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ArtWorks: The Progressive Collection
by Dan Cameron
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Including work by Vito Acconci, Francis Alÿs, John Baldessari, Tina Barney, Petah Coyne, Gregory Crewdson, Frank Gehry, Nan Goldin, Andy Goldsworthy, Andreas Gursky, David Hockney, Sherrie Levine, Allan McCollum, Takashi Murakami, Robert Rauschenberg, Cindy Sherman, Richard Tuttle and Andy Warhol among many others, this striking compendium presents a cross-section of the world-class collection put together by the Cleveland-based Progressive Corporation since the 1970s. The nearly 300 works gathered here were selected from more than 6,000 pieces in the Progressive Corporation's collection and serve to document a mission rather than catalogue an inventory. This art is not mere food for thought. This is fuel for fire. Fittingly, Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison's insightful foreword, "The Habit of Art," sets a perceptive tone for all that follows--including an intimate, chronological overview by Toby Devan Lewis, full of details about the collection's formation; an in-your-face position statement by the collection's founder, Peter B. Lewis; and a clear-eyed essay by Dan Cameron, "Work + Art = Life," which provides both a seasoned art-world perspective on the works themselves and a conceptual framework for the whole notion of corporate collecting. Does art work? This book is more than evidence. It's proof. Toni Morrison is the Robert F. Goheen Professor Emerita in the Council of Humanities at Princeton University. Morrison has won a host of literary prizes for her eight major novels, children's books and essay collections. In 1993 she was the first African-American woman to win a Nobel Prize for Literature and the first American woman to win the award since 1938. Other honors include the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critic's Circle Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Distinguished Writer Award and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. Dan Cameron is director of visual arts at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans. From 1995 to 2007 he was senior curator at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York. Cameron has organized exhibitions in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Russia, Austria, Sweden and Mexico. He was artistic director for the 8th Istanbul Biennial (2003) and was one of the curators of the Taipei Biennial in Taiwan (2006). Cameron has written extensively on contemporary art in various publications, including Artforum, Arts Magazine and Parkett and has contributed to numerous museum catalogues. Toby Devan Lewis is a philanthropist, art collector, author and curator. For more than 20 years, she amassed a collection of art works by emerging artists for The Progressive Corporation. She is the recipient of the Cleveland Arts Prize/Martha Joseph Citation for Distinguished Service to the Arts and the Award of Excellence from the International Association for Professional Art Advisors (IAPAA). In 1998 she was honored by the New Museum for her "significant contribution in bringing the visual arts and creative experience to the work environment."
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