Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to unveil new contemporary art wing

  • An exceprt from Christian Marclay's The Clock.

    An exceprt from Christian Marclay's The Clock.

This September, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), will unveil the 80,000-sq.ft. Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art. Located in the building I.M. Pei designed for the MFA in 1981, the wing will include seven new galleries.

The Henry and Lois Foster Gallery for rotating exhibitions will feature the exhibition Ellsworth Kelly: Wood Sculpture, the first museum survey of wood sculpture by the acclaimed artist. In addition, the Linde Family Wing will be a lively social space at the Museum—a destination for full
engagement with contemporary culture in all its forms through art, music, performances, readings, lectures, courses, and artist demonstrations.

To mark the opening, the Museum will host a lively 24-hour celebration—beginning with ticketed
parties on September 17 and culminating in a free Open House on September 18—at which it will debut the MFA’s new acquisition, Christian Marclay’s 24-hour video, The Clock, in Remis Auditorium. Marclay was the winner of the Golden Lion for best artist at this year's Venice Biennale.

“The opening of the Linde Family Wing is a transformative moment for contemporary art at the MFA,” said Malcolm Rogers, Ann and Graham Gund Director of the Museum.

New programs will be scheduled on “Contemporary Thursdays,” weekly evening presentations designed to enhance engagement with contemporary art in the Linde Family Wing. In addition, the Museum will continue to connect toaudiences through social media. The launch of a special “As Us Anything” campaign will allow the public to ask any questions that they have about contemporary art, connecting them with the MFA’s contemporary art curators, sparking
dialogue about the new wing and works of art at the MFA outside of the walls of the Museum. The MFA’s website, www.mfa.org, also will feature the Museum’s first on-line magazine highlighting art and programming in the new wing.

To mark the opening of the newly renovated wing, the MFA will host a 24-hour celebration: an Opening Party at 7 p.m. ($200), an After Hours party at 11 p.m. ($100), both on Saturday, September 17; and a Wee Hours party at 3 a.m. ($50) on Sunday, September 18, followed by a free Open House from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. As part of opening festivities, the MFA will premiere its recent acquisition, Christian Marclay’s acclaimed 24-hour video, The Clock, in Remis Auditorium. A
masterwork of film sampling and editing, The Clock is a compilation of thousands of movie and TV clips of clocks and watches that tell the current time at any given moment. It will be synchronized with real-time opening events (beginning at 7 p.m. on September 17). Directly referencing the remarkable history of film, The Clock evokes the present while reinforcing how contemporary art is part of a rich continuum.

“Fundamental to our vision for the new collection galleries is an emphasis on how contemporary art develops new meaning in our current moment and continues to be in dialogue with the art that came before,” said Jen Mergel, the Museum’s Robert L. Beal, Enid L. Beal and Bruce A. Beal Senior Curator of Contemporary Art. “Introducing the idea that ‘all art has been contemporary,’ we hope to build curiosity, context and exchange about contemporary culture as an unended story in which we all actively participate to shape understanding. The galleries will become a resource for audiences to revisit again and again to engage with an art experience that is truly ‘con tempos,’ with the times.”

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