Main Gallery

Library Science

Curator: Rachel Gugelberger

November 8, 2011—January 28, 2012


Erica Baum, Jorge Méndez Blake, David Bunn, Colin Burke, Chris Coffin, Andy Deck, Madeline Djerejian, Melissa Dubbin & Aaron S. Davidson, Philippe Gronon, José Hernández, Candida Höfer, Nina Katchadourian, Heather Lawless, Reynard Loki, Loren Madsen, Carol Padberg, Allen Ruppersberg, Mickey Smith, Tyler Starr, Blane De St. Croix, Xiaoze Xie.

Conceived of by New York based curator Rachel Gugelberger, the exhibition features 22 contemporary artists, both emerging and established, who are inspired by libraries in their drawing, photography, sculpture, installation, painting or web-based projects.

The exhibition title references Eleanor Antin’s artwork “Library Science” (1971), which appropriated libraries’ classification methods to represent the identities of living women. The title also refers to Library and Information Science, a field that studies library resource usage, human interaction with library systems, and information organization. The show investigates how our physical, intellectual and personal relationships with the library and its materials are changing as libraries adapt to the digital world. If the book dies, might the library survive? How can libraries evolve to keep pace with the 21st century?

Featured works contemplate the emotional connections that tie the reader to the book, the book to the reader, and both to the libraries which define the space around them.

Artists include: Erica Baum (NY), Jorge Méndez Blake (Mexico), David Bunn (CA), Chris Coffin (NY),Madeline Djerejian (NY), Melissa Dubbin and Aaron S. Davidson (NY), Philippe Gronon (France), Jose Hernandez (NJ), Candida Höfer (Germany), Nina Katchadourian (NY),Reynard Loki (NY), Loren Madsen (CA), Allen Ruppersberg (NY), Mickey Smith (NY), Blane De St.Croix (NY), Xiaoze Xie(CA).


In conjunction with the exhibition at Artspace, Connecticut artists were invited to submit proposals for research residencies towards creating site and situation-specific projects at local libraries. Selected artists are: Colin Burke (The Whitney Library of the New Haven Museum), Heather Lawless (The New Haven Free Public Library), Andy Deck & Carol Padberg (Sterling Memorial Library at Yale University), and Tyler Starr (Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library at Yale). In addition, an exhibition at The Institute Library, timed to open with Library Science, features a series of new library-based portraits made by Meredith Miller and Rob Rocke.

Library Science seeks to encourage librarians to forge relationships with artists and support the creation and presentation of new artwork by providing assistance with research and access to information. The project will also reach out beyond New Haven to library patrons throughout Connecticut via an online exhibition catalogue, and an associated statewide film festival.