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Exhibition Notes, Number 37, 2010. Collision is an experiment in exhibition-making. It began when painter Jackie Saccoccio invited a group of artists (seventeen, including herself) to contribute works of their own choosing to a show in which paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings, prints, videos, and various hybrid forms would literally collide: butting up against each other, overlapping, and even altering one another in an improvisatory fashion. Depending on their placement in the gallery as determined by the individual artists, the works could become entirely subsumed in the larger communal cacophony.

Most often group exhibitions in museums are conceived and organized by a curator, who selects the works of art and decides how they will be displayed in the gallery space. If the exhibition includes living artists, the curator consults with them about requirements for presenting their individual work, but the overall installation is determined by the curator. In the case of Collision, the RISD Museum took a leap of faith, giving up a significant amount of its normal control, as the exhibition became a collaborative effort among Saccoccio, the participating artists, and the RISD Museum’s staff. Several artists added another layer of collaboration by inviting still more artists to assist them in making their works for the show.

The RISD Museum has a tradition of inviting artists to “guest curate” exhibitions going back to Andy Warhol’s legendary Raid the Icebox I, in which the artist made a wonderfully quirky selection and installation of objects from the Museum’s storage vaults in 1969. More recent examples of artists creating exhibitions here by juxtaposing their own work with objects from storage include Jim lsermann’s Logic Rules (2000), Betty Woodman’sII Giardino depinto (2005), and Carl Ostendarp’s Pulled Up (2009), while projects by David Wayne McGee and Alexis Rockman featured their own paintings placed within the context of the Museum’s permanent collection galleries. Collision, however, represents the first time an artist has invited other artists to participate in creating a group exhibition at the Museum.

Publication Date

Fall 2010

Document Type



Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design


Providence, Rhode Island


RISD Museum, Exhibition Catalog, Exhibition Notes, ehibition-making, group exhibitions, improvisation


Art and Design

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