Place is the Space marks the beginning of a year-long celebration of the tenth anniversary of CAM's critically acclaimed building. Featuring five new site-specific commissions by major contemporary artists, the exhibition is an unprecedented curatorial collaboration between the building’s architect, Brad Cloepfil, founding principal of Allied Works Architecture, and Dominic Molon, CAM’s chief curator.
The opening of CAM’s building in September 2003 heralded not only the introduction of a new space for contemporary art in St. Louis but also a new identity for an institution that had begun as the First Street Forum in 1980. The two-story, 27,000-square-foot museum was designed with open, flexible spaces that allow for variation and emphasis on the artwork while highlighting transparency and natural light. After his work with CAM—Cloepfil’s first museum—the award-winning architect went on to design the Museum of Arts and Design, New York (2008), the University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, Michigan (2009), and the Clyfford Still Museum, Denver, Colorado (2011), among many other celebrated projects.
Each of the five works in Place is the Space will respond to different aspects of the structure, including surface, scale, transparency, and boundaries. While demonstrating the building’s unique ability shape the presentation and experience of contemporary art, the exhibition also examines the larger idea of how various artists address museum spaces as a key element in the development of their work.
Place is the Space is organized for the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis by Dominic Molon, Chief Curator, and Brad Cloepil, Founding Principal, Allied Works Architecture. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue that focuses on the artists and their respective projects; an annotated visual history of CAM; and a scholarly appreciation of the building.