When Don Celender died in 2005, he left behind an unusually focused and accessible body of work that is ripe for rediscovery. Many younger audiences and those who did not see his solo exhibitions (almost all presented in New York), or have yet to encounter his books (mostly self-published and hard to find) are unfamiliar with this underrated Conceptual artist.
Celender lived most of his life in St. Paul, Minnesota where he taught Art History and chaired the Art department at Macalester College for over forty years. Celender's books and exhibits most frequently took the form of collected results from surveys. These surveys, often printed on official Macalester College stationary, were primarily conducted through the mail. Despite a great deal of writing about social practices and participatory artworks in recent years, mentions of Don Celender’s many survey projects, all dependent on the voices and participation of others, are absent from this critical discourse. Rather than taking his Ph.D. and retreating into the most obscure recesses of research and academia, Celender often used his deep knowledge of art history and his concern with art’s place in society to create a playful and humorous engagement with art and culture that could be accessible to a broad range of readers. This is the first survey of Celender's work to be presented in Chicago.
Some of the books included in the exhibit:
OPINIONS OF WORKING PEOPLE CONCERNING THE ARTS (1975)
MUSEUM PIECE (1975)
DESTINY OF A NAME (1978)
OBSERVATIONS, PROTESTATIONS AND LAMENTATIONS OF MUSEUM GUARDS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD (1978)
NATIONAL ARCHITECTS PREFERENCE SURVEY (1979)
REINCARNATION STUDY (1982)
MORTAL REMAINS (1995)
Visitors to the exhibit will be able to pick up a free limited edition folio with materials on Celender published by Public Collectors. You can download a color PDF version of the free booklet from the folio here. (27.4 meg file)
Exhibition hours are from 5 - 8 PM on Wednesdays, starting on December 9, 2009 until February 10, 2010.
Note that the Study Center will be closed on Wednesday, January 27th.
Additional hours can be scheduled by appointment. Call 773-395-4587 to plan a visit at another time.
Address: [listed publicly during exhibition dates]