In wake of the pain, loss, and uncertainty of 2020, the New York Academy of Art’s President, David Kratz, and FLAG Art Foundation Director, Stephanie Roach have curated an exhibition that encompasses not only visual artworks, but a variety of texts, poetry, and essays from over 60 participating writers and thinkers.
Already more than halfway through the year, most can agree that 2020 has been a time of seismic events that are shifting values and shaping our choices as citizens and as creators. Taking as its subject the lived experience of our present, a time of social upheaval and unimaginable loss but also a moment of stirring change, ‘2020 Vision’ offers a glimpse of how creative minds are critically engaging with 2020.
“We asked artists, writers, and creative thinkers to consider three questions of critical importance,” says Stephanie Roach, Director of FLAG. “Our lives will never be the same, but what will change look like? What do we want to keep as we rebuild? And what must we guard against?”
The creators were invited to express what they saw, what they felt, and what they experienced during this time of pause and reassessment, with the hope that ‘2020 Vision’ marks one of many beginnings in the necessary process of ‘post-traumatic growth’ and positive change for our society and our world.
“This is the beginning of many conversations. We are documenting something in real time, and you can’t just have one voice. Art provides us with a platform to express different types of messages from creatives of different backgrounds.”
The exhibition has over 60 participating artists and writers, and like many New York Academy of Art exhibitions, the show features work from current art students and young emerging artists hung alongside contemporary stars such as Rachel Lee Hovnanian, Natalie Frank, Tawny Chatmon, Eric Fischl, and Rashid Johnson. From Lujan Perez’s woodcut featuring an emotionally charged embrace, to Chris Wilson’s vibrantly colored painting of a Black funeral in Baltimore, to Bastienne Schmidt‘s paintings of everyday objects in a pandemic, to Hovnanian’s witty dinner installation commenting on social distancing, ‘2020 Vision’ encapsulates experiences of many kinds.
The exhibition will be on view until December 27 at 25 Jobs Lane at the Southampton Arts Center. To accommodate those who cannot view ‘2020 Vision’ in person, the New York Academy of Art’s website features a virtual 3-D tour of the exhibition via Eazel and a full catalogue. Check out a few of our favorite works below.