Anders Bergstrom’s Brown Bag Test is emblematic of everyday commerce and discrimination. Each series of bags is unique. The Metropolitan Museum of Art acquired a set, Brown Bag Test, December 21, 2014, Proof and Counterproof, and it is handsomely installed in the rotating prints gallery #690. From their label, “The brown paper bag is both a quotidian and a designed object. Bergstrom creates miniature replicas with details such as jagged edges, seams, and inked numbers that are imitative of a bar code but which actually corresponds to the artist’s zip code. This work’s title references the discriminatory practice in which an individual’s complexion is judged against the color of a brown paper bag, yet Bergstrom does not privilege one bag over another, instead arranging them on a spectrum from light to dark.”
Anders has explored the everyday paper bag in it’s multiple states of use–replicating the grease-stained and the crumpled. Anders’s printed works are included in the permanent collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Yale’s Beinecke Library, Smith College Museum of Art and the New York Public Library. The Met’s Brown Bag Test, December 21, 2014, is on view thru early January 2017.