FIRST MAJOR SPECIAL EXHIBITION TO OPEN AT 9/11 MEMORIAL MUSEUM
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum announced the September opening of its first major special exhibition titled “Rendering the Unthinkable: Artists Respond to 9/11.” Ranging in media from paintings and sculpture to works on paper and video, the exhibition examines 13 artists’ reactions to the terror attacks and how they relied on their craft to understand an incomprehensible act causing terror, destruction and the deaths of nearly 3,000 people.
Tobi Kahn’s M’AHL, a component of the site specific sculptural installation he created in 2011 as part of Embodied Light: 9-11 in 2011 at the Educational Alliance in New York, will be included in the upcoming exhibition.
Concurrent with Kahn’s exhibit, the Jewish Art Salon exhibited the 9-11 Window Installation
at the Educational Alliance.
Tobi Kahn, M’AHL, 2011, acrylic paint on wood, 80 inches x 42 inches x 5 inches. This floor relief is comprised of thousands of wood remnants from pieces created after September 11. When viewed from an elevated perspective, it evokes the view of the city skyline from the South Tower’s Top of the World observatory. Kahn’s studio has been in Long Island City since 1978, where he witnessed the attacks from his rooftop.
As one component of the 9/11 Memorial’s commemoration of the 15th anniversary of 9/11, “Rendering the Unthinkable” publicly opens Sept. 12. It is the first presentation designed for the Museum’s special exhibition gallery, where future exhibitions will explore a range of topics related to the ever-evolving history of 9/11 and its aftermath. These pieces, which were not newly commissioned for the exhibition, will be displayed together for the first time in the Museum.
“‘Rendering the Unthinkable’ shows the deep influence 9/11 had on all aspects of American culture and society,” 9/11 Memorial President Joe Daniels said. “Through artistic expression, these men and women have powerfully documented the immediate change the attacks brought into our world and how it affected all of us. Having these works of art exhibited together, in the very place the attacks happened, will provide visitors with another perspective about our human response to these attacks.”
“Through the lens of art, we reflect on the raw emotion we all felt on that unforgettable Tuesday morning 15 years ago,” said 9/11 Memorial Museum Director Alice M. Greenwald. “Artists, like all of us, struggled to comprehend the unfathomable destruction and loss of innocent life. They responded the way they knew best – through their art. Using their chosen media and particular styles, many fine artists created works that invite an encounter with an unfamiliar reality, asking not so much that we revisit the horrors of that day but that we try to make sense of what was left in its wake.”
“These artists have created moving documentations of one of the most important moments in world history that continues to shape our culture and society after nearly 15 years,” 9/11 Memorial Board Member and former Metropolitan Museum of Art president, Emily K. Rafferty said. “This exhibition also marks the opening of the special exhibition gallery, where future exhibitions will continue to explore various topics related to 9/11 for years to come.”
The exhibition includes works by 13 New York City-based artists deeply affected by 9/11. One artist lost his brother, a firefighter, in the terror strikes, some lost friends and many personally witnessed the attacks. The exhibition is not intended as an encyclopedic survey of 9/11-related works of art. Rather, it showcases the responses of a small group of individuals whose artistic preoccupations in response to 9/11 offer complementary explorations of common themes and whose presentation now offers an opportunity to look back to that moment 15 years ago when the unthinkable became real.
Read more about the exhibit here.
180 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
Museum: Open Daily Sun – Thu, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Fri – Sat, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Memorial: Open Daily 7:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.