PRINT November 1995


Carnegie Internation 1995

HISTORY RECALLS ANDREW CARNEGIE as a generous philanthropist trapped by provincial tastes. The intention behind his Carnegie Museum of Art, founded in Pittsburgh in 1895, was to collect “the old masters of tomorrow”; the Carnegie International began a year later as the primary vehicle for doing so. Through most of its history the show remained grossly conservative—a Modern artist was not honored until Matisse took first prize in 1927. Indeed, it wasn’t until the ’80s that the International became a consistently important venue for contemporary art, rivaling, by virtue of its international scope, even the Whitney Biennial. This year the honor of selecting the International goes to Richard Armstrong, the Carnegie’s curator of contemporary art. As the former Whitney curator explains, the opportunity to expand his curatorial horizons beyond national borders was a welcome one.

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