Barbara Bloom. Worlds Within Worlds

Portrait of Barbara Bloom.
woman standing in front of paintings in museum gallery
Portrait of Barbara Bloom. Courtesy of the artist and David Lewis, New York.

Growing up in Los Angeles, conceptual artist Barbara Bloom loved when her parents drove by the “Open 24 Hours, When It’s Tomorrow, It’s Today” sign at Denny’s restaurant.1 Even as a young girl, Bloom was drawn to this casual folding of space and time, a philosophy embodied in her quiet, or unassuming, yet intricately designed installation practice that builds fictive worlds within worlds within worlds. The artist describes her often domestic-feeling interior spaces “like a movie set,”2 in which objects with assorted histories and styles evoke specific anecdotes. However, she teases out their eccentricities and poetry to build layered meaning. Bloom never tells a complete or straightforward story. Rather, her works imply potential narratives to be completed by the viewer.

  1. Barbara Bloom, in a discussion with Simon Critchley, Robert Storr, and Jörg Heiser, “Scenes from a Marriage: Have Art and Theory Drifted Apart?,” Frieze Talks, Frieze Art Fair, London, October 16, 2009, audio, 1:28:15 hours, available at ↩︎

  2. Margot Mifflin, “Barbara Bloom,” ARTnews 92 (February 1993): 103. ↩︎