Nancy Margolis Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of the massive group show, “Permanent Collection.” 130 artists were asked to select any single piece from the over 15,000 works in the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection and create their own version with restricted dimensions. The range of work selected varies from design objects (Arthur Young, Bell-47D1) to iconic modern paintings (Cezanne, The Bather) to experimental film (Thomas Wilfred, Vertical Sequence). The choice of medium varies from video to sculpture to painting, and approaches range from pastiche to parody to tribute. The show continues the critique of the art world establishment and the concept of “master works.” MoMA, considered to be the art world’s current imprimatur, follows in the tradition of the Louvre and the Paris Salon. It is the establishment into which artists seek inclusion. One asks, is the experiential value of copying works from the MoMA the same as Manet copying master works from the Louvre? Is admittance into MoMA’s permanent collection the equivalent of acceptance into the Paris Salon? The show also contributes to the running commentary on the politics of reproduction, addressing the issues of “authenticity” and “aura.” Can one make an authentic reproduction? At what point does mimicry become inspiration? When does a unique reproduction gain its own “aura?” Although the art world establishment has moved from the Louvre to the MoMA, one thing has retained its permanence; inclusion into the institution is still controlled by the collectors and benefactors of the establishment, not the artists themselves. Permanent Collection opens on July 12th, 2012 and will run for three weeks.
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