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The Willfulness of Objects

The Willfulness of Objects

The Willfulness of Objects presents a selection of works from The Bass’ collection, many newly acquired, by artists who utilize found, altered, recycled, or transformed everyday objects as their materials to explore facets of human nature, history, and the surrounding environment. The exhibition includes works by Allora & Calzadilla, Jose Bédia, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Cerith Wyn Evans, Lara Favaretto, Urs Fischer, Mark Handforth, Gabriel Kuri, Paola Pivi, Pedro Reyes, Karen Rifas, Mika Rottenberg, Jamilah Sabur, Xaviera Simmons, Tavares Strachan, Eli Sudbrack, Naama Tsabar, Adrian Villar Rojas, Danh Vō and Haegue Yang.

An essay by Abraham Cruzvillegas lends its title to this exhibition. In the last line, he proclaims, “Everything is alive.” In Cruzvillegas’ text, five short sections provide narrative reminders that the objects and things created and existing alongside us are not stagnant. Objects, like living beings, have complex life cycles and can evolve and change in form over time. Mutations of the item’s shape, use, and value alter the meaning, identity, and personal or cultural significance.

Working with existing or familiar items—pearls, a gasoline pump, a commercial freezer, and a satchel of potatoes—these artists create works that encompass diverse media, scale and formats varying from sculpture, painting and assemblage to wallpaper and video. Spanning the entirety of the museum’s 2nd floor, the works investigate a range of social and formal issues including: an incumbent future filled with material detritus and natural disasters, the volatility of freedom, the fragmentation of political and civic bodies, and the alchemic possibilities of art. Each work invites us to ponder the legacy and malleability of forms, and their meaning.




This exhibition is curated by Silvia Karman Cubiñá and Leilani Lynch.

The Wilfulness of Objects is sponsored by Phillips.