June 1, 2008

Degrees of decay and destruction at the Neuberger Museum

The Neuberger Museum presents work by artists who are taking a critical look at the state of the environment in "Future Tense: Reshaping the Landscape." Conveying current global realities in images (mostly paintings) that range from depictions of true-life events to fictional narratives and biting satire, sixty artists show their concerns with a constellation of factors that have caused global change. Some artists question the past, others forecast the future, and some provide solutions for alternative, potentially sustainable conditions for human life, while others present sobering information from recent events. In the NY Times Ben Genocchio writes that the paintings reveal —at times in nauseating detail — a moral imperative behind the environmental cause. "I mean, who would want to live in a world resembling the abject, repellent places depicted in the paintings here by Scott Anderson, Erik Benson, Kirsten Deirup, Angelina Gualdoni and others? These artists flirt with visions of dystopia, imagining the human world in ethereal degrees of decay and destruction. In Ms. Deirup’s 'Mayor of Doubt' (2006), the world is reduced basically to rubble. If nothing else, the bluntness and desperation suggest a widespread anxiety over the need for solutions to the serious problems we face, reminding us that environmental consciousness begins at home, and sometimes in the studio." Read more.

"Future Tense: Reshaping the Landscape," Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, Purchase, NY. Through July 20. Unfortunately for the artists, the museum's website doesn't include a full list of the artists included in the show.

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