Beneath The Surface brings together a selection of works from a generation of artists who are re-defining post-war art movements.
Through a variety of practices that include New Abstraction and Figurative Painting, these artists are responding to the consequences of globalization. For historical, sociological, and conceptual reasons, the works selected for this year’s exhibition are subjective representations of the new American landscape.
Through the use of process and appropriation the figure is once again re-introduced with an understanding of post-media production and technological newness, thereby blurring the boundaries between Abstraction and Figuration.
On the ground floor, the viewer is confronted by a series of monumental works. Among them, the artist Wade Guyton‘s (b. 1972, Hammond) work substitutes traditional painting with the use of the Epson printer. Reminiscent of the process once employed by the Surrealists, Guyton‘s work is a form of Automatism transformed by technical support.
On the second floor, the aggressive nature of Dana Schutz‘s (b. 1976, Michigan) Gravity Fanatic and Kelley Walker‘s (b. 1969, Georgia) Black Star Press: Black Press, Black Star confront the heroic sculptures installed on the platform.Schutz‘s Goyesque approach to figurative painting, and the intentional pairing withKelley Walker’s silk-screened, chocolate abstractions, allow the audience to explore the artists’ satirical wit through the appropriation of politically significant imagery and literature. A 1963 image from the newspaper “Star Press” of the Birmingham riots, as well as Jonathan Swift’s 1726 novel, “Gulliver’s Travels,” imply a psychological and emotional response to civic and international unrest.
The third floor is a contrasting study in portraiture and memory with the works of Félix González-Torres (b.1957, Cuba) and Rob Pruitt (b. 1964, Washington). By transforming everyday objects and using energetic gestures and repetition,González-Torres and Pruitt accept a diversity of ideologies and reject the notion that art has a single vantage point.