ANOTHER ROADSIDE ATTRACTION: An Exploration into the Contemporary Art Genre of the Neo-Grotesque


November 09 – December 31, 2010

Curated by Samantha Levin and Danielle Ezzo
Artists: Carrie Ann Baade, Christopher Conte, Dan Estabrook, Danielle Ezzo, Heather Gargon, Caitlin Hackett, Samantha Levin, Julie Anne Mann, Christian Rex van Minnen, Buddy Nestor, Dan Ouellette, Alex Passapera

Opening Reception: Friday, November 12, 6-8PM
*Reception is not the first day of the exhibition
Artist Talk: Saturday, November 20, 5-7PM/ Guest: Dr. Nancy Hightower

ISE Cultural Foundation is pleased to present a group exhibition, “ANOTHER ROADSIDE ATTRACTION: An Exploration into the Contemporary Art Genre of the Neo-Grotesque”, curated by Samantha Levin and Danielle Ezzo.

The grotesque in the fine arts has continued to gain momentum over the past couple of decades with the works of such artists as Odd Nerdrum, Dino Vals, Joel Peter Witkin and Robert and Shana Parke-Harrison, amongst others. Another Roadside Attraction aims to explore this newly named genre, the Neo-Grotesque by exhibiting a dynamic cross section of artwork that evinces various unique aspects thereof. Seattle’s Roq la Rue gallery states, “The term [Neo-Grotesque] was recently coined for the resurgence of artists working with subject matter traditionally deemed unattractive or repulsive, but representing them in a sympathetic manner in a highly formal technical style.” More than that, it is a modern exploration of the intriguing “dissonance between the grotesque and the sublime”, to paraphrase author Mark Dery and his essay, The Pyrotechnic Insanitarium. Neo-Grotesque artwork not only derives inspiration from history (e.g. the art of Hieronymus Bosch or Roadside Attraction curio exhibits, once ubiquitous in the United States), but also more modern influences due to the proliferation of the internet. Often cathartic in nature, it unburies uncomfortable and/or strange truths, old and new, inherent in the world around us. The artwork on view in this particular exhibit comes from the Pop Surreal or New Contemporary art scenes, currently making its way to more prominent places in today’s society.

Image: Carrie Ann Baade, “The Devil’s in the Details, Part VI (Girl as Ouroboros)” 2009, Gouache and ink on paper, 11″x 17″

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