“Layers of Perception: The Pictures Generation and Beyond” Exhibition

Shin Gallery (66-68 Orchard St.)

poster for “Layers of Perception: The Pictures Generation and Beyond” Exhibition
[Image: David Salle "The Trucks Bring Things" (1984) oil, acrylic, fabric collage and light bulb on canvas 102 x 173 1/2 x 5 7/8 in.]

This event has ended.

SHIN GALLERY presents “Layers of Perception: The Pictures Generation and Beyond.” The exhibition takes its inspiration from the Pictures Generation, a group of artists from the 1970s. These artists, amidst the tumultuous backdrop of the Watergate Scandal and the Vietnam War, embarked on a journey to deconstruct and critique our image-saturated modern world. Growing up in an era dominated by mass media and commercialization, they developed the unique ability to sift through the visual clutter, resisting the seduction of pop culture. “Layers of Perception” showcases a diverse selection of mixed media and paintings created primarily from the 1910s through the 2020s, juxtaposing works by the Pictures Generation with those of their predecessors and successors.

For this exhibition, SHIN GALLERY has meticulously chosen unconventional, innovative images that solidify the artists as both significant image-makers and artistic provocateurs of their time. The exhibition showcases pieces by artists like Katsushika Hokusai, known for his woodblock prints that predated Western Pop Art with their vivid depiction of reality, and Japanese avant-garde mixed-media artist and painter, Ei-Q. It also includes pieces by the Cubo-Futurist Marcel Duchamp, known for challenging conventional notions of fine art through his ready-mades. Visitors will also have the opportunity to explore the works of Frank Robbins, a comic book artist turned prominent painter, and Michael Bevilacqua, a next-gen pop artist who continues the tradition of blending high culture with the low. These artists share a common thread - the power of perception, rendering kinetic scenes as still moments to be examined. Their paintings exude energy and evoke a sense of chaos and mystique.

The works move from dynamic and exploratory, to the consumer-critical, political styles of the Pictures Generation. Jennifer Bolande and Cindy Sherman play with the ready-made and the reimagined, featuring cropped stills from pornographic movies and remade scenes from mid-20th century B movies. Louise Lawler challenges the powers surrounding the art market by voyeuristically photographing privately-owned art and placing it back on the gallery walls. Jo Spence, Sylvie Fleury, David Salle and John Baldessari make their own, bold yet intimate interrogations in their works. Gender roles, consumerism, authority, nothing is spared from the poking and prodding of these artists. Finally, Sylvie Fleury, Sara VanDerBeek and Ken Lum confront the viewer with commonplace objects and imagery with a documentary, archival bent, leaving no room for ignorance and plenty of room for insights.

Shin Gallery’s Layers of Perception exhibition pulls together a catalogue of major artists into a show that salutes the archival artistry of the Pictures Generation. The notion of change was imperative to the Pictures artists, and it is only fitting that this show carries those provocations forth into the bold new world of art-making, and living today. Taken in alongside each other, these works, about humanity, society, feminism, illness, art and expression, develop new layers of meaning. The audience’s reaction to this exhibition is part of the art itself; it is a means of continuing this collective chain-link of inspiration and preoccupation.

List of artists: John Baldessari, Marcel Duchamp, Ken Lum, Katsushika Hokusai, Jennifer Bolande, Sara VanDerBeek, Cindy Sherman, Jo Spence, David Salle, Frank Robbins, Michael Bevilacqua, Louise Lawler, Sylvie Fleury, Ei-Q.


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