"Pretty and Ugly" Exhibition

Gavin Brown's Enterprise

poster for "Pretty and Ugly" Exhibition

This event has ended.

Pretty and Ugly, while both somewhat pejorative terms in intellectual circles, are handy, if deliberately sophomoric, positions that might be used to describe how artists try to aesthetically shape their work, two adjectives that encapsulate the complex history of art making albeit reducing it to a simple polar opposition.

Pretty Ugly, on view summer 2008 at Gavin Brown’s enterprise and maccarone, attempts to address how artists strategically engage aesthetics; not attributing a validity of one concept over the other, it goes without saying that concepts of beauty and ugliness are always in flux and depend on specific historical and cultural contexts.

Pretty Ugly will instead present an ever-shifting continuum through the eclectic selection of artists from the historical avant-garde to those practicing today, endeavoring to cultivate a deliberate ambiguity in regard to what might be understood in terms of conventional tastes or art world convention. This knowingly subjective, stream of consciousness placement of objects is not without art historical thinking yet surely endeavors to break with museographic conventions. Organized in two different galleries on either corner of a single block, the fluidity of “pretty” and “ugly” will be played with and almost posit “pretty ugly” as a third term which might apply to a vast range of artists and works, thereby fusing the two galleries into a single exhibition.


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