The Barbara Lee Family Foundation proudly supported the exhibition “Come as You Are: Art of the 1990’s” at the Montclair Art Museum. This exhibition marked the first major American museum survey to examine the art of this pivotal decade in its historical context. Showcasing approximately 60 works by 45 artists, it included installations, paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photography, video, and digital art.
“Come as You Are” offered an overview of art made in the United States between 1989 and 2001—from the fall of the Berlin Wall to 9/11—and was organized around three principal themes: the so-called “identity politics” debates, the digital revolution, and globalization. Its title refers to the 1992 song by Nirvana (the quintessential 90s band, led by the quintessential 90s icon, Kurt Cobain).
The exhibition spoke to the issues of identity that were complicated by the effects of digital technologies and global migration. The artists in the exhibition made their initial “point of entry” into the art historical conversation during the 1990s and reflect the increasingly heterogeneous nature of the art world during this time, when many women artists and artists of color attained unprecedented prominence. The exhibition was curated by Alexandra Schwartz, MAM curator of contemporary art. Following its premiere at MAM, the show embarked on a national tour.
“Come as You Are” ran at the Montclair Art Museum from February 8–May 17, 2015.