Curator’s Talk: Tuesday
Mixed Greens (531 W. 26th St., 1st Fl., Manhattan)
Mixed Greens is pleased to present Tuesday, our first exhibition organized by an independent curator. We are excited to let amani olu take the reins and unite an incredible mix of emerging artists to explore and deepen our understanding of the everyday in contemporary art.
In 1849, French artist Gustave Courbet painted The Stone Breakers, which captures two men in the act of breaking stones, traditionally the lowest class of work in French society. Courbet presents their menial labor in a straightforward manner, omitting romanticized and idealized gestures. This radical painting is the first historically significant depiction of everyday content in art. Almost fifty years later, Marcel Duchamp enraged the art world with his seminal readymade sculpture, Fountain. By the 1960s, Andy Warhol was producing paintings of Coke bottles, Campbell Soup cans, and high profile American celebrities. Courbet, Duchamp, and Warhol employed everyday content in their work in part to upset bourgeois sensibility. Courbet’s paintings rejected the historical and fictional subjects found in Neoclassicism and Romanticism, Duchamp’s Fountain posed an epistemological question (What is art?), and Warhol celebrated and criticized Post–War Americana by appropriating its iconic imagery. Warhol’s successful consideration of consumer products and popular culture is what gave rise to the inclusion and critical reception of he quotidian in art since the 1960s.