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Utopia Post Utopia

Dec 22, 2017-May 13, 2018

Featuring works by Albert Bierstadt, Robert Gober, Richard Prince, and Meg Webster, this exhibition is a re-presentation of Untitled Installation Conceived by Robert Gober, presented at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, in the show Utopia Post Utopia, in 1988. Like the original, the Aspen Art Museum’s iteration includes Bierstadt’s Lake Tahoe, California (1867), Gober’s wooden door and doorframe, a handwritten joke by Prince, and Webster’s Moss Bed (1986–88). Together, these disparate objects offer a space in which the viewer wrestles with reality versus appearance, and nature becomes farther and farther removed from actuality.

Gober’s architecture has been described by curator Elisabeth Sussman as fostering “a visual language, which can cope with the demands of the moment.” Today, the installation continues to resonate with viewers in its metaphorical representation of postmodernism and the appropriation and authorial critique that came to define it. Gober’s room and the pieces within it present an idea of utopian space, one destabilized by conflicting representations. At the same time, an understated yet definite sense of time and history runs throughout this surreal installation.

Opening reception Thursday, December 21, 2017.

AAM exhibitions are made possible by the Marx Exhibition Fund. General exhibition support is provided by the Toby Devan Lewis Visiting Artist Fund.

Works from the Exhibition