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Carnegie Museum of Art Opens Ordinary Madness

The Carnegie Museum of Art presents Ordinary Madness, open through January 9, 2011 in the Heinz Galleries and Forum Gallery.

Ordinary Madness mines Carnegie Museum of Art’s rich holdings of contemporary art to suggest an unsettling observation: that the ordinary is in fact laced with the contradictory, uncanny, and surreal. On view will be a wide array of works that engage the everyday from various skewed (or perhaps clear-eyed) vantage points, illuminating the bewildering experiences we subconsciously accept as part of our daily life.

Francis Alÿs, Belgian, b. 1959; Untitled (Skeleton), 2004, oil and encaustic on canvas; Carnegie Museum of Art, Purchase: gift of The Buddy Taub Foundation, Jill and Dennis Roach, Directors. © Francis Alÿs

The exhibition presents 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. Ordinary Madness will revisit major works acquired through past Internationals, and bring out others that have not been on view in many years, if ever.

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. Two evenings of 16 mm film screenings, on October 22 and November 10, will show work in the collection by Kenneth Anger, Bruce Conner, Carolee Schneemann, Ed Emshwiller, George Kuchar, Roger Jacoby, Hollis Frampton, and Stephanie Beroes.

Ordinary Madness: James Lee Byars will continue in the Forum Gallery through February 20.

Carnegie Museum of Art
4400 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-4080
Tel: 412.622.3131

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