Thinking Out Loud: Notes for an Evolving Collection

Thinking Out Loud: Notes for an Evolving Collection looks principally at recent acquisitions of The Rachofsky Collection, and also explores significant artworks within the collection that have been rarely or never displayed. In general, each gallery is treated as an independent installation; however, included within the exhibition is a “show within a show” entitled Reconsidering Conceptual Art. This mini-exhibition is comprised of two small, monographic galleries dedicated to Korean artist Seung-taek Lee and Italian artist Giulio Paolini, and one large gallery featuring an amalgamation of works by many artists from different cultures.

Seung-taek Lee is a postwar Korean artist whose work defined a range of what can be considered Conceptual art, before the term Conceptual art existed. Lee’s work, which predates that of his American and European counterparts, is fascinating and thrilling to see and tells a story that was previously not well known outside of Korea.

While Giulio Paolini is collected in meaningful depth within The Rachofsky Collection, the current presentation focuses specifically on his early works. Slightly later than Lee, but earlier than American artists of this movement, Paolini was also making Conceptual work before the advent of the term.

The many artists and artworks featured in the larger gallery range from the renowned to the obscure, including an important piece by Joseph Kosuth that could be said to historically define Conceptual art as we have known it until recently. By exhibiting these artists and artworks with the innovative work of Lee and Paolini, we hope to inspire a broader and more nuanced take on the history and legacy of Conceptual art.

Unlike several previous exhibitions at The Warehouse, built upon precise concepts that unfolded throughout the galleries, this installation intentionally utilizes the space in a more flexible and multivalent manner to present the collection. This approach allows more freedom to explore the work of individual artists, various art movements, and the recent evolution of the collection. In addition to Reconsidering Conceptual Art, the current exhibition also includes two galleries of new paintings acquired in recent years, a major installation piece by Damián Ortega, a display of postwar Japanese Surrealism, and a fresh consideration of Minimalism and its lineage. Most importantly, Thinking Out Loud is a vehicle to look at new areas in collecting, in order to discuss a more precise set of priorities for evolving The Rachofsky Collection.

Allan Schwartzman
Director of The Rachofsky Collection