Michael Corris, David Diao, Peter Downsbrough, Scott Grodesky, Les Levine, Olivier Mosset, Steven Parrino, Michael Scott, Jessica Stockholder
Following the new health measures decided by the French government, the Consortium Museum will be closed from Friday, October 30, 2020, until an indeterminate date when the current lockdown is lifted.
This presentation of the collection is a follow-up to New York: The Eighties, Part One (November 24, 2018 – October 13, 2019) and New York: The Eighties, Part Two (October 26, 2019 – October 4, 2020). It offers a selection of artworks from artists active in New York during the 1980s and 1990s. The Consortium Museum collection has deep holdings of artworks from this era, which necessitate this showing in three parts.
As with the first two parts, the works selected reflect on the shared history of the Consortium Museum and the artists it has followed over the years, and on the friendships and social relationships that have linked the artists with each other and with guest curators such as Bob Nickas, who regularly invited them for his exhibitions. The choice here is to highlight artworks created at the end of the decade and at the beginning of the 1990s, and to exhibit additional works by artists previously shown in the other two installments such as Jessica Stockholder, David Diao, Michael Scott, Olivier Mosset, Steven Parrino, and Michael Corris, together with pieces by Scott Grodesky, Les Levine and Peter Downsbrough. The artworks selected here reflect an evolution contrasting with the art made at the beginning of the 1980s; with the exception of Les Levine they leave behind subjects themes related to emerging technologies or the massive spread of commercial images (ads, video clips, magazines, etc.), to turn to a more formal type of work.
This was a time when aesthetic shifts came to the fore, most notably demonstrated by the Jessica Stockholder work exhibited here, which signaled the emergence of the large, sculptural installations that became predominant in the art of the 1990s. This iconic work was created specifically for an exhibition at the Consortium when it was still located rue Quentin in Dijon.
If geometric abstraction is still very present, most specifically with artworks by David Diao, Olivier Mosset and Michael Scott, it ultimately disappears with Scott Grodesky’s painting and its ambivalent exploration of figurative painting.
These visual explorations, formal inventions and aesthetic choices also represent a structural shift happening after the 1987 stock market crash and the numerous subsequent gallery closures, the economic recession leaving more space for artists to experiment freely, away from the pressure of the burgeoning art market of the early 1990s.