Art is not what you see but what you make others see.
Throughout history, we have witnessed art’s power to move, unite, raise awareness, and spark action. Think about Nick Ut’s Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph of the Vietnam War or Keith Haring’s paintings that brought to light the prejudice surrounding the AIDS epidemic. Following the results of the 2016 elections, we want to draw your attention to gallery openings that celebrate our diversity, differences, and collective experience. We hope you find something in these shows that moves you, something that gives you hope, something that encourages you to continue to appreciate the beauty in our world despite these unsettling times.
The Must See’s:
On show at Gladstone Gallery are the early works of Mario Merz, a key player of the Arte Povera movement of the 1960s whose anti-elitist aesthetic is evoked through the use of everyday materials. Not to be missed is La bottiglia di Leyda (Leyden Jar), an installation that covers the gallery space with wire mesh and neon lights that spell out the Fibonacci sequence. This mathematical series in which each number is the sum of the two before (0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, …) is prevalent in nature, found in the arrangement of pine cones to flower petals. Merz’s use of Fibonacci’s sequence evokes the notion that amidst the chaos and turmoil that surround us, there still exists an order that unites us all.
In A 40 Year Chronicle of Groups and Gatherings, Neal Slavin’s photographs reveal the inner character of the group, be it religious worshippers or hot dog vendors. Speaking about his photos, Slavin eloquently conveys the essence of the collective experience: “I want my work to affirm our self identity within our public persona; to affirm the joy of being together rather than being apart. My intention is to intensely glimpse that kind of human spirit through the lens of my camera.”
For 11 days, Blurring Boundaries features the works of Wifredo Lam, an Afro-Cuban artist born to a Chinese immigrant father and a Catholic mother from a long line of Congolese slaves. Influenced by his eclectic ethnic identity and artistic background, Lam produces paintings that merges Afro-Cuban, Surrealist, and Cubist pictorial traditions. His works merge differences and disparate identities in a way that ultimately expresses the beauty of diversity.
So take a friend, a family member or a significant other to see these shows. Engage in conversations these artists hope to incite just as we continue to engage in the dialogue that will shape this country’s future.
Here’s how to use the Gallery Guide:
- The map’s various colors represent different days of the week. For a key, click on the arrow icon next to the map title.
- For example, to see galleries with openings on the weekend only, first click on the arrow icon. If you uncheck every box except Saturday and Sunday, you will only see the galleries with weekend receptions.
- Click on a marker to find out more information! A side bar will appear showing the gallery and exhibition name, as well as other useful tidbits.
- To prevent confusion for galleries in the same building, the marker takes a different shape for every overlapping venue.
Header Image: Neal Slavin, Staff of the Statue of Liberty. Courtesy of Neal Slavin and Laurence Miller Gallery.