redefined: Modern and Contemporary Art from the Collection
Nancy Davidson, Double Exposure, 2002, Vinyl-coated nylon, tethers, rope, electrical wires, 300-watt incandescent light, and blower, Museum Purchase with funds from Raymond Garcia and Fruzsina M. Harsanyi, 2003.28
Photo: Nancy Davidson
redefined was the largest exhibition of modern and contemporary art from the Corcoran’s permanent collection since the founding of the museum. It provided an unprecedented opportunity to experience many of the museum’s most important works from the 1950s to the present.
Creating and interpreting art is a process of definition and redefinition. Modern art redefined what came before it, and contemporary art is often engaged with redefining modernism. As handy as the general categories of “modern” and “contemporary” may be, the differences between them are not always clear-cut. This exhibition explored this complicated relationship. Through pairings and juxtapositions of artworks it called attention to the visual and thematic connections and distinctions among modern and contemporary art. redefined was an occasion to consider how we understand these two terms and what their significance might be for the future.
redefined came almost exclusively from the Corcoran’s collection. It featured a range of media, including painting, prints and drawings, sculpture, photography, and media arts. The exhibition took stock of the Corcoran’s historical role as a venue and repository for some of the most significant artistic achievements of the post-World War II era. By doing so it asks us to envision, and possibly to redefine, the institution’s goals for the twenty-first century.
The exhibition was on view until December 31, 2006.
redefined: Modern and Contemporary Art from the Collection was organized by the Corcoran Gallery of Art and funded by The President’s Exhibition Fund. Related educational programming had been made possible in part by the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation FUNd.