More than Real

Curated by Phyllis Bramson and Karen Indeck

Artists: Ida Applebroog, Richard Bosman, Katherine Bowling, Mary Carlson, Nancy Davenport, Dan Devening, Lisa Erf, Kenneth Goldsmith, David Humphrey, Sarah Morris, Daniel Oliver, David Russick, Hugh Steers, Thomas Trosch, Kara Walker, and Hannah Wilke

More than Real is about the different ways in which artists work with a narrative language. Each of the artists represented in this exhibition resorts to the narration of storytelling in order to structure their work. Some of the artists fuse their language between representation and abstraction, while others use a stylized or particular brand of realism; still others use a symbiosis of word and image. Many use symbols, signifiers, and codes as metaphor, while some look for ways to make their work more direct in nondidactic terms. Some of the narratives act as a documentary, while others act upon fantasy. Their goal is to share selected information filtered through art.

Despite the stylistic pluralism that exists in the art world, and the variety of personal vernacular and different levels of emotional and psychological temperatures in which a narrative piece can exist, these works are paradigmatic of their time, covering such issues as culture, gender, body, sexuality, and identity. The artists share in common their resistance against a clear, overt interpretation of their work, the position of unease the viewer is left with and the work acting between the gap of art and life.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Barbara Stafford, an art historian at the University of Chicago, will speak about her book, Body Criticism.