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silvermine arts center

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