Friedman Benda presents Other than Beauty a group exhibition featuring work by post-war and emerging artists, whose ground-breaking practices have established new paradigms of art-making and new criteria for beauty.
Tracing the emergence of process, performance, language, video, and political action as new or subversive components of artistic expression, the exhibition considers a broad range of artists who have disregarded the primacy of formal and aesthetic beauty. Some works investigate materiality; some are acutely self-reflective, others offer unconventional platforms for mundane or banal aspects of the human predicament. Paradoxically, by pushing the boundaries of meaning and form, these artists have, over time, expanded our ideas of what beauty can be.
The show includes Joseph Beuys, who made art that focused on malleability, transformation, and the possibilities of art to affect social change; Jannis Kounellis and Robert Rauschenberg, who used debris and cultural detritus as artistic materials; Bruce Nauman, and Lawrence Weiner who use text, video, and media; and Louise Bourgeois, Robert Gober, Ai Weiwei and Janine Antoni who have expanded the formal properties of sculpture using the potency of everyday objects to express political, social, phenomenological and existential ideas.
Other Than Beauty juxtaposes this first wave of artists with a new generation of international artists like Tavares Strachan, Sterling Ruby, and Chitra Ganesh, who came of age in the wake of these developments, and who produce powerful works that continue to challenge our expectations and expand the lexicon of both art and beauty.
Ai Weiwei Carl Andre Janine Antoni Hans Bellmer Joseph Beuys Louise Bourgeois John Cage Chitra Ganesh Robert Gober Douglas Gordon Kim Jones Titus Kaphar Jannis Kounellis Mierle Ukeles Laderman Ana Mendieta Bruce Nauman Yoko Ono John Outterbridge Nam June Paik Sreshta Premnath Robert Rauschenberg Sterling Ruby Tavares Strachen Nari Ward The Yes Men Lawrence Weiner Zhang Huan