Curating the 63rd Art of the Northeast
April 11, 2013
I enjoyed the process of selecting work for the Silvermine
Northeast Annual, but perhaps that's not saying enough, as ever since my decade
as director of the Whitney, I have always enjoyed seeing the extraordinary
diversity of art being made in American regions. Being within the gravitational
pull of New York City, one might be tempted to think of the Northeast as
somehow not quite as regional as other parts of this country. And of
course, there is some truth in that. But the very idea of regional art
--or a regional aesthetic-- seems a very comforting notion in this era of
pan-globalism and relational aesthetics. I would like to imagine that,
for instance, artists who experience long hard winters might be in some ways
different than art made by people who divide their year into good beach days
and great beach days.
I'm pleased to say that the quality level of the hundreds of
artists who submitted work to this exhibition, was remarkably high. Considering
the long and distinguished history of the Northeast Annual, that is not at all
surprising. What I find most refreshing and encouraging is the wide range
of individual styles and approaches, the earnest engagement with changing
notions of beauty, and an undercurrent of sophisticated wit.
It is my hope that the Silvermine staff and I have selected an exhibition that visitors will find both compelling and delightful.
David A. Ross