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For additional information, please contact Media Relations Manager: Peter Cavagnaro at (510) 642-0365 or pcavagnaro@berkeley.edu.

MATRIX/REDUX (March 9 – July 20, 2008)

Museum celebrates thirty years of spotlighting cutting-edge contemporary artists through the MATRIX Program.

Berkeley, CA, February 22, 2008
—(Click for a downloadable PDF version of this press release.) The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) is pleased to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of BAM/PFA's acclaimed MATRIX Program for Contemporary Art. To kick off the year-long festivities, the museum presents MATRIX/REDUX, an exhibition showcasing the work of artists featured in MATRIX exhibitions over the past three decades. MATRIX/REDUX opens March 9. Parts of the exhibition will close May 18, while others will remain on view through July 20.

Over the past thirty years, with more than 220 exhibitions, MATRIX has charted a unique course through the landscape of contemporary art. MATRIX founder James Elliot, then museum director, viewed the program's exhibitions as being actively engaged with living artists and the wide range of ideas expressed through their art. This was a progressive stance at the time of the program’s founding in 1978, when most museums focused on contemporary art only infrequently. Today, nearly every major museum in the country has a project-based contemporary art program similar to MATRIX, a testament both to the prescience of Elliott’s vision and to the increasing prominence of contemporary art in society.

The small-scale, short-term MATRIX format inspired experimentation on the part of both the artists and the institution, resulting in a mix of exhibitions that defied categorization and kept Berkeley at the forefront of international contemporary art. MATRIX has been a key force in introducing many important contemporary artists to Bay Area audiences, and in supporting the careers and raising the profiles of Bay Area artists internationally. The legacy of this influence lives on in the museum’s collection, which includes works by a majority of the artists who have exhibited in the MATRIX program, and in the collections of patrons who have supported the museum over the history of the program.

MATRIX/REDUX samples from the rich history of the MATRIX program with selections from the BAM/PFA collection and loans from local collections rarely seen by museum audiences. The exhibition places special emphasis on new gifts and acquisitions, such as Kiki Smith’s Crèche (1997), a recent gift from Richard and Lenore Niles. Other artists whose work will be featured in the exhibition include Chiho Aoshima, Richard Artschwager, Lutz Bacher, John Baldessari, Robert Bechtle, Nayland Blake, Louise Bourgeois, Joan Brown, Sophie Calle, Theresa Cha, Anne Chu, Bruce Conner, Jay DeFeo, Peter Doig, Jim Goldberg, Nan Goldin, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Eva Hesse, David Ireland, Robert Irwin, Carla Klein, Paul Kos, Zoe Leonard, Tom Marioni, Julie Mehretu, Ree Morton, Shirin Neshat, Adrian Piper, Lorna Simpson, Larry Sultan, and many more.

MATRIX/REDUX, which is organized by Phyllis Wattis MATRIX curator Elizabeth Thomas, opens March 9. Parts of the exhibition will close May 18, while others will remain on view through July 20.

Public Programs
MATRIX/REDUX
serves as the beginning of a year of events marking the thirtieth anniversary of the MATRIX program, including a series of public conversations between past MATRIX artists and former MATRIX curators Michael Auping, Constance M. Lewallen, Lawrence Rinder, and Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson.

Artist and Curator in Conversation
Peter Doig and Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson
Sunday, April 27, 3 p.m.
Museum Theater
Kicking off the series of discussions between past MATRIX artists and curators is a conversation between artist Peter Doig, who was featured in the MATRIX program in 2000, and Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson, MATRIX curator from 1999 through 2005. Peter Doig is among the most important painters working today; his mid-career retrospective opened at the Tate Modern in early February. MATRIX 183 Echo Lake was his first one-person museum exhibition in the United States. Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson is currently director and chief curator of the Aspen Art Museum.

Artist and Curator in Conversation
Constance Lewallen, Larry Sultan, and Mike Mandel
Sunday, June 22, 3 p.m.
Museum Theater
Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel will discuss their 1983 collaborative installation Newsroom with Constance Lewallen, MATRIX curator from 1980-1988 and Senior Curator at BAM/PFA from 1997-2007. Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel began collaborating while studying at the San Francisco Art Institute in the 1970s, producing the influential book Evidence in 1977, among other projects. Constance Lewallen is an independent curator based in San Francisco, California. They will be joined by another MATRIX artist from the Bay Area (to be confirmed) in order to expand the conversation to include the impact of MATRIX on the Bay Area arts community.

Artist and Curator in Conversation
Lawrence Rinder and Nayland Blake
Sunday, October 19, 3 p.m.
Museum Theater
Lawrence Rinder, MATRIX curator from 1988 to 1998 and current director of BAM/PFA, joins artist Nayland Blake in conversation. Throughout his career, Nayland Blake’s work has explored the complexities of identity, race, relationships, and representation, and has revealed a diverse set of interests and concerns—from popular culture and Camp to the queer body in the age of AIDS and the legacy of racism in America. His early work was twice exhibited in MATRIX, in his psychoanalytically inspired solo installation The Schreber Suite and as part of the artist collective Group Material’s project The AIDS Timeline. In 1995, Blake and Rinder co-curated In a Different Light, a landmark BAM exhibition that considered the cultural resonances of gay, lesbian, and queer experience in a cross-generational context.

