October 2, 2019

I Stand In My Place With My Own Day Here: Site Specific Art at The New School 

The New School

I Stand in My Place with My Own Day Here: Site-Specific Art at The New School. Book design: Barbara Glauber, Heavy Meta. Cover image © Glenn Ligon, For Comrades and Lovers (detail), 2015. Photo: Nicholas Calcott.

I Stand in My Place with My Own Day Here: Site-Specific Art at The New School features essays by more than 50 renowned authors considering thirteen monumental works commissioned by The New School between 1930 and the present for its university campus. The nucleus of The New School’s Art Collection, these two- and three-dimensional installations—ranking among the finest site-specific pieces in New York City—range from mural commissions by José Clemente Orozco to installations by Agnes Denes, Kara Walker, Alfredo Jaar, Glenn Ligon, Sol LeWitt, and Martin Puryear + Michael Van Valkenburgh. The book’s suggestive title is taken from Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, as quoted by Glenn Ligon in his artwork For Comrades and Lovers (2015). Alluding to the ways in which a piece’s meaning shifts according to a viewer’s perspective, this title—and the book as a whole—suggest that each generation has an opportunity to redefine a work’s meaning.

Providing a kaleidoscopic view onto major works by celebrated global artists, this richly illustrated volume explores each installation through three to four essays. Contributed by critics, poets, and scholars from diverse fields including anthropology, mathematics, art history, media studies, and design, these polyvocal texts are complemented by three longer essays reflecting on the art-historical significance of the site-specific commissions, the architectural contexts in which the works reside on the university’s campus, and the history of The New School and its relationship to adventurous art practice.

Analysis and insight come from acclaimed voices including Holland Cotter, Aruna D’Souza, Lucy R. Lippard, Reinhold Martin, Maggie Nelson, Olu Oguibe, Hugh Raffles, Claudia Rankine, Carl Hancock Rux, Luc Sante, Edward Sullivan, Wendy S. Walters, Mabel O. Wilson, and others. Also included is a roundtable discussion among leading arts educators who reflect on the pedagogical potential of a campus-based contemporary art collection. The book’s final section presents a history of each commissioned work, highlighted by archival images—some never before shared. Award-winning designer Barbara Glauber of Heavy Meta studio designed the book, which was edited by Frances Richard and conceived and produced by Silvia Rocciolo, Lydia Matthews and Eric Stark as a collaboration between The New School Art Collection and Parsons Curatorial Design Research Lab.

Published to coincide with The New School’s Centennial, I Stand in My Place with My Own Day Here: Site-Specific Art at The New School represents the first comprehensive overview of the university’s long-standing commitment to promoting art as a catalyst for dialogue and learning. Adding to the book’s timeliness is recent recognition garnered by artists whose work appears within: This year, for example, Puryear is representing United States at the 2019 Venice Biennale; Kara Walker has created a commission for the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall; and Agnes Denes is receiving a major retrospective exhibition at The Shed, opening October 2019.

I Stand in My Place with My Own Day Here: Site-Specific Art at The New School is distributed by Duke University Press and available for purchase here. An accompanying digital platform designed by CHIPS, makes additional archival materials and pedagogical resources accessible for each of the site-specific works, as well as a video selection of authors reading from their essays.

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