International in scope, The Puppet Show brings together contemporary artworks in a variety of media that explore the imagery of puppets. From actual puppets, to works that evoke topics associated with puppetry and others that introduce new variations to this historical and global form of theater, The Puppet Show features works that are, in various ways, movable and/or moving objects that perform as alter-egos for the artist or as human surrogates—often with wicked good humor.

Featured artists include Guy Ben-Ner, Nayland Blake, Louise Bourgeois, Maurizio Cattelan, Anne Chu, Nathalie Djurberg, Terrence Gower, The Handspring Puppet Company, Pierre Huyghe, Christian Jankowski, Mike Kelley, William Kentridge, Cindy Loehr, Annette Messager, Paul McCarthy, Matt Mullican, Bruce Nauman, Dennis Oppenheim, Philippe Parreno and Rirkrit Tiravanija, Laurie Simmons, Doug Skinner and Michael Smith, Kiki Smith, Survival Research Laboratory, Kara Walker, and Charlie White.

Above: Dennis Oppenheim, Theme for a Major Hit, 1974, motor driven marionettes. wood, cloth, felt, soundtrack, tape player, and external speakers, dimensions variable. © Dennis Oppenheim, courtesy MCAH.