Unmonumental

Overview

In a world falling to pieces, a new breed of art objects is capturing its fractured allure in three dimensions. UNMONUMENTAL features recent work by thirty contemporary sculptors at the vanguard of their craft, selected by one of contemporary art's top curatorial teams. The sculptures in UNMONUMENTAL are forerunners in a major new artistic development. They are powerful but patently un-heroic; assembled from bits of the world at large, they are sardonic metaphors for our time. The artists featured in the book ...
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2007 Hardcover New 0714848298. Flawless copy, brand new, pristine, never opened--Text in English. 216 pp. With 325 ills. (315 col. ). 30 x 26 cm.

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Overview

In a world falling to pieces, a new breed of art objects is capturing its fractured allure in three dimensions. UNMONUMENTAL features recent work by thirty contemporary sculptors at the vanguard of their craft, selected by one of contemporary art's top curatorial teams. The sculptures in UNMONUMENTAL are forerunners in a major new artistic development. They are powerful but patently un-heroic; assembled from bits of the world at large, they are sardonic metaphors for our time. The artists featured in the book range from the just-emerged (Tobias Buche, Claire Fontaine, Gedi Sibony) to the internationally renowned (John Bock, Isa Genzken, Rachel Harrison). UNMONUMENTAL is generously illustrated with large full-color photographs of the works, most of which have never before been published. UNMONUMENTAL was created in conjunction with the inaugural exhibition of the New Museum of Contemporary Art's landmark new building, designed by Seijima + Nishazawa / SANAA, on the Bowery in New York.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

This catalog records a recent exhibition at the New Museum of Contemporary Art's new building in New York City. It gathers works created since 2000 by 30 young sculptors primarily from the United States and Europe and both well known (e.g., Rachel Harrison, Isa Genzken) and emerging (e.g., Claire Fontaine, Gedi Sibony). A brief biography and several pages of large-format, full-color images, many never before published, are allotted to each artist, while perceptive essays by curators Hoptman, Richard Flood, Massimiliano Gioni, and Trevor Smith are interspersed throughout. The title refers to the general look of these pieces, which tend to be human-scale, precarious assemblages of everyday materials juxtaposed in various ways. But unlike many such assemblages of earlier decades, each of these works, whose effects vary from the whimsical to the grotesque, has a point or narrative. An insightful tour recommended for large collections.
—David R. Conn

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780714848297
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/2007
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 10.12 (w) x 11.75 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

RICHARD FLOOD is Chief Curator at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York.
LAURA HOPTMAN is Senior Curator at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York.
MASSIMILIANO GIONI is Curator at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, and Artistic Director at Fondazione Trussardi, Milan.
TREVOR SMITH is Curator-in-Residence at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.
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  • Posted February 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    'Something from Nothing'

    Once there was a period in art known as Dada: 'Dada or Dadaism is a cultural movement that began in Zürich, Switzerland, during World War I and peaked from 1916 to 1922. The movement primarily involved visual arts, literature--poetry, art manifestoes, art theory--theatre, and graphic design, and concentrated its anti-war politics through a rejection of the prevailing standards in art through anti-art cultural works. Its purpose was to ridicule what its participants considered to be the meaninglessness of the modern world. In addition to being anti-war, dada was also anti-bourgeois and anarchistic in nature. Dada activities included public gatherings, demonstrations, and publication of art/literary journals; passionate coverage of art, politics, and culture were topics often discussed in a variety of media. The movement influenced later styles like the avant-garde and downtown music movements, and groups including surrealism, Nouveau réalisme, pop art, Fluxus and punk rock.' Now, take that precursor movement and carry it into the art of today and this book frames another sister movement - The Art of the Unmonumental.

    This book demonstrates the genius of constructing the ordinary happenstance findings that clutter our lives and building them into something creative - though NOT monumental. Writers Richard Flood, Laura Hoptman, Massimiliano Gioni and Trevor Smith (Curators at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York) have assembled (no pun intended) the works of both well-known and new artists who make things out of ordinary stuff and call our attention to the condition of the world today by capitalizing on the detritus we usually avoid. The results are splendidly creative 'artworks' - contraptions yes, perhaps, but objects or assemblages that are striking and grab out attention immediately. The joke (if there is one, and only the flummoxed collectors of fine art would consider it as such) is a pleasure ride of zany and at times poignant pieces. This is an excellent catalogue that is entertaining as well as illuminating.

    Grady Harp

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