DECEMBER 2020 | JANUARY 2021 | ARTXPUZZLES: PUZZLES WITH PURPOSE selected contemporary curator Christopher Eamon for a select Curators Choice section, which is a global initiative by special invitation only for international curators from around the world to create new and innovative artist jigsaw puzzles with our company.
Mr. Eamon has selected contemporary artists Jennifer Coates, (New York, NY and Lakewood PA) Wanda Koop, (Winnipeg, Manitoba) Anna Ostoya, (New York, NY) Mai Thu Perret, (Geneva, Switzerland), Joan Jonas (New York and Cape Brenton,NS ) and Richard Storms (Toronto, Ontario).
Being “spotlight curator” is in some ways similar to organizing an exhibition. Selecting and grouping always highlights artworks and artists—spotlighting is one of the effects of exhibition making. Another is the hope that selected works will resonate with one other, hopefully creating new linkages among them. In this case, it’s a pleasure to highlight younger and older artists, lesser-known and well-known artists. Oftentimes a set of parameters is laid out, a rubric or context within which a curator works to fill out or populate an exhibition. Here, the context is the fundraiser Puzzles with Purpose. The works are multiples, which will be sold separately with proceeds going to good causes during this time of pandemic, struggle and hopefully change. So, my spotlight will not operate exactly like an exhibition; it will simply highlight.
Since our multiples come in the form of puzzles, puzzling—the act of piecing together a puzzle—is a major part of the context for this project. Puzzlers puzzle. They pay special attention to multiple fragments and put them together with a view to the whole. For hours and days at time, a puzzler might stare and stare at pieces and the two-dimensional representation they attempt to match. It requires an attenuated attention to form, color and image. In reconstructing the work of art, the puzzler mirrors the act of artistic creation. Most artists would be very pleased if viewers of public exhibitions would pay as much attention. Artists very often seek ‘to puzzle’ in another sense. They seek to perplex, or perhaps confuse, in the hope that viewers will take the time to investigate, analyze and put the work together for themselves. Much like the act of creation, the act of puzzling reflects the process of discovery in reverse, working from the parts to recreate a pre-existing original. In light of this compelling context, I chose five works by five artists for this project that are not only perplexing works of art (in a good way), but also visually seductive ones. I am grateful to all the artists who agreed to participate in this innovative project. Curatorial Statement: Christopher Eamon
Biography: Christopher Eamon is an independent curator and writer. He has curated notable exhibitions at museums and galleries internationally including at the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum for Contemporary Art, Berlin; MoMA PS1, New York; the Institute of Contemporary Art, London; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Aspen Art Museum. In 2011, he curated Rearview Mirror: New Art from Central and Eastern Europe for The Power Plant, Toronto, and the Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton. His publications include Anthony McCall: the Solid Light Films and Related Works (Northwestern University Press, Evanston, IL, and Steidl, Germany, 2005); writings on film and video art from 1950 to 1980 in Film and Video Art (Tate Publishing, 2009); and he is the co-editor, with Stan Douglas, of Art of Projection (Hatje Cantz, 2009), an anthology on the history and significance of projected images from the eighteenth century to the present. He was formerly the assistant Curator of Film and Video at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and Adjunct Professor in the History of Art at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, New York.