107 W. Palace Ave. Case Studies hangs through March 20, 2011. There is no charge for the Friday-evening opening; call 476-5072.
Stretch arms long: the Rubber Lady Something Wrong, kiln-cast glass with pressed glass, 3.25 x 6.25 x 6.25 inches; Collection of the New Mexico Museum of Art