Sawdust-encrusted canvases, clothes, and blankets strung across a gallery appearing like fields of color, geometric stacks of bunk beds aglow in the pink light of colorful glass panels. The muscular works featured in In the Abstract merge the formal gestures and historical associations of abstract painting with recognizable imagery and everyday objects to point to social and political realities of today. Form, color, and gesture act as metaphors for how we process the world around us and convey emotional, philosophical, and spiritual states. Exhibition artists include Doug Ashford, Aidas Bareikis, Sarah Braman, Tomashi Jackson, Rosy Keyser, Eric N. Mack, Rose Marcus, Rodney McMillian, Matt Saunders, Letha Wilson, and Brenna Youngblood.
Borrowing its title from the final lines of This Is How You Lose Her — Junot Díaz’s collection of short stories chronicling the fallout of infidelity — The Half-Life of Love explores the melancholic experience of romantic encounter: the heady sensation of first looks, the affective ebb of time, and the traces of a lover’s absence. The exhibition features work by an intergenerational group of artists including Jordan Casteel, Cynthia Daignault with Curran Hatleberg, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Deana Lawson, Dave McKenzie, Kambui Olujimi, Valeska Soares, and Billie Zangewa. Ranging in tone from honeymoon to heartbreak, they present love as a social contract, at once rife with possibility and precariousness.
Principal exhibition support for In the Abstract is provided by Greg and Anne Avis. Major exhibition support is provided by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the Barr Foundation, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
The Half-Life of Love is made possible by the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in support of MASS MoCA and the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art.
a beckoning: We are not who we think we are, 2015
Latex on fabric and canvas painting
312 × 960 inches, 792.5 × 2438.4 centimeters
Courtesy of the artist and Maccarone, New York and Los Angeles