Taxidermy has come a long way from the days of stuffed deer heads and fish on 19th-century wood-burnished library walls. Which is precisely the point behind a new exhibit at the David Winton Bell Gallery located on the Brown University campus in Providence, Rhode Island.
No longer delegated to dioramas in natural history museums, taxidermy is an art form now featured in contemporary art museums around the world. In Dead Animals, or the curious occurrence of taxidermy in contemporary art, which also includes a symposium on taxidermy, 18 artists provide their unique take on this changing art form.
Featured artists include Kate Clark, whose work is the focus of a National Geographic video that debuted this summer; Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan; New Bedford, Massachusetts, native Mark Dion; Nicholas Galanin; German artist Thomas Grunfeld, known for a series called Misfits that features sculptures made from taxidermied animals;Damien Hirst; Karen Knorr; French artist Annette Messager; British artists Polly Morganand Angela Singer; Deborah Sengi; Bryndis Snaebjornsdottir in collaboration with Mark Wilson; Richard Barnes; Jules Greenberg; Sarah Cusimano Miles; Richard Ross; and Hiroshi Sugimoto. In addition to sculptures, the exhibit includes photography.