Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas


A Painting for Over the Sofa (that's not necessarily a painting)
  • A Painting for Over the Sofa (that's not necessarily a painting)
  • 24-Apr-2004 - 20-Jun-2004
  • Kress Gallery and South Balcony, Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas

What’s above your sofa? Does it match the carpet and drapes, the fabric on your loveseat, the palette of your walls? Does it matter? In most American homes, the sofa is often the first piece of living room furniture selected. All other questions about décor revolve around it. The sofa-and the painting, drawing, print, photograph, or even sculpture placed over it-conveys important information about the inhabitants. With that in mind, Spencer welcomes A Painting for Over the Sofa (that's not necessarily a painting) a national traveling exhibition that considers the couch as crux for American domestic design-and more specifically how wrongheaded a notion that may be. The exhibition features 18 inflatable sofas and works of art that play with the idea of art versus home decoration. These are not knick-knacks for the den. Rather, they are humorous, insightful, and thought-provoking tableaux that invite visitors to sit down and make themselves at home. Featured artists are: Mario Algaze, Ida Applebroog, Ken Aptekar, Louise Bourgeois, Edouard Duval Carrié, Tim Curtis, Rico Gatson, Bruce Helander, Komar and Melamid, Hung Liu, Pepón Osorio, Karen Rifas, Miriam Schapiro, Jaune Quick-to-see Smith, Federico Uribe, Joe Walters, Deborah Willis, and Wendy Wischer.

The exhibition was organized by the Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, Miami.

Organized by Bernice Steinbaum of the Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, Miami, Florida. The Spencer Museum of Art venue is generously supported in part by the Kansas Arts Commission, a state agency, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, federal agencies.
This exhibition considers the implications of the modern notion of art as a mere accessory rather than a visual treasure within the domestic interior. Eighteen blow-up sofas are included in the exhibition; each of the eighteen artists commissioned for this project created a work specifically intended to hang over one of the sofas.