Mediums of Exchange

January 31 – March 30, 2019
Opening Reception: Wednesday, February 6, 2019, 6 to 8 pm

Mediums of Exchange Exhibition Brochure


Nina Beier, Moyra Davey, Stuart Elster, Jane Fine, Meschac Gaba, Ghost of a Dream, Jonathan Herder, Takashi Kunitani, Agnieszka Kurant, Rob Pruitt, Yuken Teruya, Hanna von Goeler, Mark Wagner, Michael Wang, Nari Ward, Andy Warhol


Micah Adams, Melanie Baker, Amel Bennys, Ebony Bolt, David Dew Bruner, Sonya Clark, Jennifer Dalton, Alexis Duque, Stuart Elster, Jane Fine, Erika Harrsch, Louise Laplante, Eugenio Merino, Tom Pfannerstill, Houben R.T., John Salvest, Reed Seifer, Oriane Stender, Hanna von Goeler, Mark Wagner, Andy Warhol, Stacey Lee Webber, C.K. Wilde, Tim Yankosky

Mediums of Exchange is a two-part exhibition of contemporary art that explores currency and its ever-changing forms and modes of circulation. The exhibition in its Uptown and Downtown venues includes works by 35 artists that investigate sociological, psychological, and economic factors that raise pivotal questions about the role and function of money in today’s global society.

The history of money (from barter to cowrie shells, and coins and paper to recent electronic cryptocurrencies) is not simply a narrowly economic one. Currency plays a much wider role that includes social, institutional, and psychological concerns. Its origins stem equally from duties and tributes, dowries and religious rites, and conspicuous consumption, as from barter and commerce.

The portrayal of money and its power has long been depicted by artists who have represented the complexities and the idiosyncrasies of our changing economy through artworks of compelling significance. Mediums of Exchange highlights works by contemporary artists who employ, appropriate, and re-contextualize aspects of currency. Several artists use money itself as a material in their work, while others adopt more conceptual approaches that address how economies function. Sociologically-minded investigations examine the social and psychological tensions at play between the powerful idea of the American Dream and the complex reality of the modern economic system. While other artists examine some of the pressing financial issues of today – including identity theft and distrust of the banking industry, and the tensions imbedded in capitalist systems in which a small few control the vast percentage of wealth.

Mediums of Exchange is co-curated by Lisa Panzera, director of the Shirley Fiterman Art Center, and Bartholomew F. Bland, director of the Lehman College Art Gallery.