Raid the Icebox Now with Pablo Bronstein
Historical Rhode Island Decor presents three rooms decorated with new wallpapers and printed fabrics by artist Pablo Bronstein. These designs, which depict the Rhode Island State House, the First Baptist Church in America, and the Stephen Hopkins House, reflect the development of the architectural imagery of statehood. The wallpapers also refer to antique examples in the RISD Museum collections and to the revival of Colonial and Federal styles at the beginning of the 20th century—styles that have not only contributed significantly to shared visual imagery, but have shaped notions of the past.
This installation pays homage to the period room, an exhibition practice now in decline. It also considers museological accuracy, the museum’s blurred relationship both as a place of scholarship and an inspiration for the home, and the ways in which museums submit to local historical biases and interests in shaping their collections and displays. Envisioned within the framework of printmaking, the presentation plays with architectural and decorative motifs, inventing imagery on a large scale in relation to sculptural furniture.
Pablo Bronstein was born in Argentina and lives and works in London and Deal, England. Drawing is his primary medium, but he is also engaged in installations, choreography, and performance. With affection for and deep knowledge of historical architecture and the decorative arts, he interrogates these disciplines for what they reveal about social ambitions.
Raid the Icebox Now is made possible by a lead grant from the National Endowment for the Arts with additional support from Pace Gallery, Taylor Box Company, and a generous in-kind gift from Meyer Sound Laboratories. RISD Museum is supported by a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through an appropriation by the Rhode Island General Assembly and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and with the generous partnership of the Rhode Island School of Design, its Board of Trustees, and Museum Governors.