Your smarter than me. i don’t care.

Your smarter than me. i don’t care.

Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA)

Cary S. Leibowitz, Your smarter than me. i don’t care., 1994. Latex on wood. Gift of Peter Norton.
October 2, 2015
Your smarter than me. i don’t care.

October 2, 2015–January 3, 2016

Williams College Museum of Art
15 Lawrence Hall Dr.
Williamstown, MA 01267
Hours: Friday–Tuesday 10am–5pm,
Thursdays 10am–8pm

T +4135972429

Navel-gazing, a self-mocking focus on an artist’s own life and practice, embracing identity politics, and a skeptical obsession with technology is the stuff of Your smarter than me. i don’t care. The exhibition opens at the Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) October 2 and will be on view through January 3. Your smarter than me draws from WCMA’s collection and highlights 18 of the 67 works of contemporary art from a recent gift by philanthropist Peter Norton. The title of the exhibition is taken from a 1994 Cary Leibowitz text-painting featured in the show.

Norton’s gift augments the museum’s strength in contemporary art. It includes works by some of today’s leading artists, including Nayland Blake, Tracey Emin, Nicole Eisenman, Mike Kelley, and Adrian Piper. These come together in the exhibition with works from the collection by Glenn Ligon, Carrie Mae Weems, Richard Hawkins, and Teddy Sandoval.

“Peter Norton is well known for supporting artists early in their careers and for not shying away from work that deals with tough issues,” says Lisa Dorin, WCMA’s Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs and Curator of Contemporary Art. “A number of the works on view were created for the artists’ very first exhibitions. Several deal explicitly with how to define oneself as an artist within structures seemingly bent on constraining rather than encouraging. This is a powerful notion within the context of the college, where students are posing the same kinds of questions and beginning to form themselves as citizens.”

Cary Leibowitz was 31 years old when he made his diminutive painting, Your smarter than me. i don’t care. He was in the early stages of crafting his artistic persona, Candy Ass, making humor-laden, self-deprecating, text-based works that poked fun at his own identity, fear of mediocrity, and the elitist art world. The painting invites you to enter into the uncomfortable place that artists often find themselves in when they create works of art that stem from their own life experiences and put them out into the world to be scrutinized.

Other works in the exhibition that deal with personal and cultural experience include: Mike Kelley’s Untitled wooden paddle emblazoned with the preamble to the U.S. Constitution, reflecting the artist’s interest in psychological and physical violence in the name of power in works that mine childhood memory and trauma; and Moyomo Torimitsu’s uncanny life-size robotic Miyata Jiro, which makes use of technology to challenge assumptions about Japanese corporate culture, and the accompanying performance documentation showing the then-28-year-old artist dressed as a nurse, aiding the crawling robot on New York City’s Wall Street. The artworks in Your smarter than me deal with issues of identity and difference, and express concerns about societal shifts that call our personhood into question.
Peter Norton 
The art from Norton’s collection is intended to support the integration of the visual arts in higher education, to connect diverse audiences with contemporary art, and to foster creative museum practice. WCMA is one recipient in a series of gifts Norton made to university and college art museums throughout the country.
Williams College Museum of Art
WCMA sparks new ways of thinking about art and the visual world through its innovative exhibitions, programs, publications and projects. At the heart of the Williams College campus the museum draws on the collaborative and multidisciplinary ethos of the surrounding college to enliven the more than 14,000 works in its growing collection. The museum and its collection are a catalyst for student learning and community engagement. WCMA is free and open to all.
Press contact: Kim Hugo, Communications Manager; T +4135973352, [email protected]


Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) exhibition featuring contemporary art from a major gift from Peter Norton

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Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA)
October 2, 2015

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