The Hall Art Foundation is pleased to announce a group exhibition curated by American artist Alexis Rockman and Katherine Gass Stowe to be held in its galleries in Reading, Vermont from 12 May – 25 November 2018. Approximately twenty-five artists are represented in The Solace of Amnesia, which includes over thirty paintings, photographs, works on paper and sculptures selected from the Hall and Hall Art Foundation collections.
Rockman and Gass Stowe define “The Solace of Amnesia” as a craving to forget as a form of comfort and self-medication. Recognizing that the planet is in an age of profound environmental transformation, we find ourselves estranged and alienated from the ecosystems in which we evolved. How do we reconcile our knowledge of what is happening, our behavior, and political policies that undermine our best interests and our future? The continued loss of bio and ecophilia - our love for and central relationship to the natural world - has become something we deny even as we grow more acutely melancholic in this time of open political hostility to the realities of climate change. The intergenerational problems we are causing now will change the world in ways we can’t imagine. Yet, as author, environmentalist and activist Bill McKibben has said, “There is a tendency at every important but difficult crossroad to pretend it’s not really there.” (The End of Nature, 1989). The selected works explore some of the ecological, socio-political and psychological aspects of life in our world today.
Robert Rauschenberg’s Glut sculptures, such as Meta Meta Glut (1987), are made from discarded car parts, gas-station signs and scrap-metal. Signifying our lifestyle of copious waste, they are effigies to Texas’ booming oil market in the mid-80s. The artist has described them as “souvenirs without nostalgia”.
The found and reconstructed antlers in Michael Joo’s Improved Rack #4 (Moose) (2004) question organic and enhanced "identities”, symbols of growth and power, and the merger of the artificial with the natural. As we rely more heavily on technology to solve human problems, the implications of a future landscape overrun by hardware and a plethora of unintended hybrid lifeforms – the focus of many popular movies today -- becomes more and more real.
Katherine Bradford makes paintings about enchantment and universality – as she describes, “something bigger than everyday life”. In Large Ocean Painting (2016), swimmers move amongst big toothy water creatures, dream-like and floating together in close proximity through a luminous purple sea. Human vulnerability, comical co-mingling and a sense that there is no separation between man and beast resonate when considering how videos of wild animals awkwardly moving through suburban settings are now common place on YouTube, and animal and aquatic populations are being pushed from their natural habitats into urban spaces that are unintended for wildlife.
Storm Surf, Timber Cove, California (1963) by renowned American landscape photographer, Ansel Adams, presents the Edenic memory of an untouched earth. The image of the sea crashing into black rocks on an empty, jagged shore conjures up a powerful ideal of untamed nature.
The Solace of Amnesia includes works by Ansel Adams, Carl Andre, Richard Artschwager, Olivo Barbieri, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Katherine Bradford, Olafur Eliasson, Mitch Epstein, Dan Flavin, Damien Hirst, Howard Hodgkin, Michael Joo, Anselm Kiefer, Guillermo Kuitca, Marcin Maciejowski, Shirin Neshat, Sven Pahlsson, Robert Rauschenberg, Alexis Rockman, Ed Ruscha, Wilhelm Sasnal, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Michael Wolf.
Alexis Rockman is an internationally known artist whose work has been displayed extensively since 1985. Traveling solo museum exhibitions include The Great Lakes Cycle, Grand Rapids Art Museum, MI (2018–20); Alexis Rockman: A Fable for Tomorrow, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC (2010); and Manifest Destiny, Brooklyn Museum, New York (2005). Rockman’s work is represented in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, New York; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Moscow Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven. His oeuvre has been the subject of numerous exhibition catalogues and monographic publications, including A Natural History of New York City (2016); East End Field Drawings (2015); and Alexis Rockman (2003). Rockman lives in New York.
Katherine Gass Stowe is Founder and Chief Curator of James Company Contemporary Art Projects, a curatorial and advisory firm that builds private and public collections, installations, and related programming across a variety of industries for clients worldwide. Katie is the contracted New York region collections curator for Bank of America, a post she has held since 2002. She was the Global Art Curator for Jumeirah Group from 2007 - 2012. She has an M.A. in the History of American Art Advocacy from The Gallatin School at New York University, has held posts at The Whitney Museum and the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, and has served on the Board of Directors of Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture, Maine, and SculptureCenter, New York. Katie is a member of the Association of Professional Art Advisors and Art Table. Most recently she developed a collection for the award-winning The Beekman, A Thompson Hotel, in New York City.
The Hall Art Foundation in Reading, Vermont is open weekends by appointment.
Appointments are available Saturdays and Sundays at 11 AM and 2 PM.
Admission: $10 pp
The First Friday of every month, from 5 - 8 PM, we also welcome visitors to view our exhibitions without a guide and at their own pace. Admission is free!
Donations to help support our programming are always appreciated.
For more information and images, please contact the Foundation’s administrative office at + 1 802 952 1056 or email@example.com.