DURHAM, N.C.- The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University will present New at the Nasher, an exhibition of works acquired in recent years that reflect the museums focus on contemporary art, from July 19 through July 6, 2008. The two-part exhibition opens with works by Christian Boltanski, Petah Coyne, Christophe Draeger, Olafur Eliasson, Barkley Hendricks, David Levinthal, Paul Pfeiffer, Kara Walker and Eve Sussman. On Feb. 23, 2008, a second installation in the same gallery space will feature works by artists William Cordova, Dario Escobar, Hong Lei and Ed Ruscha, among others.
New at the Nasher includes painting, photography, sculpture, video and installation. More than 25 artists are represented, and many of the works will make their North Carolina debuts at the Nasher Museum.
This show perfectly expresses the museums philosophy of acquiring leading-edge, global art that is both artistically significant and educationally rich, said Kimerly Rorschach, the Mary D.B.T. and James H. Semans Director of the Nasher Museum. This represents the first stage of the Nasher Museums efforts to build a collection of significant and meaningful works that address important issues and will stand the test of time.
In some cases, works of art in New at the Nasher reflect relationships built with artists through exhibitions organized at the museum. Most of the artists are living and have achieved global reputations; some are emerging and others well established.
The exhibition also includes works by Sir Anthony Caro, David Hammons and Sol Lewitt that are part of a promised gift by Duke alumnus E. Blake Byrne that doubles the Nasher Museums contemporary art collection. Byrnes gift draws from the collection that he has built over the past 20 years, representing important artists of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
The show also includes several important long-term loans, such as Mask (Self-Portrait), a 1997 work by Australian-born artist Ron Mueck, on loan from Mr. and Mrs. J. Tomilson Hill.
The exhibition was organized by Anne Schroder, curator of academic programs.
Rorschach said the museum will continue to make purchases of contemporary art with special attention to works that explore issues of gender and identity and works by African and African-American artists. The museum is also interested in photography, new media and contemporary sculpture, she said.