The New Museum was founded 37 years ago by Marcia Tucker, who had served as a curator of the Whitney Museum of American Art from 1967 to 1976.Tucker was inspired to create a new space when she realized how difficult it was for new work by living artists to be absorbed into the conventional exhibition and collection structure of a traditional-style museum.
As a result of that insight the New Museum was born. Tucker “imagined an institution devoted to presenting, studying, and interpreting contemporary art.”
Among the New Museum’s past exhibitions was “NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star.” This show displayed works of art which were created during the tumultuous 1990s, specifically, during the year 1993. The exhibition was created as a kind of a “time capsule;” “an experiment in collective memory that “attempts to capture a specific moment at the intersection of art, pop culture, and politics.”
The name of the show came from a music album produced by the New York-based rock band Sonic Youth, which was recorded in 1993. The title was meant to signal the complex relationships between mainstream culture and the underground counter-culture which was flourishing at the time. That cross-pollination through cultural barriers and across artistic genres is what came to eventually define the artistic impulses of that time.
NYC:1993 was a journey to the past which became a defining moment in artistic development, leading directly to the artistic milieu of today.