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Artist Spotlight: Tyler Rowland

In an attempt to bring some extra in-depth information to the newest MASS MoCA exhibition, The Workers, Artist Spotlight is a new blog series focusing on specific artists. Running until March 15, 2012, this show explores the conditions and representation of contemporary labor, which includes almost 40 works in multiple mediums, from 25 emerging and established international artists.


The first up for this series is Tyler Rowland, an American artist born in Reno, Nevada (but actually spent his childhood in Phoenix, Arizona). While attending Vassar College in New York, Rowland decided to devote his life to being an artist, and is currently an adjunct professor of sculpture at Vassar. His artistic point of view is demonstrated through a number of mediums- performances, installation, and sculpture.

His piece in the exhibition, All of the Objects Needed to Install a Work of Art (Gustave Courbet‚Äôs The Stonebreakers) is the first work in a series entitled The Realist Manifesto. Influenced by the 19th century French painter, Gustave Courbet, who led the Social Realist artistic movement, Rowland‚Äôs installation displays the typical tools required to hang a painting. Courbet‚Äôs famous painting The Stonebreaker‚Äôs, completed in 1850 depicts the intensity of two working class men of the time, and is the ‚Äėto-be hung‚Äô piece. Symbolically and physically the painting is missing, as the artwork was destroyed during WWII in 1945.

As described by Rowland, his ‚Äú‚Ķgoal is to reintroduce Courbet‚Äôs work and philosophies back into the dialogue of current cultural production.‚ÄĚ The artwork is very realistic, and might be confused with MASS MoCA‚Äôs own installation team‚Äôs gear. Included are hooks, a ladder, a hammer and cardboard among other tools that are all made out of recycled materials, which Rowland made out of salvaged materials from when he worked construction jobs to support himself as an artist.

Come check out Tyler Rowland in The Workers at MASS MoCA!

Posted June 8, 2011 by MASS MoCA
Filed under BLOG, Exhibitions, The Workers
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