Small World: Dioramas in Contemporary Art

Front Cover
Ralph Rugoff
Museum of Contemporary Art, 2000 - Art - 48 pages
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With essays by Toby Kamps and Ralph Rugoff, Small World: Dioramas in Contemporary Art features work by a younger generation of artists inspired by natural history museum displays, film sets, miniatures, and a wide variety of other sources that present full- or small-scale models of real or imaginary landscapes and scenes. Working in two and three dimensions to create simulated environments frozen for our inspection, the represented artists include Michael Ashkin, Helen Cohen, Mat Collishaw, Liz Craft, Thomas Demand, Mark Dion, Bridget and Tina Marrin, Tony Matelli, Nils Norman, Alexis Rockman, Hiroshi Sugimoto, and Clara Williams. Small World deals with a number of the most provocative subjects in recent art, particularly a widespread interest in social structures, the landscape, and scientific ideas and methods. The diorama -- from the Greek dia, through, and horama, to see -- can serve as a powerful medium for artists who want to consider the ways we see and understand the world.

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About the author (2000)

Toby Kamps is curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. His prior publications include Small Worlds: Dioramas in Contemporary Art, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and 20th Century Mexican Art, and Lateral Thinking: Art of the 1990s.

Rugoff is a frequent contributor to frieze and ArtForum.

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