June 22, 2018 – 6:30 pm

Curator’s Perspective: From No Place to Everything

presented by Mark Scala, chief curator

  • Barnaby Furnas (b. 1973, Philadelphia; based in New York). Untitled (Flood), 2007. Urethane on linen; support: 84 x 140 in. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Sarah Norton Goodyear Fund, 2010, 2010:12. © Barnaby Furnas. Photo: Tom Loonan


In this lecture, chief curator Mark Scala will discuss how artists in Chaos and Awe respond to cultural shifts that are so sweeping and unpredictable that they lead to feelings ranging from helplessness, anxiety, and even terror to excitement at the possibilities of boundless knowledge and new levels of connectivity. Artists in this international survey blend abstraction and realism to dramatically describe emotional states that arise in response to unrestrained globalism, conflicts arising from cultural displacement and political extremism, and the radical expansion, intrusion, and promise of technology. These feelings are traditionally associated with the sublime, a word used to describe the sensations one might experience while contemplating the vastness and dangerous indifference of storms at sea, towering mountain ranges, or the infinite reach of the night sky. For many people today, this notion of the sublime corresponds to the contemplation of the ungraspable dimensions of the human-made universe.


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