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Susan W. Knowles wrote this museum exhibition review.
More Love: Art, Politics, and Sharing since the 1990s, a smart and thoughtful show-organized by curator Claire Schneider for the Ackland Museum of Art, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill-addresses some unexpected themes in recent art. Although well-steeped in the international conceptualism of the past several decades, with its emphasis on clever ideas, intellectualism, self-referentialism, and, at times, cynicism, Schneider has instead chosen to include works that focus on participation, equality of dialogue, idealism, and sincerity.
Reaching back to master contemporary artists still making art in the final decades of their lives, such as French-American artist Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010), she has also included relatively obscure young practitioners like American artist Sarah Gotowka (b. 1984) and Mexican artist Antonio Vega Macotela (b.1980). The resulting exhibition, installed throughout the upstairs galleries at the Cheekwood Museum of Art and on view until January 5, 2014, is a mixture of typology and intention.
Many works in the exhibition are simple objects that open to layers of meaning the more one spends time in their presence, as in the iconic Untitled (Ross in L.A.), 1991, by American artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1958-1996), and Love (2000) by Louise Bourgeois. Others offer compelling narratives captured in real time, such as Palestinian artist Mona Hatoum’s 1988 film and audio recordings of conversations with her mother living in Lebanon; Antonio Vega Macotela’s exchange of his time on the outside with drawings made in those same exact moments by his partner-prisoners on the inside in Time Divisa (2006-2011); and the allure of global human connection one feels when participating in Yoko Ono’s Time to Tell Your Love (2012).