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The New Decor

The New Decor

by Ralph RugoffHal Foster and Michelle Kuo

Hardback Publication Date: 23/12/2009

"The New Decor" is an international survey of contemporary artists whose work takes the common vocabulary of interior design as a point of departure. Refashioning forms and artefacts associated with interior space and presenting them in the public setting of a gallery, the artists in the exhibition respond to ways in which our private realms are increasingly interconnected with the outside world. In their sculptures and installations, the self-contained design object metamorphoses into a hub of competing references, evoking individual as well as collective scenarios, historical events as well as intimate encounters. Using decor as a springboard, their works play on cultural histories and behavioral scripts embedded in particular design elements, or suggest new situations in which social exchanges might occur. Re-conceptualising the basic props of our everyday environments, these artworks explore (and sometimes explode) the current attitudes, cultural postures and social furniture that reveal the public dimensions of our private worlds.
In French the word decor refers to stage and film sets as well as interior design, and in a similar spirit the works in this exhibition occupy an arena between theatre and everyday life. Mixing codes and straddling categories, their work invites us to re-map our relationships to a variety of interior spaces, including that of the gallery itself. Artists include Monica Bonvicini, Martin Boyce, Tom Burr, Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Los Carpinteros, Jimmie Durham, Elmgreen & Dragset, Urs Fischer, Gelitin, Fabrice Gygi, Mona Hatoum, Jeppe Hein, Diango Hernandez, Yuichi Higashionna, Jim Lambie, Lee Bul, Sarah Lucas, Ernesto Neto, Manfred Pernice, Ugo Rondinone, Doris Salcedo, Jin Shi, Roman Signer, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Rosemarie Trockel, Tatiana Trouve, Haegue Yang, Nicole Wermers and Franz West.
Exhibition catalogues & specific collections
Publication Date:
Hayward Gallery Publishing
Country of origin:
United Kingdom
Dimensions (mm):
Ralph Rugoff

Ralph Rugoff is the Director of the Hayward Gallery in London.

In 2005, he won the inaugural Ordway Prize in the category of arts writer and/or curator from the Penny McCall Foundation in New York.

Michelle Kuo

Michelle Kuo taught English at an alternative school in the Arkansas Delta for two years.

After teaching, she attended Harvard Law School as a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow, and worked at a nonprofit for undocumented immigrants in Oakland, California, on a Skadden Fellowship, with a focus on tenants’ and workers’ rights.

She also clerked for a federal appeals court judge in the Ninth Circuit. Currently she teaches courses on race, law, and society at the American University of Paris.

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