October 12, 2003
Major Contemporary Art Exhibition Work Ethic Opens at the BMA
Meet the Artists on Opening Day
BALTIMORE, MD (October 12, 2003) — Since the 1960s, artists have been hard at work—pushing the limits of what can be considered art. From October 12, 2003, through January 4, 2004, The Baltimore Museum of Art presents a provocative new exhibition of contemporary art that challenges the rules of both the workplace and the art world. Work Ethic features an intriguing and often humorous variety of interactive installations, film and video, performance art and documentation, and written instructions for making art by an international group of artists that includes Andy Warhol, Bruce Nauman, Yoko Ono, and Gabriel Orozco.
“The unconventional artworks and experiences in Work Ethic show how the world of work has changed in the past 40 years—both for artists and ourselves,” said BMA Director Doreen Bolger. “This exhibition will surprise and please visitors expecting a traditional museum experience.”
Divided into four sections—Artist as Worker, Artist as Manager, Artists as Experience Maker, and Quitting Time—Work Ethic shows how there has been a fundamental shift in the role of the artist and what is considered art as the art world has entered the Information Age. Examples from the exhibition include:
- Erwin Wurm’s One Minute Sculptures (2000) instruct visitors to pose with props and hold their position for a minute, allowing themselves to be on view for others.
- Baltimore artist Hugh Pocock drills a well in the sculpture gardens for the BMA-commissioned work, Drilling a Well for Water (2003).
- Roxy Paine’s automatic painting machine, Paint Dipper (1997), slowly makes a painting in the galleries without the artist.
- Studio assistants translate Sol LeWitt’s instructions for Wall Drawing #280 (1976) into a web of colorful lines painted directly on the gallery wall.
- A blank sheet of white paper titled 1000 Hours of Staring (1992-1997) documents Tom Friedman’s arduous task of staring over a five-year period.
Special exhibition-related events throughout the fall will bring artists such as Alison Knowles, Roxy Paine, Erwin Wurm, and Tom Marioni to the BMA to share insights into their radical artistic endeavors.
About the Baltimore Museum of Art
Founded in 1914, the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) inspires people of all ages and backgrounds through exhibitions, programs, and collections that tell an expansive story of art—challenging long-held narratives and embracing new voices. Our outstanding collection of more than 97,000 objects spans many eras and cultures and includes the world’s largest public holding of works by Henri Matisse; one of the nation’s finest collections of prints, drawings, and photographs; and a rapidly growing number of works by contemporary artists of diverse backgrounds. The museum is also distinguished by a neoclassical building designed by American architect John Russell Pope and two beautifully landscaped gardens featuring an array of modern and contemporary sculpture. The BMA is located three miles north of the Inner Harbor, adjacent to the main campus of Johns Hopkins University, and has a community branch at Lexington Market. General admission is free so that everyone can enjoy the power of art.