Tom (Golden Tunnel), 2010
72 x 110 inches
183 x 279.5 cm
Post 9-11 is a group exhibition distinct of a decade and definitive of an era. The work of the nine artists represented (Dan Colen, Terence Koh,Hanna Liden, Nate Lowman, Adam McEwen, Ryan McGinley, Agathe Snow, Dash Snow, and Aaron Young) sidestep categorization into a particular movement or style, yet speaks to a distinct history through their highly individual, visual dialogue, which includes painting, photography, sculpture, and installation.
Operating in a new millennium, as friends, collaborators, and New York City artists, their relationships with each other cemented fully over the last ten years – a decade spent sharing ideas, studios, apartments, and themselves. This intimate connection not only informed their practice, it influenced their creative progression. Their union provides affirmation that synthesis is a stronger route than fracture, as each artist has now fleshed out their own voice and their own vision, due in part to their bond.
Creating imagery, which at times expressed a shared, youthful freedom, also responds to their experience of these ten years; work that ranges from defiant, irreverent, destructive, to sublime, utopian, and emotive. For example, a two-dimensional piece by Dan Colen, Blop!, 2011, fabricated from tar and feathers adhered to canvas, appears chaotic and abject. It references both the barbaric and archaic act of social punishment, while also interjecting concepts of materiality, and the visual effects of using unorthodox media in painting. Conversely, in its sublimity, Ryan McGinley’s photograph Tom (Golden Tunnel), 2010, is a surreal and cinematically arranged image of a nude, male figure in a train tunnel. It is as transcendent in its ethereal treatment as it is existential in its choreography and open-ended narrative.
These brief examples articulate that, as a whole, the work in this exhibition is effective in its ability to translate the myriad reactions possible in light of a connected reality. No two experiences can be exact in their expression, however, their aesthetic approaches, although disparate, present a visual memoir of a notable era. Reluctant in yielding to definition, yet decidedly American, Post 9-11 presents an epitome of a creative group, and characterizes the mood and complexities of this decade.