Beyond Green: Toward a Sustainable Art

October 6, 2005 – January 15, 2006


Sustainable design attempts to meet the needs of the present without compromising those of future generations. Balancing environmental, social, economic, and aesthetic concerns, sustainable design has the potential to transform everyday life and is being enacted around the world in large and small ways not only by architects and designers but also by growing numbers of activists, corporations, policymakers, and possibly even your next-door neighbors. Beyond Green: Toward a Sustainable Art explored how this design philosophy resonates with an emerging generation of international artists who combine a fresh aesthetic sensibility with a constructively critical approach to the production, dissemination, and display of art. Contributing artists and artists' groups from the United States and Europe included Allora & Calzadilla; Free Soil; JAM; Learning Group; Brennan McGaffey in collaboration with Temporary Services; Nils Norman; People Powered; Dan Peterman; Marjetica Potrc, Michael Rakowitz; Frances Whitehead, WochenKlausur; and Andrea Zittel. The exhibition included existing works, commissions, and previously presented work that had been "recycled" spotlighting ways in which artists are building paths to new forms of practice.

Curator: This exhibition was co-organized by the Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago, and iCI (Independent Curators International), New York, and circulated by iCI. This exhibition was curated by Stephanie Smith, Smart Museum Curator of Contemporary Art.

Tour Dates: Museum of Arts & Design, New York, New York, February 2 – May 7, 2006; University Art Museum, California State University Long Beach, November 1 – December 17, 2006; Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, Massachusetts, February 2 – April 15, 2007; Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, May 5 – July 15, 2007; Richard E. Peeler Art Center, DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana, September 14 – December 2, 2007; Museum London, London, Ontario, Canada, January 4 – March 14, 2008; Joseloff Gallery, Hartford Art School, University of Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut, April 2 – June 10, 2008; The Ronna and Eric Hoffman Gallery of Contemporary Art, Lewis & Clark College, Portland, Oregon, September 11, 2008 – December 7, 2008; The DeVos Art Museum, Northern Michigan University, Marquette, Michigan, January 19 – March 30, 2009.

Exhibition Catalogue is available for download and for purchase from the Smart Museum Shop.

This exhibition and accompanying catalogue were made possible in part by the Smart Family Foundation; the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation; and iCI Exhibition Partners Kenneth S. Kuchin and F. Bruce Anderson, and Gerrit and Sydie Lansing. Additional support was provided by the Arts Planning Council, the Environmental Studies Program, and the Green Campus Initiative, University of Chicago. Related programs in Chicago were made possible with additional support from the Chicago Architecture Foundation.

Presented in the Richard and Mary L. Gray Special Exhibition Gallery.

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