Since the 1960’s, contemporary art has paralleled the racial, gender, and sexual revolutions that have radically altered contemporary culture. This exhibition traces the evolution of art through the view of 14 key contemporary artists, who have undertaken racial, cultural and gender differences over the last 4 decades. The artists in this show all emerged within the context of these radical transformations and represent a cross section of gay, straight, male and female artists from different racial and cultural backgrounds. Carolee Schneemann, Betty Tompkins, Marilyn Minter, Thomas Lanigan Schmidt, and Rob Pruitt & Jack Early, are artists whose radical works in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s shocked the art world enough to cause destruction to their lives and careers, while simultaneously urging their contemporaries and a new generation of artists like Sean Landers, Cary Liebowitz, Tony Oursler, Mickalene Thomas, Simone Leigh, Christopher Winter and Monica Cook to take on controversial cultural issues. All of the works in this show embrace a visual language redefining beauty through highly charged objects and images and help elucidate why so many facets of our identities are formed by imposed stereotypes, distorted imagery and oppressive histories. Through the exploration of oppressive power dynamics, we are invited to examine our own complex relationships to those systems.
This exhibition is curated by Dara Schaefer, architect and curator. She specializes in contemporary and emerging artists and works with individual and corporate collections. She is the founder of Wonderground Studios, which exhibits emerging art in a salon setting and also works with non-profit foundations Kids V Cancer and Bent on Learning to curate art for their benefit auctions.