Austin College Hosts Michael Corris Exhibit

Apr 7, 2014 - May 18, 2014

Austin College Hosts Michael Corris Exhibit

SHERMAN, TEXAS—The Austin College Department of Art and Art History will host “Michael Corris: The Storage Problem” April 7 through May 18 in Ida Green Gallery of Ida Green Communication Center. The gallery is open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Department of Art and Art History at 903.813.2048.

An artist, writer, and educator, Corris is a professor of art at Meadows School of the Arts at SMU and founder of the Free Museum of Dallas, an exhibition project space that occupied his office from 2010 to 2013.

The focus of Corris’ work is the complex relations between artists and the public, and the institutions and ideas that enable art to be produced and disseminated throughout culture.

In the Artist’s Statement for the exhibit, Corris wrote:

As an artist and writer whose practice emerged from Conceptual Art, I find this to be a problematic heritage. Contemporary devaluations of the term “conceptual” — whether as a qualification applied to contemporary art or as a rubric for some practices of the 1960s and 1970s — prompt me to maintain a critical distance from that category. From the standpoint of my work, a skeptical attitude towards Conceptual Art and its various offspring’s has proven to be neither uncomfortable nor unfruitful. While I acknowledge my origins as an artist in Conceptual Art as enabling, I am not about to swallow whole representations of that past by others.

The critical analysis of the conditions of production and dissemination of art has engaged my interest throughout my career. My work continues to examine, comment on, and intervene in the situation of art as it continues to migrate from the studio and the showroom to the world at large. This is the dynamic world of the expanded field gone mad; it is the setting within which my work as an artist and writer is largely embedded. Of particular interest to me is the variety of theoretical discourses, improvised social structures, and more permanent institutions that continue to be developed by artists and others in order to sustain and deepen this historic transition while trying to maintain a degree of control over their work.

In general, I employ a wide range of intellectual and expressive resources and modes of dissemination in the production of my work; projects are often designed to have a public life outside the conventional mediating structures of art. The main areas of expertise that I have developed over the course of my practice include postwar American art, Conceptual Art, participatory and activist art, the historical patterns and consequences of technological change in art and design, digital and hybrid media, the fraught question of ‘interdisciplinarity’ in art, and the contemporary behemoths of art education and the art market.

The work generated by these interests often sprints back and forth across time, illuminating crucial aspects of our contemporary context by offering new interpretations for hoary historical trajectories. While my work frequently addresses art and artists directly — for instance, speaking to the sustainability and independence of communities of artists within and outside major urban centers — the affordance to other communities of such specific models of cultural autonomy is increasingly an area of concern and promises to become the basis for future projects.

Corris has exhibited internationally, and his work may be found in public and private collections worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art  and the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), the Baltimore Museum of Art, Le Consortium (Dijon), Victoria and Albert Museum and Tate Modern (London), Staatsgaleri (Stuttgart), Le Musée des Beaux-Arts (La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland), Progressive Insurance Art Collection (Cleveland and Tampa), and Collection Ghislain Mollet-Viéville (Paris).

Recent exhibitions include: “Open Studio: Every Person is a Special Kind of Artist, with Baggage” (September 2013) —a commissioned project for the Texas Biennial 2013 produced collectively by SMU Studio Art program students and two local Dallas artists; “Baggage” (2013) at RE Gallery, Dallas (with Kelly Kroener); “Les Misérables” (2014), Dallas Contemporary; and “Dallas Biennial 2014” at Beefhaus, Dallas.

Corris’ writings on contemporary art have been widely published in international journals and magazines, such as Art Monthly, Artforum, Art History, and  art+text, and reprinted in collections, such as Alex Alberro & Blake Stimson (eds), Conceptual Art: A Critical Anthology (MIT Press, 1999) and Terry R Myers (ed.), Painting (Documents of Contemporary Art) (MIT Press and Whitechapel, London, 2011).

Recent publications include Conceptual Art: Theory, Myth and Practice (Cambridge University Press, 2004), Ad Reinhardt (Reaktion Books, London, 2008), Art, Word & Image: 2,000 Years of Textual/Visual Interaction (Reaktion Books, London, 2010) (with John Dixon Hunt and David Lomas), “From Abstract Expressionism to Conceptual Art: A Survey of New York Art, 1940-1970”, in Exploring Art and Visual Culture: The Twentieth Century (eds. Steve Edwards and Paul Wood) (Tate Publishing, London, 2012), and The Dallas Pavilion (Free Museum of Dallas Press, 2013) (with Jaspar Joseph-Lester).

Corris earned a bachelor’s degree in art, with honors, at Brooklyn College, a master’s degree in Fine Arts at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and a doctorate in history of art at University College London.

With Sharon Kivland and Jaspar Joseph-Lester, Corris was a co-founder of Transmission Annual (2009 – present). Transmission Annual is a thematic, multidisciplinary anthology of art and culture co-published by Meadows School of the Arts and Sheffield-Hallam University in the United Kingdom. Transmission Annual 4, published in December 2013 is devoted to the theme of art, work, and labor.

Corris is series editor for Art Since the 1980s, published by Reaktion Books, London, and reviews editor for Art Journal (College Art Association/Taylor & Francis).

The Getty Research Institute (Los Angeles) holds papers and artworks by Corris related to his work as a Conceptual Artist, critic, and historian of art.

Austin College is a leading national private liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas. Recognized nationally for academic excellence, pre-professional preparation, international study opportunities, and leadership development, Austin College is one of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives. Founded in 1849, making it the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original charter and name, the College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA).


Media Contacts:

Lynn Z. Womble,, 903-813-2891 or 214-450-3317

Vickie S. Kirby,, 903-813-2414

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