- Event Details
- April 21–September 3, 2012 Gallery 188 Overview: Parcours —a French word for “route” or “path”—in the United States designates an exercise or educational trail, a loop marked by sights or gymnastics, always with explanatory texts and often with diagrammatic drawings as well. It is, one could say, an outdoor exhibition circuit for the improvement of one’s body and mind. Parcours at the Art Institute, a sort of model exhibition, presents a similarly conceived itinerary indoors in the Modern Wing’s Bucksbaum Gallery. Parcours exhibition sketch by Florian Pumhösl. Courtesy of the artist. Parcours is the result of a collaboration between artists Liz Deschenes (American, b. 1966) and Florian Pumhösl (Austrian, b. 1971), in dialogue with Matthew S. Witkovsky, the Richard and Ellen Sandor Chair and Curator of Photography at the museum. It takes inspiration from an unrealized exhibition proposal of the 1930s by Austrian-born Bauhaus designer Herbert Bayer. Bayer wanted a series of parallel walls that would turn the gallery space into a maze with text and the works of art themselves serving visitors as a guiding thread. Expanding on that didactic premise, Deschenes and Pumhösl have chosen just a few photographs from the permanent collection of the Art Institute—designated by short red lines in the sketch reproduced on this page—and placed them like route markers on temporary walls constructed expressly for this show. The artists’ own works, a set of specially tempered glass panels by Pumhösl and lustrous photograms by Deschenes, will reflect these works and the surrounding space. Liz Deschenes, a professor of art at Bennington College in Vermont, has exhibited widely in the United States and Europe, including at the inaugural exhibition of the Art Institute’s Modern Wing; she is featured in the upcoming Whitney Biennial in New York. Last year, Florian Pumhösl orchestrated the reinstallation of the modern art collection at Vienna’s Museum Moderner Kunst (MuMoK), holding a spacious one-person show there at the same time. This is Pumhösl’s first significant exhibition in an American museum.
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