How does a work of art begin? And where does it end? In the artist's mind or in his hands? "After the Beginning and Before the End," opening at the List Visual Arts Center on Thursday, Oct. 17, focuses on the creative process from the initial moment of inspiration to the final composition.
The exhibition of "Instruction Drawings" focuses on the artist's thinking process and the idea of how to execute a work. It features working drawings, installation instructions, musical scores, sketches, visual or textual memoranda, fabrication notes and work records of artists including Vito Acconci, Louise Bourgeois, Pablo Picasso, Alexander Calder, Sol LeWitt, Piet Mondrian, Henry Moore, Robert Rauschenberg, Diego Rivera, Roni Horn and Robert Gober. All of the works are from the collection of Gilbert and Lila Silverman in Detroit.
"Gilbert Silverman was a real visionary," said List Center curator Bill Arning. "No one had collected this material and he realized he could acquire a world-class collection, much of it for very little money."
The collection includes a broad selection of works by celebrated artists from the early 1930s to the present. "If I was still teaching, this would be an excellent chance to teach art of the 20th century," said Arning. "You could do it all from this one show."
Opening events on Friday, Oct. 18 include a panel discussion, "On Considering Instruction Drawings as Permanent Records of the Evanescent Origins of Creative Thought," moderated by Jan van der Marck, with exhibition curator Jon Hendricks, Gilbert Silverman and Carolee Schneemann, one of the artists in the show. The discussion will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m., followed by a reception. The show runs through Sunday, Jan. 5, 2003.
VIDEO SERIES BEGINS
Oct. 17 also marks the inauguration of the List Center's year-long video program. Videos by the Latvian artists Viesturs Kariss and Ilmars Blumbergs ("Magic Flute") and Laila Pakalnina ("Papagena"), originally produced and shown in Riga, Latvia in 2001 as part of the city's 800th anniversary celebration, will be shown in the List Center's Bakalar Gallery through Sunday, Jan. 5, 2003.
The List Visual Arts Center conducts gallery talks on Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 2 p.m.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 9, 2002.