SVA presents “Being American,” an exhibition surveying responses by visual artists to some of the most pressing social issues in America today. On view at the Visual Arts Gallery, 601 West 26 Street, New York City, from November 22 – December 21, the more than 85 works in the show address topics ranging from recent environmental catastrophes to the pervading effects of the economic crisis; from the long shadow of 9/11 and two overseas wars to the home-front debates surrounding religious tolerance, gay marriage, capital punishment and firearms possession.
Francis Di Tommaso, Visual Arts Gallery Director and curator of “Being American” explains, “The twenty artists in this show have twenty stories to tell about the experience of being American today. Though many would not normally exhibit in the same venue—the work of some is almost never seen outside of the printed page—they all have immediately accessible and also exquisitely nuanced commentaries to make on American culture.”
Martha Rosler‘s jarring photomontages juxtapose documentary photographs of the brutalities of war in Afghanistan and Iraq with the complacency of well-appointed American home interiors. Kehinde Wiley‘s classically-inspired portraits of the modern day African-American and Latino street-level aristocracy point out extremes in the nation’s social stratification. And Edward Burtynsky‘s elegiac seascape of an oil-wrecked Gulf of Mexico considers the changed American landscape.
For more information about the exhibition and to see a full list of participants, visit SVA.edu. The reception for “Being American” will take place on Thursday, December 1, 6 – 8pm at the Visual Arts Gallery, 601 West 26 Street, New York City.
Image: Kehinde Wiley, Defend and Develop the Island Together, 2006, oil on canvas, 96 x 72 inches, Sender Collection, courtesy of Sean Kelly Gallery, New York.