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Works Exhibited at the Residence of the U.S. Ambassador to Sweden
Works by Swedish-American sculptor Claes Oldenburg will be on view at the residence of the U.S. Ambassador to Sweden. In this image the artist poses with 'Leaning Clarinet'. EPA/EMILIO NARANJO.

STOCKHOLM.- Transparency and Trans-formations in Contemporary American Art, an exhibition of 23 works by 20 American artists—including Kiki Smith, Spencer Finch, Claes Oldenburg, Mark Bradford, and Jennifer Steinkamp—will be on view at the residence of the U.S. Ambassador to Sweden from April 16, 2010, through June 2012. Reflecting America’s increased emphasis on transparency and international engagement, the exhibition offers a view of the rapid shifts occurring today in culture, society, technology, and science.

The exhibition builds on a 46-year history of bringing works by American artists to American diplomatic residences around the world. The works in Transparency and Trans-formations in Contemporary American Art include paintings, sculptures, photographs, videos, and other forms of new media that explore issues of cultural and political mythology, gender and racial identity, and the nature of space and time.

The project is a collaboration between the United States ART in Embassies program, artwithoutwalls, an independent non-profit art organization based in Louisville, Kentucky, and the U.S. Embassy, Stockholm. The brainchild of Brooke Brown Barzun—wife of the U.S. Ambassador to Sweden Matthew Barzun—this exhibition brings together a range and scope of works unprecedented in the ART in Embassies program. Curated by artwithoutwalls’ director Alice Gray Stites, the exhibition includes works on loan from artists, galleries, private, and public collections. The exhibition will be seen by the thousands of guests that visit the U.S. Residence in Stockholm each year.

“I hope this exhibition will be a productive platform for engagement,” said Ms. Barzun. “I hope the works of contemporary American art here in Sweden will start new conversations and that the partnership that made it possible—a combination of private, public, and non-profit resources—will inspire other collaborations, and can provide a new model for sharing and expanding the role of contemporary art in diplomacy.”

Co-founder of artwithoutwalls Steve Wilson said, “Art has a unique ability to both defy and embody ‘cultural traditions’ and communicate across the barriers of language. The mission of artwithoutwalls is to present unconventional art events in unconventional settings and draw artists and people together. In our inaugural projects we brought works by international artists to the United States and with Transparency and Trans-formations in Contemporary American Art we are bringing diverse works by American artists to an international audience. We are deeply appreciative of the energy and insight Ambassador Barzun and Mrs. Barzun and their team at ART in Embassies program and the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm have devoted to this project.”

Alice Gray Stites, director of artwithoutwalls and curator of the exhibition, added, “In presenting contemporary art that actively engages viewers in new perspectives—on science, technology, culture, history, society and the self—the U.S. residence, Stockholm, is writing a truly progressive experiential script. New art anticipates the future; our engagement with it maximizes our global potential to understand and to effect change in the world we share.”

Stockholm | Transparency and Trans-formations in Contemporary American Art | Kiki Smith | Spencer Finch | Claes Oldenburg |

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