CCA Wattis Institute Presents The Way Beyond Art: Wide White Space
Posted on Thursday, December 16, 2010 by Sarah Owens
The CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts will present the exhibition The Way Beyond Art: Wide White Space January 20 through February 5, 2011, in the lower-level Logan Galleries on the San Francisco campus of California College of the Arts. The exhibition is free and open to the public, with an opening reception on Thursday, January 20, from 6–8 p.m.
The Way Beyond Art: Wide White Space will investigate graphic design’s evolving relationship with the practice of exhibition making as it intersects with the visual arts and the work of artists and curators. This exhibition is realized in collaboration with CCA's undergraduate Graphic Design Program, the Graduate Program in Design, and Graphic Design professor Jon Sueda, who founded the San Francisco design practice Stripe. Wide White Space is the second installment in The Way Beyond Art, a series of exhibitions at the Wattis that closely integrates the institute's programs with CCA's faculty and curricula outside the fine arts.
Historically, galleries and museums have been fertile arenas for graphic designers to practice, whether via exhibition catalogs, exhibition design and signage, promotional materials, or interactive media. Wide White Space will focus in particular on graphic designers who create innovative identities for exhibiting institutions, forge unique collaborations with curators, and launch their own exhibition-based initiatives.
Wide White Space will also look at how designers can extend the parameters of their practice by consciously operating within the broader context of the art world by taking a transdisciplinary approach, by considering physical interaction within an art gallery, and by exploring time and three-dimensional space.
The featured graphic designers are contemporary and historic, American, and international. They have been selected because they consciously construct a narrative around their work, position themselves as authors of autonomous creative projects, and maintain a conceptually rigorous, research-based, historically fortified approach.
The installation and exhibition design for Wide White Space aim to take on the challenges inherent in presenting any show on graphic design: how to make it possible for visitors to directly engage with the materials on display; how to gather and present a breadth of historical and contemporary pieces, which take the form of both original physical objects and restaged exhibition projects; and how to speak to both peers within the design community and a broader audience.
An adjunct program, Wider White Space, will feature conversations with Bob Aufuldish, Rachel Berger, Eric Heiman, Wendy Ju, MacFadden & Thorpe, Emily McVarish, Michael Vanderbyl, and Martin Venezky as well as a rotating series of student-curated exhibitions. Visit www.wattis.org for the schedule.
The title Wide White Space refers to the name of a radical art space in Antwerp that, though it existed for only a decade, came to define contemporary art in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This exhibition likewise aims to investigate the possibilities for how empty space, whether the white cube or the blank page, can be transformed into something more complex.
The name of the larger program, The Way Beyond Art, refers to the title of a book written by the visionary German art historian Alexander Dorner, who advocated in the early 20th century for a closer dialogue among different artistic disciplines. He is best known for his collaboration with the Constructivist artist El Lissitzky on the Abstract Cabinet (1927) at the Landesmuseum Hannover, Germany, a unique, specially constructed space that explored a new form of multidisciplinarity produced by juxtaposing art, fashion, design, film, and literature.
Wide White Space Featured Designers
APFEL, Irma Boom, Laurenz Brunner and Julia Born, Sara De Bondt, Mevis and Van Deursen, Dexter Sinister, Experimental Jetset, Will Holder, Indexhibit, James Langdon, LUST, Niessen & de Vries, Practise, Project Projects, Yann Sérandour and Jérôme Saint-Loubert Bié, Stedelijk Museum, Sulki and Min, Mylinh Trieu Nguyen, Hansje van Halem, Walker Art Center, and Z.A.K.
About the CCA Wattis Institute
The CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts was established in 1998 in San Francisco at California College of the Arts. It serves as a forum for the presentation and discussion of international contemporary art and curatorial practice. Through groundbreaking exhibitions, the Capp Street Project residency program, lectures, symposia, and publications, the Wattis Institute has become one of the leading art institutions in the United States and an active site for contemporary culture in the Bay Area. For more information about the Wattis Institute, visit www.wattis.org.
About California College of the Arts
Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts (CCA) is noted for the interdisciplinarity and breadth of its programs. It offers studies in 21 undergraduate and seven graduate majors in the areas of fine arts, architecture, design, and writing. The college offers bachelor of architecture, bachelor of arts, bachelor of fine arts, master of architecture, master of arts, master of fine arts, and master of business administration degrees. With campuses in San Francisco and Oakland, CCA currently enrolls 1,800 full-time students. Noted alumni include the painters Nathan Oliveira and Raymond Saunders; the ceramicists Robert Arneson, Viola Frey, and Peter Voulkos; the filmmaker Wayne Wang; the conceptual artists David Ireland and Dennis Oppenheim; and the designers Lucille Tenazas and Michael Vanderbyl. For more information about CCA, visit www.cca.edu.
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