'Reimagining: New Perspectives' – The Book

"We are living in a time of profound and rapid change", says Mary Rozell, Global Head UBS Art Collection, in the opening essay of the collection's new publication.

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'Reimagining: New Perspectives' is published by Monacelli, a Phaidon Company and available for purchase at www.phaidon.com.

The book commemorates the evolution of the collection’s curatorial direction, bringing together more than 120 works acquired within the past seven years by artists who offer new and diverse perspectives based on their distinct backgrounds and experiences.

The artists included are not only breaking boundaries in terms of experimentation with formal practice, they also invite us to reimagine our world through work that addresses the developments affecting our society, including environmental, social, and technological movements.

UBS’s programming around 'Reimagining: New Perspectives' follows an ongoing virtual and in-person exhibition at the UBS Art Gallery at 1285 Avenue of the Americas in New York, where works featured in the publication will remain on display in 2023. The following presents some of the highlight works.

Challenging the representation of Black identity

Fascinated by the representation of contemporary African American life in the media and society, artist Derrick Adams created his 'Floater' series to focus on the Black figure at leisure.

Combining vivid colors with collaged elements of African prints, the works are celebratory, depicting the subjects relaxing and playing with whimsical floats. Adams believes that “…If you want to depict yourself being a certain way and living with a certain level of freedom, you actually can promote that through art.”

The UBS Art Collection releases a new publication showcasing recent acquisitions which offer unique perspectives that inspire us to reimagine our world. Artwork image: Tunji Adeniyi-Jones, ‘Charm, Honour & Grace’, 2021, UBS Art Collection © the artist. Photo © White Cube (Dan Bradica). Courtesy of the artist and White Cube.

Creating unity through art

From her acclaimed series, this work by Kyungah Ham shows that art can overcome the steepest barriers, create dialogue and forge unity through forbidden territory.

Born in Seoul, South Korea, the artist has been burdened by the complex history and ongoing differences with her Northern neighboring country since childhood. In an effort to break barriers and connect with the people next door, Ham has smuggled coded imagery through a middleman for more than a decade to artisans in the region. The information, which is not accessible in North Korea, is then translated into embroidered patterns – resulting in vibrant, thought-provoking works which highlight how art can unite our world.

Art that takes action

Back in 1990, artist Rick Lowe was approached by a group of high school students who suggested that rather than depicting challenges in historically under-resourced communities, he should actively create solutions to these problems. In response, Lowe, along with a collective of artists, founded Project Row Houses.

The initiative’s first action involved transforming run-down property in Houston, Texas, into residency and exhibition spaces for artists, as well as housing for single mothers. The project has since expanded, launching in other community enterprises in the United States and abroad.

Serving as a prime example of how art can make a real-life impact on our world, the work is a tribute to those who supported the project. Their photographs are interspersed with abstract forms that resemble the reconfiguration of communities over time.