Artist and Curator in Conversation
Michael Auping and Susan Rothenberg
Sunday, November 2, 3 p.m.
Museum Theater
Michael Auping was the first MATRIX curator, directing the program from 1978-1980. Auping will be in conversation with Susan Rothenberg, one of three artists in the first MATRIX rotation. Rothenberg's expressive figurative paintings of the late 1970s were an important bellwether for the turn towards painting that followed the cool dominance of minimalism and conceptual art. Over the years, from her iconic horse paintings to more recent explorations of daily life, Rothenberg has pursued an individual course of painting with an abiding interest in surface and tactility that mines both abstraction and representation. Michael Auping is currently Chief Curator at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.

Artist and Curator in Conversation
Elizabeth Thomas and Paul Chan
Early January, 2009. Exact date TBA
Museum Theater
Elizabeth Thomas, current MATRIX curator at the Berkeley Art Museum, welcomes future MATRIX artist Paul Chan. Chan is an artist and activist who works across many media, from charcoal drawing to digital animation, and most recently performance, to create symbolically rich and intellectually incisive commentaries on human power and politics. His most recent project, Waiting for Godot in New Orleans, was a community-based project involving workshops and collaborations towards the realization of an intimate and deeply pointed performance of the play in the streets of flood-ravaged New Orleans, leaving in its wake support for social and community programs in the region. Chan’s MATRIX project is tentatively scheduled for Spring 2009.

Special Event
MATRIX 30th Birthday Bash
Friday, April 25, 8 p.m.
BAM/PFA presents an evening of art, live music, food and wine, and the opportunity to engage with a vibrant group of guests including past MATRIX artists, the curators who shaped the program, and the arts community of the Bay Area. With a special performance by the Bay Area art rock band Deerhoof in collaboration with New York-based filmmaker Martha Colburn, a fall 2008 MATRIX artist.
All proceeds will benefit the MATRIX program. For details including ticket prices, please contact Sylvia Parisotto at (510) 643-9989 or sparis@berkeley.edu.

MATRIX 30th Anniversary Book
In the Spring of 2009, BAM/PFA will release a book celebrating the art and artists featured over thirty years of the MATRIX Program for Contemporary Art.

Credit Line
The MATRIX Program at the UC Berkeley Art Museum is made possible by a generous endowment gift from Phyllis C. Wattis. Additional donors to the MATRIX Program include the UAM Council MATRIX Endowment, Joachim and Nancy Bechtle, Maryellen and Frank Herringer, Noel and Penny Nellis, Roselyne C. Swig, Paul L. Wattis III, Paul Rickert, Iris Shimada, and Jane and Jeff Green.

  

The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Additional support is provided by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Koret Foundation, the Bernard Osher Foundation, Packard Humanities Institute, the Henry Luce Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Columbia Foundation, the Christensen Fund, the William H. Donner Foundation, San Francisco Foundation, Gap Inc., other private foundations and corporations, and our individual donors and members. Major endowment support has been provided by the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation and by George Gund III.


About UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
The UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) aims to inspire the imagination and ignite critical dialogue through contemporary and historical art and film, engaging audiences from the campus, Bay Area community, and beyond. BAM/PFA is one of the largest university art museums in the United States in both size and attendance, presenting fifteen art exhibitions and five hundred film programs each year. The museum’s collection of more than 14,000 works includes exceptional examples of mid-twentieth-century painting, including important works by Hans Hofmann, Jackson Pollock, Eva Hesse, and Mark Rothko, as well as historical and contemporary Asian art, early American painting, Conceptual and contemporary international art, and California and Bay Area art. The PFA film and video collection now includes the largest group of Japanese films outside of Japan, as well as impressive holdings of Soviet silents, West Coast avant-garde cinema, seminal video art, rare animation, Central Asian productions, Eastern European cinema, and international classics.

University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
2626 Bancroft Way, just below College Avenue near the UC Berkeley campus.

Gallery and Museum Store Hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 11 am to 5 pm. Closed Monday and Tuesday.

Admission: General admission is $8; admission for seniors, disabled persons, non-UC Berkeley students, and young adults (13 – 17) is $5; admission for BAM/PFA members, UC Berkeley students, staff and faculty, and children under 12 is free; admission for group tours is $3 per person (to arrange a group tour, call (510) 642-5188). Admission is free on the first Thursday of each month.

Information: 24-hour recorded message (510) 642-0808; FAX (510) 642-4889; TDD: (510) 642-8734

Website: bampfa.berkeley.edu

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