Vilanova’s exhibition extends into the 1962 Building with two other postcard-based works. For Old Masters, the artist will install four ordinary-looking jackets in different locations. Unlike most works of art, these jackets are meant to be touched: in their pockets, visitors will find postcards from Vilanova’s collection featuring works by the artists of adjacent paintings. For To be Precise, the artist will place thousands of museum souvenir postcards—bundled to hide their images from view—in a former phone booth near Shop AK. These interventions prompt questions about how images are valued, experienced, distributed, and understood, especially within a museum context.
The popularity of printed postcards in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries vastly expanded the circulation of images. Although Vilanova’s works are made with these “analog” materials, the scale of his installations points to the more recent proliferation of digital images in contemporary culture. While algorithms increasingly are used to process enormous databases of digital image files for specific purposes, such as crowd surveillance, Vilanova’s artworks insist that images can shape the world in more poetic ways.
This exhibition is organized by Assistant Curator Tina Rivers Ryan.
Admission to this special exhibition is Pay What You Wish on M&T FIRST FRIDAYS @ THE GALLERY.