Deborah Kass and Eric Shiner in Conversation will feature Kass and Shiner, now the Senior Vice President of Sotheby’s Fine Art Division and former director of the Andy Warhol Museum in a discussion about the artist’s work and recent wallpaper installation “Day After Day”, 2016, at the Neuberger Museum of Art’s SPACE | 42 in New York City.
About the Program
Bringing together contemporary artists, curators, and critics, the Daniel P. Paduano & Janet W. Prindle Lecture Series provides a forum for vital critical conversations inspired by the Museum’s artists, exhibitions, and permanent collection.
Artist Deborah Kass combines references to postwar painting, language, and music to explore the relationships among art history, popular culture, politics, and the self. Her work, which often incorporates phrases from Broadway musicals, the movies, and Yiddish, is imbued with a sense of nostalgia for midcentury American optimism and the aspirations of the middle class. Kass may pair the lyrics of Stephen Sondheim or tunes from the Great American Songbook with the painting styles of such artists as Andy Warhol, Ellsworth Kelly, Jackson Pollock, or Frank Stella to create works celebrating the rise of pop culture and fine art in the last century.
Day after Day, a large-scale digital print commissioned by the Neuberger Museum of Art for SPACE I 42, is Kass’s first wallpaper work. Inspired, in part, by Warhol’s signature Cow (1966) and Mao (1974) wallpaper, this piece marks an exciting new direction in her practice. The site-specific work is based on one of her favorite paintings, a 2010 canvas from her series more! feel good paintings for feel bad times. According to the artist, “The idea for it began with the Stephen Sondheim song, ‘Not a Day Goes By.’ I made it during the big BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which was on the news every day at the time. . . . The color panels I used were a reference to Ellsworth Kelly, whose work I love. I used a stencil from a hardware store for the type, which some might say is in the style of Jasper Johns, but he’s another favorite artist of mine, so it’s ok.”
Kass’s work can be found in numerous public collections in New York, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Jewish Museum, as well as in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In 2012 her first retrospective exhibition, titled Before and Happily Ever After and featuring three decades of the artist’s work, was presented at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and organized by then Warhol Museum Director Eric Shiner.
About Neuberger Museum of Art SPACE l 42
Located in the heart of New York City, directly across from Bryant Park on 42nd Street, Neuberger Museum of Art SPACE | 42 is a SUNY collaboration between the School of Optometry and Purchase College to create a contemporary art space in the heart of New York City. Art is about ways of thinking about vision and viewing, as are the missions of the two SUNY colleges: Optometry, a college that teaches about eye care, and Purchase, a college that teaches about the arts. The artist projects created in and for Neuberger Museum of Art SPACE | 42 are intended to spark community engagement and dialogue, and be accessible to all, while expanding on the vision of our founder, Roy R. Neuberger, to support and encourage the work of living artists.