Works of art are not singular or isolated things. Rather, we understand them in relation to the contexts in which they were produced and the investments they solicit from us—the feelings they engender, the values they accrue, and the communities they make. When considering a museum collection in terms of such attachments, the museum becomes an entangled actor, and the bonds between the institution and the objects in its care come into view as much as artists’ connections to their subjects and the forces of encounter between artwork and viewer.
Attachment is a thematic collaboration among KAM curators and draws from most areas of the museum’s permanent collection along with a selective number of loans. Organized under five themes—appendages, supports, shadow bodies, accumulations, and refusals—the exhibition examines critical scenes of attachment to encompass material, affective, bodily, psychoanalytic, cultural, political, and institutional frames of reference.
Exhibiting artists include: Berenice Abbott, Conrad Bakker, Hans Bellmer, Louise Bourgeois, Michael Ray Charles, Carl Chiarenza, Willie Cole, Isabelle Cornaro, Walker Evans, Vernon Fisher, Frank Gallo, Jess, Vera Klement, Annette Lemieux, Danny Lyon, Bea Nettles, Melissa Pokorny, Fritz Scholder, Laurie Simmons, Lorna Simpson, Hedda Sterne, Kara Walker, Andy Warhol, David Wojnarowicz, and Purvis Young; along with selections from the museum’s African, Asian, ancient Peruvian, and decorative arts collections, including Marcel Proust’s 18th-century settee.
Attachments was curated by Amy L. Powell, Allyson Purpura, Kathryn Koca Polite with assistance from doctoral student in Art History Dana Ostrander.
The exhibition was sponsored in part by Fred and Donna Giertz.