HOW TO MANAGE WHEN EVERYTHING IS A PRIORITY
Grace and Clark Fyfe Gallery, The Glasgow School of Art
January 16, 2009 – January 30, 2009
In How to Manage When Everything is a Priority,we have brought together the work of seven young artists who are interested in using the venerable medium of painting to address the abundant and competing priorities of contemporary culture. In an age when every subject from God to Godzilla is considered to be fair game for fine art, the emerging artist can sometimes get the feeling that he or she is dealing with a hyperactive schizophrenic muse. With millions and millions of tantalizingly beautiful, stupid, erotic, kitschy, banal, and horrific images just a mouse-click away…it can be more than a little tricky to get your priorities straight.
How to manage a coherent art practice in an age of information overload? What to paint when everything is a priority? The artists in this exhibition employ a variety of strategies in order to sort through the heirlooms of art history and the communicative imperatives of contemporary culture. They collect, collage, erase, obscure and re-invent the many images that are strewn across their studios and embedded in their minds, searching for what could be made uniquely resonant. They each prioritize different things in this search, and this is reflected in the work on display. But while their priorities may differ, they have in common the desire to manage, somehow, to get down to the day-to-day business of making meaning in a cluttered and chaotic world.
Managing priorities in a medium as messy, gooey, and gorgeous as oil paint is not exactly efficient—it is not a cost effective or prudent response to the demands of existence. But it is a daring proposition, alive with the risk of failure and the shock of beauty.