Above, before & after
The artists featured in Above, Before & After manipulate form and space to explore the relationship between art and the viewer. Selected from the MCA’s collection, the works—rarely exhibited together—were created over the span of more than 60 years in response to diverse historical and social contexts. Collectively, however, these pieces prompt a larger conversation that asks viewers to consider that art objects often achieve their fullest value when viewers approach them from multiple angles.
The exhibition’s mix of two- and three-dimensional works include the MCA’s newly acquired Edward Krasinski’s Interwencja (Intervention) (1983), as well as collection highlights by artists John Baldessari, Alexander Calder, Alfredo Jaar, John McCracken, Bruce Nauman, Lorna Simpson, and Takis. Whether explicitly political, as in Jaar’s sculpture, which draws upon histories of undocumented workers in the United States, or subtly expressed in Calder’s mobiles that activate color and line through their kinetic qualities, these works occupy spaces—imagined and real. When artists repurpose the doorframes, ceilings, and corners of the art museum, viewers are encouraged to question what they see—the artwork, the white walls, and the very ground they encounter.