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MILIEU, MEANING AND ARCHITECTURE: CONTEMPORARY INSTALLATION ART GALLERY DESIGN

by DEGRAAF, NATHAN MARK

Abstract (Summary)
Contemporary artworks, while revolutionary in their investigations of form, durability, commodification, objectification, and meaning, now float languidly within alien gallery spaces – islands far from both the Motherland and Masters that created the work. Adrift and hopelessly lost, works tread in endless white walled rooms and corridors, abandoned upon wooden floors, and blinded by tightly focused track lighting. A sea of endless identical spaces represent the outcomes of a search for a universal neutral space molded by formal regulations established by the Modernist zeitgeist four decades ago. Modernism’s demise both in art and architecture has yet to manifest change in the display spaces where artwork work is installed, ignoring the innovation brought by both architects and artists in their respective fields. Competition, a word representing a perceived threat from architecture’s involvement not just on the exterior but within gallery design today, negates the possibility for a new symbiotic relationship to exist between the art figure and the framework that binds it visually. By studying developments in both site-specific installation art and architecture this thesis will search for the possibility of reconciliation between art and architecture, thus giving relevancy once again to each in a contemporary context through a relationship that activates the viewer as a participant rather than a mere observer, where a work of art reciprocally relates to its display space, and the gallery with the milieu it shares with local artists. In order to achieve this contextual figured-figure this thesis will analyze how critical design process could form between sites located within the artist’s communities of DUMBO, Williamsburg and Red Hook in Brooklyn, how the design approach will differ between these three sites and the typical major art institutions in nearby New York City, around installation artwork created by local artists, and finally, inclusion of the neighborhood that represents a target audience existing outside of the bourgeois and aristocracy that is today exclusively associated with the art world.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:University of Cincinnati

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:art museum display installation

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2006

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