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"Cosmos and Chaos: A Cultural Paradox"
2004-02-01 until 2004-04-30
Roberson Museum and Science Center
Binghamton, NY, USA United States of America

The Roberson Museum and Science Center in Binghamton, New York presents "Cosmos & Chaos: A Cultural Paradox" from February 1 - April 30, 2004. A reception open to the public will be held in the museum's Sears Harkness Hall on Sunday, February 8th from 2-4 PM. Organized by the Roberson Museum and Science Center with guest curator Hall Groat II, this exhibition will feature the work of several contemporary artists and their diverse views on art. The exhibition is deliberately composed of work that is polarized in nature, reflecting the diversity in our culture and the need for artists to convey their viewpoints on the issues of today, such as religion, politics, and family.

The breadth of work presented offers us an opportunity to both examine and reflect on how the postmodern artist has evolved over the past few decades. It provides the viewer insight into the meaning behind the art and the cultural forces that may have influenced the artist.

In the process of making art, the artist struggles with the seemingly opposing forces that have always existed since the beginning of time-cosmos and chaos. The general perception is that these forces are always at odds, but we need to pursue the wider understanding of how they are interdependent. From a Christian perspective, chaotic events are subsumed under the wider providence of God. Under Darwinism, the belief is that nature uses chaos constructively to provide biological systems with access to new forms. Order and chaos have always been preeminent forces that shape and define nearly every aspect of life. These omnipresent forces are present when the artist is faced with life transitions such as birth and death, with world issues of war and peace, along with the struggles faced in everyday life. Undoubtedly, our perception affects how we interpret their art as much as it affects the creative process of making art.

In the exhibit, artists deal with issues of destruction and order. Don Demauro and Ron Gonzalez, although different in their individual approaches to creating art, both address the concept of mortality and the passage of time. More directly, Jerome Witkin confronts mor-tality in an emotional narrative depicting scenes from the Holocaust. Equally as diverse is the work of Nancy Ryan and Joy Adams who delve into the world of gender and the aging process of women. The dynamic abstract paintings of Ib Benoh and James Bohary are characterized by the search for new reality in a world of chaos. Perceiving reality in a different way, artists Lucian Freud, Eric Fischl and Aubrey Schwartz consider the human form, choosing to distort it to reach their truth. Marc Dennis and Hall Groat II work with metaphorical imagery that often suggests several paradoxical outcomes. Both Daniel Mosner and Luvon Sheppard are concerned with achieving a certain presence in their work that stems from their emotional connection and struggles with the subject itself. Every artist in this group is uniquely different, but together as a group is an undeniable synergy.


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