This installation reflects an emphasis on recent contemporary acquisitions of work using the body, body parts, schematic notation, or figures of speech and text. While the dialogue between figuration and abstraction dominated much of the discourse around mid-20th-century art, an expanded notion of the figure as an artificial construction seems truer to the complex agendas at play in most art today. Nominally Figured calls attention to some of the uses of this more language-like understanding of the figure.
A “study-storage” presentation in the galleries allows for some unorthodox comparisons between artists including Carl Andre, Louise Bourgeois, Liz Larner, and Jim Nutt, and nods to plans for a renovated Fogg, in which state-of-the-art study areas will become central. One wall will be dedicated to drawings, another to sculpture. Also installed will be paintings by Richard Artschwager, Frank Egloff, Paul Feeley, and John Wesley, and photographs and video by Mel Bochner, Paul McCarthy, Dennis Oppenheim, David Hammons, Steve McQueen, and Bruce Nauman. The exhibition is installed in two rotations. The first rotation runs through October 15, and the second runs October 19, 2006–February 25, 2007. Organized by Linda Norden, associate curator of contemporary art.