Glass, paper, paint, thread, wrappers from liquor bottles. Scorched or stitched, or sensuously painted. Some works in this gallery were created by an artist alone and some were assembled by a team, in a small studio or in a factory. With so many materials and methods for artists to choose from, how an artwork is made is more than a part of its history—it’s part of its meaning. In the center of the gallery is Josiah McElheny’s dazzling and complex mirrored sculpture, Endlessly Repeating Twentieth Century Modernism. On a nearby wall is Ghanaian artist El Anatsui’s Black River, a large-scale shimmering “tapestry” created from discarded metallic liquor bottle caps and wrappers.
The Lubin Gallery is one of eight contemporary galleries that opened in 2011 as part of the dynamic Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art. These galleries present innovative approaches to the exhibition of contemporary art within the context of the Museum’s encyclopedic collections, offering new perspectives and encouraging connections between art of the present and past.