Not the End is a group exhibition featuring the works of Wayne Adams, Shana Agid, Geoffrey Chadsey, Aaron Krach, Karen Lederer, Taja Lindley, Cannupa Hanska Luger and Janine Polak. The exhibition will be on view from April 7 through May 6, 2017, with a public opening reception on April 7, 6-8pm.
Each month of last year’s campaign and every day since have been filled with anxiety, and it seems to be getting worse, not better. Every new headline, every congressional hearing and vote (or canceled vote), every damn tweet feels like the start of something new – and not in a good way. Each day arrives with the weight of too many unknowns. Concerns we thought were becoming manageable have resurfaced and been amplified by hateful actions and hateful words.
A similarly anxious era inspired American artists to form Artists Equity (in 1947) in the belief that artists are stronger together. That same year, W.H. Auden coined the phrase “The Age of Anxiety” in his book-length poem set in New York City. That was 70 years ago. Has nothing changed? Are we back where we started?
Not the End explores how artists respond to our current age of anxiety. Will they take to the streets in protest? Will they retrench to their studios? Will they come together to collaborate? Will they continue their pre-election trajectory or change course to create works that react to the times? Yes, and everything in between.
Work in the exhibition acknowledges the gnawing unease felt by so many of us, artists and non-artists alike. The work here embraces resilience. Allusion, metaphor and bite run through the paintings, sculpture, video and collaborative projects featured.
The artists in this exhibition, like so many others who are retaining a dose of optimism in the face of confusion and hate, mix visual pleasure with defiance of the darkness hovering at the edges. They blend poetics and confidence because in this new age of anxiety, we don’t have time for uncertainty.
Image: Aaron Krach, We Are Prepared, 2017, Les Levine subway poster (1981), radiation dosimeter, artist frame, 26 x 22 inches, © Aaron Krach