The title of the exhibition Art² refers to the use of a specific and existing artwork in the visual language of an original contemporary artwork. The featured artists reimagine, or incorporate, these past works by artists from their own generation as well as from decades, or even centuries, before. Whether a literal transcription or a point of departure, these works explore the constant flux of art and ultimately demonstrate ways in which our visual history informs our present.
While Barry X Ball’s sculpture, Purity, directly references Antonio Corradini’s sculpture titled La Purità (c.1720-25), Ball adds and subtracts subtle details in composition and medium. His sculptural process involves a complex array of cutting edge technology and procedures, including 3-dimensional scanning, digital modeling, and computer-controlled milling, as well as traditional modes such as detailed hand carving and polishing.
In Wild Horses, Glenn Brown distorts Jean Baptiste-Greuze’s Innocence (c.1790), a portrait of a young woman with a cherub-like face, draped in a swath of fabric tenderly cradling a lamb in her arms. Brown transforms the seemingly romantic image of purity and youth into a contemporary representation of the bizarre and the fantastic; the woman’s eyes have no pupils and her flesh morphs into swirling brushstrokes of acid yellow, and the lamb is displayed as vivid red with green eyes. By recontextualizing and mutating the original image, Brown’s masterful technique imbues it with another reading, inviting the viewer to examine the medium, the subject and the notion of beauty.
Awol Erizku’s Girl with a Bamboo Earring reimagines Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring (c. 1665) in contemporary life. Erizku depicts the sitter in the same pose and attire as Vermeer’s subject, but replaces the recognizable Dutch female with an African-American female. That Erizku rewrites this iconic image emphasizes and draws critical attention to cultural and social constructs embedded in art history.
|Barry X Ball||Tom Molloy|
|Delia Brown||Chris Ofili|
|Glenn Brown||William Pacak|
|Marc Dennis||Richard Pettibone|
|Awol Erizku||Richard Prince|
|Roe Ethridge||Ken Solomon|
|Hilary Harkness||Ena Swansea|
|Deborah Kass||Terri Thomas|
|Naoto Kawahara||Jim Torok|
|Roy Lichtenstein||Kehinde Wiley|