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The Jewel Thief will combine works by over fifty contemporary artists with eccentric arrangements to explore new ways to think about and experience abstract art. Through experiments with scale, color, material, and space, the exhibition will create an immersive environment that raises questions about art and display and enables fresh takes on the specific works. Beginning in the museum's atrium, the exhibition will continue into the large Wachenheim gallery, filling the space with a diverse range of artwork, including painting, sculpture, textiles, wallpaper, chandeliers, video, drawing, and photography. In organizing the exhibition, co-curators Ian Berry and Jessica Stockholder looked at artwork through the lens of several dichotomies, for example: private and public; intimate and spectacular; or hot and cold. Hot might relate to feelings of passion, authenticity, and expression, while cold might be attributed to restraint, intellectual distance, and controlled execution. Through divergent display methods and a focus on art's intersection with the decorative and functional elements of architecture, The Jewel Thief will explore how artworks negotiate the distance between these two poles and how the space around it affects this negotiation. The Jewel Thief draws parallels between the questions and attitudes seen within individual artworks and the various means of display our culture has developed. Positing something as "owned" requires defining boundaries and determining edges; asserting what is inside and what is out. The establishment of such definitions requires a kind of invention—a shared abstraction—that alters what is possible for us to do, think, and be. These abstractions lead to the building of fences—real lines being drawn around things—and to shared understandings about the distance required for personal space. The exhibition will combine work from the Tang's collection including works by Kathy Butterly, Dorothy Dehner, Bill Komoski, Michael Lazarus, Charles Long, Allan McCollum, and Ann Pibal, alongside recent works by artists including Cheryl Donegan, Roy Dowell, Rico Gatson, Joanne Greenbaum, Liz Larner, Virgil Marti, Chris Martin, Carrie Moyer, Richard Rezac, and John Torreano among many others. The exhibition will include newly crafted display platforms made in collaboration with co-curator and artist Jessica Stockholder.

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Installation view
Installation view
Installation view