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Hoffman Galleries Reinstalled

December 10, 2009

Charlie Wylie, the Lupe Murchison Curator of Contemporary Art, recently completed his reinstallation of the Hoffman galleries on the first floor of the museum. The installation addresses narrative in contemporary art, specifically the “continuing ability of art in whatever form to express narratives of what it can feel like to be alive in the present moment,” as the wall text states. The reinstallation features such artists as Peter Doig and Marlene Dumas, both notable for their recent inclusion at TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art, the annual charity auction held at The Rachofsky House benefiting amfAR (The Foundation for AIDS Research) and the Dallas Museum of Art.

In addition to these painters and work by many other artists, the galleries currently contain installations by Tatsuo Miyajima and Erick Swenson, mixed media work by Vernon Fisher, and photographs by Matthew Barney and Gregory Crewdson. Both Barney and Crewdson also have work in All the World’s a Stage, another special exhibition on view at the DMA. Barney’s photographs (and other mixed media works) reference a series of five films of enormous scope called The Cremaster Cycle, quite specifically referencing narrative. Crewdson’s art, on the other hand, centers around the idea of open or false narratives but evokes similar feelings of theatricality. Crewdson himself says, “And what I’m very, very interested in is a moment that hovers between before and after, a moment that is unresolved, that remains a question…”

Untitled (House in the Road)

To achieve this suspended moment, clear in both Untitled (brief encounter) and Untitled (House in the Road), Crewdson literally constructs his scenes, utilizing stage crews and props to form the subject matter which he then photographs. Tension plays a large part in his artwork, both literally for the artist through his chaotic process of realizing these staged spectacles as well as for the viewer stepping into enormously detailed scenes with no frame of reference beyond the image itself.

If you’d like to get a closer look at Gregory Crewdson’s artwork, in addition to the other works on view at the DMA and The Rachofsky House, sign up for our two-part January Teacher Workshop on Contemporary Art!

Logan Acton
McDermott Intern in Teaching Programs

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