Little White Cubes: Artists' Makeshift Galleries

Exhibit Dates: 
Dec 7, 2013 - Apr 6, 2014
Constance S. and Robert J. Hennessy Project Space

LITTLE WHITE CUBES is a series of exhibitions that present the concept of the gallery as a work of art or creative medium. Many artists have subverted the presumed neutrality of the “white cube” exhibition space by parodying or critiquing the authority behind a museum’s institutional framework. In 1970, Tom Marioni invented the Museum of Conceptual Art in San Francisco and began his social sculpture, Drinking Beer with Friends is the Highest Form of Art. Erickson and Ziegler’s MoMA Whites (1990) featured a gallery painted with different colors of white preferred by various curators of the Museum of Modern Art. Adopting paraprofessional identities and working in the genre of Institutional Critique, in the 1990s artists such as Andrea Frasier and Fred Wilson respectively assumed the identities of docent and curator, deconstructing museological education and displays and calling the traditional role of the artist into question. Other contemporary artists of the 2000s, such as the Yes Men duo, appropriate corporate identity in order to camouflage themselves as business CEOs in various settings. In current socially engaged artistic practice, many artists increasingly eschew the title of Artist altogether, announcing themselves as politicians, farmers, or urban planners, for example, who treat the gallery as civic center, community garden, or public design studio. 

Maiza Hixson
Gretchen Hupfel Curator of Contemporary Art