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The Strange Life of Objects: The Art of Annette Lemieux at the Krannert Art Museum
Annette Lemieux, Hell on Wheels, 1991. Found steel helmets, rubber tires, steel rods. Courtesy of Ruth and William Ehrlich © Annette Lemieux.
CHAMPAIGN, IL.- Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion presents “The Strange Life of Objects: The Art of Annette Lemieux,” a mid-career retrospective of work by the conceptual mixed media artist.

In recent years, Krannert Art Museum organized monographic exhibitions of the work of Louise Bourgeois, Bill Traylor and William Edmondson, Hedda Sterne, and Howard Finster. The Strange Life of Objects: The Art of Annette Lemieux extends this commitment to present the work of visionaries whose artistic practices challenge formulaic readings of art history, said Kathleen Harleman, director of KAM.

The exhibition provides the first critical overview of the artist’s dynamic and varied career. Lemieux first garnered attention on the emerging global art scene in the 1980s. Since that time she has continued to produce work that grows in depth and resonance, proving herself to be an artist of lasting significance. Her commitment to content over material motivates her to work with an ever-expanding range of media. From bronze to cotton to found objects and images, Lemieux masters and invents techniques and processes that correlate with states of mind, resulting in an artistic landscape that probes the personal, the conceptual, the political, the feminist, the literary, the critical, and the historical.

For the exhibition, work from the past 25 years was carefully selected according to both chronological and thematic developments in Lemieux’s practice, tracing themes such as the relationship between personal memory and cultural history, content and medium, and text as image.

“The Strange Life of Objects” illuminates Lemieux’s substantial role in the trajectory of American and global art, giving to her pivotal body of work the full recognition it deserves, Harleman said.

The exhibition was organized by independent curators Lelia Amalfitano and Judith Hoos Fox, who conceived and contributed to the exhibition’s catalogue, a 231-page, illustrated book that includes essays by critic Rosetta Brooks, a faculty member of the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA; cultural theorist and author Peggy Phelan, a professor of drama and of English at Stanford University; and author, lauded critic, and scholar Robert Pincus-Witten.

Brooks, Phelan and Pincus-Witten have watched and reflected on Lemieux and her development as an artist for more than three decades, and in the catalogue they provide insightful and expansive analyses of the artist’s work and its cultural significance.

Lemieux, who currently is professor of the practice in studio arts at Harvard University, was an active and engaged partner in each aspect of the exhibition and accompanying catalogue, according to Diane Schumacher, director of marketing and publications at KAM.

The exhibition will be on view at KAM through Jan. 2, 2011.

After it closes at KAM, “The Strange Life of Objects” will travel to the Worcester Art Museum in Worcester, Mass., where it will be on view April 9 through October 9, 2011.

Krannert Art Museum | Kinkead Pavilion | "The Strange Life of Objects" |




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