The 58th Carnegie International is a large exhibition of works by approximately 130 artists and collectives, most of which spill over two floors of the Carnegie Museum of Art. The following is a guide to the show that makes sure you don’t miss the best of the exhibition before it closes on April 2. You decide how much time you want to spend with each artwork or display along the way.
As you approach the admission desk on the main floor, notice, to its left, a mural by Krista Belle Stewart made of earth pigments from the Syilx Nation in western Canada.
Next, step out to the fountain plaza to see sculpture by septuagenarian Tishan Hsu who has been investigating the intersection of technology and the human body for more than four decades through his art.
Back inside, head to the short passageway that links the museums of art and natural history.
Save the gift shops for your end-of-visit shopping — be sure to look for the video and postcard set by CI58 artist Angel Velasco Shaw in the Art Store. Also pass, for now, Carnegie Prize awardee LaToya Ruby Frazier‘s photo documentary tribute to Baltimore healthcare workers during the early pandemic, in the Forum Gallery.
Continue to the Hall of Sculpture, which houses towering pillars of golden letter-shaped balloons. The letters of each pillar, if disassembled, would spell out one of the 30 articles of the United Nations 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (due to space limitations only the first 10 are shown in CI58). Artist Banu Cennetoğlu suggests that such rights, like the balloons, will deflate and shrink over time if not protected and upheld.
On the surrounding walls are Hiromi Tsuchida‘s photographs of burned and melted objects found in the ruins of Hiroshima after the Japanese city was leveled by an atomic bomb during World War II. Text embedded in the inkjet prints conveys the simultaneously universal and personal quality of each.
Upon leaving the Hall, you’ll encounter sculpture from 1968 by early feminist author and artist Kate Millett (1944-2017) on your way to the Grand Staircase, above which hang Daniel Lie’s altered fiber banners.
Proceed up the stairs (or for an add-on experience take the elegant Gilded Age elevator) to the Hall of Sculpture Balcony where three artists are exhibited. Find quietude and reflection in Patricia Belli‘s sound-enhanced installation in the adjacent Charity Randall Gallery, and artwork Christian Nyampeta tucked into the nearby stairway display case.
Pass through the back doors into the Heinz Galleries, which display work by 17 artists in a variety of media and of artist country of origin.
Begin on your far right with Vietnamese artist Trương Công Tùng, who created a “temporary garden” using natural materials. His paintings made of lacquer on wood will change over time.
When exiting this gallery look up to see Pio Abad‘s trompe-l’œil piece over the entryway.
Continue through the Heinz Galleries, making particular visual note of the wall of oil and colored pencil drawings by Ali Eyal (don’t miss his larger mixed media work to the far left), and on to the gallery-sized aerial views of devastated cities Mosul and Aleppo by Baghdad born Dia al-Azzawi.
You’ve completed the more conventionally-presented half of CI22, and it’s an opportune time to digest all you’ve seen, along with lunch at The Carnegie Cafe or Fossil Fuels (in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History).
Post-lunch there are two options.
Ideally, you can return another day to look at the remaining half of the International, which is contained within two of the large Scaife Galleries and the Heinz Architectural Center. As opposed to the mostly free-standing works in the Heinz Galleries, here are groupings of collectives and collections, archival materials and video works that invite unrushed perusing.
That would also allow a leisurely viewing of Frazier’s “More Than Conquerors: A Monument For Community Health Workers of Baltimore, Maryland,” comprising 33 images and 33 text panels; and, if you’re a Britney Spears follower, time to watch Tony Cokes’ 41-minute video “Free Britney?” in the museum theater.
On the way out of the museum, pop into the coat check and locker room to discover several of Eyal’s drawings casually placed on the wall and ponder, “Why?”
Beyond the museum itself are Cokes’ lighted billboards along Route 28, the terra0 tree at 915 Ridge Ave. on CCAC’s North Side campus, and a mural by James “Yaya” Hough at 2317 Centre Ave. in the Hill District.
If you visit on Saturday, Jan. 28 or Saturday, April 1, you may enter a lottery of sorts to participate in a one-on-one exchange with Fine Prize awardee Malcolm Peacock.
Museum floor plans are available at the admissions desk. An illustrated Exhibition Guide, with information about many of the artists, and a catalog, are for sale.