Press Release

September 24, 2019

 

Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019

MEDIA CONTACT: Virginia McInnis | VirginiaM@ScottsdaleArts.org | 480-874-4663

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art Announces 24 Artists in Fall Exhibition

Image: Ana Teresa Fernández, “Of Bodies and Borders 1 (performance documentation),” 2017, Oil on canvas, 54 x 94 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Gallery Wendi Norris

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona ­– Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) will premiere its first large-scale group exhibition of performance art, “Counter-Landscapes: Performative Actions from the 1970s – Now,” accompanied by a catalog and collaborative components, from Oct. 26, 2019 – Jan. 19, 2020.

In the history of the Museum, this is the first time its galleries will be dedicated to performance art, despite the increasing prevalence of performance in contemporary art. A fall opening celebration will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, with free admission for the public to preview the galleries with curators, artists and the community.

As a counter to the established ideas of land art, ”Counter-Landscapes: Performative Actions from the 1970s – Now” presents leading artists working with performance who have brought about new ways of seeing and interacting with the environment. Through a focused selection of key historical and contemporary works, ”Counter-Landscapes” illuminates how the strategies of women artists in the 1970s and 1980s are employed by artists today, especially those interested in issues of social, environmental, and personal transformation. The works present a dialogue across generations, locations, and genders, featuring photography, video, sculpture, performance, and installation. The selection of artists— 24 total — includes early practitioners (1970s – 1980s), the next generation (1990s – 2000s) and new commissions (2019) by contemporary artists Maria Hupfield (Toronto, and a member of the Anishinaabe Nation at Wasauksing First Nation, Ontario) and Saskia Jordá (Phoenix, Arizona).

“‘Counter-Landscapes’ pairs important historical works — some on loan from the Tate in London — with new works, including four large-scale installations by contemporary artists, one performance commission, and a series of public programs to deepen the understanding of the works on view,” said Jennifer McCabe, SMoCA’s director and chief curator.

The exhibition brings together the work of a pioneering generation of women artists who forged new ways of making art in the 1970s and 1980s — Agnes Denes, Rebecca Horn, Suzanne Lacy, Adrian Piper, Bonnie Ora Sherk, among others — with pieces by a younger cohort who have adopted and extended their strategies. These artists (both male and female), who rose to prominence in the 1990s and 2000s, create work that addresses social, environmental and personal transformation. “Counter-Landscapes” shows how, in the process of overcoming the extraordinary obstacles they faced as women, artists working in the landscape in the late 20th century developed inventive strategies that have profoundly influenced younger artists and changed the face of the art world.

“’Counter-Landscapes’” tells a new story about how women artists were groundbreaking in the 1970s and ’80s and how relevant and timely the work remains,” McCabe continued.

Artists include: Marina Abramović, Allora & Calzadilla, Francis Alÿs, Eleanor Antin, Agnes Denes, Angela Ellsworth, VALIE EXPORT, Ana Teresa Fernández, Rebecca Horn, Maria Hupfield, Saskia Jordá, Leslie Labowitz, Suzanne Lacy, Ana Mendieta, Christian Philipp Müller, Adrian Piper, Pope.L, Lotty Rosenfeld, Bonnie Ora Sherk, Sarah Cameron Sunde, Beth Ames Swartz, Zhou Tao, Mierle Laderman Ukeles and Antonia Wright.  

The exhibition will be accompanied by a self-published, four-color, approximately 150-page catalog, designed by Fernando Espinosa. The catalog reflects extensive research and new scholarship, with essays by SMoCA’s Director and Chief Curator Jennifer McCabe and additional invited scholars, Dr. Natasha Boas and Dr. Jolene Rickard. “Counter-Landscapes: Performative Actions from the 1970s – Now” will be available In January 2020.

Organized by the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, curated by Director and Chief Curator Jennifer McCabe. Exhibition support provided by the Walter and Karla Goldschmidt Foundation, The Diane and Bruce Halle Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

In anticipation of this multi-gallery exhibition, the galleries will be closed during installation. However, the Museum’s Shop@SMoCA and James Turrell Skyspace will be open 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Oct. 15 until Oct. 24. The Museum will reopen at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, for the public during the fall opening celebration. Normal hours resume Saturday, Oct. 26.

Related Programming
All events take place in SMoCA Lounge unless noted otherwise. Free events at SMoCA fill quickly and are first come, first served; early arrival is encouraged. Visit SMoCA.org to RSVP and purchase tickets.

Insight Art Tours
Nov. 1, 2019 – Jan. 17, 2020
Every first and third Friday of the month, 11:30 a.m.

