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A Day of Free Admission to the Museum on September 11, 2011
September 7, 2011 | October 9, 2011

New York, NY… The New Museum will present New York based artist Elena del Rivero’s [Swi:t] Home: A CHANT (2001-2006) in the lobby gallery to commemorate the upcoming tenth anniversary of the World Trade Center tragedy on September 11, 2001. The Museum will also offer visitors free admission on Sunday, September 11, 2011.

Prior to the 9/11 attacks, Del Rivero lived and worked on Cedar Street, directly across from the World Trade Center. In the aftermath of the event and as a result of the sheer force of destruction, her space was filled with ashes, dust, and debris.
She was in her native Spain on the day of the terrorist attacks, but when she returned home, she began the task of carefully salvaging and cataloging the office memos, personal notes, and other documents that had blown through the collapsed windows of her loft. Over the course of five years, these scraps were gradually and meticulously cleaned, inventoried, removed of personal identity, and then hand sewn on to rolls of fabric. Strung from the ceiling of the New Museum’s lobby gallery in a cascading form, these lengths of cotton flow like waterfalls or clouds of smoke, turning the installation into a powerful evocation of the event itself, its historical weight, and the individual lives affected by it. Immersed in the intricacies of the installation, viewers will see 3,136 pieces of found burned papers carefully stitched to cotton mesh, amounting to more than 500 feet of material.

[Swi:t] Home: A CHANT will be on view at the New Museum from September 7–26, 2011, and is the first New York City presentation of this work. The piece was installed previously at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., in 2008.

“Lower Manhattan has been a local, national, and global creative center for decades—a place where artists have always lived and worked, and where they continue to live and work today,” said Lisa Phillips, Toby Devan Lewis Director of the New Museum. “Elena del Rivero is a member of that community which worked through great tragedy to keep hope and memories alive. She used her artistic vision to find meaning and new life for these charged scraps of the past that landed in her studio. We are proud to present this work for the first time in New York as part of our ongoing commitment to the Downtown cultural community. The New Museum opened in 1977 on Hudson Street and was on Broadway for twenty years. When we chose to build on the Bowery in 2002, we did so to serve as a catalyst and international cultural magnet for a community that was brought to its knees after 9/11. A decade later, there is an enormous resurgence of cultural activity in Lower Manhattan, further fortifying a district that has long been a home to artists and venerable cultural organizations.”

About the Artist
Elena del Rivero uses simple materials and humble gestures to produce emotionally resonant installations. Her work is often built upon actions like cleaning and sewing that have a domestic tenor. She brings these activities from the private space of the home into the public arena of the gallery giving her works the familiarity of memory but with a surreal and poetic charge. Much of her recent work has used paper as the primary medium, transforming it into dramatic forms that expose her personal history in order to create spaces of reflection and community.

The artist was born in Valencia, Spain, and has lived in New York since 1991. Del Rivero earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Valencia in 1974 and a degree in English Literature from Cambridge University in 1977. She has had solo exhibitions at the Drawing Center and Art in General in New York, and at the University of Salamanca, the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Reina Sofía, Madrid, and the Caixa Foundation, Barcelona, in Spain. Her work has also been included in group exhibitions in museums in the United States and around the world. In 1995, Del Rivero represented Spain at the Johannesburg Biennal. Del Rivero’s art is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery in Washington D.C, Fog Art Museum at Harvard University, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, and Museo de Pamplona in Navarra, Spain, among others.

Artist Talk
In conjunction with her project, [Swi:t] Home: A CHANT, Elena del Rivero will speak in conversation with fellow New York-based artist Andrea Blum on September 15, 2011, at 7 p.m. The pair will discuss the making of Del Rivero’s work and the relationship between art and the city after 9/11.

The presentation of Elena del Rivero’s work is made possible through a partnership with the Embassy of Spain and the Consulate of Spain in New York. Additional support is provided by Acción Cultural Española (AC/E) and the Toby Devan Lewis Emerging Artists Exhibitions Fund. Chant: is a project of Creative Capital.
Special thanks to New York magazine for sponsoring free admission on Sunday, September 11, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

About the New Museum
The New Museum is the only museum in New York City exclusively devoted to contemporary art. Founded in 1977, the New Museum was conceived as a center for exhibitions, information, and documentation about living artists from around the world. From its beginnings as a one-room office on Hudson Street to the inauguration of its first freestanding, dedicated building on the Bowery designed by SANAA in 2007, the New Museum continues to be a place of ongoing experimentation and a hub of new art and new ideas.


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