May 31st-June 28th
Opening Event: Saturday, May 31st, 6-10 p.m.
Thad Garrett Eaton
Tom R. Haniszewski
by Leo Kuelbs
In the mid-1990s, hundreds of mutated frogs began to appear all over the world. Some with extra legs, extra genitalia, missing eyes, etc. The typical thinking is that the frogs, who reside in the earth’s muck, are first to keenly feel the changes in our rapidly shifting environment. Human evolution is somewhere around the bend. The world and its inhabitants are going through severe changes and stresses; and artists, as sensitive observers to the human experience, are taking notice.
Whereas, in the past, Bosch and Brueghel used distortion in their figurative work to depict what might befall the hapless sinner, today’s artist often employs similar tactics not just to warn of the plight of an individual or class, but also to represent seismic shifts in our habitat.
As these changes are processed, the effects ripple through the community. “Angst Art” appears in all cultures. In the West, artists like Currin and Nerdrum have popularized aspects of this style while younger artists seek to explore and push the boundaries further. Contortion/distortion/perversion of the figure, abstraction, heightened narrative elements and context, are some of the means used to represent the stresses of rapid change towards an unknown end.
“Modern Repulsion” seeks to not only highlight some the work of these edge-travelers, it also hopes to offer them, and the viewer, an outlet, a vent, from which to confront difficult situations and, hopefully, release some of the poison that seeks to distort our very existence.