Problems and Provocations, Grand Arts 1995-2015
Edited by Stacy Switzer, Annie Fischer. Foreword by Margaret Hall Silva.
Grand Arts, a contemporary art project space in Kansas City, MO, quietly but radically tested the limits of institutional and artistic support for nearly two decades. In helping more than 120 national and international artists realize projects considered too difficult, provocative, or complex to attract funding and support otherwise, the gallery achieved insider fame and deepseated respect as a bastion of generosity and risk. Now, as its final endeavor, Grand Arts gamely interrogates its values, methods, outcomes and legacies in Problems and Provocations: Grand Arts 1995–2015—an indispensable source book on creativity, collaboration and what it takes to realize a major work of contemporary art.
The volume documents 30 key projects from Grand Arts’ previously unexcavated history, by artists such as Alice Aycock, Patricia Cronin, Ellie Ga, Alfredo Jaar, Isaac Julien, Annie Lapin, Laurel Nakadate, Filip Noterdaeme, William Pope L., Tim Rollins & K.O.S., Emily Roysdon, Tavares Strachan and the Propeller Group. Recent annotations and previously untold stories by artists and collaborators complement an archival deepdive of photographs, artist proposals, sketches, notes, internal documents and items of private correspondence.
Essays by Pablo Helguera, Iain Kerr, Gean Moreno, Emily Roysdon and Rob Walker explore the models, practices ethics, and futures of art institutions, and a critical study conducted by the research studio RHEI identifies and describes Grand Arts’ distinctive model of support.
Part retrospective, part how-to guide, Problems and Provocations actively leverages Grand Arts’ past to engage problems of theoretical and practical interest to cultural producers moving forward— and serves as essential reading for today’s artists, students, curators and all those interested in tales of unpredictable ventures in the world of contemporary art.
PRAISE AND REVIEWS
LA Review of Books
...celebrates the organization’s mission and projects throughout its 20 years of operation in pages both commemorative and absurd. Given the unconventional, expansive nature of Grand Arts’ work and the new book, a simple panel discussion just wouldn’t be fitting.
Blouin Art Info
Grand Arts called it quits in 2015 — but its bold mission lives on