monchengladbach-germany

Rita McBride

Museum Abteiberg

Assembled out of softly rounded wooden elements and painted a bright yellow, Rita McBride’s Arena, 1997, filled the entire exhibition space of the Witte de With in Rotterdam when it was first shown that year, reaching almost to the ceiling. Yet its imposing format appeared to be truncated, an abbreviated version of what was possible—the curve along which nine rows of seats rose up could have been augmented by several more to produce a complete circle, but was instead left incomplete. Fittingly, in the Museum Abteiberg’s “Public Works,” McBride’s first retrospective in Germany, Arena can only be seen in the form of Arena Modular Model, 1996, a miniature version of the piece presented under a glass dome. On the museum tour that followed the work’s first installation in 1997 (no other work by McBride has been more frequently exhibited), Arena was invariably accompanied by an elaborate program

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the January 2009 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.