On the occasion of the 2020 election year, the Hall Art Foundation announces a group show, Late America, to be held at its location in Reading, Vermont. This exhibition will include over 100 paintings, sculptures, works on paper, photographs and videos by a roster of nearly 50 artists, and aims to lay bare the polarizing issues at the heart of politics and life in America today.
Eric Fischl is most well-known for provocative, large-scale paintings of middle-class suburban America that are imbued with moral ambivalence and psychological and often uncomfortable sexual undertones. Late America (2016), from which this show takes its title, was painted in the immediate aftermath of the 2016 presidential election. In it, a young white boy draped in an American flag hovers over a middle-aged white man sleeping naked in a fetal position by the side of a swimming pool, while two immigrant day laborers rake an immaculate green lawn in the background. Using his figures to juxtapose class and ethnicity, and the relationship between the young boy and older man, Fischl’s Late America can be read as a metaphor for a fractured nation.
For Robert Longo, art has always been a political act and represents a way to understand and to question the world around us. In the black-and-white film, Icarus Rising (2019), the action of Longo tearing up photographs culled from the current mainstream media is slowed down and amplified, creating an immersive experience. The video’s imposing scale, sound and speed force the viewer to fully consume and consider images that have been dominating the current American news cycle.
The source for Aleksandra Mir’s Newsroom Revival works are the front covers of New York city’s two tabloid newspapers, the New York Post and the New York Daily News, from around 1985 through 2001. In 2007, Mir spent months in the microfiche archives of the New York City Public Library making copies of the covers, then encyclopedically classifying them into groups. One such group were “Trump covers”, which unfolded Donald Trump’s personal, professional and political melodramas in the 1980s and 90s. Over the fifteen-year period that Mir catalogued, she discovered there to be approximately seventy Trump covers, compared to only about a dozen documenting the AIDS crisis, for example. For her Newsroom Revival works, Mir has drawn a selection of six of these Trump covers in large scale with Sharpie markers, prompting the viewer to reflect on the historical significance of the tabloid print media and its distribution in the public space.
In the series of photomontages Body Beautiful, or Beauty Knows No Pain made between 1966 and 1972, Martha Rosler addresses the representation of women in art and advertising. Small Wonder (1966 –1972) depicts a collaged mouth and set of breasts placed over the undergarments being modeled by a woman in a Perma-Lift advertisement. This series was made while Rosler was living in California, where the highly active Women’s Movement came to influence her work. Although works from this series were made forty years ago, Women’s Rights activists in the US and abroad continue their fight for equal rights today. The day after President Trump was inaugurated in 2017, the Women’s March was initiated as a worldwide protest to statements Trump made that were considered by many to be sexist and anti-women.
In her work, Torkwase Dyson explores relationships between bodily movement and architecture, with an emphasis on the ways that black and brown bodies perceive and negotiate space. Dyson’s sculptural installation, Black Shoreline (2019), is part of a group of work that was made in response to the 100th anniversary of the “Red Summer” of 1919, a period of heightened racial violence across the United States, and a specific event that took place in the segregated waters of Chicago’s South Side beaches. When five black teenagers went swimming on Lake Michigan with a homemade raft that drifted near the unmarked boundary between the black and white beaches, tensions between black and white patrons escalated. A white boy threw stones at the black boys, ultimately striking one in the head which resulted in his drowning. For Dyson, the three acrylic sculptures that comprise Black Shoreline represent the interstitial political and environmental conditions that the boys on the raft created and occupied on that day.
In Brute Waste (This, An Irresistible Impulse To Leave No Sanctum Unspoiled) (2009), Robert Williams presents a monumental, 8-foot tall sculpture of a disproportioned half human, half animal figure, blindfolded and blow-torching the earth. Together with works by Alexis Rockman that depict foreboding natural disasters and weather events, the issue of climate change, and specifically our tendency to ignore its reality, will also be addressed.
Late America will include these and other works by Adel Abdessemed, Nina Chanel Abney, Dan Attoe, Judith Bernstein, Matt Blackwell, Mel Bochner, Christoph Buechel, Enrique Chagoya, Carroll Dunham, Torkwase Dyson, Tracey Emin, Eric Fischl, Adrian Ghenie, Leon Golub, Thomas Hirschhorn, Jenny Holzer, Joerg Immendorff, Barbara Kruger, Julian LaVerdiere, Andrew Lenaghan, Robert Longo, Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Wardell Milan, Aleksandra Mir, Bruce Nauman, David Opdyke, C.O. Paeffgen, Raymond Pettibon, Jack Pierson, Guy Richards Smit, Alexis Rockman, Martha Rosler, Thomas Ruff, Ed Ruscha, Peter Saul, David Sherry, Joseph Stashkevetch, Javier Téllez, Mickalene Thomas, Betty Tompkins, Tim Trantenroth, Ai Weiwei, Robert Williams, David Wojnarowicz and Joe Zucker.
For more information and images, please contact the Foundation’s administrative office at + 1 802 952 1056 or firstname.lastname@example.org.