Good Object / Bad Object

January 20, 2023 - April 2, 2023

An abstract sculpture

This exhibition focuses on the Ackland’s recent acquisitions of sculpture created since 1980, supplemented by a handful of loans from Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and from the distinguished collection of James Keith Brown ’84 and Eric Diefenbach. It looks at ways in which contemporary sculpture productively continues the lineage of contravening traditional “single-object-on-a-pedestal” conventions, especially through unexpected placement (ceiling, floor, wall, wall and floor together), language, reflectivity, accumulation, and other strategies. In the title, “good” and “bad” do not refer to aesthetic quality or formal success. Instead, the adjectives are intended to evoke how works that seemingly misbehave (“behave badly”) by flouting, ignoring, or subverting customary decorum can achieve an emotional depth and resonant beauty characteristic of good art.

Artists in the exhibition include Carl Andre, Michael Ashkin, Martin Creed, Urs Fischer, Eero Hiironen, Roni Horn, Mel Kendrick, Annette Lemieux, Senga Nengudi, Amalia Pica, Sopheap Pich, Do Ho Suh, Stella Waitzkin, Tom Wesselmann, and Aaron Wilcox.

Exhibition-Related Public Programs

Friday, January 20, 2023 | 3:30 p.m.
Tour: Curator’s Introduction to Good Object / Bad Object
Led by Peter Nisbet; RSVP required at

Saturday, Jan 21, 2023 | 10:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.
Art Adventures: Lidded Clay Containers
For 6-9 year olds. $5 / free for Ackland Members; RSVP required at

Friday, January 27, 2023 | 3:30 p.m.
Tour: Curator’s Introduction to Good Object / Bad Object
Led by Peter Nisbet; RSVP required at

Friday, February 10, 2023 | 6-9 p.m
2nd Friday ArtWalk
Both Man and Beast and the Creeping Thing sound installation by Lee Weisert,
curator-led mini-tours of Laurel Nakadate: Ten Performances from 365 Days: A Catalogue of Tears, and more.

Friday, February 10, 2023 | 5-9 p.m.
Saturday, February 11, 2023 | 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, February 12, 2023 | 1-5 p.m.
Music in the Galleries: Lee Weisert’s Both Man and Beast and the Creeping Thing

Sunday, February 26, 2023 | 1-5 p.m.
Ackland F.A.M.: Good Object / Bad Object
With a family sculpture workshop led by local sculptor Mitzie Jokich, free Ackland F.A.M. kits, and more

Select Thursdays and Fridays throughout the exhibition | 1:30 p.m. RSVP recommended.
Guided Conversational Tours will include works from Good Object / Bad Object:
Friday, January 27
Thursday, February 2
Friday, February 10
Thursday, February 16
Friday, February 24
Thursday, March 2
Friday, March 10
Thursday, March 16
Friday, March 24
Thursday, March 30

More to Explore

Pick up a self-guided Sculpture Walk brochure at the Ackland’s Front Desk to explore works across UNC-Chapel Hill’s campus.

Create your own Good Object / Bad Object-inspired artwork using a free F.A.M. (Families at the Museum) Activity Kit, available in the Ackland’s lobby beginning January 20 while supplies last. All materials included.

Image credit:
Mel Kendrick, American, born 1949, Untitled (detail), 1980, laminated pine, paint, and plaster, 73 × 60 × 26 in. (185.4 × 152.4 × 66 cm). Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Gift of J. Kenneth Chance and Ellen Turner Chance, 2020.22.1.