“It’s that time again. The Carnegie International is back!”

“Nice! …wait, what is that again?”

In case the Carnegie International has slid past your peripherals into an abyss of your internal Carnegie-Mellon-Heinz depository, let’s refresh.

(Mel Bochner, Here We Go Again. 2018, oil on velvet, Courtesy the artist and Peter Freeman, Inc., New York/Paris)

Founded in 1896, the Carnegie International is the world’s second oldest contemporary art exhibition, and the oldest in North America, at just one year younger than the Venice Biennale. At the time, philanthropist and industrialist Andrew Carnegie sought for a way to bring the public together to survey contemporary artwork, enrich the Carnegie Museum of Arts permanent collection while attempting to ultimately put Pittsburgh on the cultural map – and it worked.

After decades of changes to the frequency and format in which this lengthy spectacle occurs, the Carnegie International now takes place every three to five years. The idea of this survey is to contextualize the current state of contemporary art by educating and inspiring the public, all while promoting a sense of international cooperation and understanding. By occurring only twice a decade, there becomes a path for a strategically thorough curation of the exhibition, rather than in the quick biennial structure, and that’s exactly what we all should expect from curator Ingrid Schaffner.

Schaffner has taken a unique approach to this International by creating a shorter duration, and tightly curated list of artists to participate (32 artists and artist collectives). In the curator’s interview with artnet News, Schaffner noted that the short list “was intentional. I wanted more time and space for each participant.” Many of the works will be brand new, created specifically for the Carnegie International – some even created with the International’s history in mind. Others will be works that were created prior to the inception of this exhibition. One thing is for sure though, and that is such that all of these works will have the intention to represent what it means to be “international” at this moment in time.

The 57thCarnegie International will begin on Saturday, October 13, 2018 and the exhibition will extend until March 25, 2019. During this time there will be special events scattered throughout.  This includes the Third Thursday: Carnegie International Series, which will bring together some of Pittsburgh’s best local talent to celebrate this exhibition accompanied by a cash bar, live music along with additional late-night access to the museum galleries. While we indulge is this incredibly unique experience, as art lovers from all over the world flock to Pittsburgh, take a moment to raise a glass to all of the artists, curators, staff members, and Andrew Carnegie himself for bringing this fine cultural institution to our city, and think about what it means to be “international.”   

Here is the complete artist list for the 57th Carnegie International exhibition:

Yuji Agematsu
El Anatsui
Art Labor with Joan Jonas
Huma Bhabha
Mel Bochner
Mimi Cherono Ng’ok
Lenka Clayton and Jon Rubin
Sarah Crowner
Alex Da Corte
Tacita Dean
Jeremy Deller
Kevin Jerome Everson
Leslie Hewitt
IM Heung-soon and Han Kang
Saba Innab
Karen Kilimnik
Zoe Leonard
Kerry James Marshall
Park McArthur
Josiah McElheny with John Corbett and Jim Dempsey
Ulrike Müller
Thaddeus Mosley
The Otolith Group
Jessi Reaves
Abel Rodriguez
Rachel Rose
Beverly Semmes
Dayanita Singh
Lucy Skaer
Tavares Strachan
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye
“Dig Where You Stand,” by independent exhibition maker Koyo Kouoh

The 57th Carnegie International exhibition, organized by Ingrid Schaffner, will be on view October 13, 2018–March 25, 2019

This post was guest authored by David Neimanis, a passionate art enthusiast and native Buffalonian who shares his insight into Pittsburgh’s art community for our sister publication Beaux Arts