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A traveling exhibition organized and circulated by Independent Curators Incorporated, New York, NY. (curated by Nina Felshin): Dalhousie Art Gallery. Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia; Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh PA, 1999; Ezra and Cecile Zilka Gallery, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, 1998; Virginia Beach Centerfor the Arts , Virginia Beach, VA, 1998; Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, MA, 1998; Western Gallery, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA, 1997; John and Mabel Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota FL, 1996.

Link to Review from Pittsburgh Post Gazzette


Embedded Metaphor exhibition
West Galleries
September 21 through November 24, 1996

Sleeping and dreaming, conception and birth, lovemaking and illness provide the reasons why most of us spend at least one-third of our lives in bed. This staging ground has figured prominently in much figurative art of the past, but it is only since the 1980s that a significant number of artists have "liberated" the bed, so to speak, from its usual figurative context and used it independently as a viable subject for representation.

Embedded Metaphor examines the work of artists who mine this psychologically-charged piece of furniture for its metaphoric potential; as a marker for the shifting border between private and public space; and asl a pace where the unconscious roams freely and delivers up our dreams. Today's artists have shown that, as a repository for memory, the bed also can evoke a surprising range of emotions, including fear, desire, vulnerability, pain, passion, nurturing, loss and reconciliation as well as thoughts of sex, illness, and death.

The artists whose works are part of Embedded Metaphor reveal to us a new twist to our classic concept of the bed. Once it is removed from its traditional domestic setting of the bedroom, the bed often is used by them to examine the public dimension of private experience.

Among the artists included in Embedded Metaphor are Janet Biggs, James Caseberre, Mel Chin, Lynne Cohen, Oliver Herring, Dale Kistemaker, Lauren Lesko, Donald Lipski, Antonio Martorell, Ann Messner, Lorie Novak, Rona Pondick, Elaine Reichek, Catherine Saalfield and Zoe Leonard, Jana Sterbak, Rirkrit Tiravenija and Ton Zwerver.

The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with an essay by guest curator Nina Felshin, a New York-based independent curator and writer, and the editor of But Is It Art? The Spirit of Art as Activism. Embedded Metaphor will be on view in the Museum's West Galleries from September 21 to November 24.

Embedded Metaphor is a traveling exhibition organized and circulated by Independent Curators Incorporated, New York, a non-profit traveling exhibition service specializing in contemporary art. Guest curator for the exhibition is Nina Felshin. This exhibition and its related programs were made possible by the State of Florida, Department of State, Sandra B. Mortham, Secretary of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Arts Council; the Ringling Museum's Fine Arts Endowment Program Fund which is funded in part by a Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, and a matching grant from the State of Florida, Department of State; the Saunders Foundation Endowment; and RISCORP, the Ringling Museum's Season Sponsor.

Public Programs
Embedded Metaphor


Tours of the exhibition
"The Bed as Metaphor in Contemporary Art"

Tours are offered at 11:00 AM and 2:15 PM Monday through Friday. Adult and school group tours are offered by appointment. For information call 941.359.5725.


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2009 Janet Biggs     Contact info.