More than 100 years ago, Andrew Carnegie launched an art museum by charging the curator of the first Carnegie International to find the “old masters of tomorrow.”
Last week the three curators of the 2013 Carnegie International released the names of 35 artists and groups of artists from 19 countries they think live up to that challenge.
The publication of the list gives the public its first glimpse of what the art exhibition will look like, and Daniel Baumann said the list was born out of hours of coffee-fueled debate among him and his fellow curators Dan Byers and Tina Kukielski.
“It’s sometimes in a bar late at night somewhere in Europe … where we fight with each other, and where it is all about making it a good show,” said Baumann, who is a native of Switzerland.
No artists were allowed into the show if the choice was not unanimous among the three curators.
Among the artists on the list that most intrigue Bauman are the Iranian artist Rokni Haerizadeh, who now lives in Dubai, Arab Emirates creating animated films, and Paulina Olowska of Poland, who will build a strong connection to Pittsburgh in the work she will display in the Carnegie International.
Baumann said Olowska will try to transform the museum’s café into a cabaret using puppets created by Pittsburgh Margo Lovelace.
The curators have turned the sneak peak that comes with the release of the artists into a preshow by posting pictures of several of the artists' works online through Pintrest, a blog and a Tumblr page.
Not all of the names on the lists are single artists; some represent groups of artists.
“That’s what many young artists nowadays do… a bit like jazz bands they form themselves, get together, do a project and then move on,“ Baumann said.
In the coming months artists will be visiting the museum as they work on the pieces they will display at the International. The show opens in October.