The UBS Art Gallery at 1285 Avenue of the Americas celebrates its reopening with a timely new exhibition of recent acquisitions from the UBS Art Collection, many of which are on display for the first time. ‘Reimagining: New Perspectives’ brings together works by some of today’s most compelling artists – among them Theaster Gates, Stanley Whitney, Adam Pendleton, Lauren Halsey and Latifa Echakhch. Together these works reflect our world and invite us to reimagine our future.
Allowing the exhibition to be accessed from anywhere, UBS also presents an expanded version online in its virtual gallery space – offering the possibility of including additional artworks while minimizing environmental impact.
Many of the works presented repurpose unconventional artistic materials in innovative ways. In ‘rush hour’ by the American artist Hugo McCloud, figures haul bananas on overburdened bicycles, part of a series based on photographs of the developing world and composed of hundreds of pieces cut from single-use plastic bags. The depiction of the movement of goods using this ubiquitous material opens a dialogue about inequality and the environment.
Another highlight, on view in the virtual exhibition, is a work whose very creation bridged geopolitical dividing lines. With the help of a middleman, South Korean artist Kyungah Ham smuggled instructions to artisans in North Korea, which were translated into intricate embroidery and clandestinely sent back over the border. The overt capitalist message stitched in needlepoint, ‘Greedy is good,’ highlights the clash of two ideologies sitting uncomfortably side by side.
The new acquisitions united in ‘Reimagining: New Perspectives’ extend themes of identity, memory and culture that run through the UBS Art Collection, comprising 30,000 artworks by some of the most influential artists of our time. At the heart of the Collection is a commitment to collecting the most relevant art made today that both challenges and connects people. The reopening of the UBS Art Gallery, located in UBS’s Midtown New York Headquarters, provides an opportunity for the public to once again discover in person works from one of most important corporate collections of contemporary art in the world.