Magazine article Sculpture

The Barnes Foundation

Magazine article Sculpture

The Barnes Foundation

Article excerpt

Philadelphia

The Order of Things

Through August 3, 2015

In "The Order of Things," commissioned artists Mark Dion, Judy Pfaff, and Fred Wilson respond to Albert C. Barnes's notoriously unconventional approach to the museum experience. Ignoring the traditional rules of chronology and categorization by geography, style, and medium, he mixed modern paintings and old masters, furniture, metalwork, and household items in vividly bracing, if crowded, tableaux according to his own formal criteria-in other words, he acted as an installation artist. Not unlike Dion, Pfaff, and Wilson, Barnes invented a personal system for ordering the world, one that shifts contexts, invites different perspectives, and encourages critical thinking. In The Incomplete Naturalist, Dion applies the Barnes methodology to natural history, while considering the "destructive" nature of isolating objects in collections. …

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