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This image is an installation view of the exhibition Working Thought on view at the Carnegie Museum of Art, which includes an artwork by Tomashi Jackson.

Installation view of Working Thought on view at the Carnegie Museum of Art

Working Thought
Carnegie Museum of Art
Pittsburgh, PA

March 5 - June 26, 2022

Featuring works by 35 contemporary artists, Working Thought examines the role of contemporary artists to consider and question the many ways economic inequality and labor have shaped American life past and present.

Working Thought showcases artwork across media and generations, highlighting connections between diverse artistic practices. In this exhibition, a combination of new commissions and loans are presented alongside works from the museum’s collection, positioning the collection in a new light and within the context of the history of Pittsburgh as a center of industry.

The exhibition probes the connections between art, economy, and labor within the larger historical relationship between Carnegie Museum of Art, Andrew Carnegie, and the city of Pittsburgh. The museum’s origins can be traced to 1886 with Andrew Carnegie’s initial concept: a museum that would “bring the world” to the people of Pittsburgh, particularly those who worked for the steel magnate. Traces of industry and toil can still be seen at the museum outside of Working Thought; from John White Alexander’s mural The Crowning of Labor which adorns the walls of the 1907 Grand Staircase, to artworks from the collection hanging throughout the museum, visitors can discern themes of labor and economy in every gallery.

The wide range of artworks featured in Working Thought provide many points of entry into the topics of labor and the economy and shed light on the power of art to complicate our most deeply seated assumptions about American history and the social inequities that mark contemporary life.

Working Thought is organized by Eric Crosby, Henry J. Heinz II Director.

Featured Artists: 

Laura Aguilar
Steven Bogner
Andrea Bowers
Tony Buba
Charles Burnett
Margarita Cabrera
Keith Calhoun
Tony Cokes
Moyra Davey
Kevin Jerome Everson
Andrea Fraser
Jill Freedman
Theaster Gates
Liz Glynn
Jessica Jackson Hutchins
Kahlil Robert Irving
Tomashi Jackson
Barbara Kopple
Fred Lonidier
Ken Lum
Chandra McCormick
Rodney McMillian
Joe Minter
Gordon Newton
Ricardo iamuuri Robinson
Cameron Rowland
Julia Reichert
Jaune Quick-to-See Smith
Aaron Spangler
Mierle Laderman Ukeles
Jessica Vaughn
Kara Walker
Carmen Winant
Frederick Wiseman
Martin Wong