January 15, 2014

Fort Worth, TX


Kendal Smith Lake
Manager of Communications
817.738.9215 x167
817.735.1161 fax


The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth Presents     

FOCUS: Rirkrit Tiravanija

UPDATE: April 6 through June 1, 2014


The FOCUS series is organized by the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and Curator Andrea Karnes for the Director's Council, a group that supports acquisitions at the Museum. Each FOCUS exhibition presents work by a contemporary artist. FOCUS exhibitions are open to the public and are included in general Museum admission: $10 for adults; $4 for seniors (60+) and students with identification; free for children 12 and under; free for Modern members.


The third and last Director's Council FOCUS exhibition for the 2013-2014 season features the work of artist Rirkrit Tiravanija.   


Conceptual artist Rirkrit Tiravanija (pronounced Rick-rit Tee-rah-vah-nit), born in 1961 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, grew up living between Thailand, Ethiopia, and Canada as the son of a Thai diplomat. His grandmother played an important role in his life. She taught cooking on Thai television and owned a restaurant in Bangkok, where Tiravanija spent time as a youth. This background influenced the artist's work, which often involves cooking in art-related places, such as museums and galleries.  


For one of his first solo exhibitions in New York City in 1992 at 303 Gallery, Tiravanija cooked Thai food and served it for free to visitors who attended his opening. In 1995, he presented a similar work at the Carnegie International exhibition at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh by cooking and serving Thai food to visitors. The exhibition included wall text with a written recipe for South-east Asian green curry.


As with these early examples, Tiravanija's central focus has remained on exploring human interactions and bringing people together to share. In addition to cooking, the artist has constructed environments within the museum setting where guests can read or listen to music. More recently, he has set up T-shirt factories for visitors to his exhibitions. By creating such works, Tiravanija blurs the distance between the artwork and the viewer. His exploration of the communal role of art and everyday actions as art recalls Joseph Beuys's notion of social sculpture (art's potential to transform society through human activity with language, thought, action, and objects).


Tiravanija is often recognized for his role in "relational aesthetics," a movement in art in which social interaction is key and the artist is a catalyst for social exchanges. In addition to his performances, the artist has created wall drawings, sculptures, installations, and text-based works that often relate to his social initiatives.


Tiravanija studied at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto and the Banff Centre School of Fine Arts before attending the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Independent Study Program at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. His work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Oslo, Norway; Museum of Contemporary Art, Bangkok, Thailand; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich, Switzerland; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, León, Spain; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, among several other institutions across the globe. Tiravanija currently lives and works between New York, Berlin, and Bangkok.



The Director's Council

The Director's Council was formed in 1985 and assists the Museum with acquisitions through the FOCUS series. The series features three solo exhibitions organized annually by Curator Andrea Karnes, with Assistant Curator Alison Hearst making her curatorial debut with the second FOCUS exhibition of the 2013-2014 season. Each exhibition opens with an exclusive cocktail reception for Council members, an opportunity to meet the featured artist and discuss his or her work. One work by each artist is chosen by the Museum to be part of the final selection for the Council's Purchase Meeting. This format provides members with an in-depth understanding of the Modern's acquisitions process and offers a spirited and popular series of events. The annual dues, $600, include all the benefits of a Family membership and invitations to exclusive Director's Council events.



Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
3200 Darnell Street
Fort Worth, Texas 76107
Telephone 817.738.9215
Toll-Free 1.866.824.5566
Fax 817.735.1161
Museum Gallery Hours
Tue 10 am-7 pm (Sep-Nov, Feb-Apr)
Tue-Sun 10 am-5 pm
Fri 10 am-8 pm
General Admission Prices (includes special exhibition)
$4 for students with ID and seniors (60+)
$10 for adults (13+)
Free for children 12 and under
Free for Modern members
Free the first Sunday of every month and half-price every Wednesday.
Tue-Fri 11 am-2:30 pm
Sat-Sun 10 am-3 pm
Fri 5 pm-8:30 pm
Coffee, snacks, and dessert 10 am-4:30 pm

The Museum is closed Monday and holidays including New Year's Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas.