New Mexico Museum of Art

Case Studies From The Bureau of Contemporary Art

October 12, 2010


The New Mexico Museum of Art will present an exhibition of works from its Bureau of Contemporary Art, a fictitious entity created for this exhibition in order to emphasize contemporary art’s prominent place within the museum’s permanent collection. Case Studies from the Bureau of Contemporary Art will be on view November 19, 2010 through March 20, 2011.

As the term “case studies” suggests, the exhibition presents particular lines of inquiry into the contemporary collection. Among these thematic excursions are war and its aftermath; figuration and the human condition; minimalism, monochrome and  seriality; and materiality and rawness.

There are nearly forty artists in Case Studies, from New Mexico and beyond, including Dieter Appelt, Erika Blumenfeld, Louise Bourgeois, Sarah Charlesworth, Constance DeJong, Tom Joyce, Sol LeWitt, Agnes Martin, Bruce Nauman, Larry Poons, Kim Russo, Peter Sarkisian, Peter Voulkos, Erika Wanenmacher and Joel-Peter Witkin.

The 60+ artworks on display represent ceramics,sculpture, painting, drawing, prints, photography, and video. Acupuncture needles, butterflies, martini glasses, and charred books are among the other unconventional materials to be found in the show.

The museum’s contemporary collection consists of over 5,500 works and is defined as holdings dating from 1970 to the present, although some earlier pieces which would have set the stage for artists working in the subsequent decades are also included in this exhibition, including  1967 ink drawing by Eva Hesse and a 1959 Robert Ryman painting. Case Studies is an occasion to show some of the gems of the collection, and to think about he linkages that bridge works from different moments in time, cultures, and mediums,” says Curator of Contemporary Art and Case Studies curator Laura Addison. “Much of the contemporary collection has been largely unseen. This exhibition will reveal some of those surprises.”

Among the unexpected holdings of the New Mexico Museum of Art collection are a series of Cuban-born artist Ana Mendieta’s Silueta photographs; Delilah Montoya’s exploration of Chicano social issues through the vehicle of a home altar; a large-scale display of 158 pieces of ceramic blackware by Eddie Dominguez; a protofeminist wax sculpture by Louise Bourgeois; and Meridel Rubenstein and Ellen Zweig’s multimedia installation about New Mexico’s atomic legacy.

Case Studies opens with a public reception on Friday, November 19, 5:30-7:30pm, hosted by the Women’s Board of the Museum of New Mexico. ###

Laura Addison, Curator of Contemporary Art


Steve Cantrell, PR Manager

steve.cantrell @


505-310-3539 - cell


The New Mexico Museum of Art was founded in 1917 as the Art Gallery of the Museum of New Mexico. Housed in a spectacular Pueblo Revival building designed by I. H. and William M. Rapp, it was based on their New Mexico building at the Panama-California Exposition (1915). The museum’s architecture inaugurated what has come to be known as “Santa Fe Style.” For nearly 100 years, the Museum has celebrated the diversity of the visual arts and the legacy of New Mexico as a cultural crossroads by collecting and exhibiting work by leading artists from New Mexico and elsewhere. This tradition continues today with a wide-array of exhibitions with work from the world’s leading artists. The New Mexico Museum of Art brings the art of New Mexico to the world and the art of the world to New Mexico. The New Mexico Museum of Art is a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs.

Information for the Public: Location: Santa Fe Plaza at 107 West Palace Avenue. Information: 505-476-5072 or visit Days/Times: Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Open Free on Fridays, 5:00-8:00 p.m., with the exception of major exhibition openings. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day the Museum is open on Mondays. Admission: Students with ID receive a one-dollar discount. Sundays: New Mexico residents with ID are admitted FREE. Wednesdays: New Mexico resident seniors (age 60+) with ID are free. Adult single-museum admission is $6 for New Mexico residents, $9 for nonresidents; OR $15 for one-day pass to two museums of your choice (Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, Museum of International Folk Art, New Mexico Museum of Art, and Palace of the Governors/New Mexico History Museum) OR $20 four-day pass to five museums (includes all 4 listed above and the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art) Youth 16 and under, Foundation Members, and New Mexico Veterans with 50% or more disability always free.

Field Trips: There is no charge for educational groups attending the museum with their instructor and/or adult chaperones. Contact the Tours office by phone at (505) 476-1140 or (505) 476-1211 to arrange class/group visits to the Museum.

Direct flights between Santa Fe, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Los Angeles are now available on American Eagle. -2- The Bureau of Contemporary Art is a ficticious division of the New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, New Mex. ____________________ ____________________ _______ __________

Related Photos

Head, Heart, Hands
House on Fire: Chicken Suit
Detail from Quinter's Thought Trap
Silueta de Cohetes (from the Silueta Series)

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