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Hood Museum of Art
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH 03755

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Lateral Thinking

Art of the 1990s

Press Release

Media inquiries: Sharon Reed, Public Relations CoordinatorHood Museum of Art, (603) 646-2426 •* Color slides and electronic images available upon request

Lateral Thinking: Art of the 1990s Launches New Art Now at the Hood

"No one truly knows which works of our day will have an audience in the future, but a betting man should put money on some of these works. The 90s are looking good here . . ."—Robert Pincus, San Diego Union Tribune

Hanover, NH—The Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, is committed to thinking outside the box, and the Hood's 2004 exhibitions schedule is no exception. On view from January 17 through March 14, 2004, Lateral Thinking: Art of the 1990s, features forty contemporary artists from North, South, and Central America, Cuba, Africa, China, and Europe, including Matthew Barney, Vanessa Beecroft, Roman de Salvo, Zhang Huan, William Kentridge, Byron Kim, Jean Lowe, Vik Muniz, and Cindy Sherman, many of whose works have not appeared in the Upper Valley before. The exhibition defies categorization by style, school, or medium, but a number of key ideas recur throughout, such as the body; the construction of identity (gender, personal, social, or ethnic); the role of the artist; and one's relationship to everyday occurrences and objects.

Drawn from the permanent collection of one of the most forward-thinking art museums in the United States, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD), Lateral Thinking promotes creative practices from throughout the globe. This is the first exhibition in New Art Now, the Hood's year-long presentation of contemporary art. An opening lecture and reception with Hugh Davies, The David C. Copley Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, will introduce Lateral Thinking on Friday, January 16, at 4:30 p.m. in the Arthur M. Loew Auditorium. A reception hosted by the Friends of Hopkins Center and Hood Museum of Art will follow in Kim Gallery.

Among the works in the exhibition are Vanessa Beecroft's VB39, US Navy SEALs, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (1999), a large-scale color photograph documenting her entrancing performance at MCASD; The Hobo, a 1999 oil painting by John Currin that gives figurative Renaissance painting techniques a contemporary edge, evoking an odd blend of nostalgia, desire, vulgarity, and kitsch; El Nacimento de Venus (The Birth of Venus), a 1995 mixed-media installation by Mexican artist Silvia Gruner that utilizes the disciplines of anthropology, archaeology, and architecture to question how objects and customs produce national and cultural identities; and the mixed-media work Champ (1989) by David Hammons, which transforms everyday materials into rich metaphors and wry commentary on the African American experience.

"Ever since Hugh Davies assumed the role of director of MCASD more than a decade ago, that institution has become a recognized leader in contemporary art circles," notes Derrick Cartwright, director of the Hood Museum of Art. "This is chiefly because of its ambitious exhibition program and the bold collecting strategies that Dr. Davies has encouraged. A museum like the Hood, located at a considerable distance from today's dominant art centers—New York, Paris, London—can learn a great deal from the courageous model presented by MCASD and its presentations such as Lateral Thinking. It is a privilege to share such diverse and challenging works with the community here in Hanover."

This exhibition was originated by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. The National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, provided major support. Additional funding came from the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture, the County of San Diego, the California Arts Council, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Its presentation at the Hood Museum of Art and Jaffe-Friede and Strauss Galleries is generously supported by the Ray Winfield Smith 1918 Fund and the Leon C. 1927, Charles L. 1955, and Andrew J. 1984 Greenebaum Fund, and the Studio Art Exhibition Program at Dartmouth College.

Lateral Thinking is presented in partnership with the Studio Art Exhibition Program at Dartmouth College, and it is partially installed in the Jaffe-Friede and Strauss Galleries located in Hopkins Center. Hours there are Tuesdaythrough Saturday, 12:30 to 10 p.m., and Sunday, 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. Hood Museum of Art hours remain normal.