SMoCA curatorial staff and guest artists lead insightful, 15-minute discussions about works of art on view. Free with admission. Schedule may vary on holidays.


Artist Talk: Ana Teresa Fernández and Antonia Wright

Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, 7 p.m.

Join “Counter-Landscapes: Performative Actions from the 1970s – Now”artists Ana Teresa Fernández and Antonia Wright for a lively discussion about performance and site-responsive works.


Fall Opening Celebration

Friday, Oct. 25, 2019, 7–9 p.m.

Join us to preview the exhibition and celebrate an exciting season at SMoCA! Be the first to explore the new show with artists and other art lovers. Cash bar.



Museum of Walking @SMoCA

Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, 9–11 a.m.

Join Angela Ellsworth and the Museum of Walking — an artist-led education resource — for a specially designed walk, starting at SMoCA and venturing out for an experience connecting people, land, action and site.



Artist Talk: Radical Hope + Futurity/Indigenous Land + Lives

Maria Hupfield in conversation with Erin Joyce and Jennifer McCabe

Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, 2 p.m.

Join “Counter-Landscapes: Performative Actions from the 1970s – Now” artist Maria Hupfield in conversation with SMoCA Director and Chief Curator Jennifer McCabe and Heard Museum Fine Arts Curator Erin Joyce to discuss Hupfield’s artwork and her solo exhibition at the Heard, as well as issues of Indigenous land and life.


Starry Night | An ARTrageous Gala

Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, 5–10 p.m.

Please save the date for the annual ARTrageous Gala, where we will celebrate 20 years of Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Join us for a fabulous evening looking back at the founding of SMoCA — a unique and vital cultural resource for the Southwest — and exploring how its history will help shape our future.

Proceeds from Starry Night go to support impactful programs at Scottsdale Arts’ four branches: Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA), Scottsdale Public Art and Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation.

For more information and to purchase your tickets, please call Kelly Hicks at 480-874-4662.


Artist Talk: Saskia Jordá and Beth Ames Swartz

Thursday, Jan. 16, 2019, 7 p.m.


Join “Counter-Landscapes: Performative Actions from the 1970s – Now”artists Saskia Jordá and Beth Ames Swartz for a unique discussion about their individual art practices and influences.


Museum of Walking @SMoCA

Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, 9–11 a.m.

Join Angela Ellsworth and the Museum of Walking — an artist-led education resource — for a specially designed walk, starting at SMoCA and venturing out for an experience connecting people, land, action and site.


SCOTTSDALE ARTS
Through its partnership with the City of Scottsdale, the nonprofit Scottsdale Arts (formerly known as Scottsdale Cultural Council) creates diverse, inspired arts experiences and educational opportunities that foster active, lifelong community engagement with the arts. Since its founding in 1987, Scottsdale Arts has grown into a regionally and nationally significant, multi-disciplinary arts organization offering an exceptional variety of programs through four acclaimed branches — Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA), Scottsdale Public Art and Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation — serving more than 400,000 participants annually.

SCOTTSDALE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART
Founded in 1999, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) explores the best of contemporary art, architecture and design. Global in its focus, the Museum is a unique and vital cultural resource for the Southwest, serving local audiences as well as visitors from the United States and abroad. Designed by award-winning architect Will Bruder, SMoCA’s minimalist building (an ingenious renovation of a former movie theater) has four galleries for showcasing changing exhibitions and works from the Museum’s collection, along with SMoCA Lounge, a living, functional art installation and space for community engagement. The Museum presents a wide variety of educational programs and special events for adults and families, including lectures, readings, performances, docent-led tours, workshops and classes. SMoCA also features an outdoor sculpture garden housing James Turrell’s “Knight Rise,” one of the renowned artist’s public skyspaces, and “Scrim Wall,” a monumental curtain of translucent glass panels by James Carpenter Design Associates. The Museum’s retail store, Shop@SMoCA, offers classic design objects and furnishings, contemporary jewelry, art and architecture books, and imaginative gifts for all occasions.

VISITOR INFORMATION
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
7374 E. Second St., Scottsdale, Arizona 85251
www.SMoCA.org
480-874-4666
SMoCA@ScottsdaleArts.org

HOURS AND ADMISSION STARTING OCT. 26, 2019
Tuesday – Wednesday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Thursday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Friday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed Mondays and major holidays
Admission: $10 adults, $7 students, seniors (65+) and veterans; free for members and children under 15
Free every Thursday and every second Saturday of the month

MEDIA: For interviews, digital images or additional information, please contact:

Virginia McInnis
Public Relations Specialist
Scottsdale Arts

Phone: 480-874-4663
Email: VirginiaM@ScottsdaleArts.org

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