Still Missing: Beauty Absent Social Life, is an exhibition of paintings which explores the sense of isolation or disconnectedness that has come to define the modern era. The works in the exhibition address the longing for more fulfilling social relations and its relationship to beauty as an expression of hope or desire. Still Missing includes nine emerging and established artists from the U.S. and Germany who work in figurative and abstract traditions and is curated by Tom Huhn, chair of the Art History Department at SVA.
“One of the most compelling things about the works in the exhibition is the ambivalence each has toward its own beauty,” said Huhn. “Beauty is one of the most fertile grounds of contemporary art-making because it brings to light the complicities and complexities of our desire for society.”
Still Missing takes its cue from painting’s centuries-old concern with absence. Historically, painting has been an attempt to make present that which is no longer there – whether the buffalo outlined in a cave painting, objects captured in a still life or the sitter for a portrait. The exhibition addresses a number of questions pertinent to painting today and in particular the question of what kind of society contemporary art depicts as desirable. For all the recent discussion of absence among theorists and philosophers, how have contemporary artists given visual appearance to social longing? What might an absent society look like?
Still Missing: Beauty Absent Social Life Panel Discussion
A panel discussion, in conjunction with the exhibition at the Visual Arts Museum, moderated by SVA faculty member and Art in America Senior Editor Raphael Rubinstein.
Thursday, September 21, 7pm Amphitheater, 209 East 23 Street, 3rd floor