The 2013 Carnegie International (October 5, 2013–March 16, 2014) is an ambitious return for Carnegie Museum of Art’s signature survey series, the preeminent exhibition of new international art. And this edition has received excellent reviews. Roberta Smith called it “a welcome shock to the system” and Peter Schjeldahl praised it as being “strikingly thoughtful”.
The International presents new voices rooted in history, a sense of place and play. The exhibition is guided by a shared passion for the individual and the exceptional; for art that celebrates dissonance and beauty; and for artworks that stay in touch with the everyday.
Co-curated by Daniel Baumann, Dan Byers, and Tina Kukielski, it is a conversation among four parts: a major exhibition of new international art, a playground, the museum’s collection, and an engagement with the city of Pittsburgh.
The surprise for me was Pierre Leguillon’s installation view of A Vivarium for George E. Ohr, a 2013 installation including 30 ceramics from the collection of Carolyn and Gene Hecht and one ceramic from the collection of Carnegie Museum of Art.
The title choice is interesting, for a vivarium is different to, say, a kunstkabinet. From the Latin,vivaria means a place for life, an area, usually enclosed, for keeping and raising animals or plants for observation or research. Leguillon became enamored of Ohr for a number of reasons, his work certainly, but also his eccentricity and penchant for self-promotion.