Beginning today, the New Museum is featuring the first large scale U.S. exhibition of Polish artist Pawel Althamer. We attended the press preview yesterday, along with Tim Schreier, who brought back the photos you see here.
Althamer is a sculptor and multimedia artist who is known as a “community collaborator.” On the fourth floor of the museum yesterday morning, he was working with students from New Design High School who were decorating the white walls and floor, using black paint and charcoal. A version of interactive exercise, called “Draftsmen’s Congress,” debuted at the Berlin Biennial in 2012. Until the exhibition closes in April, the gallery will be transformed as visitors add their own drawings and paintings.
There will also be a sculptural workshop led by Althamer. He’s arranged to have street musicians play in front of the museum; the audio will be piped into the third floor gallery. The exhibit, consuming three floors, features Althamer’s sculptures, including the “Venetians,” a haunting group of works created for the 55th Venice Biennale. A series of videos “capture Althamer as he ingests various drugs on a journey to explore the depths of his own mind.” As part of the exhibition, visitors who donate a new or gently-used winter coat to the Bowery Mission, will be admitted free. We’ll have more on this project in a separate post. For more information about Pawel Althamer – The Neighbors, click here.