Museum architecture and conventions of display, installation, and signage are ostensibly devoted to welcoming the viewer and elevating the presence and power of works of art. Increasingly, however, these other aspects are competing with the artworks themselves. Reflecting on this phenomenon, The Art of Exhibition focuses on the presentation of things that are not the “artworks” — such as banners, signage, pedestals, and text of exhibitions — but which significantly shape visitors’ museum experiences. In doing so, the exhibition offers insights into how art museums and their exhibitions function as a system of meaning and raises questions about the way we perceive and experience art and public culture.
This exhibition was curated by Dan Ho, a graduate student in the Critical and Curatorial Studies Program in UCLA’s Department of Art. Every year since 2001, the Fowler has provided gallery space for a graduate student to curate an exhibition as part of the fulfillment of their master’s thesis in this program.