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The new Contemporary Art Museum Raleigh
The new Contemporary Art Museum Raleigh


Sept. 29, 2011

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The avant-garde art world arrived in the heart of tobacco country -- Raleigh, N.C. -- earlier this spring with the April 2011 grand opening of the Raleigh Contemporary Art Museum, otherwise known as CAM Raleigh. Located in Raleigh's historic warehouse district, the 20,000-square-foot brick building has been given a distinctly modern renovation, including a deconstructivist entryway, by the architectural team of Clearscapes and Brooks + Scarpa. CAM Raleigh, which is actually a program of the North Carolina State University College of Design, is headed by headed by hip Milwaukee scene-maker Elysia Borowy-Reeder.

On view now is “Deep Surface: Contemporary Ornament and Pattern,” Sept. 24, 2011-Jan. 2, 2012, a major survey of contemporary design made during the last 15 years, featuring 72 works by 42 designers and artists, from Hella Jongerius, Joris Laarman and Marcel Wanders to the Campana Brothers and Vik Muniz. The show is co-curated by North Carolina University prof Denise Gonzales Crisp and Parsons the New School prof Susan Yelavich. Some wares by the designers in the show are for sale in a pop-up store in the lobby. The show can be checked out on the NC Art Blog.

Also on view at CAM Raleigh is "emerging artist series" exhibition of works by Texas-born Brooklyn artist Rebecca Ward, whose special commission, titled "Thickly Sliced," transforms the gallery space with a dizzying installation of stripes, gridded patterns and freeform sculptural elements. 

Meanwhile, Raleigh's other museum, the North Carolina Museum of Art -- which opened in its current Edward Durell Stone facility, recently much enlarged, in 1967 -- opens "Rembrandt in America," Oct. 30, 2011-Jan. 22, 2012, an exhibition exploring the reception of the Dutch master in the U.S. via 50 works, including several that were thought to be autograph but turned out not to be.

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From left, Alabama Chanin, Anna Jacket; Kapitza, UK, <em>Geometric banner</em>; and FAT Architecture, exterior of The Villa, Hoogvliet, Netherlands, photo by Maarten Laupman
From left, Alabama Chanin, Anna Jacket; Kapitza, UK, Geometric banner; and FAT Architecture, exterior of The Villa, Hoogvliet, Netherlands (photo by Maarten Laupman)

CAM Raleigh, installation view
CAM Raleigh, installation view