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Carnegie Art Museum to Sport a More Modern Look This Fall

The outside of the museum will be transformed by four contemporary artists in honor of the 57th Carnegie International.

photo by Tom Little


The Carnegie Museum of Art’s exterior will be getting something a bit more extensive than a coat of paint come October.

The outside of the museum will be transformed by site-specific artwork as part of “Carnegie International, 57th Edition, 2018.” The event is the oldest North American exhibition of contemporary art from around the world, running for 122 years and showing works by prominent artists such as Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol. It was first organized at the behest of industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie on November 5, 1896, and is currently held every three to five years. The last exhibition ran from 2013-14.

This year’s showcase opens on Oct. 13 and will feature work by 32 international artists and artist collectives. The exhibition, which closes on March 25, 2019, invites visitors to explore what it means to be “international” at this moment.

photo by bryan conley

Four artists will concentrate their creative energy on the museum itself, transforming parts of the outside of the building. Ghanaian artist El Anatsui’s piece for the International will span the museum’s 30-by-160-foot facade and incorporate folded printing plates and wired-together liquor bottle tops. The piece is being fabricated by Wilkinsburg sculptor Dee Briggs and the the printing plates are sourced from Pittsburgh’s Knepper Press.

photo courtesy Mimi Cherono Ng‘ok

Kenyan photographer Mimi Cherono Ng’ok will create a work for the museum’s lobby. She plans to pair her well-known portrait of a white horse in a decorative red halter with another image that is yet to be determined. It will be the size of a billboard and printed on wallpaper. A third photograph will also be printed on the back of the exhibition map.

New-York based artist Park McArthur is creating a sound-based work for CMOA’s courtyard entrance. She is shaping the sound of Larkitive stones — the Norwegian rocks making up the building — being extracted from a quarry into an artwork that greets visitors as they arrive.

photo courtesy Tavares Strachan

Bahamian artist Tavares Strachan, who is known for his multi-media installations, plans to make a work for the museum’s facade that responds to its history. His work tends to pull elements from science, technology, mythology, history and exploration.  

Other projects that will appear at the upcoming exhibition include an interpretation of rejected works from the history of the “Carnegie International” by Lenka Clayton and Jon Rubin and a mapping of Pittsburgh through photography in the museum’s Teenie Harris Archive and the Cinémathèque series of film screenings.

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